As I wrote about recently, the World Equine Clicker Games are fast approaching! I hear SO many people say that horses can’t be clicker trained, or that clicker training is only good for tricks. Well, clicker training is great for tricks, but it’s great for lots of other types of horse training as well. Here are three pretty cool entries for the Clicker Games.
If you’re clicker training with your horse, I encourage you to submit an entry. The Clicker Games are a great way for us to show off all of the different behaviors that can be taught to horses using clicker training.
(If you’re not familiar with clicker training, please check out my post What is clicker training?)
Clicking for Performance
Hertha has been working for several months to teach her mare, Boots, how to pull a cart. She has used clicker training to teach all of the component behaviors needed, which was a pretty big task!
Hertha said that condensing the entire process into a three minute video was pretty hard as well, but I think she’s done a great job showing all of the teaching steps. If you are interested in learning about using clicker training for driving, I know that Hertha’s working on an 1.25 hour long DVD that will explain the entire process in lots of detail. It will be available through her website.
Watch on YouTube: Creating a Harness Horse
Clicking for Tricks
Here’s a great trick that my friend Kimberley sent me this past week. She’s planning to enter it in the Clicker Games. Her horse Red Rabbit is quite the musician and has learned to play the piano!
I love this entry because of the effort and enthusiasm that Red Rabbit puts into his performance. He’s not just bumping the piano with his nose (which I’ve seen other horses do when playing the piano), but he’s actually wiggling his big lips back and forth to hit as many of the keys as possible!
Watch on Youtube: Red Rabbit plays the piano
Clicking to solve problems
Clicker training gives trainers a way to train horses to cooperate willingly during activities (such as medical procedures) that could be potentially stressful or painful. In the past, trainers have often resorted to trying to force horses to comply with medical procedures, which can be stressful for the horse and human, as well as potentially dangerous.
In the video below, you’ll see Laurie giving her horse Buzz a shot. Buzz is completely at liberty! He has learned to stand in his “happy spot” in the wash stall while Laurie prepares the shot and then injects it into Buzz’s neck.
Watch on Youtube: Buzz gets a shot
Well, are you ready for the games? I can’t wait to see the rest of the entries. 🙂