• A wormy horse is something you definitely dont want

    Skinny body..bloated belly..not a happy healthy horse! Horses and parasites have had a relationship probably that goes back to the dawn of time…..you’ll never kill all of them,and you don’t want to. You could follow your horse around 24-7 with a can of disinfectant spray and still never get them all! [Read More…]

  • Get Off The Rail

    Many of us by habit, and or instruction are used to spending the huge majority of our time on the rail. Well that’s ok if you have a really well broke horse and only plan on showing in classes on the rail such as western pleasure and hunter under saddle… but there is a whole big world of showing out there that is done off the rail! Especially these days when we want the most versatile horse we can get for the money, we have to work towards other things like lead changes, horsemanship, trail and many more events. If your horse is only good on the rail there is little chance he will be good at the other events… however, if your horse is really good off the rail, there’s a pretty good chance you will have success on the rail as well. [Read More…]

  • Night and Day Saddle Horse

    Hey, thought I’d let everyone know of my own personal horse results with 99% Pure Glucosamine & Chondroitin.

    This winter, after having uncharacteristic snow and ice on the ground for over two weeks, my 21 year old horse, Shantur, was clearly having trouble walking around. Founder, sole bruising? A whole string of prognoses was spinning through my head. He was still eating and drinking normally, he just did not want to walk around and he was stiff. My wife called our vet, Dr. Michael, on February 8th, after evaluating Shanty Dr. Michael concluded that Shanty  is getting old and arthritic. The cold weather, the ice, the slick hill in his pen all exacerbated his condition.

    We first moved Shanty to another pen that didn’t have as big of a hill and was a little dryer. Then, not having the drugs that would make Shanty more comfortable, my wife went to Loveland Vet Supply Inc. While there she asked about a dietary supplement of 99% Pure Glucosamine & Chondroitin. She bought it. We started feeding it to him that night. Within two days, we were able to take him off of the comfort drugs. Yeah!

    Now, a week and a half later, we still uncharacteristically have the snow and ice, but Shanty is his old self. We let him and the other hoses out into the pasture and what a joy to see him kick up his heals, buck, run and rear like he was 10 years younger and it was summer out! What a blessing.

    We don’t know if these results are normal and we recommend talking to your vet before using any drugs or supplements, but we will keep you posted on how our saddle horse, Shantur, is doing.

  • What Makes Someone a “Clicker Trainer” ?

    What makes someone a clicker trainer
    as opposed to someone who trains with  a clicker in their hand?

    Let me start by giving a definition of clicker training (as defined by Karen Pryor, KPCT);

    Clicker training” is an animal training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it. Desirable behavior is usually marked by using a “clicker,” a mechanical device that makes a short, distinct “click” sound which tells the animal exactly when they’re doing the right thing. This clear form of communication, combined with positive reinforcement, is an effective, safe, and humane way to teach any animal any behavior that it is physically and mentally capable of doing. [Read More…]

  • Clicker Training and Nudging Behavior

    “The nudging behavior is a good indicator that it is time to introduce your horse to “the grown-ups are talking, please do not interrupt” lesson. Initially this involves a very stylized body posture on your part. Instead of outlining all the elements that go into “grown-ups”, I’m going to refer you to Lesson 1: Getting Started with the Clicker in the Click That Teaches DVD series. The third section in particular of that DVD will show you many details that are important. These handling details will help you and your horse sort through this early mugging stage. [Read More…]

  • Dynamic Food Delivery & Clicker Training

    “So let’s assume you’ve decided to do another round of targeting. Things went well the first time through so you are making a slight change, following the mantra of looping training. You’ll change something on one side of the click or the other, but not both in this round of twenty treats. So you might begin moving the target slightly from your original starting point without changing anything in the food delivery. Or you might leave the targeting pretty much where it was in the previous round, but begin to change the food delivery. [Read More…]

  • Clicker Training & Reloading

    “While you are reloading, you will be assessing what just occurred. The most important question is this:

    Was there anything about your horse’s behavior that would suggest that it would be unsafe to go in the stall with him with your pockets full of treats? Until his behavior shows you that he would be safe, you’ll stay with protective contact.

    Other questions are: how did he do? What did you learn about your horse? Is targeting a good starting point or do you need to make things even more basic by beginning with just food delivery, then adding in the click, then making the click contingent on behavior. In other words do you need to backchain the whole process? Most of our horses are already familiar with hand feeding so you can go straight to targeting, but some need these more basic beginning steps. And some horses that have had little or no handling need to begin, not with targeting, but with simple accepting-you-in-their-vicinity lessons. [Read More…]

  • Rope Mechanics of Clicker Training

    “Bone rotations are an important part of food delivery. As you explore the rope mechanics that are part of clicker training, you’ll encounter this concept of bone rotations over and over again. I’ll refer you to my books and DVDs for more on this, but in brief, as you reach into your pocket and draw out your treat, if you extend your hand out involving just your forearm in the motion, you’ll end up with an unstable “table”. As your horse takes the treat from you, your hand may get pushed down. This makes some horses grabbier because they have to chase after the treat to get it off your hand. If you involve your shoulder as you extend your hand, your hand will be much more stable. You’re using a bone rotation to deliver the treat. This can make a huge difference for many horses. They’ll take the treat more gently, drop fewer treats, and remain calmer throughout the treat delivery process. In other words, technique matters. [Read More…]

  • Should I Use Time Outs in My Training ?

    What is a Time Out ?

    A time out is when you give the horse space from you during a training session.  It’s not like a time out for children in that, we can’t tell the horse what they are getting a time out for.  We have to hope they will figure it out.  And that is a risky approach.

    When we decide to apply a time out we first have to stop what we are doing, then we have to start to walk away.  So immediately we have to ask ourselves. “at what time does the time out begin ?”, is it when we stop what we are doing, start to walk away, disengage eye contact, or are out of sight ?.  Should we go completely out of sight, or should we just turn our backs ?  Already I am seeing a problem with the use of a time out because there are so many variables I need to think about. [Read More…]

  • Why Does My Gelding Drop While We are Clicker Training ?

    This is a question that comes up every now and again and I hear many thoughts on why gelding drop when we are training with them.  Having worked with a large number of horses, and some of them having been stallions, I have watched with great interest the reactions of each of them to clicker training. [Read More…]