Shape Your Way to Better Riding

Clicker training with horses, especially in groundwork, is making headway, as the use of positive reinforcement is becoming more widely accepted. However, for riding, positive, marker-based training practices and techniques are still relatively unknown—even for trainers who use a clicker to train behaviors not under saddle.

Conventional training under the saddle means teaching horses to respond to pressure from reins, legs, and weight by moving away from the pressure to remove discomfort. These techniques are so widespread that for most people they are considered the only choice. Even Liberty Training, seen in many YouTube videos, has as its basis techniques that are grounded in negative reinforcement.

Fundamental clicker training tools and techniques—like shaping, capturing, and targeting—are highly effective in teaching riding behaviors. This Session will apply positive tools and techniques to training riding behaviors and will help you get started under saddle. The Session will focus on several riding behaviors developed from ground to saddle, with plenty of video and training plans. This sort of training includes critical aspects of riding—teaching horses to move forward, backward, toward us, away from us, and teaching them to move the front legs, the hind legs, and a combination of both.

If you are interested in learning how to create positively reinforced tactile and verbal cues in your riding, join us in the saddle (or, the seat in this case). 

Peggy Hogan

Through her business, The Best Whisper is a Click, Peggy Hogan provides clicker training lessons, clinics and online coaching, all focused on horses.

A horse-lover since the age of three when her sister put her on a pay-per-lap pony ride, Peggy loves all animals and has a passion for training. She has studied natural horsemanship in depth and immersed herself in the teachings of Peggy Cummings, founder of Connected Riding. With inspiration from Alexandra Kurland, Peggy fully embraced clicker training and positive reinforcement.

Learning from clicker trainers of other species, Peggy has investigated ways to add more shaping, capturing, luring, and targeting to her clicker training for horses program. Horses offer complex behaviors freely if given the choice, behaviors that apply to environments that range from agility to freestyle to medical procedures. All of these freely offered and shaped behaviors create wonderful riding horses. Peggy has worked with clicker training techniques in the area of horse rescue as well.