So You Want to Train a Horse?

One of the reasons for ClickerExpo's continued success is the cross-species networking that it creates. Dog trainers get to talk to dolphin trainers who are chatting with parrot trainers who are meeting up with horse trainers. The principles are the same, but the practical problems may be different. We learn from one another. Has this ever happened to you? You clicker train dogs, and now someone asks you to help them with a horse. Where do you begin? Horses are not dogs; for a start, they’re bigger. Eager enthusiasm for the first clicker games can be charming in a dog, but it can quickly become overwhelming in a horse. Adjustments need to be made, such as starting out with a fence or a stall door between you so the horse can express joy without knocking you over by mistake. This Session examines what you need to create a safe "clicker classroom." It takes you step-by-step through your first clicker lessons with a horse. It highlights the similarities between clicking with dogs, dolphins, and other species and it also looks at the clicker needs that are specific to horses. If you are thinking of branching out and training a species that is new to you, this Session will help identify some of the things you want to consider before starting that first clicker lesson. This Session includes lecture, videos, and Q&A.

Alexandra Kurland

Alexandra Kurland began her instructional career as a dressage rider and teacher and as an accredited TTouch Practitioner. In 1998 she launched the rapidly growing field of clicker training for horses with the publication of her first book, Clicker Training for Your Horse. Alexandra teaches clicker training geared to any horse need or sport—including developing a gentle and companionable riding horse, halter training foals, training advanced performance horses, and reforming difficult and unmanageable horses. She travels widely, giving clicker training seminars in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. Several years ago, Alexandra trained a miniature horse, Panda, to serve as the guide animal for a blind owner.

A graduate of Cornell University, Alexandra has written The Click That Teaches: A Step–By–Step Guide in Pictures and has also produced The Click That Teaches DVD lesson series and is presently at work on new books and videos.