This is 'Jet Star's Allusion' (aka Indy) a 5 y.o. TWH whom I purchased
in Feb. and started clicker training in June. My original intent with
the clicker was to teach him to do the RW. I knew he could RW from a
chance encounter once are twice but I couldn't get him to do it on cue
and I thought the clicker would give me the precision of "YES" when he
accidently did it. It worked wonderfully and we've moved on to more
These are the only two pictures I've got so far and they could be much
better! (As you can see, we need to work on the facial expression while
He also does other things via clicker training (say 'yes' & 'no', lie
down, fetch and will touch ANYTHING ).
I am involved in a mounted search and rescue group and the horses have
to be de-sensitized to just about everything (noise/visual) you can
think of. Our certification class is the last two weekends in Sept.
and hopefully I will get some pics. We are working on gun-fire right
now and doing great!
I know most of you are having great success with the clicker and so
this post is mostly intended to inspire the newer people to c/t or
those still lurking and thinking about if they want to try it.
This past weekend Indy (my horse) graduated from mounted police
training school!! Woooo Hooooo!!!
We have been using the clicker for the past 4 months and it has brought
a different level to my training that has given my horse such
confidence in me that we were able to complete the obstacle course in
about 5 min. without a single refusal. (We were not allowed to dismount
for any reason).
We were the second 'team' in the arena and he had not seen the set up
before. I did not use the clicker during the course but instead used
my "click-no-treat" word of a sharp "good" to let him know it was O.K.
and to proceed through or 'accept' the obstacle.
The obstacle course consisted of:
Walking through a solid smoke-screen of burning hay while someone
pitched fire-crackers under his hooves,
riding into and then backing
out of a NARROW L-shaped set of panels, riding over/through a tarp,
over a large teeter-totter,
across a wooden bridge, pushing a 72 inch
"crowd" ball around with his chest,
walking past and standing in front
of a police car with lights, sirens and horns going off, walking into
and pushing over a 'wall' of stacked 55-gallon plastic drums filled
with golf balls, going through the center of a row of sparking,
spitting, hissing flares, backing and side-passing through some cones
and having a shotgun being fired at random the whole time about 20 feet
There was a visible difference in Indy's attitude compared with the
non-clicker trained horses...so much so that afterwards 75% of the
people quizzed me about c/t and how it is used, including the Sheriffs
giving the school (and these guys are old school cowboys). I passed
out about 15 sheets with info on Alaxandra's book and where to get
Thanks to all of you who offered advice on my post a few weeks back
about getting him to accept gunfire. The most I did was pop a few
balloons in front of him and under him at liberty and then from his
back, givint a c/t for standing still. Although he did flinch
everytime the shotgun went off while on the course, he didn't give it
any other notice. Heck, I flinched everytime it went off...It was
A few non-c/t related things I learned from this police school that I
thought to share:
1) If you are on horseback in a very public place (like a parade,
patrol, etc.) DON'T let stranger pet your horse on the head. Some
people think it is a hoot to nonchalantly slip the headstall over your
horses ears and then flap a hat in their face as you scramble to gain
2) Don't let a stranger feed you horse. It is also popular to taint
carrot, apples, etc and give them to horses to make them sick. The
Lieutenant giving the school has trained his horse to not accept ANY
food from the hand because he knows of a few that have died from
3) Teach your horse to ride with a neck-rope or an emergency stop
cue...See #1 :)
Thanks for letting me share,
Anna (one proud Mom) and Indy the Graduate!!