Welcome to my new On-Line Course. I am very excited to be able to share it with you.
I am writing this welcome message in the summer of 2013. Twenty years ago I wasn't sitting at a computer working on a new on-line course. Twenty years ago I had only the vaguest idea what clicker training was. I'd read Karen Pryor's books, "Don't Shoot the Dog" and "Lads Before the Wind". I was intrigued enough to ask my horse what he thought of it all, but I had no idea where that first tentative introduction was going to take me.
It's been quite a journey. The horse training was the easy part! Over the last twenty years there has been an astounding transformation in technology. The camera that I used to take the photos for the first book seems now as though it was from the stone age. I was using film. Do we even remember what that was!
And my first videos were shot with a huge clunky video camera that recorded onto VHS tape. Nothing was digital. How primitive.
It's been quite the foot race, first to get the basic training program out so people could have access to the information, and second to stay - if not ahead - at least not too far behind all the changes that our new digital world is making possible.
My first book, "Clicker Training For Your Horse" was published in 1998. It was followed by two more books and 19 Video lessons. I would like to say quickly followed, but it actually took thirteen years to complete all that material. And once it was finished, it was clear that there was another great need. The digital world has changed how we use videos and books. People kept asking for an on-line course - and so here it is.
This course took two years to construct and represents over twenty years of work. When I talk about it, I find myself saying it is not small. That's the best way I can describe it. It is made up of 15 Units and contains over 185 video clips. Most of the clips contain all new material. A few are taken from the Click That Teaches DVD lesson series.
This is a Foundation Level course. It is intended first and foremost for people who are new to clicker training and want to get off to a great start. Clicker training is an easy concept to understand, but there are lots of small details that make a huge difference to your training success. This course will guide you past the pitfalls. It will get you off to a great start and show you how to make creative use of clicker training.
It will also form a great review for people who are already familiar with the clicker and want to get some fresh ideas to liven up their training. And for those of you who are teaching clicker training, you'll find that it is a tremendous resource to add into your own training program.
In this course you’ll be discovering that the sky’s the limit! It doesn’t matter if you ride english or western, if you are a trail rider, an endurance rider, a reiner, a jumper, a dressage rider, or just a weekend pleasure rider, this clicker foundation course applies to all disciplines and interests. If you are starting with a foal, have a green horse, a seasoned campaigner, or an old family friend, you’ll find this work applies to them all.
After you’ve completed this foundation course you’ll be able to teach your horse new skills and to resolve training issues. Did I say the sky’s the limit? Actually I was wrong. With clicker training there is no limit to what you can create out of great training foundation.
1.) Is this an instructor's certification program? I get asked a lot if I am going to run an instructor's certification program. I know this is something people want, but I have always dragged my feet over developing one. Working with horses is complex. It's not enough that you understand the science of clicker training and basic practice. And it's not enough that you have great horse handling skills. You have to marry those two elements together. And it takes more than intellectually understanding how clicker training works. Most of us are cross over trainers. We didn't start out with horses as clicker trainers, so we have years of habits to sort through as we figure out how clicker training and our understanding of horse training weave together. For some people this is an easy process, for others it can take years of unraveling and reworking before they truly can embrace all that clicker training represents.
So what I have found works the best is to let instructors evolve through the clinic process. I've been very fortunate to to have had clinics at the same location for a number of years. This has let me build long-term relationships with many of the clinic attendees. I've watched them develop their own horses and then shift their focus towards teaching. The coaches I'll be using for the on-line course, and the coaches I recommend to people have evolved out of this process. I know they are both very good with horses and - just as important - very good with people.
Everyone who completes the course will receive a Level One Certificate of Completion. This does not an Instructors Certificate, but it is a prerequisite for taking other courses that are currently under development. Over time qualified instructors will emerge out of this program, just as they have emerged out of the clinics.
2.) How long will the course take to complete? The good training answer is as long as it takes. This is a very thorough course. How long it takes you, will depend very much upon your horse training background, what type of horse you have, your long term goals for that horse, the training issues he presents and your training schedule. But to go through all the Units thoroughly, really developing each lesson as you come to it, I estimate that it will take six months to a year to complete the course.
3.) What does it cost? The course is being launched in the Fall of 2013. The Introductory Priceis $340. That gives you access to all the course material, including all the videos for one full year. Plusit includes one coaching session with the coach of your choice (Go to the Course On-Line-Support page to read more about the coaches and the coaching session.)
CLICK HERE to see the course contents and read to the introduction to each of the 15 Units.
4.) Can I pay in installments? Yes. It is much easier bookkeeping for me if you pay for the course all at once, but if you prefer to pay in installments, that option is available. You can pay for it in three installments of $125 each. The first installment covers units 1-4. The second covers Units 5-9 and the third covers Units 10-15. Your coaching session should be used as you are working on the first installment of the course.
5.) How do I sign up for the course? To register for the course, go to the Registration Page You can pay for the course via paypal using your credit card. Once payment is confirmed, you'll receive a password giving you access to Unit One of the course. As you complete each Unit, you'll receive the password that gives you entry to the next Unit. For US residents you can also pay by check. Checks should be made out to The Clicker Center. Payment can be mailed to:
The Clicker Center
110 Salisbury Rd
Delmar NY 12054
5.) What do I get when I sign up for the course? When you pay for the course, you gain access to the course material for one year. This is an on-line course. There is no printed text book or DVD copies of the videos available. You do not own the course material. Your payment simple gives you access to the course material for one year.
In addition to the course, you will have access to the course's on-line forum. You can sign up for individual coaching sessions, and you can view new videos and training articles as they are added to the site.
After a year, you can resubscribe to the course and all the added bonus material for an annual fee of $35.
6.) Does the course take the place of the books and DVDs? The on-line course builds on those materials. If you are new to clicker training and you aren't sure you want to commit to an entire course, I would recommend that you begin with the book, "The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures". That will give you a good understanding of clicker training and get you off to a great start. This course expands on the book, filling in all the details that you need to fully understand each step in the process. It breaks the material covered in the books and DVDs into smaller units. There are over 185 videos in this course. Don't let that number scare you off. Some of the videos are very short, just a couple of minutes in length, but others are half an hour or more. And most of the videos show new material that is not in the current DVD lessons. So even if you already own the full set of books and DVDs, you will find many new layers in this on-line course.
7.) What level of experience do I need? What are the prerequisites? The only prerequisite is a desire to explore new ideas. The course is designed for every experience level. If you are brand new to horses, brand new to clicker training, or brand new to both, you will find that the lessons begin at a skill level that lets you participate fully and successfully.
I don't want to leave anyone out so the course begins with very basic lessons. It assumes no previous clicker training background and no specialized horse handling skills. Both are developed within the lessons covered. But this is not only a beginners course. You'll find the concepts covered, the exercises that open up lead straight to high performance work. Whatever your goals, this course can help you achieve them.
8.) When does the course start? Can I sign up at any time? You can begin the course at any time. When you start, how fast you move through the course, this is all determined by you. You don't have to wait for a class to form to begin your exploration of clicker training. This course is designed to fit into your schedule. You don't have to juggle your life around to fit into any time constraints. As you complete each unit, you can move on to the next at your own pace. There's no class to keep up with. So if you hit a patch of rough weather, don't worry. You won't be falling behind in your course work. Quite the contrary, you can use that time to read through and wathc your current lessons.
9.) If I have questions or I feel as though I need some support, what is available? You can arrange for individual coaching sessions with any of the Click That Teaches coaches. Once you are registered in the course you'll have access to these coaches. Your course registration fee includes one coaching session. It is advised that you arrange for this early on in the course. The purpose of this coaching session is to check on your foundation handling skills and get you off to a great start.
In addition there will be an on-line forum for the course. In the forum you'll be able to share with others who are taking the course. All of the coaches will also be participating on the forum. And as time goes on, we'll have course alumni joining adding their expertise to the mix.
I will also periodically be holding on-line group meetings where you can ask questions and share your clicker discoveries.
10.) This is a foundation level course. Does that mean that there will be other courses building on this one? Yes, absolutely. This is the first in a series of courses that are planned for The Click That Teaches training program.
Here is just a sampling of the courses that are planned:
Foal Handling and Training
Special Cases: Working with High Fear and Aggressive Horses
Clicker Training for Stallions
Hoof Care and the Clicker Horse
Nutrition: What Can I Feed My Clicker Horse?
Microshaping: Equine Pilates
Classical Work In-Hand: More Rope Handling and the T’ai Chi Wall
Lateral Work Explained
Riding on a Triangle
Balance for Horse and Rider
and many more topics including modules on jumping, reining, agility training, trail riding, and dressage.
To sign up for those courses you must have completed this foundation course.
You asked me what I've learned from the course---I don't know where to begin! I don't think I can adequately describe what I've gotten from your books, DVD's and on-line course---but I'll try.
Let me tell you what I started with---3 1/2 years ago I acquired a 9 year old Morgan gelding. He is very sensitive, highly reactive, unconfident and ALOOF. Since we began our journey together, I've been trying to connect with him. We've done the natural horsemanship thing---we can play the 7 games---a better description would be that I play the 7 games and he cooperates---but we haven't connected.
I had fooled around with clicker training with my dog but it didn't last long. When I visited your web site noticed that you were doing a clinic near me which I attended in April. I signed up for the on-line course when I got home.
OK---what have I learned? We're not polished in anything yet---but I have a horse that can target; lower his head on cue ( actually we have several cues for head lowering); stands on his mat (he doesn't look as good as Brody---but we're working on it); stands patiently without mugging me; backs up smoothly; lines himself up to the mounting block; retrieves cones; pushes balls with his nose---this looks like a list of what he has learned! I've learned to relax and have fun. I've learned to focus on what I WANT my horse to do. I've learned to break things down into small pieces---I'm still a work in progress on this one. I've learned to listen to what Red has to say. All this is great and I really appreciate all the effort it must have taken you to put all this together---BUT---the MOST IMPORTANT thing is---we have a CONNECTION. It is developing on a daily basis---a web of communication and trust!!! For this one thing alone---I cannot thank you enough.
And we're not done---I am going to go back over the course again and again---we have holes!!! We're working at getting better with the basic behaviors and we're working on actively taking the bit, lateral flexions, etc., etc., etc!!!
Yeah! I'm loving your course, Alexandra. I have seven horses, four are older, and it's been wonderful to experience how they each respond to clicker training in their own unique way. All of the horses are really enjoying your approach! And I am, too.
I hardly can tell how happy I am with this course.
I have a very special horse (yes, yes, I know, who does not?) I knew that to train her with the clicker philosophy was the only way for me to make any progress in our relationship at all.
Since I started the course our relationship improves almost every day. My understanding of training gets better and better. The very best about the course for us: I had no idea that there were foundation lessons which can create more emotional stability in the horse. And that is what surprises me the most at the moment: It really works and my horse already shows more emotional stability!
I am very happy and thanks a lot for the course!
Regards, Simone Gerber
I am participating in the clicker center on-line course with my yearling Fell Pony gelding. There are several other participants with young horses.
The most important thing this course does for me is provide support. This course offers not only detailed
and easy to understand written and video instruction but additional on-line support; both from an active student forum and through 20+ one-on-one coaches. Each student, as a part of the class tuition, is provided an individual coaching session and on-going contact at very reasonable fees.
The coaches are all experienced and articulate instructors and trainers. They not only provide one-on-one instruction but contribute to the on-line forum.
As we know, clicker training is simple, but it isn't always easy. This class offers a year's worth of valid, proven, science-based instruction and insightful and compassionate support. Add the entertaining and lively exchanges on the student forum and you have a unique and invaluable opportunity to successfully clicker train your equine and derive all the benefits of a relationship based on positive reinforcement.
Cathi Cline and Olympus, Fell Pony
I am writing to let you know that I am really enjoying your online course. You know what I have learned? I love what you teach the best. It's logical, sequential, so balanced in every way. It's a great fit for both me and my horses. The sound mechanics, the solid foundation and then a road map to go wherever we want. No one else offers that. You have done an amazing job gathering 20 years of experience and presenting it in a way that anyone can use. When it comes to training my horses and building my relationship with them, It's your program I want as my base. So in short, I am writing to say kudos and thanks for creating it!
September 2, 2016 was Launch Day! The new German language version of my on-line course is now available. Congratulations to Michaela Hempen for two years of hard work getting this done. She not only translated all the text, but she also created subtitles for all the videos. We knew it was a big course, but Michaela can now tell us that there is more video material in the course than ALL the Star Wars movies combined!