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Before You Begin - Author’s Foreword


Part 1: Getting Started with Horse Training

Ch. 1: Sharing Your Life with Your Horse

           Training Creates More Freed
          Let’s Get Started By Saying Whoa Nellie!

           Building Safety Nets Under Horses

           The WHAT and HOW of Training


Ch. 2: Knowing Why Training Works

           The Three Layers of All Training Systems
          The First Layer: The Core Belief
          The Second Layer: The Guiding Principles
          The Third Layer: HOW a Lesson is Taught
          No Matter His Age Begin By Treating Your Horse Like A Foal

           Tune-up or Major Servicing

           Choosing Your Training Approach
          Cues Versus Commands
          Determining If Your Signals are Cues or Commands
          What it Means to be a Positive Reinforcement Trainer
          The Old Focus: Command-based Training Puts the Focus on Behavior You Want to Stop
          The New Focus: Cue-based Positive Reinforcement Training Focuses on what You Want 

                                       Your Horse TO DO


Part 2: Positive Reinforcement Training
Ch. 3: An Introduction to Positive Reinforcement Training.

          Using Treats with Horses
         Warnings From Others About Treats
         Myth Busting: How to Handle the Naysayers
         Adding a Marker Signal
         The Two Sides of the Click
         Shaping Behavior
         Teaching Strategies
        Lumping Versus Splitting: How to Have a Happy Horse

Ch. 4: Errorless Learning: The Constructional Approach

         Constructional Training Identifying Component Skills Record Your Progress
        A Study of One

         What’s in a Name: Training Approach or Training Principle

Ch. 5: Loopy Training: A Strategy for Training Success

         Flipping the Funnel
        Shaping with a “Broad Brush” or a “Fine Brush”

         Movement Cycles and Loopy Training
        Putting Horse and Handler Together to Create Loopy Training The Parts of the Loop
        Reinforce Means to Strengthen
       Minimizing Errors - Knowing When To Ask for More
       The Loopy Training Mantra
       The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Criteria

        Changing Behavior Within a Loop
       Swinging a Pendulum Between the Two Sides of the Click
       The Huge Advantage Using Treats Gives You When Building New Skills Changing the     

        Environment: Distractions, Duration, and Distance Building Clean Loops
       Reading your Horse’s Body Language
       Choosing Loopy Training

Part 3: A Guide to Clicker Training

Ch. 6: Clicker Training Basics

         Choosing Clicker Training
        Your Horse’s Personality
        More than Positive Reinforcement - It’s Constructional Clicker Training The Training

        Pairing a Marker Signal with Treats

         Verbal Signals What The Click Is The Click is a Cue

         The Click is a Cue for TWO Individuals The Click is a Gatekeeper
        Saying “No” to Treatless Clicks

         Understanding Reinforcement Consequences: Good and Bad

         Observing the Effect of your Training Choices

         Escape and Avoidance
        Reinforcement is Seen from the Learner’s Point of View

         Reinforcers are not always Food
        Food versus Fear
        Reinforcement is a Process Not a Thing
        The Reinforcement Process

         Reinforce the Behavior - Not the Individual
        Your Horse’s Emotional Response to Clicker Training

Ch. 7: Know Your Learner

         Building a Behavior - Begin with “Yes” Answers
        The Meaning of Body Language - Context Matters
        Enthusiasm! Get Ready for a Happy Horse
        Going from Shut-Down Grump to Star Pupil: Managing Emotions

         Finding a Starting Place for Your Study-Of-One Learner

Ch. 8: Protective Contact: Safety Always Comes First

          Protective Contact
         What Protective Contact Looks Like - Some Easy Options
         The Key Question
         My Horse Loves Me. Do I Still Need to Start with Protective Contact?

          Choice and Control

Ch. 9: Using Food as a Reinforcer

          Choosing Safe Reinforcers: A Quick Guide to Horse Nutrition

          Guidelines for Choosing What Treats to Use

          Choosing Treats for Older Horses
         High Value Versus Low Value Treats
         Food Delivery: By Hand or in a Bowl
         Using a Food Bowl
         Hand Feeding
         Use Treats to Monitor Your Horse’s Emotional State Early Warning Signals
         Loopy Training Keeps Your Training Clean

Ch. 10: Teaching Your First Behavior

          Some Reminders Before You Head out to the Barn Video!!!!
         Teach an Exit Strategy First
          Your First Lesson - Targeting

           Why Start with Targeting

           Light Bulb Moments
          Choosing a Good Target
           Preparation for a Successful First Lesson

            Dress Rehearsals
           Avoiding Frustration with Dress Rehearsals

            Pairing Protective Contact with the Twenty-Treat Strategy

            The Twenty-Treat Strategy

            Breaks are Good for Learning

            Targeting Instructions

           Food Delivery Details

            Feed Where the Perfect Horse Would Be
           You Can Never Do One Thing – Adding Good Balance to Your Training

            Find a Look That Pleases YOUR Eye
           You Can Give Yourself a Riding Lesson by Feeding Your Horse!

            Balance Matters
           The Perfect Horse Will Change Over Time
           The Power of Language
           Moving On: Remember the Loopy Training Mantra
           Dynamic Food Delivery: Introduce Backing to Get the Treat
           Puzzle Solving
           Very Sneaky! You’ve Just Taught your Horse the Basics of Leading!

           Opening and Closing the “Front Door”
           Focus on What You Want

            Leading; Lunging; Liberty Work;

           Classical Work In-Hand; Riding

           Reasons your Horse Might Not Back Up
          Cues and Behavior Evolve Together
          Cues Evolve Through the Shaping Process
          Transferring to a Different Cue: The New Cue/Old Cue Process

           Verbal Cues

           Environmental Cues

           Matching What you Think You’re Teaching with What Your Horse Is Learning

Part 4: The Six Foundation Lessons Every Horse Should Know

Ch. 11: What These Foundation Lessons Will Do for You

            The Six Foundation Lessons
            What the Handler Will Learn
            What the Horse Will Learn
            Choose With Care the First Behaviors You Teach

Ch. 12: Teaching Stillness: The Grown-ups Are Talking, Please Don’t Interrupt

             Teaching Stillness Begins with the Four Questions of Constructional Training

             How Did You Get to Where You Are Now?
            The Dead Horse Rule
            Be Patient!

             The Teaching Steps for the Grown-ups are Talking

             Feeding In Balance
            The Duct Tape is a Target for You
             When a Loop is Clean, You Get to Move On

              Prompt versus Fast

              Extend the Distance

              Adding Distractions

              The Four Second Rule

Ch. 13: A Constructional Approach to Teaching Leading

              Building Go-forward and Stop Cues using the Grown-ups Lesson

              Adding the Lead to your Folding/Unfolding Dance
             Choosing the Right Length for your Lead
             Punctuation - Pauses and Full Stops

              You’ve Got Forward – Now it’s Time to Teach Backing

              Change the Environment
             Adding in an Active Lead Cue
             T’ai Chi Rope Handling

              “I Want Something” Backing
             The Snap as a Tactile Target

              Tense versus Soft

Ch. 14: Happy Faces

Making the Case for a Happy Face
             The Connection Between Physical Expressions and Internal Emotional States

              The Four Constructional Questions

              Establish Baselines - Test the Conditions

              Opportunistic Capturing

              Freeshaping Ears Forward

              Cueing Ears Forward

              Transferring Cues Using the New Cue-Old Cue Process

              Training by Priority

               Priming the Pump

Ch. 15: Head Lowering

              The Four Constructional Questions
             Using One Foundation Lesson to Teach Another

              Deciding When to End Protective Contact

              Generalizing to Different Targets and Cues

              Separating Yourself From the Target

              Teaching New Head Lowering Cues
             Sneaky Training
              Five out of the Six Foundation Lessons

Ch. 16: Going to a Mat - What Mat Work Will Do for You

              The Value of Mats
             Keeping your Training in Balance
             Teaching the First Brave Step Onto the Mat

              Teaching the Opposite Behavior
             Great Mat Manners
             Stabilizing with Base Positions

              Teaching Your Horse to Step on a Mat
             Using your Building Blocks to Create New Building Block Behaviors

              Balancing Behaviors
             Backing is the Balancer
             What Comes Before
             More Core Principles
             Teaching your Horse to Step on a Mat
              What To Use for a Mat
              The Runway Lesson
              Working on a Release
              Why Working on a Release Matters
               It’s Not About the Mat
               Walking Off Casually Defined
              Training Wheels for Building your Horse’s Confidence Around Mats

                Getting a Foot on the Mat
               Assessing your Horse’s Response and Adjusting your Training

                Remember - Keep Mats in Balance
               Adding Both Feet to the Mat
               Training Tip - Assess How Your Horse is Standing
                Multiple Mats
                You Have Taught All Six Foundation Lessons

Ch. 17: Expanding Your Training

                 What you can Teach
                Moving on with Loopy Training
                Moving on by Expanding a Skill
                Moving On By Changing the Environment
                Making Change One Element at a Time
                Expanding with the Three Ds: Distance, Duration, and Distraction
                Adding Distance
                Extending the Duration
                Adding Distractions
                Using the Four Second Rule
                Understanding Labels: The Distinction Between Emotions and Emotional 


                 Emotions Track Contingencies

                  Exploring Practical Applications and Important Concepts

                  Using the Foundation Lessons

                  Turning “The Grown-ups are Talking” into Ground Tying
                 Defining Ground Tying
                 Turning Basic Targeting into Trail Manners

                  Teaching Leading Using Targeting
                 Assessing What is Already in Repertoire
                 Creating a Great Trail Horse
                 Turning Head Lowering into Easy Bridling
                 Turning Happy Faces into your Horse’s Way of Saying Hello
                  Assessing What is Already in Repertoire
                  Defining Default Behaviors
                  Picking the “Something” You Want Your Horse TO DO When He Is Doing 


                   Transforming Happy Faces into a Default Behavior
                  Turning the “Pose” into a Default Behavior
                  Avoiding the Extinction Trap
                  Turning Backing into Space Management
                  Assessing What is Already in Repertoire
                  Asking Nicely for your Horse to Move Out of Your Space
                  Understanding Respect
                  Expanding Beyond Training Sessions
                  Testing Your Horse’s Understanding of Your Space Management Cues
                  Use Mat Work for Grooming and Medical Care
                  Assessing What is Already in Repertoire
                  Building a Strong Stationing Behavior by Asking Questions
                  Use Different Stations for Different Questions
                  It’s Okay for Your Horse To Say No
                  Discovering What “NO” Looks Like
                  Treats Reveal Your Horse’s Emotions
                  Understanding Why Your Horse is Saying “NO” — Today
                  Accepting No
                  Making “No” Part of the Job

Ch. 18: Establishing Baselines and Measuring Progress

                   Establishing Baselines and Tracking Progress Measuring Progress to Prevent Glass


                   Strategy One: Put the Behavior to Work for You

                   Strategy Two: Link Two Behaviors Together

                   Playing a PORTL Game

                   Transferring the PORTL Lesson to Your Horse

Ch. 19: Chaining Behaviors Together

                   Cues Bind Behaviors Together
                  Forward Chaining and Back Chaining
                  Building a Sequence with Forward Chaining
                  Building a Sequence with Back Chaining
                  Using Back Chaining to Build Distance Behaviors
                  Change the Environment
                  Building Sequences Using a Third Option: Reversibility
                  Reversing to Learn New Skills
                  Finding Practical Applications for Reversibility
                  Experimenting with Reversibility
                  Choosing Which Teaching Strategy to Use: Reversibility, Back Chaining,

                             or Forward  Chaining

                  The Case for Reversibility
                 Using the Foundation Lessons to Chain Behaviors Together

Part 5: Teaching the Universals – Lessons For Every Horse
Ch. 20: Teaching the Universals Using the Constructional Approach

                  Taking Stock
                 Taking an Indirect Approach - Don’t Fight Extinction Transferring Actions
                 Grand Prix Level Universals
                 Grand-Prix Level Haltering
                 Giving Your Horse Active Agency
                 Tying Safely
                 Teaching Your Horse to Tie - The Constructional Way

                  Picking up the Feet for Cleaning

                  Body-Part Targeting
                 Fading Cues
                 Transforming One Behavior into Another

                  The Click is a Thank You

                  Getting Dressed: Blankets, Fly Masks and Other Tack

                  Body Part Targeting
                 Fly Masks
                 Wearing “Clothes”

                  Accepting Girths
                  An Added Bonus: Wrapping your Horse’s Legs
                  Bits or Bitless? – That is the Question
                  What Do You Do If Your Horse Says “No”?
                  Medical Care
                  Do It Differently
                  Oral Meds
                  Helping Your Vet Help Your Horse
                  Stall Rest
                  Clicker Games in a Stall
                  Your Support Team: Vets, Farriers, and Other Health Care Providers

Ch. 21: More Universals For Your Superstar Performer

                   Where Are You Now?
                  Working on Grass
                  Bone Rotations
                  Setting up the Environment for Success – Using Cones and Mats

                   Setting Out a Cone Circle
                 The “Why Would You Leave Me?” Lesson

                   Feed Where the Perfect Horse Would Be

                   Exaggerate to Teach
                  Clover Leaf Patterns
                  Working on Both Sides of Your Horse

                   Walking Off Casually
                  The Contact Trap and How to Get Out Of It

                   Constant-On Versus Starter-Button Cues

                   Adding Backing to the Clover-Leaf Pattern

                   Using Barricades Effectively
                  Rituals and End of Session Routines

                   Ending the Party
                  Free Jumping
                  Teaching Go-Outs
                  Trailering: The Constructional Approach

                   The Direct Approach to Loading
                  The Non-Linear Approach

                   Ramps and Step Ups
                  Backing off platforms
                 Going out to a Stationary Target Going into Squeezes

                  Combine the Elements to Create a Trailer

                  Wash your Trailer and Let “Mother’s Little Helper” Help

                 Make it Different
                Make it the Same

Part 6: Clicker Training Fun
Ch. 22: From the Universals to Performance Goals

                Taking Stock
               The First Phase – Learning the Basics
               The Second Phase – Teaching the Universals
               The Third Phase - Performance
               The Three Training Questions
                Question 1: Can my horse physically do what I am asking?

                 Question 2: Does My Horse Understand What I Want?

                 Question 3: Does My Horse Want To Do What I Am Asking?

                 Reach For The Next Simple Step

Ch. 23: Trick Training

                 The Many Benefits of Trick Training
                Trick Training Changes How We View Horses

                 Defining Tricks
                Stimulus control
                Language Matters
                Choosing The Right Tricks for Your Horse

                 Target-Based Tricks
                Doing “Nothing”
                Setting the Stage: The Line of Trash Lesson

                 Teaching your Horse to Target his “Name”

                 Working With More Than One Horse
                Moving On to the Next Object

                          Water Bottles
                         Color Discrimination

                 The Clever Hans Effect

                 Following Games: Weave Poles Spins
                Trick or Practical Skill

                 Practical skills that Use Retrieving as a Component Skill Having Fun!

                 Create your Own Farmyard Band
                Train Your Own Basketball Champion
                 Teach “Rhythmic Gymnastics” with Hula Hoops

                  Let Your Horse Deliver the Mail
                 Discover your Barnyard Picasso
                 Design your Unique Trail Class
                 More Challenging Tricks
                 Teaching Overhead Obstacles
                  Lawn Chairs
                  A to B Targeting Game
                 Transferring Actions to Create More Games

Ch. 24: Lunging

                   Lunging: Past and Present
                  Your Horse’s Opinion About Lunging
                  Teaching your Horse to Lunge
                  Beginning with a Multiple Mat Game
                  Working with Multiple Horses
                  Setting Out a Circle of Cones and Mats
                  Pacing Out a Circle
                  The Lunging Lesson
                  101 Things a Handler Can Do While a Horse Stands on a Mat

                   Changing Sides
                  Fading Out Away From Your Horse
                  Expanding the Cone Circle
                  Fading out the Mats

                   Balance Matters - Quantity or Quality

                   The Walk is the Mother of All Gaits

                   Adding Obstacles
                   So Much More Than Just Lunging

Ch. 25: Dancing with your Horse - Lateral Work

                   Going Sideways to go Straight
                  Your Horse as a Drill Team
                  How in Sync is Your Drill Team?
                  Walking on Two Tracks, Three Tracks, and Four Tracks

                   Shoulder-In, Haunches-In and Half-Pass

                   Walk the Patterns Without Your Horse

                  Counter shoulder-in

                   Counter Changes of Hand

                   Safety First – Then Performance
                  Popping Out Lateral Flexions
                  More Places to Look for Lateral Flexions
                  Click for the Initiation of Movement
                   A Canoe Without a Paddle, a Raging Whirlpool, and a Nimble Gymnast

                   Get Help!

Ch. 26: T’ai Chi Rope Handling

                    A Handler with “Good Feel”
                   Protective Contact Without Barriers
                   Shaping on a Point of Contact Revisited
                    A “Give” Defined
                    A Point of Contact Defined
                   Two “Yes Answers”
                    Starter-Button Versus Constant-On Cues

                     Building a Longer Daisy Chain of Gives
                    You Can Never Do One Thing
                    Collecting Data Turns You into a Selective Sifter

                     The Fine Art of Sliding Down a Lead
                    What’s in a Name?
                    Bone Rotations
                    A Riding Lesson Without Your Horse
                    Bone Rotations Give You Power
                    Sliding Along a Lead Using Bone Rotations

                     Folding and Unfolding
                    An Awareness Exploration
                    Test Your Balance
                    The Balance Point of your Foot
                     Safety First - The Rope Becomes a Wall
                    Setting Up the T’ai Chi Wall
                    Changing the Strength of your T’ai Chi Wall

                     Learning New Skills - Reversibility
                    Letting Go and Popping Out Lateral Work

                    Dancing with your Horse
                    The Connection to Riding

Part 7: Riding
Ch. 27: Riding Safely

                     Riding Skills
                    Stopping and Going
                    An Awareness Exploration

                     Hairpin Turns

                     The Lead as a Tactile Target

                     Prepping for Riding

                     Mounting Blocks
                    Capture the Saddle

                     Starting a Young Horse Under Saddle

                     Prepping your Horse for Success

                     Delivering the Treat for Riding
                    Your First “Trail Ride”

                     You’re Riding!
                    You Can’t Not Cue
                    Riding is Just Ground Work Where You Get to Sit Down

                     Restarting an Older Horse
                    Building Confidence in Horses and Riders
                    Managing “Tractor Beams”
                    Trust the Process
                    Ride Where You Can, When You Can
                    Generalizing Riding Conditions
                    Generalizing Locations
                   When In Doubt Make It Easier
                    Damaged Cues and Past History
                    Confusing Cues
                    Solving the Damaged-Cue Dilemma
                    The Case for Single-Rein Riding
                    Steering with Just a Lead Rope for Reins
                    Safety First
                    Bits or Bitless?
                    What The Reins Do

                     The Inside Rein

                     The Outside Rein

                     Changing Leg Speed

                     The Leg Speed Puzzle

                     The Solution to the Puzzle

Ch. 28: Teaching Riding Universals

                      Riding on a Triangle
                    Judging the Length of your Reins

                     Creating the Triangle
                     Practice First Without Your Horse

                      Lifting your Buckle Hand

                      Lifting your Inside Hand

                      Saying “Hello” with the Reins


                      Connect your Ground-Work Prep to Riding
                     It is NOT About the Cone
                     Following his Nose – 3-Flip-3 and Lateral Flexions Staying Out on the Circle

                     Avoiding the Contact Trap

                     Riding a “Filmstrip”
                    Your Horse Moves First

                     Stopping - Tacking Like a Sailboat
                    Cues Evolve Out of the Shaping Process

                     The Walk is the Mother of All Gaits

                     Generalizing the Halt to Different Markers

                     Generalizing the Halt to New Environments

                     Let go!
                    Going Forward
                    Stuck Horses
                    Physical Issues
                    Get Off and Teach Go Forward From the Ground

Ch. 29: From Basic Safety to High Performance

                      Always Know Where Your Horse’s Hip Is

                      Disengaging your Horse’s “Engine”
                     Taking your Horse’s Hip in a Single Stride
                     Be Polite
                     Good, Better, Best, Bestest
                     Managing Energy
                     Teaching the School Figures of Half Turns and Half-Turns in Reverse

                      Half Turns and Half-Turns in Reverse
                     Changing Rein
                     An Awareness Exploration
                     Using Mats to Map out the Turns
                     Following Mats into a Half Turn
                     Following Mats into a Half-Turn in Reverse
                     Activating the Outside Rein
                     Finding the Perfect Moment to Activate the Outside Rein
                     Floating on a Point of Contact
                     Managing Hips and Shoulders When Things Go Wrong
                     Over Flexing
                     Straightening Out an Over-Flexed Horse
                     More Problem Solving: Connecting the Bend to Hips and Shoulders

                     Riding for Geography Versus Riding for Balance
                    Riding for Geography – the Long-Term Consequences
                    Riding for Balance – the Many Good Things It Gives You
                    Working with a Trainer or a Riding Coach
                    Stopping After the Click
                    Extending the Canter
                    Taking Lessons
                    Giving Feedback
                    Riding Summary

Ch. 30: Dealing with Common Behavior Problems

                     Solving YOUR Problem

                     Go Back To Go Forward
                    Resolving Inconsistency
                    Ask the Key Question: What is the Function of the Behavior?

                     Grooming and Handling Issues

                    Your Horse Is Not a Label Stories
                   Learning to Listen
                   What is the Function?
                  The Problem with Punishment

                   The Key Training Questions

                            1.) Does your horse understand what you are asking him to do?

                            2.) Is your horse physically able to do what you are asking?

                            3.) Does your horse want to do what you are asking?

                   Other Examples – Difficulties Leaving the Barn

                 Degrees of Freedom
                 Control and Active Agency

                  Pawing: Applying the Problem-Solving Process
                 Start with the Three Training Questions
                 Consider the Function the Behavior Serves
                 Different Functions, Different Forms, Different Answers

                  Train Where You Can — Train What You Can

                  Melting Away Problems

                  Get Help
                 Selecting a Trainer

                  Small Steps Add Up

About the Author
Meet the Horses in this Book

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