Safety in Numbers: Working with Multiple Horses - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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Safety in Numbers: Working with Multiple Horses

Peggy Hogan - Portland 2017

An environment with multiple horses (or people) is a growing safety concern for trainers who are using food to train their horses. When someone begins to clicker train a horse, the recommendation is to distance himself or herself from the horse using protected contact as basic skills are established. Examples of beginning horse behaviors include training hand feeding safely, keeping the head forward out of the treat pouch and may include some targeting behaviors. These vital behaviors help establish the purpose of a click. At the same time, the protected contact keeps trainers safe in the initial phase.

When we move beyond some of the basic behaviors, there may be a situation where the horse becomes animated and assertive—and steps into our space when another horse or even other humans are present. Not only can this be disconcerting to a beginning clicker trainer, it can be dangerous. The behavior may even escalate when more than one horse is present.

In this Session you will learn how to shape several behaviors that are designed to allow the horse a choice of offered behaviors considered safe for a handler with food. Video and lecture material will help you identify expanded herd dynamics, feeding protocols, general management techniques, and training a variety of behaviors that can make your daily work with multiples safe and comfortable for all.

Total run time: 48 minutes