What is Clicker Training Actually Good for? by Catherine Bell

Clicker training is one of the recent success stories of equestrianism. It makes use of a bridging signal to indicate the moment of the desired behaviour, followed by positive reinforcement. We are told that training with positive reinforcement is more ethical than training with negative reinforcement and/or punishment. We are told that positive reinforcement activates […]

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What Do Positive Reinforcement Trainers Actually Do? By Catherine Bell

A common criticism of those who train horses using positive reinforcement is that we are so busy discussing behavioural theory that we do not do anything practical with our horses, just a few “tricks”. Or that our training is so constrained by theory that there is no “feel”. Or that what little practical work we […]

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Equine Science Hot Off the Press! By Emma Lethbridge

Welcome to my round up of some of the latest releases in equine science. These scientific equine papers have provided some interesting information sure to spark debate and inform our equine management and training practises; including a most important paper which provides evidence that horses ridden in hyperflexion may experience difficulty breathing because of airway […]

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Positively Encouraging Behaviour by Emma Lethbridge

For those embarking on training their horses and wishing to use mostly or completely training which is based in positive reinforcement, the problem of how to encourage the behaviours they want to train to occur, so that they may be rewarded and propagated, is often encoutered. In conventional training desired behaviours are often encouraged through […]

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Equine Clicker Conference 2012

Hello Everyone,   Allow me to bring your attention to the Equine Clicker Conference. A brilliant event for all clicker entusiasts; whether you are a beginner or a professional trainer there will be learning oportunities for everyone.        “September 23rd 2012 At: Richmond Equestrian Centre North Yorkshire  Don’t miss out on these outstanding speakers!! […]

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Some Thoughts on Ridden Clicker. By Catherine Bell

Despite many people using clicker training successfully on the ground with horses, people often feel confused by how how to apply it once on-board. I’ve tried a bit of ridden clicker in the past so thought I would share my thoughts and experiences. For me it is all down to two issues – exactly what […]

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Can I combine positive reinforcement with negative reinforcement? By Catherine Bell

Positive reinforcement (+R), particularly when used in conjunction with clicker training, is commonly combined with the use of negative reinforcement (-R) and/or punishment. Typically the aversive stimuli (i.e. the pressure applied) in these cases will be mild and the combined approach is used to clarify and/or hasten the training. Is there anything wrong with this? […]

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Positive reinforcement in Practice – Including interviews with Ben Hart, Becky Holden, Alexandra Kurland and the Natural Animal Centre, By Catherine Bell

Most of us learn to use positive reinforcement via clicker training. And when starting clicker training it is true that most of us start with simple targeting exercises that may be perceived as "just tricks" by the uninitiated. But targeting is considerably more than just a trick...

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