The Volunteering Horse: Training Without Pressure - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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The Volunteering Horse: Training Without Pressure

Peggy Hogan - Cincinnati 2016

We need to ask a horse to move its body in so many ways, both on the ground and in the saddle. We want to teach the horses to move forward, backward, toward us, away from us, and to move the front legs, the hind legs, and a combination of both.

Traditionally, these behaviors are taught using pressure. Peggy Hogan demonstrates techniques for teaching movement using shaping, capturing, and targeting. Even complex movements can be shaped and trained without pressure. Once learned, movements established on the the ground can be cued visually or verbally, or transferred to tactile cues, such as hand touches and lead-rope directions.

Conventional training under saddle involves teaching horses to respond to pressure from reins, legs, and weight by moving away from the pressure to remove discomfort. In training without pressure, the transfer to working under saddle is accomplished by transferring the ground cues to contact cues from legs, weight, and reins — cues that will carry the same information as the conventional signals.

Instead of increasing pressure to produce movement from avoidance while riding, learn to communicate with your horse about movement verbally or through learned contact cues. You’ll have a willing horse, offering behavior instead of resisting.