Guest Author - Kim Wende
I started using clicker training with my horses four years ago and it has made a huge difference for all of them. The training program I was using before clicker was working, but I felt like something was still missing so I started searching and found clicker training.
These are the top five reason I use clicker training:
1. Great communication tool
Clicker training is so easy for a horse to understand as it bridges the communication gap. The clicker makes a unique noise and it marks the instance your horse does what you want. There is less frustration for both the horse and handler when using clicker training.
2. Builds confidence
When you use clicker training the horse has a voice and they get to choose which builds their confidence. For example, when working with spooky objects like a plastic bag you start by clicking then treating for the horse looking at the bag. With each step they take closer to the bag you click and treat which starts to build their confidence because it is their idea and you're not forcing them to touch the plastic bag.
3. Increases willingness to perform
I've found that horses are very willing to perform after using clicker training and it accelerates the learning process which makes it more enjoyable for the horse and the owner.
4. Can be used with horses no matter the age
This is the neat thing about using clicker training as it can be used with foals and even older horses that have lots of training. A couple of years ago I trained a weanling foal to accept wearing a halter without any trauma.
5. Can be used with any training program
Clicker training can be used with any training program and will enhance whatever you are using. When you use clicker training your horse will look forward to working with you every day. It really helps your horse to learn complicated tasks easily and can be done on the ground and in the saddle.
There are several other benefits to using clicker training and that is why I continue to use it with all of my horses and my client's horses. Don't discount using clicker training as it is a powerful communication tool, but make sure you get professional help as there are certain steps you need to follow for success.