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December 16, 2011

What makes a horse willing?

 
 
 
 
 
 

This sequence of photos was taken today at a school function. McKee is an amazing little horse and he is clicker trained. For those of you who know me, clicker training horses is what I do and promote.

One of the reasons is because of what you see in this photo here. McKee was at a totally new place, lots of noise and distractions and I was STILL able to SHAPE him into backing into this little small space in front of the play house.

One of the reasons this excites me so is that the behavior was shaped. So what does that mean? Basically, McKee was told, with each click, that what I wanted was for him to back up. You can see the spacial restrictions. You can see this would be difficult for a horse. BUT I didn't coerce, stress, put pressure on or force him to do this. I just let him know with the click that I wanted him to back up. Simple, elegant, rewarding and very cool.
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