I just wanted to share this report on how things are going from one of my clients. It’s such a lovely story and the changes Hannah’s made for Flossie make me feel all warm and lovely inside!! The pair went from very anxious with lots of problems to a partnership in a matter of months and Hannah describes perfectly the relationship and powerful emotional changes clicker training brings about in horses and humans.
Thank you so much for sharing this, Hannah, and well done for the fantastic training you’ve already done, the foundations you’ve built to take you both far and becoming the lovely human Flossie loves to be around – big click and go and reward yourself with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate! 🙂
It’s all going great with Flossie, I have been doing lots of clicker training practice, working on the basics and a few new bits too. I decided to try and use the clicker to re introduce her tack like i’d seen you doing in one of your videos with a young horse. She responded really well and was so calm and just so different to how she had got in the past. I did that just a little bit every night doing a little bit more and a little bit more very slowly until I had all her tack on and then I walked her around and let her wear her tack while doing some groundwork games all the time using the clicker and she was super! Then I thought ‘I might just try leaning over her’ so I did that and she was fine then decided to be brave and put a bit more weight over her and then a bit more just like when backing a baby horse until I was sat on her!! It was the best day ever! Especially when I thought at one point i’d never ride her again.
Then one night I was playing with her and a couple of friends, Vikki and Jason who have just moved their horse onto my yard were watching and they said how different she looked and how calm she was, they hadn’t heard of clicker training so I explained how great it is and they were really interested. Then Jason asked if i’d ridden her properly and I explained that I was a little bit nervous after what had happened with the bucking etc and he offered to have a little sit on her as he is super confident and would be able to give Flossie confidence too and also wouldn’t panic if anything went wrong. So we decided to give it a little go and she walked round absolutely fine it was so good! He had a little trot on her and she did try to have a couple of little bucks but only tiny and barely lifting her legs of the floor, so different they were so half hearted like it was just habit really, then after that she was fine, it was so brilliant! I was so excited! I made sure I used the clicker/treats whenever she did what we wanted and it worked so well.
That was a few weeks ago now and it really gave me the confidence to have a go my self and I have now ridden both in the school walking and trotting and also a couple of short rides around our fields, with not the slightest hint of bucking, rearing etc. I am taking it really, really slowly but she feels so good and almost back to what she used to be like before all this horrid stuff. Its hard to explain but she just feels like her old self, what ever it was that caused the problem I think she just needed to know it was ok now.
Having everything perfect at any cost used to be the most important thing to me but now I am not taking anything for granted and am really appreciating every ride like I should do and praising every small step and every small thing is a huge victory. I thought i’d never ride her again at one point so just to be able to sit on her is the best feeling ever. We might have had a lot of successes riding wise before the problems started but we really didn’t have any kind of relationship other than me being the rider and her the horse but now its so great, we enjoy being together whether we’re doing groundwork, riding or learning new tricks and I have learnt that although riding is good, it isn’t everything.
I can’t thank you enough for helping me get my horse back. Clicker training has been such a massive help not only with the riding but also in helping rebuild our bond. I honestly think that it is such a great tool to have and really has been invaluable in helping Flossie get back to her old self if not better.
Thank you sooooo much
Hannah and Flossie x”