Teach nose targeting to your horse | Clicker training
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Teach nose targeting to your horse | Clicker training

August 10, 2019


Today’s video is going to be a comprehensive
tutorial on nose targeting. So first what is targeting and why is it one
of the most important thing you could ever teach any animal. Targeting is a training technique used in
combination with positive reinforcement. The first step of targeting is to teach the
animal to touch an object with his nose by rewarding him with food or scratches. This object is called a target and can be
anything you want: it can be a recycle whip with a tennis ball at the end of it, a fly
swatter, a tennis racket, really anything you want as long as it is safe for the horse
to touch. Targeting can be used with many species of
animals including pets such as dogs and cats, farm animals such as goats and pigs and wild
animals such as rhinos and lions. It can be used to teach the animal to walk
on a lead, to back up, to go in a travelling crate and so much more. While this video focuses on teaching nose
targeting, an animal can be taught to target with other parts of his body such as his hips,
shoulders, knees etc. This can be useful to teach specific movements
such as Spanish walk, to adjust the animal position without coercion or for healthcare
procedure such as hoof trimming. To teach nose targeting to your horse you
will need: A target. A bridge signal, that can be a clicker or
a distinctive sound like a tongue clock or a short word. Rewards this is likely to be food but scratches
can also be effective. And if your horse is still learning how to
behave safely around food you may need to use protective contact such as a fence or
a stable door. First let’s have a look at the full behaviour
and what is happening: 1. The trainer presents the target. 2. The horse touches the target and the trainer
use the bridge signal 3. The trainer removes the target
4. The trainer delivers the food to the horse
So to start teaching your horse to nose target you will have to first Place yourself by the
side of your horse and present the target with your arm extended away from your body
and toward the horse’s nose. Then wait until the horse touches it. Use your bridge signal immediately when the
horse touches it and then remove the target placing it by your side or behind you. Finish by reinforceing the horse, delivering
the food reward away from your body and underneath the horse chin. Only present the target when the horse is
facing forward, calm and with all four feet on the flour. Because of it’s association with primary
reinforcers such as food, the target becomes what we call a secondary reinforcer and therefore
the target can reinforce whatever behaviour the horse was doing just before you introduced
it. If you present the target when the horse is
pawing or searching your pocket you may end up rewarding him for these behaviours, so
only present the target when the horse is calm and standing with his head forward. Always deliver food reward away from your
body and right underneath the horse nose, if you give the food to your horse by your
bum bag you are teaching him to come towards you for food rather than waiting patiently
and straight. If you enjoyed this video subscribe to the
chanell for more videos on horse training, behaviour and welfare. Also check out our patreon link in the description
below if you would like to help us make more free educational resources. Have a beautiful day, share this video with
a friend and I see you in the next video.

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