Safety in Numbers: Working with Multiple Horses
An environment with multiple horses (or people) is a safety concern for trainers who are using food to train their horses. When you begin to clicker train a horse, the recommendation is to distance yourself from the horse, using protected contact as basic skills are established. Protected contact keeps trainers safe in the initial phase of training.
One of the joys of clicker training is how the quality of the mutual bond with the horse can improve. Human trainers become VERY important to the horses. This relationship can open the door to a situation where the horse becomes animated and assertive; the horse may step into your space when another horse is present, or even when other humans are present. Not only can this be disconcerting to a beginning clicker trainer, but it can be dangerous. Feeding in a herd situation may even escalate the behavior.
In this Session, you will learn how to shape and offer several behaviors that are designed to allow the horse a choice, all of which are considered safe for a handler with food. Video and lecture material will help you identify expanded herd dynamics, feeding protocols, general-management techniques, and a variety of training behaviors that can make your daily work with multiples safe.
Once you have some basic safety behaviors in place, working with multiples can be fun and rewarding. In this Session, you will also see some possibilities for fun behaviors with multiple horses!
Please note: This Session was recorded in 2017; content presented in 2018 may vary slightly.