Teaching Riding Aids – DVD Review

Clicker Training Horses

Lesson 1:  Getting Started
Lesson 2:  Ground Manners
Lesson 3:  Head Lowering (Your Calm Down Cue)
Lesson 4:  Stimulus Control (Putting Behaviour on Cue)


Stimulus Control 


Putting Behaviour On Cue


Teaching Riding Aids


Do you have a horse who throws all the behaviours in his repertoire without you asking for them ?
Then this DVD is the one to add to your shopping basket.

 Do you have a busy horse who needs his dance card to be filled ?
Watch this DVD and learn how to do this and keep things in control.

This DVD is the 4th in the series that bring Alexandra Kurlands, The Click That teaches – A Step by Step Guide in pictures book to life.  As ever, it is packed full of detail and many many layers of information that make it so many lessons all rolled in to one DVD.

Robin at Liberty

To start the DVD, Alexandra shares more video clips from some clicker trained horses.  Then it changes to a wonderful clip of Alexandra’s own horse, Robin.  He is lunging around her at liberty, in trot and in balance without needing any encouragement to keep going.  Then he halts on cue.  It’s quite breath-taking and a beautiful start to the DVD that makes you want to see how we teach that sort of emotional and physical balance.

Alexandra describes what a cue is and how they are categorised so that we can understand them before we try to teach them.  This section of the video is lovely as Robin stands beside Alexandra as she talks to the camera and he poses for her.  He continues to pose as she explains that some cues “evolve naturally out of the shaping process” and how we teach cues intentionally. 

Robin continues to teach us through this DVD by showing us how he has been taught to respond to various cues.  Alexandra explains that some cues mean he has been asked to perform a one-off behaviour or it means keep going until you receive another cue.  What this highlights is that for many cues, the cue itself is not important; it’s the understanding of the shaping of the behaviour and teaching of a cue that is important.  So we need to make sure we go through a teaching process to teach our horses what our cue will be and how we would like them to respond to that cue.

The next stage of the DVD goes in to the detail of how to teach stimulus control; the step by step process and the detail within each step.  As usual, Alexandra talks us through the detail of each step with clarity and examples.  And the wonderful Robin is there throughout to demonstrate beautifully what Alexandra is talking about.

This DVD uses a great combination of clips of Alexandra explaining things as she works with Robinand segments of ‘review steps’ interspersed at key times.  This helps to review what was being shown without the distraction of Robin looking quite stunning.

Part of stimulus control is understanding the important of balance in training.  Alexandra covers some detail on this; how to balance behaviours to prevent the horses getting stuck in one behaviour.  Do you have a horse who is stuck e.g. on his mat or backing up ?  Then you need to understand stimulus control to help you to bring your training back in to balance.

Peregrine Another aspect of stimulus control covered is understanding and deciding which behaviours you absolutely need/want on cue and which you are not so concerned about.  Plus, different behaviours can be under different levels of stimulus control.  For those behaviours that are important to you, it is important that you understand how to achieve stimulus control.

The DVD uses human horses to demonstrate very powerfully how to teach stimulus control.  This part of the lesson is so important as it lets of gain the verbal feedback from people and see how our horses might feel as we work through stimulus control.  This then lets us explore how to teach stimulus control carefully and through guidance (setting the horse up for success).  This segment of the video also shows us some of the pitfalls of training and how we can very easily confuse our horses if we do not follow a clear step by step process. Peregrine

Using human horses is such an important phenomenon.  By playing with human horses we really do get to see the same phenomenon in the horses, however, we get the verbal feedback to allow us to understand where we muddied the waters and how to clarify things again….before we take this to the horses.Panda The Guide Horse

The next section of the DVD involves Alexandra’s other horse, Peregrine.  Peregrine is a wonderful testament to what clicker training can do for emotional and physical balance.  Alexandra uses Peregrine’s story to demonstrate how clicker training can bring enormous clarity to things that we have been trying to teach for a long time.  The horses seem to suddenly understand the training so much better and quicker when we introduce the clicker.

The other aspect to Peregrines’ segment of the DVD highlights to us that, once our horses understand clicker training, they start to cue us for when they are e.g. ready to work after time off, in the right balance to change gaits and even tell us when they need to manage their own emotions. 

The DVD closes with a great segment of DVD from Alexandra’s clinics where she is teaching this to some horses who are new to the process, and some who are more advanced.  One of those horses is the guide horse that Alexandra trained.  Panda is quite awesome to watch at work.

Another gem of a DVD in the Alexandra Kurland Click That Teaches series. 

If you would like to order this DVD please follow the link.  If you would like more information on clicker training, please contact us at info@smaarthorses.co.uk.

Happy clicking
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