Thank you for the details, Eileen. Getting an attentive calmness in a horse can be a challenge, as I experience over and over
This was all taught with the clicker initially, but she marks the treat pouch and at times the click startled her so we now use clickless treats.
Have you tried using a verbal marker? It worked well with the pony we worked with who was very upset at first by the clicker sound. Also conditioning to the sound first on the pasture worked well. The clicker often produces some pretty strong reverberation in closed areas and beside walls.
I find it hard to do lunge work with no marker sound, as basically the stopping and walking towards the horse becomes the cue and every time the stopping and turning is what gets reinforced, but not the actual behaviour I wanted to strengthen. Does it work for you that way?
Getting attentive calmness is a challenge so yes I know what you mean and some horses are harder than others.
One of the other horses is very reactive to the click and so I introduced yes as a marker, however after a while he became just as reactive to the yes.
Sometimes with Dida I use a tongue click and if I only do this once or twice she is okay. I am still working on the lunge work Volker but I think I might be able to reinforce the actual behaviour by careful use of body language.
The marker I use is my hand moving towards the treat bag, for the one that becomes over excited I would freeze my hand and only move it again when he showed calm. He soon understood that the only way his treat would arrive was if he remained calm. This also worked well for lead as he walked calmly with me I would move my hand to the treat pouch.
I'm hoping this will carry through into the lunge work but I am still experimenting so it is early days.
Try this link http://stalecheerios.com/animal-trainin ... nic-notes/
Go to the year 2009 and read Steve Martins talk I think there is some mention of clickless treats.