Scroll down to see all four horse books:
New! Modern Horse Training: A Constructional Guide to Becoming Your Horse's Best Friend
The Click That Teaches: A Step By Step Guide in Pictures
The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker
Clicker Training for your Horse
Which Book(s) Should You Order?
Looking for "Teddies To The Rescue" and my other childrens books: visit Bear Hollow Press
Modern Horse Training is a guide to a happy horse AND performance excellence.
Imagine this - You've just arrived at your barn. Your horse is waiting for you at the gate. He's eager to see you coming. Your visit is filled with laughter, great training, fun adventures, and lots of love.
Whether you're working with:
- a foal who is just learning,
- a youngster you’re starting under saddle
- a rescue you're rehabbing,
- a mini who has captured your heart,
- an older retiree,
- or the horse who carries you on his back to a world of adventures
Modern Horse Training leads to performance excellence. What do you dream of doing with your horse? Does it include soaring over fences, riding a beautiful shoulder-in, exploring a wilderness trail, entertaining your friends with your horse’s fancy tricks? Maybe you just want to spend a relaxed afternoon sharing time with your lovely horse. It’s all possible.
Modern Horse Training is good training done well. That means being kind matters. Your horse isn’t responding because he has to, but because he wants to.
You’ll be learning positive reinforcement teaching strategies. The detailed instructions for each lesson are easy to follow, easy to teach.
Modern horse training begins with six foundation skills. These lessons form the building blocks that help you teach all your performance goals. You’ll begin with the Universals - those activities we all ask of our horses. This includes basic husbandry skills such as grooming, foot care, haltering, basic leading, saddling, routine medical care, trailering, etc.
These lessons teach you how to teach your horse. By the time you’re ready to tackle your more complex training and riding goals, you and your horse will be well prepared.
Modern horse training emphasizes good balance, both physical and emotional. The goal is a sound, happy horse who wants to be with you.
Modern Horse Training is about having fun and loving your horse. It will be easy to do.
Published April 26, 2023
The Reviews Are Coming In!
I have to share. Amy Stevenson posted the first review on Amazon and it is astounding! I couldn’t ask for a better first review. Here is what Amy said about the book:
"Wow wow wow!!!! I’ve only been thumbing through Alexandra Kurland’s newest book that just arrived and I am blown away. After only a day I’ve barely touched the surface of what’s contained within. The depth and breadth of knowledge is astounding. Having personally begun working with Alexandra, I knew it would be good, but it is so much more than I expected.
Science based and accurate from cover to cover and still all the information is presented in a completely user friendly way. It’s so easy to read, understand, make a training plan and take it to your horse in a real world setting!
My first impression of the book is a culmination of Alexandra’s lifetime of working with and training horses and teaching their people. A legacy of her life’s work in education and her collaborations within the world of horses and the world of modern animal training.
This book is a MUST HAVE training manual for every horse owner, clicker trainer from novice to advanced and ANY traditional trainer looking to revise their horsemanship skills to solve any and all types of ground manners issues and teach husbandry and hoof care behaviors and so much more that horses need to understand in order to be safe and successful living in a humans world with us. It’s not possible to list all the important behaviors horses must know that are contained within. I am going to need some extra copies for myself and to gift to my horsey friends when they buy a new horse or their first horse!
If you’ve had a horse who was difficult to catch, halter, lead, lift feet for hoof care, there’s something for you.
If you would like to ride with softness and release from the slightest asking of aids and no escalation because your horse understands how to organize its body to give, this book is for you.
If you’re working with your first ever horse or have been a pony clubber riding since you were a three year old, this book is still for you.
I highly recommend to anyone caring for or working with horses in any capacity. It’s so good."
Thank you Amy. What a great first review.
The Click That Teaches
A Step By Step Guide
By Alexandra Kurland
Your Clicker Training ABCs
A comprehensive training guide.
Easy to follow pictures.
From Basics to advanced performance
"The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures" was originally published in 2003. Fifteen plus years later I have created a new revised edition. The format is the same, but I have packed even more into the pages. After fifteen years of teaching, I have more to say about all of the lessons. So here is a brand new book.
This comprehensive training guide will take you from clicker basics to advanced training. Even if you are a novice handler, you’ll find these step-by-step lessons easy to follow. They create a road map for developing a superstar performer and a great friend.
The book covers the three phases of developing a solid clicker-trained horse:
Phase 1: Clicker Basics:
Getting Started with the Clicker
The Six Foundation Lessons
Phase 2: Teaching the Universals.
Basic leading; grooming; foot care; accepting shots,
clippers and other husbandry tasks; bridling; trailering;
and other practical, every day skills
Phase 3: Performance Training - includes:
Advanced Leading Lessons for Safety and Performance,
including work-in hand and lateral work
Riding with the Clicker
Creating a Safe Horse: Alternatives to Punishment
Super Clicking: The Principles of Training and the Pre-Ride Checklist
A Horse’s Bill of Rights
Training Tips and Terms
This is the resource you are looking for to get you off to a great start with clicker training. The format is easy to follow. It is a blend of text and photos. It will give you a straight forward road map to follow while still treating your horse as a study of one.
The Click That Teaches
Riding with the Clicker
By Alexandra Kurland
What do all these beautiful horses have in common?
They're all clicker trained!
Learn how to:
Start your horse under saddle with the clicker
Solve training/riding problems
Keep your horse sound via riding
Develop a performance star!
The book first and foremost helps you develop a safe, fun riding partner - a horse who truly enjoys being ridden. That universal core prepares your horse for the individual riding activities you enjoy. The lessons are all built around an emphasis on good balance. Horses who learn to use their bodies well stay sounder longer. That's the bottom line goal of this book - long-term good balance and soundness. you can get there through riding. This book shows you how.
Riding with the Clicker gives you a training manual for the life of your horse: from clicker basics and getting started under saddle, to solving training problems and creating a safe, fun horse to ride, to developing spectacular performance that promotes good health in your horse - Clicker Training brings out the best in your horse!
The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker is a comprehensive training guide will take you from clicker basics to advanced performance. The book is divided into Six Sections:
Part 1: Clicker Basics: This section introduces you to the scientific principles behind clicker training. It shows you how to develop polite ground manners and emotional self-control in your horse.
Part 2: Before You Ride: This section shows you how to start a young horse under saddle. This is more than a nuts and bolts section. You'll see how training works in the real world - how training problems emerge and how clicker training solutions are found. Training a horse is not a matter of following "cook book" recipes. The best trainers are creative and responsive to the needs of each individual horse. You'll learn how to use clicker training to prepare a youngster for riding - how to teach him the emotional self-control and physical balance he'll need to be a great riding horse.
Part 3: Riding with the Clicker: Riding with the clicker is very much like taking apart a jig saw puzzle and then putting it back together again. You're taking apart your horse's training piece by piece. Only instead of reassembling the original picture, you'll be building it back better and stronger than it was before.
Safety, safety, safety - Safety always comes first. This section introduces you to the techniques of single rein riding. It gives you two powerful exercises that can help you stop bolting, bucking, spooking and rearing - in other words, to stop the major behavior problems that take the fun out of riding.
Part 4 Training Exercises for the Rider: Riding Excellence is built on a foundation of body awareness. These simple exercises allow you to become a "Centaur", exploring your horse's balance through the "t'ai chi walk".
Part 5 Single-Rein Riding and the Building Blocks of Excellence: The previous sections showed you how to take apart your horse's training, to make sure each of the critical responses was working well. In this section you'll begin to reassemble the pieces through a series of patterned exercises.
Lessons covered include: the "why would you leave me?" game, jaw flexions, three-flip-three: the foundation of lateral work, move-counter move, hip-shoulder-shoulder to create collected stops, collected gaits, the "300 peck pigeon" lesson under saddle, the "hotwalker" lesson to build perfect circles, the school figures: rollbacks, half turns, half-turns-in-reverse, diagonals and reverse-arc circles - the foundation lessons for upper-leverl performance. Don't worry if this sounds as though this is some secret code. The
Part 6 Riding for Performance: This final section shows you how to connect all the training steps to create an upper-level performance horse.
Author's note: When I'm asked which book someone should get, I recommend that people begin with The Click That Teaches: A Step By Step Guide in Pictures, Modern Horse Training, or Clicker Training for your Horse. These give you a great start in clicker training.
The riding book gives you a review of clicker basics, but I am very much making the assumption that you are familiar with my work and you have introduced your horse to clicker training. An understanding of the foundation lessons and how to use them to teach more complex lessons is the preparation you'll need to get the most value from the riding book.
And speaking of value, I know many of you may be concerned about the price. The Riding book is $49.95. It is packed from cover to cover. This is a book you will read many times, and each time you revisit it, you will discover things you did not see before. It truly is a book in which you'll be wondering how I managed to download so much fresh material into a book you're holding in your hand!
Clicker training breaks every lesson down into small steps. That is its great strength. Riding with the clicker is no exception. This book teases apart what we all thought were the beginning steps of riding and shows you a whole new layer. What emerges first is riding safety. You'll learn how to manage all those issues that take the fun out of being around horses: behaviors such as rearing, spooking, bucking.
The same lessons that help you manage the reactive horse, perfected take to advanced performance. And the beauty of this process is you are always learning just one small step at a time. So you may have all the "I'm just a . . . " thoughts: "I'm just a beginner, I could never learn that; "I'm just a trail rider, I could never do that"; etc.. But break the riding process down into enough small steps, and you'll be amazed at what you and your horse will be able to do together.
Alexandra Kurland (written 2011)
For Your Horse
By Alexandra Kurland
"Clicker Training for your Horse" was the first resource for clicker training horses. It was published in 1998. Before that there were individuals who were familiar with clicker training and used it with their horses. But there were no resources available in the horse world to help you get started. And there was no organized training program to take you from clicker training basics to advanced performance. All that changed with the publication of this book and all the other books, DVDs, articles, clinics, conference presentations, webinars, and podcasts that have followed.
Published in 1998 this book is still relevant. It's a comprehensive course on training, problem solving, riding, and, oh yes, that funny new stuff, clicker training.
The book covers:
background information on clicker training and operant conditioning
a step-by-step guide on introducing your horse to the clicker
goal setting and how to develop a lesson plan
basic handling and problem solving
overcoming fear issues
a large section on foals
ground manners for the older horse
dressage for the clicker horse
a guide to handling aggressive horses
riding with the clicker
the training game and much more
"Clicker Training for your Horse" is the clearest outline of training's
common-sense guidelines I have ever encountered. It is *VERY* clear,
and applicable to any type of training. - Panda Meeker
My advice: read the book! I've kept horses for 17 years now, and after
reading this book my spontaneous reaction was that it is the best book
on training that I've ever read - and I've read a lot.
- Kina Molitor, Sweden
Author's note: Clicker Training for Your Horse was the first reference on clicker training in the horse world. My goal with the training is to help people become self directed learners, to be able to become their own trainers and problem solvers.
Clicker Training for your Horse introduces you to clicker training. I begin the book with some background information and explain how to get started with the clicker. Then I share a series of stories to illustrate basic training principles and to show you how to solve real world problems.
The overall training goal is to develop safe, well mannered horses who are a joy to be around. And it is also to ride - but it is riding with a difference. Years ago I had one of those life changing experiences. I sat on a truly well-trained, beautifully balanced horse. I had never experienced anything like it. I could have ridden for a life time and never imagined that horses could feel like this. My goal in riding is to recapture that experience in my own horses and to share it with others. That's an important goal because this style of riding does more than create feels-like-heaven horses. It helps them to stay sound through decades of riding use.
Through clicker training we develop amazing relationships with our horses. They become family. So it's all the more important that we help them stay comfortable and sound as we ask them to work for us.
Which Book Should I Order?
Clicker Training for your Horse has been joined by three other books. I'm often asked which book to start with. I'd love to say: get them all, but I understand about limited budgets and time, so here's my general answer:
The books were all designed to compliment one another. Clicker Training for your Horse and The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures are both starter books, but they cover the material in different ways. Clicker Training for your Horse uses more stories. It shows you how clicker training can be used in complex, real world situations. And it helps you learn how to think like a clicker trainer. That's an important key to the book. I want to develop riders who can be their own problem solvers.
The Step By Step Guide in Pictures begins at the same starting point: introducing you to clicker training and showing you how to get started, but it presents the material in a series of short lessons. You'll work your way through the foundation lessons, followed by a series of practical applications for the clicker and then on to the common goal of riding.
The original edition was revised in 2019. This current edition is a new book. Over the fifteen years since the original publication date, I had more to say about all the lessons. There are more details, more steps that are important, so I've packed even more into these pages.
Whichever book you choose to begin with, you will be off to a great start. When you have worked through the lessons in these foundation books, you'll be ready for the third book in the series: The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker.
So how does the new book, "Modern Horse Training", fit into this series?
What is changing is not so much WHAT I am teaching, but HOW. For years I thought of clicker training as a big umbrella under which all of my training could be organized. The books were written from that perspective.
What I have added is an additional layer. I now see Constructional Training as the organizing framework under which the clicker training umbrella sits. This helps me structure every lesson I teach. From basics to advanced performance the constructional training approach provides a teaching structure in which to nest clicker training.
So which book should you start with? It depends in part on where you live. The new book is available as an ebook, so if you live outside the United States you can avoid international shipping rates by ordering the ebook.
Apart from shipping costs - which book will work best for you?
"The Click that Teaches: A Step By Step Guide in Pictures" and "Modern Horse Training" will both give you a solid foundation.
The "Step By Step Guide" is set up in an easy to access, easy to follow format. The book is divided into 100 lessons. Each lesson includes a brief description, instructions, and then photos that highlight key training elements in the training. The book is color coded so it is very easy to move from section to section as you expand your horse's training.
"Modern Horse Training" takes a different approach. Instead of relying on images, each lesson is explained in detail - why you're teaching it as well as how. The book is divided into six Parts, beginning with Part 1 which covers the distinctions between cue-based and command-based training. Part 2 defines constructional training, movement cycles, loopy training, and the overall terms and concepts that are important to an understanding of positive reinforcement training. This takes you to a detailed, thorough clicker training program in parts 3-6. The book is formatted so it is easy to read and easy to navigate from one lesson to another.
Training is always a study of one. No matter how many steps I includes in each lesson, or how many pictures I give you, there will always be places where your horse needs something more, something other than the next lesson in the book. All of these resources are intended to help you become an independent teacher and problem solver. My goal for these books is to teach you how to teach.
If you want the most current resource, choose Modern Horse Training. My hope is you will enjoy the training so much, you will want to more. None of these references replaces previous work. They all contribute to your overall understanding of clicker training and to your training expertise.
The books are also not meant to exist in isolation. It does help to see what the work looks like. For that I will refer you to the DVD lessons, to the on-line course, and to the on-line clinics.