If you are new to this series, you may want to read this Introduction to the overall lesson series:
Don't let the number of DVD lessons scare you off. Compare this to the vast number of books and DVDs that have been written about dressage or jumping, or any of the equine disciplines and you'll see that it's not really that many lessons. But I can well understand that if you are new to all this and you're looking at that array, you might feel a little overwhelmed.
I'll be giving you detailed descriptions of all the DVDs, and you can also refer to the "What should I buy?" web page. In general I recommend beginning at the beginning and working your way systematically through the lessons. But there are some that can be taken out of order. The "Poisoned Cue" DVD is certainly one of those. It's a must-watch video for anyone working with horses or dogs that are coming from a force-based training background. Sadly that describes a huge number of our horses.
I began this video lesson series in 1999. The "Introduction to Clicker Training" and Lessons 1 through 4 were originally produced as VHS tapes. When I converted them to a DVD format, I had the option to redo them completely. After all, they had at that point been out for several years. I'd learned a lot about clicker training. Updating the material made sense, especially given all the advances that were being made in camera technology. But when I reviewed the tapes, I decided to leave them in the series. They are good lessons, and the information they contain is just as valid as it was when they were first produced. I did end up adding an hour to Lesson 1 to update the foundation lessons, but the others I left as is.
That's in part because I loved the tone they set for clicker training. And it means that everyone gets to share in those early days of discovery. Clicker training was still so new in the horse world. We hadn't yet discovered some of the amazing work that is now everyday routine. So as you watch these tapes, you'll be sharing in the delight of the discoveries. You'll be joining us on the pioneer journey of discovering what can be done with the clicker. And with each new lesson, you'll see the details we've added; you'll understand how each layer was built.
My only wish is that we had the camera technology fifteen years ago that we have today. Those early videos were shot with professional grade cameras, but the quality of the image can't compare with the high definition cameras that we're using now.
In this series I want to show you how to use the clicker to create the horse of your dreams. These videos are designed to be in-depth private lessons. Suppose you could call me up and arrange to have me come to your barn to help you with your horses. That would be a great way to get started with the clicker, and that’s essentially what I’ve done with these video lessons. I can’t actually travel to your barn, but with these videos I can show you the nuts and bolts details of clicker training.
For horses it’s not enough to understand in general terms how clicker training works. To be successful with horses you need to understand the principles of good training, AND you need to develop good handling skills. Since we ride the animals we train, good handling skills are probably more important than they are for any other species. Make a mistake with a dog, and you have a rude pet. Make a similar mistake with a horse, and it can get you both hurt. As a teacher, it isn’t enough simply to introduce you to clicker training. I want to provide you, lesson by lesson, with the skills you’ll need to create an outstanding partnership with your horse. My goal for this series is to create a close substitute for my coming to your barn and working directly with you and your horse.
Most videos are produced by professional production companies. That means that all the filming is done over a very small block of time. The result is a very narrow view of training. What a horse presents on the day filming takes place is the limit of what you see. I wanted something different. I want to help you train your horse, and for that you need to see real training occurring over a period of time. You need to see all the little details that make a difference, and you need to see what happens when something goes wrong. Training is not all smooth sailing. Horses are like toddlers. They have days when they are perfect, and days when they can drive you crazy.
Training is also a matter of balancing opposing requests. For every behavior you teach, there is an opposite behavior that must be kept in balance. If you teach your horse to stand still, you’re also going to need to teach him to move forward. If you teach him to move out, you’re going to need to teach him to stop. If you teach him to drop his nose to the ground, you’re going to need to teach him to lift it back up. To truly master an exercise you have to bring it into balance with the rest of your horse’s training. These videos are part of an on-going series that will teach you how to do just that. In a sense they are not videos at all, but a series of lessons.
Thanks to the hi-tech world we’re living in, I have access to professional-quality digital cameras and editing equipment. That means I can film the same horses over extended periods of time and show you how training progresses. As a teacher, I can focus in on the details of a lesson that will help you to be successful. That’s my intent with this series. But please understand that I am not a professional videographer. And just as you are learning how to train horses with the clicker, I am learning how to make videos with the equipment I have. It is all a shaping process. In particular, Lesson 1, the first video I produced, has some technical problems. The sound quality is less than ideal. However, the training information is solid. You just have to bear with me as I learn the craft of video production.
The video that I use throughout the lesson series for the most part is shot during clinics. You're watching horses and handlers learning a new step. I could have chosen to show you the lessons using experienced horses, but that doesn't show you the learning process. When you go out to the barn, I want what you've watched on the videos to approximate what you're going to experience with your own horse. Using clinic footage is the most effective way to do that.
But using clinic footage has it's drawbacks. We're not always working in the best lighting, and the sound, at times can be uneven. My intention is always to show you good examples of a particular lesson. I sometimes have to choose between a great session where the horse and handler illustrated a concept exceptionally well and some issues with video quality. As you watch these lessons please understand the process.
That's enough of an introduction to the overall lesson series. I've provided detailed descriptions for each of the DVDs. And if you have further questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help in your selection I have grouped the DVDs into units. You can order all of the DVDs individually or you can save money by buying the Units.
Unit 1: Introduction through Lesson 4: $125.00 - save over 15% when you buy the set. To learn more about each lesson click on the DVD lessons in the side margin.
Unit 2: Lesson 5 through 8: $100 - save over 15% when you buy the set. To learn more about each lesson click on the DVD lessons in the side margin.
Unit 3: Lesson 9 and 10: $50 - save 10% when you buy the set. To learn more about each lesson click on the DVD lessons in the side margin.
Unit 4: Lesson 11 through 13: $75 - save 15% when you buy the set. To learn more about each lesson click on the DVD lessons in the side margin.
Unit 6: Lesson 18 - Loopy Training plus Unit 1 - Intro and Lessons 1 through 4: $190 - save more than 25% when you buy the set. To learn more about each lesson click on the DVD lessons in the side margin.