Recently I attended an Intro to Clicker Training clinic at my own facilty. I opened the door to a different picture to expand my knowledge of it for knowledge sake and for others to learn and make choices on their own. We had a nice group of ladies and horses/ mini’s in attendance.
I will speak from my perspective only .
First, I want to Thank Sharon Zecchinelli for enlightening the group with great basics.
From my perspective as a teacher I try to remain open minded to ideas and concepts. When the topic came up about clicker training on the FB group Vermont Horse Community , the conversation lead me to think I should take this opportunity to learn about it, at least for basic knowledge of the concept. The seed was planted and Sharon and I began to set the ball in motion.
Last weekend we had a nice day to gather and learn.
Like everything in building a foundation, timing is everything.
We were each given a period of some one on one time with Sharon to teach the target , click, treat flow. Not as easy as it looks. Timing is everythng! LOL
As we progressed we were asked what we were here to try and correct. When I was asked I had no asnwer. Turely I was there to experience it and learn what I could and IF it pertained to my ideals I would honor it and incorporate it as it fit per horse/ situation.
I had my doubts as to its uses and certiain issues but, durring the day I saw some behaviors change and fair enough, if the human stayed true to the concept , as with anything else results would come. Clearly this is a wonderful style of training. I appreciate its finest forms and applaud its advocates.
We all branched off and tested the technique on our own with tasks. I saw some application for liberty work. So off I went On-line first , then tossed the line over Pop’s neck and tested things at liberty. Pop is a tough nut to crack and it was getting a bit redundant for him. I knew I needed to step it up. Liberty over a barrel – single barrel!
Sure we have done this on-line and tested/ played with it at liberty but not in this way. Ill be danged, we got it! It was a great baby step approach to completing this task. My task , should I choose to go there, will be to gain distance and flow.
For viirtual visual clarity, I was in a leading position, with my fist as the “Target” . we approached and off he walked and hopped over. No, not the first time, we had a few times on-line with adjustments and corrections to position but in the end there it was! Fair enough!
I can see how it might be of great use in Horse Agility work. Online too but liberty it could play an even bigger part. In my opinion a lot depends on how you choose to reward/release and develop your horse, as well as how far along you are in you foundation development to begin with. Pop and I have quite a history so some of what we already have played part.
Lots of variables but I truely enjoyed the experience.
What can I say:
I am Committed to learning with eyes wide open, unless you do somethng to make me shut them!
I am Committed to doing what I feel is right for each horse/human individually no matter what the “Tide” says.
I am Committed to never pigeon hole myself or any horse I work with. Every one /thing learns differently. I feel as a leader /teacher it is my resposibitly to know which arrow to pull out for which situation. In order to do that I must have many different arrows!
This clinic gave me good taste of what can work, a different arrow . No I cant say ill be a clicker devote, but appreciate what I saw first hand as another tool to higher learning.
Bottom line: Never stop learning