Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions


Happy New Year!

I think making a New Year's resolution that is fun makes it more attainable so I am going to make "more training in 2010" one of mine. It's easy to get caught up in other things and not leave myself enough time to work with each horse each day so I am making goals for each horse and I have even been given deadlines.

I am doing a Demo and Intro to Clicker Training Clinic a week from tomorrow at a barn I have just started teaching at this winter. I want to show some things that you can teach with clicker training so I chose something for each of my horses to do and am working on getting short video clips of each of them to show as part of the "demo" portion. I hope the quality of my video camera will be sufficient. So far I've videoed the two youngest and neither has knocked over the camera on tripod so I'm considering myself lucky!

I also recently joined the Clicker Training Horses group on Facebook (anyone on Facebook can fan the Bookends Farm page too!) and they are having a friendly challenge for three weeks in January. Everyone taking part is going to share their experiences (successes as well as difficulties) and if possible, take photos and or video. So that will provide me with new goals after the clinic. The group wants everyone to pick something similar and unfortunately most of mine already know most of the skills they are shooting for but I have enough variety of equines that I think we can still be challenged. Stowaway, for instance, came with absolutely no willingness to pick up his feet. I worked with him last winter (and things move very slowly with Stowaway) and by Spring he was great. But it didn't transfer over to the kids very well because they are so inconsistent with their aids (cues). So one of the challenges is picking up a foot with just a pointing cue. If I am very careful how I teach it and then just as careful teaching the kids the cue, hopefully we'll have better luck this coming season?

I'll be posting the challenges and experiences here as well....

Wishing PEACE for all and in all ways in this New Year.

3 comments:

Mary H. said...

I'd love to hear how your demo goes next week!

"I also recently joined the Clicker Training Horses group on Facebook (anyone on Facebook can fan the Bookends Farm page too!) and they are having a friendly challenge for three weeks in January."

Which group is this? The clickryder facebook group, or another one?

Mary

Bookends Farm said...

Hi Mary-
The group is actually simply called "Clicker Training Horses"- I think the administrator is the "Best Whisper is a Click" person so I wasn't sure how much was going to be her page but I just jumped in on this challenge as a good way to inspire myself this time of year! (That was a long sentence)
Up here where it's snowing steadily and I'm enjoying the mild temperatures in the high 20s, I need to be held responsible for getting out there on the not-so-nice days (like below 10 when it's hard to manage treats without freezing fingers) :)

Mary H. said...

"The group is actually simply called "Clicker Training Horses"- I think the administrator is the "Best Whisper is a Click" person"

Thanks! I wasn't aware of that facebook group, I'll go check it out.

"(That was a long sentence)
Up here where it's snowing steadily and I'm enjoying the mild temperatures in the high 20s, I need to be held responsible for getting out there on the not-so-nice days (like below 10 when it's hard to manage treats without freezing fingers) :) "

Oh gosh.
I generally wimp out and don't go see the horses if it's in the 30s. I've skipped a handful days so far this year because of weather.


"But it didn't transfer over to the kids very well because they are so inconsistent with their aids (cues)."

Do the kids give him treats for picking up his feet, or are you the only one doing this?

I'm sure it's an added challenge getting the cue and behavior to generalize to a wide variety of people!


With Sebastian (who is currently learning to pick up his feet), I'm finding a verbal cue is really effective. I got him where he was very willing to pick up his front right, even offering it, then added in a verbal cue when he'd pick it up or I'd go to pick it up.
Right now, our cue is I slide my hand down his leg and say "Up" in a short, enthusiastic voice. So far it seems to be working.


Mary