Safe way of training: it creates distance between horse and handler
Creates clarity in training
Teaches your horse to move away from you
Teaches your horse to follow you/a target
Redirects attention from your pocket to the target (novice horses) and teaches to pay attention to cues instead of rewards
Very versatile: a good tool to teach other (more complex) behaviours like Key Lesson Backing, Key Lesson Head lowering, leading, trailer loading, trot, canter
Advanced targeting: Teach your horse to ‘touch’ an object with other body parts: targeting the mouth for oral medication, eyes to your hand in order to treat eye infections, ears for cleaning or clipping, hooves on a hoof jack for trimming and so on
Teach your horse to touch a target with a specific body part. In this Key Lesson we teach the horse to touch a target on a stick with his nose.
Teaching complex behaviours with targeting so that the horse gets lots of clarity what to do.
Disadvantages & solutions
A target stick is an extra tool in your hands -> start working with protective contact
The target stick can be frightening your horse -> make the target smaller, lay it on the ground, start with protective contact or choose a different object to target
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