It's Time

It's time.

It's time to start thinking about Winter Projects.

For those of us who live in the northeast are not blessed with an indoor arena or a plane ticket to Florida, winter means a lot less riding. The ground freezes solid, snow and ice abound, and it's just TOO DANG COLD to do much 'real work' at the barn. So if you plan on not giving your pony a total vacation for 3 months, you need a Winter Project.

Last year's project was showmanship. We're still pretty bad at it compared to people who actually compete in that discipline (I have a friend who can do a sick HALTERLESS showmanship pattern that is unreal), but it was a fun way to spend time with Dino when the ring was totally frozen over and resembled an ice skating rink.

This year, I've decided to work on clicker training.

Clicker training is a training method in which a mechanical "clicker" is used to make a distinctive noise whenever the pony gets the "right answer" to what you are asking it to do, followed by a food reward. You can use clicker training to teach a horse just about anything, from tolerating things like clipping and hoof trimming, to tricks, and even ground driving, lunging, and riding skills. The click makes it easy for them to understand when they've done something right, and they start listening for that sound more and more intently as they figure out how the clicker works. Once your pony figures out that he can turn you into a human vending machine by getting the right answer, the sky's the limit!

I think clicker training will be a GREAT thing for Dino to learn, most importantly because it involves food, and we all know how Dino feels about food, but also because it's completely different from anything I've done with him so far, and I think it will go a long way to break our streak of boring rides. I haven't ever clicker trained a horse, so it will be new for me too! I plan on starting simple, doing a lot of reading, and working my way up to teaching Dino some fun tricks, as well as improving some skills he already knows.

Stay tuned!


  1. And when you finish with Dino you can come and clicker train Poppy to pick up her feet for the farrier!

  2. a click training book may be on your christmas list ; )


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