Books

The Books

The DVDs

Scroll down to see all the books.

"Clicker Training for your Horse" is packed with fifteen years of teaching and riding experience. 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

* trailer loading

* 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

Clicker Training for Your Horse

Tenth Anniversary Message

Author's note: Clicker Training for Your Horse was first published in 1998.  It 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. 

 

Clicker Training for your Horse has been joined by two other books, plus a smaller, Getting Started booklet.  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 shares more stories.  It shows you how clicker training can be used to 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.

 

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.

 

Have Fun!

 

Alexandra Kurland

2011

 

 

Scroll down to see the Step-By-Step Guide and Riding Books

The Books

The DVDs

"The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures" is packed with over 600 photos. 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. And for the experienced clicker trainer, you will enjoy finding the “clickable" moment in the training sequences. Develop your timing, develop your eye with these step-by-step lessons.

 

 

The book covers:

 

  •  Clicker Basics: Getting started with the Clicker

  •  The Three Foundation Lessons of a Clicker-Trained Horse: Targeting,

  •  Backing and Head Lowering

  •  Ground Manners

  •  Accepting Shots, Clippers and Other Practical Skills

  •  Trick Training

  •  Advanced Leading Lessons for Safety and Performance

  •  Riding with the Clicker

 

Plus:

 

  • Creating a Safe Horse: Alternatives to Punsihment

  • Super Clicking: The Principles of Training and the Pre-Ride Checklist

  • A Horse’s Bill of Rights

  • Training tips and Terms

Author's note: Both Clicker Training for your Horse and the Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures will get you off to a great start.  Clicker Training for your Horse gives you lots of great stories in addition to straight forward lesson plans.  The Step By Step book gives you an organized lesson plan that you can follow systematically or dip in and out of following your horse's needs.  With so many photos it's almost like "reading" a video.  Most of the photos were pulled from video so I could show you the precise moemnt of the click and other important details.  It's an easy book to use, and the lessons will take you from clicker basics to the beginning of performance work. When you have built a solid foundation with this book, you'll be ready to move on the the next book in the series: The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker. 

 

I'm also frequently asked which someone should get: the book or a DVD.  The books and the DVDs are designed to be used together.  The books give you the whole picture: the whole road map.  The DVDs look at a particular slice of the work.  So when you are ready to work on head lowering, for example, the books will all show you were it fits in to the overall foundation work, and they will give you instructions on how to teach it, but for in-depth details you'll want to go to the Lesson Three: Head Lowering DVD.

 

All these references help you build step-by-step a clicker superstar!

 

Have fun

 

Alexandra Kurland

2011

Scroll down to see the Riding Book

The Books

The DVDs

Horses who learn to use their bodies well stay sounder longer. That's the bottom line goal of this book. 

 

If you love your horse and you want to have him around for a long time as your riding partner, you'll want him to learn to use his body well. 

 

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 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 mechanics of single rein riding. It gives you two powerful exercises - head lowering and flipping the hips - to stop bolting, bucking, spooking and rearing - in other words, to stop all 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.

 

  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 other two books and moving into the riding book.  It will give you a review of clicker basics, but I am very much making the assumption that you have worked through the lessons presented in the previous books and the foundation lesson DVDS.  That 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 was ten years in the making and 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 your hard copy!

 

Clicker training breaks every lesson down into small steps.  That's 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.

 

Have fun!

 

Alexandra Kurland      2011

© Alexandra Kurland - The Clicker Center

Questions? Email kurlanda@crisny.org

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