Finally Getting A Grasp On This Whole Clicker Training Thing

I haven’t had time to ride for awhile. Wheat harvest is going fully swing, nearly done really, and life as usual. Yesterday I didn’t have time to ride and had some new stuff I wanted to try on the ground anyway.

I had seen this ladies video on mat training horses.


It made sense to me. I have watched other great instructional videos on the subject but for some reason this one clicked ( 😉 ). I wanted to try it.

The nuances in clicker training are a little different than traditional and sometimes I have trouble changing old habits. Mind you I said old not bad. Unlike, apparently, many clicker training fans I don’t believe regular training styles are bad, I am just enjoying these a lot more. A combination seems like a good idea. So anyway, with this style apparently the goal is to let the horse think about whats going on  and figure out for themselves what you are asking. You then click and reward. Giving a cue comes after the behavior is being offered regularly and given when the behavior is done not before. So they associate what they just did with the words/action done at the time. Whew, complicated.

My tendency is to show them what I want and babysit the whole time, helping to make sure they do it right, instead of giving time to think. And to give the cue, lots. With this one I did a better job of staying still and letting him work it out. He tried offering me things I have asked for in the past. Some were things he has had trouble with, fetching objects and bringing them clear to me instead of dropping them along the way, so I rewarded him for it. I said I was starting to get the hang of it not that I was good at it, I suppose that was bad but whatever.



He started figuring out what I was after, but for the life of him couldn’t figure out why.


I love seeing him think. By the end he was getting it repeatedly.

Usually quitting and turning a horse out is the best reward you can offer for good behavior, not for him. He acts like I’m punishing him when I let him go. I am going to get him as soon as I finish this, which explains any lack of proof reading I’m in a hurry to go ride! And work on this mat training thing a little more.

One thought on “Finally Getting A Grasp On This Whole Clicker Training Thing

  1. TElllingson

    loved both your video and the other ladies.Rusty sure looks smart. Thats probably what got him here in the first place. Glad it did

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