Off topic completely – Horse clicker advice

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  • #62628
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Just a quickie as I know a horse isn’t a dog, and that’s not what the board is really for, HOWEVER, a lot of you have considerably more experience and knowledge of clickering than I, so I have a question for any of you who click your horses, too.  (Pretty pretty please we need help!!)

    I’ve happily clickered my (thick and lovely) mare for the past few years.  She loves it.

    My mum rescued a beautiful, half starved, battle scarred arab filly.  She’s 2 1/2 and a HANDFUL.  When we got her she kicked, and altho never took a chunk out, was very very bolshy – biting at us.

    Much improved with lots of patience but I REALLY really want to do some clickering with her coz she’s hideously clever, and know it would help her come on in leaps and bounds.

    Long and short – what advice re clickering horses that are quite agressively OBSESSED with the treats?  Is it possible to use some other reward than food?  Would this be as effective?
    If we are to use food then what advice re not reinforcing her biting??

    Even if I only get told where an appropriate place to ask this is, any advice would be so much appreciated.  She’s a nightmare because she had so much bad stuff done to her, but every now and then you get a glimmer of loveliness, and my mum adores her, but is at her wit’s end.

    Cheers all xx

    #110468
    Mudgie
    Member

    my nacho is completely food focussed and click treat is never a problem – and with “hands off” training such as clicking it may be the way forward.

    What you got to lose ?

    #110469
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Only my fingers…. 😉

    #110470
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I don’t clicker my horses… only the dog  🙂

    but…

    You could use another reward – but what reward would be good enough to replace a treat? Patting? Affection? Stroke between they eyes?

    I think if you can find something that she would work for as a reward you could do it – but it might be hard to find something that is enough of a reward to replace food  :-\

    #110471
    Sweetypye
    Member

    go on to karen pryors site, the horse page.

    Also look at clicker training the horse by alexandra kurland.

    If you are worried about getting bitten then offer a container with the food in.

    #110472

    you could start by dropping the treat by her feet then when she goes to eat it click, do that a few times clicking each time she eats the treat. then drop the treat a little bit closer to you and repeat clicking each time. keep doing that until you are dropping the treat by your feet and she is eating it then ask her to take the treat from your hand, if she goes to snatch it then remove the treat hand (place behind your back on something) give her a moment to think about things then try again. when she goes to take the treaat nicely then click and reward and keep doing that.
    once she has learnt to take treats nicely from you, you can then go onto clicking other things. or you can use a different type of treat that isnt food ;D hope that helps

    #110473
    Sweetypye
    Member

    Caveat, any animal that goes to snatch will generally be more likely to snatch if you remove your hand………..

    just close it and make it unavailable then the dog/horse/cat etc has to stop and think of how to get it…………

    #110474
    Anonymous
    Guest

    yes – if she will work for social appraisal you can use that

    you could also try sp’s suggestion but in my experience the horse just bit at my hand instead so i think kerrie’s one might be worth a go with this.

    also – maybe start with something she “only just” likes rather than her absolutely most favourite treats so she’s not too mad crazy for them ?? 

    remember to throw them out to the side with a slowish positive arm action if she’s a spooky one or it might spook her also – if you can do it on grass so she’s not nosing in school flooring dust for them 😀

    claire.

    p.s. see i can be nice … bah !!

    #110475
    wags
    Member

    shes an arab – never meant to be easy

    my first horse was an arab (and she was down right evil) and as much as i dont like their looks i admire everything about them

    honestly your treat goes in a bucket if your scared of loosing your fingers

    #110476
    Mudgie
    Member

    if nooch goes to take the treat from my hand I close my hand – anytime he comes near it – I close it – he soon learnt that to get the treat he had to move his head back and wait until I gave the treat to him.

    #110477

    I almost had my finger ripped off by an arab once, as i was walking past the stable he lunged out and some how my finger ended up in his mouth  :scared:  he pulled back and took all the skin with it, i still had a finger on the end but the pain was unreal!!  :hurt: :hurt:

    #110478
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Arabs are funny beasts… almost totally different from other breeds… so intelligent and sensitive – yet tough…  I would never smack an arab with a whip they just don’t tolerate it – you have to ask politely with an Arab – not tell it…

    Not that I beat my horse  😛  – but to be honest he’s so un-sensitive he would hardly notice a smack…

    We have an arab at our yard… bless him  ;D I used to ride at a place that only had arab horses – they did alot of showing… was interesting experience!

    #110479
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Thanks so much (knew you must have had a hidden lovely streak piglet!!) for all help…

    Arabs definitely the border collie of the horse world and sometimes too clever for their own good.

    Have set my mum onto re-reading the Alexandra Kurland book we have, and will head my way over to the website to trawl through that…

    Am going to give kerrie’s idea a try, but from the safety of outside her stable.  Her stable has a rubber floor, so perfect for treat throwage.  I don’t want her to even *think* that biting is an option, so I’m trying to avoid getting in a situation where she may want to, or be able to give it a go.

    Think the first lesson I want her to learn is “get out of my space”.  As she is very bolshy (she’s a teenager!!), I don’t want her to get too close to me.  The last thing we need is her jumping on us because she’s afraid/excited!

    Can anyone help with exactly how we’d go about it?  Would it just be freeshaping, or would we ask her to move back then C/R when she does?  How can we train her to not just move back, but to move back, stay back, and not just barge back again as soon as clicked??

    Also, has anyone else used clickering with a non-food reward (dogs or horses)?  How effective did you find it?

    A gazillion and one questions and I’m honestly just relieved there are other people I throw ideas about with here!!

    #110480
    Anonymous
    Guest

    People def use toys instead of food when clickering dogs, I think people on here with collies can tell you more…  :yes:

    Just my opinion… but I would freeshape the moving back – but obviously you’d need to charge the clicker first – so she knows she is working for a reward? Then I would click/ reward when she moved back out of your way and also click/ reward for staying back…  may take you some time tho  🙂

    To be honest I’ve never been tempted to clicker my horses….

    Others on here know far more than me – Bev or Sweetypye are clicker experts  🙂 and Sweetypye knows about horses too  :yes:

    #110481
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Having just learnt the importance of freeshaping (ta Bev!) vs lure I will certainly give it a go.

    If you spend plenty of time with your horses it’s definitely worth playing with the clicker!! 

    I clicker anything that will let me…

    Clickered our cats to touch a target (and follow it round – v cute)

    Clickered a cow to pick it’s feet up!

    But with horses it’s great.  Gets my mare to respond v positively to new things – she’s gray so I decided hoovering her would be a good way of getting dust out of her coat… took me 15mins all in all to get her to accept the hoover over her.  Great for loading, too.

    Definitely give it a go!

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