Here are 5 reasons NOT to start with clicker training. Take a look and decide for yourself.
1) It takes time to learn a new skill: you need to develop handling new tools (like a clicker, target stick and food) and a whole different approach to training and riding. Like: giving the horse a choice to work with you. What if my horse says: “No!” to me? Better not take that chance…
2) You have to find out what rewards motivates your horse. And then let the horse decide what he likes best. What!? The horse may determine what is rewarding to him?
It is much quicker and easier not to think about this and motivate him with a little or a little more pressure and ignore that awkward feeling in your heart about it, isn’t it? After all, it is the result that counts, not how you accomplished it. Or… how would a horse feel about this, if he could?
3) You have to decide what your goal is, then make a plan and divide it into as many steps as you can. Why not directly aim for the goal? I think I’ll take the shortcut, even though I’ve heard there are no real shortcuts in horse training.
4) You need some kind of a training journal to keep track of your goals and cues, your achievements and then write it down as a positive statement. That takes more skills to develop…
Do I really want to be more positive towards my horse and myself? Do I really want to film any progress and enjoy it later? Do I really need to discover my goals and achieve them?
Cherishing a vague dream is much easier, you never have to make efforts to make it happen and the best thing is: you can’t FAIL! Ha!
5) The relationship with your horse changes for the better: the horse becomes highly motivated to work with you. He will come to you in the pasture and will call out for you. He learns to trust you fully, because now ‘training’ equals ‘learning’ equals ‘fun’. ‘Trying’ will be rewarded and the horse will be very cooperative in order to find out what it is that you want him to do.
Isn’t the friendship with a horse overrated? Who needs a furry friend who can make your heart melt?