October has been a bit of a busy month – new website up, Clix College nearly up (maybe it will be by the end of the month!), Your Horse Live preparations well under way, an Autumn Clix Camp and a trip down to Gloucestershire with Toby and India for more Jive Pony time and a Clicker Training Demo at the Equine Touch Conference!
Clicker courses are a great way to progress quickly with your horse, learn loads from watching everyone else, meet new people and have fun. This certainly happened on my Autumn Clix Camp at the start of the month!
Everyone on the course has been clicker training for quite a while, so it was a lovely opportunity to really get our teeth into some advanced work. This included advanced training techniques, rope and rein techniques, lots of ridden sessions and focussing on body awareness and balance work.
Everyone on the course was lovely and, as many of them attended my summer camp, it was very noticable how much everyone has improved, which is just lovely to see! Lorna shared this story with us at the camp:
“Everyone on my yard thinks I’m pretty crazy for doing all this clicker work, especially as Bobby has had his moments over the years! The other day I was riding in the arena, practising our shoulder-in. We did a few lovely steps and to my surprise I got a round of applause! I hadn’t realised we were being watched! I think everyone was so surprised to see Bobby balanced and listening, rather than tanking off, never mind performing a lovely shoulder-in!”
Super weekend, everyone, thank you!!
Then down to Stow-on-the-Wold with India, Toby and Helen (who started working for me this summer). I was really pleased with how India travelled as it was a 5 hour journey – by far the longest she’s ever done. She was as good as gold and walked straight back in the next day!
We stayed at Becca’s (from Jive Pony) for the 3 nights we were down there. Helen and I both had a vaulting lesson (thank you to Becca, Rosie and Casper!), which was great fun. We also got lots of clicker time in for Becca and Rosie’s young horses, Navvy and Casper. These 2 are really talented and have already done loads under the guidance of Becca and Rosie, so we were really working on refining things.
For Casper, we were teaching him to be slower and more careful in his movements – he’s so keen and enthusiastic, which is great but can sometimes be a problem as he often over-does his movements! Navvy is a Highland (and a very long one at that!), so needs lots of work to help with balance and body awarenes. They’ve all improved tons since I last saw them, too!
Then it was washing ponies to take them to the Annual Equine Touch conference. There was a range of speakers there over the weekend on all sorts of topics such as dentistry, aromatherapy, homeopathy, saddle-fitting and scanning and loads more! Because I had my horses with me, I only got to see one demo – Mette Tranter on Connected Riding. It was lovely to see the changes in the horse during the session!
Then it was my turn. Toby and India did their jobs brilliantly, showing the audience all the ways you can use clicker training with horses – from calming youngsters, motivating older horses, backing and starting, problem-solving, leading and lunging, tricks, body-awareness, balance, movement, ridden work… and more! They both performed brilliantly and stood calmly when it wasn’t their turn. Wonderful horses!
Becca and Rosie then finished off the day with a Jive Pony show with Navvy and Casper – a great opportunity to get their youngsters out in front of an audience and show how they are using clicker training. They were foot-perfect and looked as if they’ve been performing for years! And they certainly wowed the crowd with their awesome vaulting!