When I first started clicker training with my horses I was blown away by how quickly they learned new things. They loved the training and they were so motivated to learn! I loved it too, as it was great fun to be doing something we both enjoyed!
Looking back over the years, there are some things I wished I’d known when I got started. I had the basics of marking and rewarding the good stuff I wanted to encourage my horses to do more of, but I wasn’t aware of the importance of emotional awareness, calmness and relaxation. This lead to issues with my horses sometimes becoming frustrated, over-aroused and over-excited during our training sessions. I’ve since learned heaps about how to overcome these issues, and how to prevent them from happening in the first place. Although I wish I could have had a smoother start, for my horses’ sake, it was a valuable learning experience that I can now refer to when I’m supporting others.
I’ll continue gathering resources on this page that I think are super helpful for new positive reinforcement trainers, and for anyone interested in getting back to basics. A strong foundation is so important. It’s what the rest of our training is built on.
The first is a series of videos created by Hannah Weston from Connection Training. They show how she begins introducing the process of clicker training with rescues horses and a donkey. You can see how she really focuses on the emotional state of her equine learners. Calmness and relaxation are key.
I wish these videos had been available when I was getting started! The good news is that they’re available now, so go forth, learn and enjoy! 😀