|using antecedent arrangements in teaching a young rider to train a pony about turn on the forehand|
There are many things to consider when beginning a R+ lesson program. One is the ages and experience of your human learners. Are you teaching kids? If so, are they 6 years old or 16? Are you teaching adults? Are they beginners or are you transitioning them to positive reinforcement as well? Is it a choice they have made to come because of your R+ program or because they don't know any difference? Are these people resistant at all to this "new" approach?
Then of course we also need to consider what the histories of the horses and ponies are. If these saintly individuals have only known a more traditional approach, you will have a very different experience than if you are starting an equine in a program with positive reinforcement from the get-go. Again, I have done both. I currently have four lesson individuals. Two were purchased at an older age and had histories with traditional training. The other two are homebreds who were started with R+ as babies. They are very different to teach on.
|young kids can be far more compassionate with training than adults|
Are you planning on teaching groups or individuals? Regardless of the above considerations, teaching groups requires a different skill set than teaching individuals. This is especially true of teaching groups of kids. You really do need eyes in the back of your head and the ability to juggle flaming swords to teach groups of kids. If you have a lineup of "broke" lesson ponies, who just follow each other around the arena, the job is easier. But if you have creative equines, looking to find ways to earn reinforcement, the job of the instructor needs to become very creative as well!
|having horses who understand basic clicker skills under saddle is a bonus|
Are you teaching people on your own horses/ponies or on theirs? If you are teaching on yours, then you can train them to fit in with your teaching program. If people are taking lessons on their own horse, then you have to consider whether the animal has any experience with R+. If not, again, creativity comes in to find ways of making the lesson reinforcing for them, how to incorporate markers and food treats, and not be too depressed knowing that will only be a small part of their lives.
Finally, do have any experience with TAGteach? If not, get it. Now. www.tagteach.com
In coming posts, I will address each of these situations in more detail.