JOY FULL Horses: Ten Things You Should Know About Cues: Number 9.) You Can’t Not Cue: Part 5 of 12
What Brings You To Clicker Training?
Science is what brought me to clicker training, but for many people that is not the principle draw. Yes, it is reassuring that others have thought about schedules of reinforcement, etc. to develop current best practice, but what appeals to them is what grows out of this work – namely a great relationship.
They see the connection others have with their clicker-trained horses. They see the enthusiasm, the joy, and the kindness. They see a relationship that is not built by showing the horse “who is boss”. Getting tougher, teaching respect, being the alpha, being dominant are all phrases that drop out of the vocabulary of clicker trainers. Our horses don’t just greet us at the gate. They ask us to stay a little longer at the end of the day for just one more game.
Science makes some people curious. Connection draws others in. In both cases people take a look and want to know more. They fill their pockets with treats and head out to the barn. That first clicker session hooks some. They see their horses light up, and there’s no going back. But others drop out.
It’s like fishing. Don’t worry about the ones who get away. Many of them will be back. They just need to dance around the edges of clicker training a bit longer. They need to watch a few more clips on youtube, read a few more articles, see their neighbor’s horse suddenly blossoming as a clicker horse. Or they may need to get that one horse who just can’t cope with traditional methods. When they “have tried everything”, they’ll be back for a second look.
Using Clicker Training
The early clicker lessons lead to people becoming active clicker users. Overtime they may evolve into what I would refer to as someone who is a clicker trainer. There is a difference. You can use clicker training without being a clicker trainer. People who use clicker training regard it as a tool, one of many they have in their overall “tool box”.
They might have a horse who is afraid of trailers. They’ll dust off their clicker and go to work. Once the horse is confidently loading, they’ll put away their clicker and treats and return to business as usual – whatever that means.
So the question is what is the glue? What makes someone do more than take that first look? What shifts someone from being simply curious about clicker training, to giving it a try, to becoming an active user, and eventually a clicker trainer?
Coming Next: The Clicker Super Glue
Remember, if you are new to the JOY Full Horse blog, click on the JOY Full Horses tab at the top of this page to find the full table of contents and links to each of the articles I have published so far.
I hope you will want to share these articles by sending links to this blog to your friends. But please remember this is copyrighted material. All rights are reserved. Please do not copy any of the “JOY Full Horses” articles without first getting written permission from Alexandra Kurland, via theclickercenter.com
Also note: these articles are not intended as an instruction guide for introducing your horse to clicker training. If you are new to clicker training and you are looking for how-to instructions, you will find what you need at my web sites:
I loved where you said about horses asking us to stay longer at the end of the day for ‘just one more game’. This is just what Billy does!! One more chance to show me his pose, his stops & his turns, he just knows how gorgeous and clever he is! I love how clicker training engages the brain AND the heart, all without having to be all shouty and dominant.