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The Horse Lover's Blog

Who's Confused, Me or the Horse?

Trying to teach Robin to leg yield. To the right, no problem. To the left, not possible. I read my books (Mary Wanless, Sally Swift, everyone!), worked on my position, agonized. I also, in the barn, asked her to sidestep away from my hand on both sides. Click, treat, nicker. She was definitely less  Read More 
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Click for Clarity

Round penning. I'll admit that I've never done it, and don't get it, and am not attracted. Obviously lots of people use it and have success. And I've seen Robin do it to Zeke, working him back and forth along the fence-line like an enormous calf until (her version) she chases him up the lane.
But I don't want to be another horse to my horse, and I don't want to be in a predator-prey relationship. I want to reach her mind, more the way I would with another human. I want to elevate the discussion. Clicker training, and clicker thinking, allows me to do this when I do it well, and I like having a horse who chuckles occasionally when she gets her cue. If I were better, sharper, more consistent, she'd be a better-behaved horse, but I'm refining my skills, and the conversation keeps getting more interesting. Read More 
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Lick, Don't Bite

Robin and I still have our persistent problem of her biting me, or threatening to. I can't decide if it's compulsive--oral Morgan who must be always doing something with her mouth--or if it's something I'm actually training her to do due to my response (but I feel like I have to respond to protect  Read More 
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Clicker Expo

Just back from Clicker Expo in Lexington, KY--a wonderful experience. Imagine being in a resort hotel with 400 animal-lovers and 130 well-behaved dogs of all breeds. Imagine classes all day on the latest scientific breakthroughs and refinements in modern animal training. I learned a lot about keeping cues and training loops clean--which coincidentally is what I  Read More 
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Starting Over

I'm horse crazy! I admit it! Oh, the relief of having it out in the open!
To the 92 of you who looked at my previous blog--both entries!--it's gone. I'm too busy to train Robin and write a book about her and blog about her too.
Instead I want to just talk about horses.  Read More 
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