Hoofdhouding als een vast punt trainen 2/
I know you trained this for solving a problem (been there, done that!), so I didn’t reply directly to your photo. But yes, it did trigger me to want to make a more general point about this thing that I often see go wrong with clickerClicker A toy noisemaker. Animal trainers make use of the clicker as an event marker to mark a desired response. The sound of the clicker is an excellent marker because it is unique, quick, and consistent. trainers. (For lack of more time it was far from complete, not very nuanced and my English may not be 100% either, so maybe I use the wrong word here and there as well.)
Of course we mark ‘head posture’ sometimes – just that we don’t mark head posture in and of itself; unless a horse really would need some guidance with that. It’s possible that you do want to explain to a horse that his head should be lower, for instance, if he wouldn’t come up with the idea himself. Or that he really still can move with his head out there forward, on a lengthened neck, instead of behind the vertical (although in that case it’s mostly the rider who doesn’t believe that 😉 ).
But that doesn’t mean we click for the head being on an exact fixed position without also checking what happens in the rest of the horse. Where the horse’s head is, is a symptom of what happens elsewhere in the body. So we click for the way a horse moves in his entirety – head position just being one of many information points.
The tricky thing is that when you do click for something like head position, the horse probably will jump into that position next time and try to hold it because he wants to hear that click again. So as a trainer it’s important to mark the right dynamics, not the right frame – and that’s not easy. Fluent motion is a dynamic thing, it’s not holding a static posture while moving from A to B. Seeing that, or even harder, feeling that when in the saddle is something that is really hard to learn (I know!).
And never, ever forget that your horse needs to have at least as much fun as you do (‘you’ in general, not you you). Just clicking and feeding won’t do that. It’s the entire training setup that needs more game design thinking.