I’ve just fininshed teaching a four day Clix Camp, which was a fantastic few days and everyone made huge progress with their horses. There were 6 people on the course and a lovely range of horses, which gave everyone more of an insight into how to use Clicker Training in different situations.
See all the photos here!
We had an ex-racehorse, Monica, who needs to calm and focus on her rider, instead of blocking her out to run as she’s been trained to do in her past. Her owner, Jane, has done loads of brilliant work with her with the clicker already, building her focus, trust and working on supppleness, balance and body awareness on the ground. Our main focus this weekend was to take more of that into the ridden work.
Bobby, the gorgeous cob, gave us all some food for thought! He LOVES learning new things but is reluctant to perform behaviours he knows already, seeming to get bored quickly. So we had some great brainstorming sessions on techniques to try and how to find a balance between old and new behaviours. He was an absolute superstar at “show me something new”, in which the animal has to offer a new behaviour after every click – something most horses find really difficult. What a brainiac!
Alfie is already a good all-rounder – riding, driving, tricks etc which Elaine has taught him already. This weekend we were working on some balance and body awareness exercises such as getting all four feet onto the platform for hind leg awareness and beginning teaching shoulder-in in hand. He was also brilliant with the hula hoop and very very nearly flicked it over his head after just four 5 minute sessions! It won’t be long before he’s got that in the bag!
Khalil showed us all how to work with a spooky objects. Rachael’s own horse, Seamus, currently has strangles and so is undergoing a lot of veterinary visits as well as being spooky about things touching him – plastic bags, clippers etc. With him being restricted to his yard until every horse is clear, it’s an ideal time for Rachael to focus on his spookiness. Khalil was a perfect subject to show us how to do it and was brilliant for Rachael, working on plastic bags, ribbon, umbrellas, hula hoops etc.
Roisin has come on leaps and bounds in the past few months and is super keen to work. Rachel has done some amazing work with her with the clicker as she used to be extremely head-shy, spinning in circles if something touched her ears. With the aid of a green cloth, she has taught Roisin to be enthusiastic about having things on her head and it’s now one of her favourite games including bridle, reins, fly masks, everything – success! A perfect example of how to turn something scary into something fun.
Casper is a super little pony most of the time, but his one problem is that he tends to plant if he doesn’t want to go forward. So we were working on improving his walk-on cue and looking at making forwards more fun for him.
As for us, our brains worked extremely hard, and we also used some exercise balls too look at our own balance and body awareness, especially in relation to riding. 3 participants also went off one evening for a fly in my Dad’s microlight, which they thoroughly enjoyed!. Thanks everyone for a super weekend!
See all the photos here!