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What can clicker training do for you and your horse?

  At Whole Horse, we believe quite passionately that it is possible to make the veterinary experience a positive one for the horse and the owner. Despite the fact that they are prey animals, we too often try to gain a horse’s cooperation through force or restraint. This only creates more fear, and contributes to a cycle where the horse becomes increasingly difficult to handle for veterinary procedures.

  We believe clicker training is one answer to this problem. Unlike traditional horse training, which too often tells a horse what they did wrong, clicker training is designed to tell them what they did right. When a horse learns they can make a choice to avoid conflict, that they can make a choice that is right, it builds their confidence and helps eliminate fear. In addition, clicker training makes them think, and it is difficult for a horse to think and act up at the same time.

  Clicker training involves a small device called a clicker (there is one in your packet) which makes a distinctive and quick clicking noise. Essentially, clicker training involves first teaching the horse that the click means “yes, that’s right!” and then using the clicker sound to reinforce desired behaviors. Through this method, you can teach a horse to stand for shots, pick up their feet, let you handle their mouth, ears, etc. You can also use it to teach a lot of other things ( I have used it to teach my mustang everything, including lungeing and ground-driving), but at Whole Horse our focus is specifically on the phobias and issues horses have with veterinary procedures.

  We have included a beginning lesson on clicker training in this packet. It is reprinted from the “The Click That Teaches”, a great website for equine clicker training. This is the lesson that teaches the horse what the clicker means. We would love to discuss clicker training with you. We also offer clicker sessions for behavior modification related to all veterinary procedures, either individually or in small groups of a few horses.  It is a beginner clicker lesson for those who would like to try it with their horse.
Here is the link http://www.theclickercenter.com/2004/guide/guide00.php

This is Brennir practicing three of his tricks, bow, rear, and playing basketball.


Denise Bickel DVM
Whole Horse Veterinary Services
Phone # 517-474-4050
Fax # 517-764-7710
3906 Seymour Rd
Jackson, MI 49201


Hours--Mon, Thurs, Fri from 11 am to 8pm, and Sat and Sun 10 am-4 pm

Whole Horse Veterinary Services. 
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