i think that i am going to have to start using the clicker. it sounds so much easier than the way i am doing it. i am so unco-ordinated though
maby my saying "goooooooood" is like a verbal click? do you think that it can work the same? i am about to go to bed, and i cant wait, because sitting here and reading answers like this makes me so excited for tomoro to come.
i am just wishing my every second could be out there with the horses. i dont think that i even need to come in at all.
Expand on the concept of "gooooooood."
If from the moment you give the cue to the execution of the desired behavior, you are making an encouraging sound (I make a soft elongated tsk tsk tsk sound) for the duration you are saying "good you are doing what I am asking good good good good ... NOW!" The "now" being the "click," of course.
Humans speak horse poorly.
This it's our responsibility to teach a language to the horse. And to ourselves. In other words, we open a dialectic language with our horses. Body, face expression, posture, tone, movement, and specific symbolic symbols we think of as "words," but a horse hears as "a sound that is followed by something."
While our means of communication (all those I list in the sentence above, and more) they need to be delivered in a cohesive simple way with, hopefully, a joyful and pleasant experience each time for the horse.
If the horse does not do what we wish there can be only two reasons: he does not want to at the moment for any number of reasons we may not know and do not really need to know to be supportive, gentle, and tolerant of her needs and wants; or because the horse does not understand our request.
If a human friend says, "I don't want to," or "I do not understand, please clarify," if we want to keep that friend do we not comply?
Put another way, in the first instance where my friend or horse might not want to do what I ask consider this: I want my friend, and tell them I want them, to come over and watch my home movies and they appear reluctant, I know that if I also mention (I know what my friend likes) that I'm serving pizza and beer I have a far better chance of the friend doing as I ask.
If, on the other hand, they say, "what's a home movie?" (I have some ignorant friends who I love dearly
) I need only explain and clarify AND MENTION THE BEER AND PIZZA.
This is what we do when we go out in the pasture, thinking toward the future, and give our horse lots of scritches, and nice little food treats, and then walk away to return another day. We introduce them to the idea that we are their "beer and pizza guy."
Bring that into the training regimen when teaching a new behavior and we are cinch to get through to the horse.
When you lower your head, curl your chin in, and lower yourself on one bended knee, I AM THE PIZZA AND BEER GUY.
The "click" is now I tell you that you did it, and here's the beer and pizza.
The sound you make (and it can be a nonverbal signal you can teach the horse too) that tells them they are moving toward what you are asking is extremely important in training.
Many of us do it often without knowing we do it. Remember, the horse reads us like a book. If, after you give a cue, you have a tendency to lean forward as the horse moves toward the behavior, you are doing teh same thing. Being deliberate about it and knowing you are doing it is the trick, if there is any trick to it.
Altea is slow lifting one of her hooves for me. If I give the cue, "right front," and start tsking, she get's it. If I forget the tsking she sometimes will simply lift the last foot I asked for, that is NOT the one I'm now asking for. We think it's confusion, but in fact it is very logical from the horse's point of view.
Last time around, when she heard the tsking sound, and the final click, she got a treat. Besides, right front and left front don't sound all that different to the horse, and "a hoof is a hoof is a hoof, now gimme my treat."