Clicker training is a slang name which originally came from the scientific term operant conditioning. Formerly used to train aquatic mammals, it has become progressively more distinguished in training horses using positive reinforcement.
Using the concept of operant conditioning in psychology, an animal learns a particular behavior or a task when positive reinforcement follows the action that the trainer wants the animal to repeat. Occasionally, the undesirable behavior or actions done by the animal are not rewarded and ignored. Here, giving rewards for getting things right make horses more eager and quick to learn.
When you are using clicker training you still can complete it with other training methods, that is one of the reasons why it is such a great tool to use. There is no fancy tools, except must get a clicker, some trips, and a container for the rewards. Once you have got the hang of it, your horse is going to be following your orders now. There are no specific rules to use when using the clicker training. However, the article given below will guide you on how to use this method to your benefit and save a lot of your time.
The sound of the 'click.' must come with a condition
Let it know that the sound 'click' means that a reward is coming. Try to click your clicker for several times and reward it with a treat every time it hears the sound. Later after about 10-15 minutes, repeat the sequence of clicking followed by treating. There are horses that easily get accustomed to the clicker training after three sequences, but some horses may need more sessions.
Pushing your horse too hard should be avoided
It is going to be more effective to train your horse for more than 10-15 minutes. However it is important for you to know that every horse differs in its readiness and ability to learn new tricks. Try to do short sessions broken into several days than having a long one in a day. When it is tired, you can not expect much.
A target should be used
Use a target for it to aim. Let this be the first task that it needs to accomplish when applying positive reinforcement. For example you can hang a plastic bottle and ask it to bump it using its head and reward it every time it does the right thing.
In clicker training, timing is the most important thing. So, make sure you click each time the horse has bumped the target by giving it a reward. The rewarding has to be repeated until the behavior is reinforced.
The next step
Once it learns to bump the target, move on to the next step. Let your horse pursue the target then head bob it before giving a reward. This will test your previous training and will tell whether you have properly conditioned it to respond to the 'click.' But one think you have to remember is that you have to be patient and to conduct each session in short periods. You also need to realize that not all horses will learn in the same manner.
Once you have completed this basic clicker training for your horse, you can proceed to a more advance training. The advantage is that you can employ this method to compliment your other trainings. This will make your teaching easier and your horse to learn.