All training methods are comprised of three layers. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about positive reinforcement training or an opposite force-based system, all training methods are based on an underlying belief system. Out of this belief system evolve a set of guiding principles. And from these emerge the actual training methods you will use.
With horses whenever I encounter a training puzzle, I have learned to refer back to basic principles. They help me to identify the problem and to set a course for solving it. I have two key principles that guide all the rest:
* Safety always comes first - for you and your learner.
* You can’t ask for something and expect to get it on a consistent basis unless you have gone through a teaching process to teach it to your horse.
A third principle that I refer to often is:
* For every behavior you teach there is an opposite behavior you must teach to keep things in balance.
This is one that hums about the background of everything I teach. It’s a simple idea. If you teach your horse to go, you had better also teach him to whoa. If you teach your dog to wave his paw in the air, it’s a good idea to also teach him that four on the floor earns reinforcement. Keeping your training in balance leads to physical, emotional and mental balance. It creates great performance, great relationships, and - in horses - long-term soundness.
In this program we’ll be exploring in depth where this simple training mantra takes us.
- Basic shaping and how teaching in pairs works to balance behavior
- Multi-dimensional training - tap root and base behaviors
- The role of cues in teaching behavior
- Movement cycles
- Loopy training
- Poisoned cues defined and their effect on training loops
- Macro and micro extinction
- Using micro extinction in shaping - priming the pump
- New cue/old cue - a priming process
- What is the function of the behavior - creating balance through broad repertoires
- The result - great performance, great relationships, sound for life
About The Presenter
Alexandra Kurland is a graduate of Cornell University where she specialised in animal behaviour. She began teaching horse training in the early 1980's. Her area of particular interest is the development of a horse's balance: physical and emotional. Helping horses stay sound and happy throughout a long lifetime is the goal. The result are beautiful horses that feel like heaven to ride.
In 1998 Alexandra launched the rapidly growing field of clicker training for horses with the publication of her book, "Clicker Training for Your Horse".
Alexandra's work helps you apply clicker training to any equine need or sport - including developing a gentle and companionable riding horse, halter training foals, training advanced performance horses, and retraining difficult to manage horses. Her own riding interests align most closely with classical dressage.
Alexandra travels widely, giving clicker training seminars and presenting at conferences in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.
In addition to "Clicker Training for your Horse", she has written "The Click That Teaches: A Step–By–Step Guide in Pictures" and "The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker". She has also produced The Click That Teaches DVD lesson series, and The Clicker Center On-line Training Course. She maintains a very active blog, theclickercenterblog.com. She has published a book: "JOYFULL Horses" in her blog and most recently "The Goat Diaries". Her current project is Equiosity, a weekly podcast which she produces with Dominique Day, one of the co-founders of Cavalia.
Her web sites are: