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You cannot make a horse respect you; you can only be the sort of person a horse will respect!
Quote Mark


Am I a clicker trainer or not?

Am I a clicker trainer or not?


No I am not a clicker trainer I am a trainer who uses the science of behaviour. One of the tools I understand and can use if circumstances are right is Clicker Training.


Why did you write a book about CT?


So in 2008 I published a book on clicker training, The Art and Science of Clicker Training, A positive approach to training equines and understanding them. The question is why? Well I had been using Ct for a bout 10 years and thought I knew a little about it. I had been using the science of behaviour and positive reinforcement for the same time and thought I knew a bit about it. However the main reason was because I had met lots of problems initially using CT in the traditional dog based approach of one click one treat. Things like equines getting frustrated, sexual aroused, over excited, impatient and even aggressive. Yep I had met also met horses, donkeys and mules that didn’t seem to have these side effects. I wanted to give people the answers to the main questions I was hearing at the time repeated time and again.


I wanted to create something that gave what I believed to be the honest trust about Ct and it potential and pit falls. I wanted to help people understand the process and consider an alternative, what I now Call Equine Specific Clicker Training. It was really an attempt to give CT a chance by not selling it as a magic, one size fits all silver bullet suitable for all trainers and all equines.


Since then I have stood our on an exposed limb of not being seen as a total advocate of CT. In fact some times I am slated for my book putting people off CT, which was an original intention, if it is not right for you and your horse where you are now, surely it is better not to start, and you can only do this if you have some factual information to base you decisions on.


Recently I have even questioned the ethics of clicker training, it use as an over controlling method, which can produce just as undesirable results as any other method. Don’t get me wrong its not CT that’s the problem, the clicker left on its own in a stable with any equine doesn’t teach anything. So it must be the way it is benign used, the hands that hold it.


The book also received some good ratings on, so you can judge for yourselves. And I have had some really great feedback, which tells me I achieved my orginal purpose to provide the reader with an opportunity to explore the subject and make up their own minds about CT, positive reinforcement and equine training in general, as the book was written for mules and donkeys too, only my publisher wouldn’t let me call it CT for horses donkeys and mules!


And this is the starting point for my ramblings and communications over the next week about CT and positive reinforcement. I shall take a look at some aspects of CT such as its cultish following in some circles, where it perhaps can go, problems and the future.


In the mean time I would love to hear from you with your questions and your comments if you have read the book, did it help or hinder you?  Did it put you off or encourage you? Did it answer your concerns or as I have heard from several people did you buy it, not read it and then a couple of years later wish you had?


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