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Jimmi is three years old, very curious and friendly. He wants to be near the handler and her food pouch and doesnt know yet that people want horses to keep some distance.
Some of the topics that came up: getting to know the comfort zone of people, taking food more carefully, keeping distance while being fed, standing besides the handler relaxed without fumbling or nipping looking straight forward, being touched at the head/mouth/halter without nipping or head shaking, relaxing while the handler holds on to the halter, yielding to pressure.
This is the pony's second session of learning to pivot on the platform. His first session was about 3-4 minutes long (video in the previous post), then about a week later, this session.
In the first session, I tipped his head with the lead rope, and put pressure on his hind end. In the second session, I didn't touch him, but used one hand at his head to indicate "come", and one hand towards the hind to indicate "move away".
This pony (probably a Welsh / POA cross, not an Icelandic Horse :-)) is learning how to pivot on the platform; a good suppling exercise, and an extension of Parelli Natural Horsemanship's disengaging the hindquarters.
In this video we look at the process of using clicker training to teach a young horse to respond to rein aids by basic flexions. Rein aids are the primary means of communication when riding, so it's important to establish them before actually getting in the saddle.
The basic flexions are forward, back, head up, head down, turn on the forehand (indirect rein), turn on the haunches (direct rein).
The flexions are clicker trained using rhythmic cues. Initially the horse gets clicked for their very first movement, which builds quick, light response to the cue. Later we can click for duration, smoothness of movement and other criteria.
These flexions are the basis of any under saddle communication including reining, dressage, hunter/jumpers and endurance.
Because we are using positive reinforcement (clicker training), the process is really enjoyable for the horse and trainer and we avoid the fights that often arise when working on subtle cues and small movements.
While we are training rein aids, we begin in the halter because young horses have a tendency to throw their heads when starting this work. As the horse begins to understand and respond calmly to the cues, we will add the bit to fine-tune communication.
This owner is training lateral work with her horse; and the specific exercise is "lateral movement towards me", through clicker training. The horse is rewarded for moving laterally towards her.
A description from Cheryl of how she worked on this lateral move:
`Lateral Toward Me' (3 ten minute lessons)
Front / Shoulders:
I worked with Candy's front end first.
Near and offside separately.
I asked Candy to bring her nose toward me `click'. I took a step backwards and her front feet started to follow me `click'.
After a few times Candy started to cross her front legs and take a step sideways with me when I stepped back `click'. (I did not worry about her hind at this stage). Once this was firm in candy's mind, I only needed to point my arm to her shoulder- step back and she crossed her front legs and stepped with me `click' (you can see this on video with her offside).
I then had -`The start of Lateral Towards Me' (front)
I then went to her hindquarters. I tapped her hip and I took a step backward, with the slightest idea she was going to come sideways towards me with her hind I `click'. (This was all she needed on her offside.)
At the start of our hind work with her near side, Candy needed a "clue" of how to come to me- what I was asking of her.
What I did was placed her offside parallel to a fence meaning she could not move away from me when I asked but in fact she needed to come sideways with me.
(She could have backed up or left by walking forward though, as I prefer to work with my horse with no halter etc unless it is used only for a clue).
I then tapped her hip with my outstretched arm and I took a step backward.
With no hesitation her hindquarters came sideways toward me (just a small weight shift) but `click' and the best treat.
I then had `Start of Lateral Toward Me' (hind)
Full Body Lateral:
After that as you can see in the start of my video, I only needed to point an arm to her shoulder and an arm to her hip, step backward and she will sidestep to me.
Her full body is now `Lateral towards me'.
The softness in Candy has come naturally while Candy and I worked through what I was asking of her and tiny step by step she `Got It'.
Candy and me are now progressing from my arm cues, (which I used as a clue for which body part to move) to her following only my footwork. This will be her cue for this exercise, as body language works well for Candy. I also like the result to be an easy neat `clear cue' for my horse to pick up on. (which she usually picks)
4th ten minute lesson:
On our 4th ten minute lesson tonight I worked with Candy on her offside.
She is now gliding sideways with me as she does with her near side, in a `full Lateral Towards Me'
There was a lot more `click' moments while teaching this. I am a trainer who looks at - the start of a behavior to the finish of a behavior- as one big jigsaw of a thousand pieces. `I click for each piece'.
Example: if I'm asking Candy in this particular exercise to come to me with her front and she moves her hind instead `click'. She is still heading towards the end result.
Hopefully you can get the idea, but remember to watch your horse, he will 'tell you' when to click. Each horse will react differently when you ask something, so be ready to `click' for the smallest thing.
Video Information, Clues:
Study the video for more clues if you need to, as there is quite a lot of information to find on it.
I love my horse she is such a pleasure to work with.
Elizabeth clicker trains Dixie to lift her feet nicely.
Owner description: I'm clicker training Dixie to give me her feet nicely. The angle is horrible, but I'm putting it up anyway because I'm so impressed at how good she was. This is her third clicker lesson, second clicker foot lesson.