What should I order?
On the surface clicker training is a very simple concept. If you like it, you click it and you reinforce it. So in one sense all you need is a clicker and some treats to get started. That's easy. And once your horse understands the basic game, you don't even need the actual clicker. A tongue click will do just fine. Nothing could be simpler.
That's on the surface. Clicker training is a very simple concept, but those of us who have been using clicker training know that underneath that simple statement lies a rich world of training. Every horse presents unique puzzles. If you can see how others have solved puzzles that are of a similar nature, that can help you with your own study-of-one learner.
I realize that as you read down the list of books and DVDs you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the information that is now available. If clicker training is so easy, you may be wondering why do I need all these lessons?
The answer is the basic concept of clicker training is very simple, but WHAT we are teaching is not. The resources start you out at the beginning steps of intorducing you and your horse to clicker training. But they don't stop there. I want to help you solve any training problems that are getting in the way of being able to enjoy your horse. And I want to help you get to your performance goals.
But beyond that there is a deeper purpose to this work. Clicker training creates great relationships. Long-term soundness is a high priority. For me riding means more than just basic safety and emotional control. I want to look at the balance that helps horses remain sound and happy through many years of riding. Riding for performance begins with riding for soundness. That's what my work fundamentally is about. All the details that I fuss in the early foundation lessons are there for a reason.
So let's go back to the basic question: why have I created all these resources for you? The answer is simple, because taken together they teach a balance that will help you keep your horse sound for many years. And out of that balance, both mental and physical, you will develop a super performance horse who will be ready for any equine sport that suits the two of you.
When you at all the resources I am offering you, I know your pocket book may feel a bit overwhelmed. Remember, clicker training is made up of many small lessons that are meant to unfold over time. Don't feel as though you have to order everything at once. If you're on a tight budget, treat yourself to one of the books to start out with. If you want to see clicker training in action, add a DVD lesson. You'll find they really are very much like going to your local riding instructor for a lesson, only this is a lesson you'll get to review many times over. And each time you do, you'll see things in it you didn't see before. When you're ready for another lesson, add some more of the DVDS.
If you're ready to dive in deep, or you want more direct one-on-one support, come join me in the on-line clinics. You'll meet a fabulous group of people and I'll be able to coach you as you develop your own clicker training star.
So what should you order?
For the Simply Curious about Clicker Training:
If you are new to clicker training and just want to get a general overview of the types of things you can use it for the following resources may be the best for you.
The Click That Teaches: An Introduction to Clicker Training $19.95 A one hour DVD giving an overview of clicker training.
The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Picture $29.95 The format of this book makes it very easy to dip into and follow. It is set up as a series of short lessons that take you from the clicker foundation lessons to more advanced skills.
If you are struggling with a training problem and have the "how do I stop, fix, get my horse to ___" type of questions, the new book, "Modern Horse Training" may provide the best guidance for meeting your needs.
For the Beginner Who Wants to Get Started, as well as the experienced trainers who want to learn more about clicker training:
You are more than curious about clicker training, you want to become a skilled clicker trainer. I could devlop a martix: new to horses, experienced horse person, new to clicker training, experienced clicker trainer. When I write the books, create new courses and presentations, I know I'm talking to all of you. And I know that the layered nature of this work means that there is always more to be discovered so this is what I recommend no matter what combination of beginner and advanced trainer trainer you are.
The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Picture $29.95 156 pages The format of this book makes it very easy to dip into and follow. It is set up as a series of short lessons that take you from the clicker foundation lessons to more advanced skills.
Modern Horse Training: This book will be published April 29, 2023. This book will be available as an ebook, so it is perfect for those of you who live outside of the US and want to avoid international shipping costs. It is also available in both hardcover and paperback editions. At over 300 pages, Modern Horse Training provides a very thorough, comprehensive training guide for all experience levels.
Both books will give you a solid introduction to clicker training.
The lessons covered in these books prepare you for the Riding book. So you will begin with these books and then move to the riding book.
Then there is "Clicker Training For Your Horse". This was the first book on clicker training horses. Again it covers the basics well, but it does it in a different way. It includes more stories. So it is fun to add this book to your reading list. You'll see how we talked about the work in the early days of clicker training, and you can meet some of the equine pioneers who showed us how to apply it to horse training.
The books give you an overall training program. In addition you may want to see what the training looks like. For that there are the on-line clinics and the DVD lessons.
Clinics and the on-line course
I am very much enjoying the on-line clinics. If you want access to a community of kind, supportive clicker trainers this is a great option. And if you want direct help from me, this is the option I recommend. The clinics are set up on a great platform that makes communication easy. And I am holding monthly coaching sessions as part of these clinics. So they provide an on-going way for you to get the help you need to move forward successfully.
The on-line course is essentially a self-guided version of the clinics. If you want to work independently, the course may be a good option for you. If you want to see what others are doing and get feedback on your own training, then the clinics would be the better option for you.
Both the clinics and the on-line course use material I prepared specifically for these resources. I occasionally use video taken from a previous resource, but for the most part you will be looking at new video clips. I know there's something to be learned from every horse I work with. These newer resources add to, they do not replace the DVD lessons.
The DVD lessons focus on specific topics covered in the books. The DVDs allow me to focus on particular lessons, concepts and mechanical skills which are important to the overall success of a clicker training program. They are designed to be used in conjunction with the books so you can see how each of these specific lessons covered fit into a larger picture. I always recommend that people watch the DVD lessons in the order in which they were produced. There are a couple of exceptions to that. You can watch Lesson 18 on Loopy Training early on. It was the last DVD produced in the series, but it covers the overall teaching structure of the loopy training teaching strategy.
I have managed to make Lesson 1 available as a streaming video product. It includes updates and new video material. Over time I will update the other DVDs and make them available on a streaming platform. I recognize that DVDs are going the way of the dodo and many of you no longer have DVD players.
In the shopping cart catalog, you will see that you can order the DVDs in Units.
Unit 1 consists of the Introduction to Clicker Training DVD plus Lessons 1- 4. These DVDs taken together cover the basic lessons that introduce horses and handlers to clicker training. They provide a solid foundation that both teaches great ground manners and provides the core skills needed for moving on in your training. (Note: there is a Unit that also includes Lesson 18 on Loopy Training.)
Unit 2 assumes that you have covered the foundation lessons and you are ready to move on. Unit two builds the components for understanding, teaching, and using lateral work. Lateral work is one of the key elements needed for developing and maintaining a horse's good balance which is why there is so much focus on this aspect of the work. These lessons move you into more sophisticated, detail oriented applications of the work.
Unit 3 includes Lesson 9: Overcoming Fear and the Power of Cues plus Lesson 10: The Microshaping Strategy.
Unit 4 focuses on riding. It builds on the lessons taught in Unit 2. You will be using a rein handling technique referred to as "riding on a triangle" to teach lateral flexions. Again, the focus is on good balance.
Unit 5 includes the Poisoned Cue DVD and three more lessons that are focused primarily on riding.
You can order the DVDs individually. Ordering the units gives you a discount on the overall price.
Start with either "Modern Horse Training" or the "Click That Teaches: A Step By Step Guide in Pictures" to get an overview of clicker training.
Register for the first of the on-line clinics and begin your exploration of clicker training. I look forward to meeting you in the clinics
Add in DVD lessons to show more details surrounding particular lessons you are working on.
If you want even more to read, here are summaries of what is covered in the DVD lessons.
The Click That Teaches: Lesson 1: Getting Started with the Clicker $39.95 3 hour DVD Clicker training is a very simple concept, but mechanical skills matter. Good timing, treat delivery, and many other small details can make a huge difference. This DVD gets off to a good start and sets the stage for future clicker training success. I suggest ordering this DVD along with the books.
And P.S.: Don't forget the Introduction to Clicker Training DVD. While the format of this DVD is a little different from the other DVDs in this series, it still has lots of great information in it that will help you to see all the different ways you can use clicker training: from solving basic management issues such as accepting fly spray or clipper to riding past spooky things out on the trail. It gives you a good overview of clicker training.
More Foundation DVD Lessons:
The Click That Teaches: Lesson 2: Ground Manners $29.95 2 hour DVD This lesson shows you how to combine pressure and release of pressure with the clicker. It looks in detail at the "Duct Tape Lesson" which introduces your horse to lateral flexions. Lateral flexions are covered in both books. This lesson shows you what they look like and how to teach them to your horse. Lateral flexions are one of the main tools used to develop good emotional control and gorgeous gaits.
The Click That Teaches: Lesson 3: Head Lowering $29.95 2 hour DVD If you have a nervous horse, a pushy horse, a reactive horse, or you are a timid, fearful rider, this is a must have DVD. Head lowering is covered in both books, but this is the main reference for teaching this all important lesson. It is a two hour DVD devoted entirely to head lowering - the lesson is that important. And there are details in it that go beyond the scope of what is covered in the books. It is a cornerstone lesson that introduces you to the rope handling skill referred to as the "t'ai chi" wall. I recommend this video to everyone who wants to explore the gait development that is at the core of my work.
The Click That Teaches: Lesson 4: Stimulus Control: Putting Behavior on Cue $29.95 2 hour DVD
If you've been experimenting with clicker training and you've reached the stage where your horse is "mugging" you with behavior, you need this video. As your horse catches on to the clicker game, he'll become an enthusiastic player. As soon as he sees you, he'll stars throwing clicker trained behaviors at you. At first this can be amusing, but it can also feel a little out of control. So at this point you need to learn about cues and the concept of stimulus control.
There are three phases to clicker training. In the first you introduce your horse to the clicker and develop good emotional control in your horse through the foundation lessons (DVD Lessons 1-3). In the second you establish stimulus control and learn how to stabilize behavior (Lesson 4). The third phase brings you to the performance stage. You're ready to move on to the more advanced books and DVDs in this series.
The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker $49.95 This is the reference in this series for riding. It is not a beginner book. If you are new to clicker training, I suggest you begin with either the Step-By-Step book and/or "Clicker Training for your Horse". Once you and your horse have a good understanding of the foundation lessons and lateral flexions, you will be ready to move on to this book. It looks at two main aspects of riding: the first is safety and the second is developing your horse's gaits so he maintains long term soundness.
The second series of DVDs are designed to accompany the riding book. These lessons can certainly be used without the riding book, but the riding book gives you an overall training program and shows you how each of these individual lessons fits into a larger training plan.
Unit Two DVD Lessons 5 - 8
These lessons focus on lateral flexions: what are they?; how do you teach them?; why are they so valuable as a training tool? In Lesson 6: Shaping on a Point of Contact we shift from handling skills 101 into the nuance and beauty of microshaping - the real cornerstone and strength of clicker training. So this is a pivotal lesson in this series that shifts the focus from basic safety to performance excellence.
Lesson 5: "The Why Would You Leave Me?" Game $29.95 1 hour DVD This DVD could easily be included with the other foundation lessons. It teaches loose leash leading and shows you a very easy way to introduce your horse to lateral flexions. It is a transition lesson that prepares your horse for riding.
Lesson 6: Shaping on a Point of Contact 2 hours 25 minutes DVD $29.95 This lesson uses the simplicity of one of the foundation lessons: standing on a mat to introduce you to some very advanced concepts and rope handling skills. It is a key lesson for understanding the importance of working on a release, and for developing the skills that allow you to do this. If you are interested in developing lightness and beautiful balance in your horse, this is a must have lesson.
Lesson 7: T'ai Chi Rope Handling Exercises 1 hour 40 minutes DVD $29.95 There are times when the best way to learn a new skill is to leave your horse in his stall to take a nap while you work on your own balance and body mechanics. This lesson uses a series of Laing Gong exercises to improve the handler's ground skills and riding posture. If you can not get to a clinic to get direct hands-on assistance with your rope handling skills, this is an excellent substitute.
Lesson 8: Three-Flip-Three: Understanding Lateral Flexions 2 hour DVD $29.95
Clicker training is fun and easy. You can use it to teach great tricks, and solid, polite manners. That's a good beginning, but the work presented in these DVDs does so much more than that. Clicker training for me is about teaching horses how to carry themselves in good balance so they can remain sound not just for a season or two, but for decades. Clicker training creates great relationships. I want my horse to stay sound and happy for years. That means I need to understand lateral flexions: what they are, how to teach them to my horse, how to use them to create great balance. This two hour DVD takes an in-depth look at lateral flexions. It builds on the "Why Would You Leave Me?" exercise and makes use of the details of the Shaping on a Point of Contact DVD and the rope handling skills in the "Tai Chi Rope Handling" DVD. I suggest watching the DVDs in the order in which they were produced so you will understand how one lesson is layered over the preceding steps.
These two DVDs were produced over the winter of 2007 -2008 so I have grouped them together. They represent more advanced applications of basic clicker skills.
While I generally recommend that people work through the DVDs in order, these are two lessons that can be watched out of sequence.
Lesson 9: Overcoming Fear and the Power of Cues $29.95 2 hour DVD
We're almost ready to ride! But first we have to make sure the horse is emotionally ready. This DVD takes another look at cues and shows you how you can use them in a very dynamic way, not just to ask for specific behaviors, but to overcome fear issues. It also reminds you of the importance of dress rehearsals. Let's smooth out your mechanical skills before you go to your horse so you aren't frustrating him.
Lesson 10: Microshaping: Learning to See the Smallest Try $29.95 2 hour DVD
Did I say we're almost ready to ride? I did, but there's one more lesson I want to put in first and that's this lesson on Microshaping. Most of us have heard the expression: reward the smallest try. We've read books about the light feel we're supposed to have when we ride, but what does that really mean?
Riding is about becoming aware of small details. If you can spot the thing that happens before the thing that happens before the thing you want (or in some cases the thing you don't want), think how much better your timing will be. You'll be ready to reward the small tries, because you'll be aware of the even smaller tries that precede them. And you'll be able to divert your horse from a rolling buck because you'll spot the signs that precede that behavior. Good riding depends upon becoming aware of small details, and that's what this microshaping DVD teaches. It's a powerful lesson that should be included in every riding program whether you are a full time clicker trainer or not.
Lessons 11, 12 and 13 give you a solid introduction to single-rein/riding on a triangle riding. What that is is explained in these lessons and in the Riding book. While I generally recommend that people work through the DVDs in order, if you are eager to ride, you can skip ahead to these three DVDs and then back fill as needed. I would recommend getting at least the first couple of DVD lessons so you know how to get your horse off to a good start with the clicker and you have solid ground manners. But then if you want to skip ahead to see what the riding is like, you can jump into this series. There is also a good introduction to the single-rein riding in Lesson 4.
Lesson 11: Capture the Saddle: The Mounting Block Lesson $29.95 2 hour DVD
Finally, we're going to ride! When I talk about chunking lessons down into many small steps, I mean it. here we are at Lesson 11 in this series and we are just beginning ot ride. (Actually there's been riding in all these DVD lessons. Riding is just ground work where you get to sit down, so the same concepts and lessons that I introduced to you first on the ground in the earlier lessons can be applied directly to riding.)
You've already seen some single-rein riding in the earlier DVDs, especially in Lesson #4; Stimulus Control. But now you've got even more of a foundation for it. Lessons 11, 12, and 13 were designed very much as a unit. In this first lesson, "Capture the Saddle" I use the mounting block lesson as a final safety check before getting on. Then I introduce you to the beginnings of single-rein riding using a simple cone exercise. If you have a basically rideable horse and you're impatient to get started with the riding, once you have a basic understanding of clicker training, you can skip ahead past the other lessons in this series and go straight to this lesson. if you find yourself with huge holes in your training or concepts you aren't understanding, you can then go back and systematically fill in the gaps. But jumping in at this point assuming your horse is basically safe to ride, will work for many people.
Lesson 12: Riding on a Triangle: From Capture the Saddle to Three-Flip-Three $29.95 2 hour DVD
What it means to ride on a triangle was explained in the preceding DVD. This lesson builds on the work begun in the preceding lesson and in the Three-Flip-Three: Understanding Lateral Flexions DVD. You will want to watch at least the Capture the Saddle DVD before watching this one. I assume a basic understanding of the lessons I am using and leave it up to you to review the details you need from the previous DVDs.
Lesson 13: Helen House Horse: The Mechanics of Single-Rein Riding $29.95 2 hour DVD This is a much watch for anyone who is interested in the type of riding I describe in the riding book. There are no horses in this DVD (unless you count Helen House Horse!) This lesson looks at details in the rider's rein handling technique that can make a huge difference to you horse. It builds on an understanding of the importance of bone rotations that was introduced in the "T'ai Chi Rope Handling" DVD. I recommend watching both DVDs to improve your overall handling/riding skills. And you should certainly watch this DVD in conjunction with the other riding lessons. It focuses in on the details of the riders handling. The other lessons show you how to use the single-rein riding to communicate better with your horse. This lesson shows you the details of the technique.
Even if you aren't sure you want to "ride on a triangle", I would recommend watching this lesson. You will see details in rein mechanics that can make a huge difference to the stability of your seat and the effectiveness of your communication.
So again, Lessons 11, 12, and 13 form a mini unit within the entire series.
Lessons 14 and 15 were produced over the winter of 2009 so I have grouped them together here. Both of these DVDs can be watched out at any point in the DVD lesson series.
Lesson 14: The Poisoned Cue Presented by Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz from the University of North Texas. $39.95 2 Hours 40 minutes
This is an unusual departure for this DVD series, but I thought the poisoned cue lecture that Jesús presents was so important that I wanted people to have access to it. In December of 2008 I visited the University of North Texas and recorded a special presentation of the lecture. Because we weren't locked into a conference schedule we had plenty of time to expand on the lecture he has presented at the Clicker Expo.
Lesson 15: Microriding $34.95 2 discs 4 hours DVD
Microriding expands on the Microshaping DVD. It's a great lesson for building inner core awareness in riders of any discipline.
These two DVDs continue to build on the riding series. They are related lessons.
Lesson 16: Whoa! Stop! Finding Your Horse's Brakes 29.95 2 hours DVD
Whoa! Stop! is a basic safety lesson. It's an important lesson. Every rider should understand how a good stop is built. This lesson serves as a stepping stone lesson to prepare you for Lesson 17: Hip-Shoulder-Shoulder.
Lesson 17: Hip-Shoulder-Shoulder $42.00 2 discs 4 hours DVD
Hip-Shoulder-Shoulder is a very layered DVD. As you work your horse, you will want to revisit this DVD many times. As you and your horse progress with the clicker training, you will be ready to peel more "layers of the onion". You'll see things in the exercise that you didn't notice before. And you will be ready to apply it to increasingly subtle and sophisticated aspects of your training. It begins as many of these lessons do as a basic safety tool, and then it evolves into a major tool for developing your horse's beautiful gaits.
Lesson 18: Loopy Training $75 3 Discs 5 hours 40 minutes DVD
I could have divided this single title up into three separate DVDs, but the lessons and concepts which are covered in this DVD belong together as a group so I decided to put everything into a single three disc DVD title.
This is a long DVD. Think of it as though you were going off to a weekend conference. But instead of sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a large lecture hall, you get to watch the presentations in the comfort of your own house.
This is also a hard DVD to categorize. On the one hand the basic concept of loopy training makes a great starting point for exploring clicker training. The foundation lessons are best taught as loops. So if you are new to clicker training the Loopy Training DVD actually makes a good starting point. But many of the concepts and some of the later exercises may feel a bit overwhelming to someone starting out. If you are a beginner, my recommendation would be to get this DVD. Watch the first part, then go back to the beginning of the series and work your way systematically through the lessons. Periodically rewatch the Loopy Training DVD. Each time you do, you'll find that the later sections make more and more sense to you and you are ready to apply the concepts to your training.
If you've already been working your way through the DVD lesson series, you'll find that this DVD does many things for you. It gives you a great review of basics. And it will show you how to make your training much more structured and systematic. You'll understand more about the power of cues and how to chain of behaviors together. This DVD will move your understanding of clicker training to anew level.
You can read additional descriptions of each of the books and DVDs in the bookstore section of this web site. And if you have further questions, please contact me at email@example.com