28 Dec Mayfield Kindred – Getting started clicker training a warmblood horse.
Today I started a 5yo warmblood gelding with his first lesson of Clicker Training. Mayfield Kindred is about 17hh and is going well in his dressage training with his owner. They asked me to start teaching him piaffe so I had to first teach him about clicker training, teach him some manners around food rewards and help him understand what clicker training is all about.
Today was really hot, 36 degrees…and there were lots of flies. I didn’t have any fly spray either so I had to be careful that I didn’t click every time he stomped at a fly otherwise I would have quickly taught him to stomp. lol, Flies could actually be really helpful for freeshaping and catpuring piaffe! However he doesn’t know what clicker training is yet and he first needed to learn some manners around food.
I used to call this first lesson “Look away” but that is actually not a very good description of the exercise. What I really want is the horse to move its head away from the treats, then to wait there patiently for the food to come to there mouths after the click.
At the start of the session, I clicked and gave him a treat. Then the camera turned on, so I missed filming the first click however you can see what happens after that. He is really keen about the food. He sniffs me, nudges me etc for quite a while. He was not being dangerous or biting me but he was definitely in my face. I would have started him behind a fence but all the stables were full at the time and he was really not too bad I thought I could shape the behaviour quite quickly.
I did a lot of repetitions and have edited out some of them, and sometimes these things are like watching grass grow..lol.
So if you have a giant warmblood that you want to introduce to clicker training you may be interested in following Kindred’s progress.