Clicker Training Basics

This is the very first Clicker Training session with the 6yo palomino gelding called "Chips". We start with the horse behind a fence for safety while we teach them to keep their head away from the food and to take food rewards gently. We want...

Classical Conditioning Classical Conditioning (Learning by Association) Classical conditioning is used by trainers mostly to create an association between a stimulus that normally would not have any effect on the animal and a stimulus that would. This type of learning was made famous by Pavlov's experiments with dogs.

Habituation As a prey animal the horse needed highly tuned senses, and a hair trigger for the flight response. However, jumping and fleeing at every sound expends a lot of energy. This is not very efficient, especially in times of drought, high temperatures or if food is scarce, when the horse needs to conserve its energy. To combat this the horses brain has developed the capacity to habituate to things, repeatedly occurring in the environment, that did not lead to fear or danger.

How Horses Learn Before we start working with the horse, it is important for you as the horse's trainer and teacher, to understand how the horse learns. This will allow you to present ideas to the horse in a way that makes it easy for the horse to understand. It will also allow you to problem solve, and come up with your own solutions should the need arise. There are many ways to teach the horse the same thing, this is important to remember, so if you are not having success with one method, find another.