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Teaching the Human - Clicker Training

I’ve noticed that on the boards, there are some who often promote clicker training. I know nothing about it, but have looked at some of the books on Amazon and think that it might be useful for my mare. One book I found that seems well-reviewed is this one:

“The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures” by Alexandre Kurland


And I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a specific clicker that will hold up. I’m afraid of buying a piece of junk and we all know there’s junk out there.

If you have another book that you would recommend over the one I mentioned above, please advise. I am a total greenie on clicker training, horses or dogs, but have a great deal of good experience training dogs. Not so much horses–outside of daily handling somewhat correctly.

All help appreciated and thank you for your time.

Call me weird, but I like those little clicking tin frog toys. They’re cheap enough you don’t feel bad buying tons, and I feel they’re sturdy enough to get good use out of. And they’re cute. And loud. Like, really, really loud. Maybe even too loud. Or if you want to be really cheap you can use a special verbal marker instead of a clicker. A word in a foreign language that you’d never use around horses works good.

As for books, pick up Karen Pryor’s “Don’t Shoot the Dog.”

I’ve found clickers in the pet stores for something like $1; they are used extensively in dog training. I’ve never had one break; I lose them first.

AFter getting my horse thoroughly used to clicker mode, I transitioned over to using a single tongue click, because there are so many times you don’t have a third hand for the clicker.

She is also now hyper-aware of the “click” sound that many smart phone camerss make!

Don’t get me started on frogs after that “look what I found in this hay” thread…:smiley:

I ordered a training video many years ago but I’ll bet you can find plenty of videos online. I love the concept of positive reinforcement and use it extensively in my training.

However, I found that holding a clicker in my hand was one too many things to deal with so I decided to use my voice as the bridge…seems to work just fine.

I ordered a training video many years ago but I’ll bet you can find plenty of videos online. I love the concept of positive reinforcement and use it extensively in my training.

However, I found that holding a clicker in my hand was one too many things to deal with so I decided to use my voice as the bridge…seems to work just fine.[/QUOTE]

Voice works fine, but it is not as clear a marker as a click.

Voice, if we try to curb that effect or not, does carry a very heavy emotional content horses (or other subjects) have to learn to ignore and are not always successful at that.

A mechanical click is a click, emotionally neutral.

Once really attuned, you can see, when using voice, the subject focusing on the handler more, not only on the task at hand.

The possible downfall there, your subject, generally a dog or horse for us here, will start anticipating, because we are giving away our coming thought, some times, before we ourselves are becoming aware that is where we are going next with what we are doing.

Our voices and their content can bring forth mounting anticipation and a more anxious subject than a mere clicker does.

I always click with my tongue, you need both hands to train horses :winkgrin: a clicker just gets in the way.

clickers are cheap, buy a handful, that way you can always find one. My hubby got into it after watching some Clicker at the Equine Affaire years ago.

My favorite book for clicker training is by Shawna and Vinton Karrasch, You Can Train Your Horse To Do Anything: On Target Training and Beyond. I personally found it an easier read and very clear than the other books out there.

I also use the book by Shawn and Vinton Karrasch. The technique really helped me with a horse that was vehemently opposed to clipping. I bought a four-pack of dog training clickers with wrist straps off Amazon. I haven’t lost or broken any in the last year.

For those interested in more about clicker training, here is a story how this started:


Our dog club was very interested in all of this and in the 1970’s was already following this, later incorporating it into some of our training in some regular classes.
Today it has become mainstream and modified the more has been learned.

Thank you all for your help.

My mare has always pawd, and I’ve gotten her to the point where if I’m not nearby, i.e., far enough away that she thinks she can’t get my attention, then she’ll stand tied quietly. But, if I’m nearby, say within 20 feetish, she’s on the job; I have to come over and tend to the princess or she’ll paw and fret.

I’m hoping that clicker training will help her learn this and maybe some other things after a bit.

I went ahead and bought the book I had in mind, and also the “Don’t Shoot” book. and a clicker with a clicker on a lanyard and a treat belt.

When it all arrives, I should be in business! Any clicker training tips for this issue also appreciated.

I see you already ordered a clicker - but for horses I like one of Karen Pryor’s. It’s got a little button on one end and it doesn’t make much noise Since you ordered Karen’s book maybe that’s the one you got. It comes on a wrist lanyard.

I haven’t had much success with clicker-training horses, although I used to use it with my dogs all the time. That said, I’m basing this on a sample size of two :lol: so maybe you’ll have better luck.

My one horse gets wildly over-excited in the presence of the clicker and/or the treat. I’ve had pro trainers explain a process for clicker-training the correct response - way more complex than simply not reinforcing the craziness, which did.not.work - but it seemed like a lot of trouble to go to. I don’t think I’ve quite found the right method for Conjure yet - but it’s something really low-key.:yes:

My other horse, bless his heart, just loses interest in the process after two or three c/t repetitions. Solano is a sweet sweet soul and I think he really enjoys doing things the way he already knows how to do them. And he would prefer I not mess with it, thankyouverymuch.:slight_smile:

Anyway, good luck with your mare. Pawing is such an annoying habit and can be so tough to get rid of. I hope clicker training works for you!

You can look up Tag teach. Targeted acoustical guidance. That’s for use in teaching people. Actually you can find lots of examples on YouTube of people using it to coach for gymnastics and all sorts of stuff.