Course Description

If you want to use positive reinforcement  then this course is designed to help you improve communication, create clarity, greater connection and calmness. As you gain clarity and confidence in how clicker training could work for you this course helps you to help your horses, donkeys or mules by becoming a better trainer. Using Equine Specific Clicker Training can enhance your equine relationships by removing over stimulation and frustration. 

Whether you have used CT lots as part of your tool box, dabbled a little or want to start but have been unsure how to,  then the answers can be found in this clicker clinic. How do I know? Because that’s the participants range of experience who attended the course and they all got what they wanted from the day. 

Exploring ideas on how clicker training fits within each person’s own journey and how clicker training might not always be the best option. Ben talks frankly and honestly about his journey with clicker training from the early beginnings, to doing it differently and  how it is still subject to the application of the science of behaviour and learning.

Minna Sellers I just finished this course online and have to share that it has really changed my thinking, which sometimes I fear isn’t the easiest thing to do. I have doing some clicker training on and off for a couple of years with my donkeys, and decided that this year would be when I would carry through on it with learning more about and getting more skilled with the technique. I went to a “Mustang Camp” whose instructor was extremely rigid with one bridge - one treat, as well as other very stereotypical training techniques and rules. I really wanted to continue and try to develop my own way with it, and took Ben’s online course to see another approach. I’m so glad I did because it lead me to a completely different place. The advice about how careful one should be in adding the clicker into a training program is brilliant, as well as specifics when using the clicker bridge for shaping behaviors. Understanding the needs of the individual equine and what is most appropriate for the person training come across clearly in the course. I am still digesting and applying what is there. Today, I purposefully went to work and spend time with the donks without a clicker or food, and ended up walking with them at full liberty. I will still be using a clicker for some specific shaping, and have it as a tool, but I will now consider what I want to do by thinking through what is best in each situation. Thank you, Ben, for giving me a more balanced and thoughtful perspective. 

Having seen horses become frustrated and over excited with one click, one reward training Ben explains how just one moment observing a pony being clicker trained lead to a different more equine specific approach. He takes us on his journey thorough being ridiculed for daring to be different, writing a book and now finally seeing his approach becoming more widely accepted.

Jacqueline Stagg “I really enjoyed this I was expecting just a refresher of what I already (ought to) know but I learned loads of new stuff!”

Improving your relationship using the art and science of clicker training. It has been Ben’s experience that for many people it seems as if using clicker training can lead their equine to develop unexpected problems, such as frustration, over arousal, confusion and owners even become guilty, feeling they have let their equine down. Food is highly motivating and once the horse realises that their part in the “game” is to get food out of you, their enthusiasm can bubble over and lead to a bank of challenging behaviours. It doesn’t have to be this way, teaching a few simple principles to your horse, donkey or mule from the start while making clicker training more equine specific will help resolve these problems if they have already been created or ensure you miss them altogether if you are waiting to get started.

Ben doesn’t want an over excited, frustrated, performing animal who mugs and stresses about when and how the rewards might arrive, so he explains and demonstrates his approach to clicker training so that you can make up your own mind.

As with all Ben’s work he wants you to find your own path to horsemanship. He provides the information and experience so you can make the right choices for you and your equine in the environment that you currently inhabit. Above all he wants you to leave the course with greater clarity about clicker training and the confidence to use it to enhance your connection and relationship with your equine.

Charity Case “Thank you Ben for such a fun and informative day it clarified so many questions I had on CT. I am now looking forward to confidently using CT with my boy.”

Clicker training, love it or hate it, the equine world is divided. If you have already started using clicker training and want to explore more advanced ideas, iron out any difficulties or solve some problems then this course will help you explore clicker training and ultimately lead you to success. Even if you are not sure if clicker training is for you then this day can help you make your mind up.

The truth about the use of clicker training in equines is sometimes difficult to find with so many opinions and experiences. This course provides a chance to get your questions answered and see where clicker training might be useful for you and how it links to other methods of training and equine behaviour. Make your mind up for yourself

June Eckhart “It was a very good day, really interesting and thought provoking but not too much jargon.”

Some of the topics covered include;
Dogs and horses are different and need different approaches to clicker training.  Find out the differences of Equine Specific Clicker Training, and avoid the common mistakes of clicker training, no mugging, no impatience and real problem solving.

Learn to start correctly to avoid mugging and biting behaviour, this means learning how to teach mugging doesn’t work and that patience does.

Discover the truth about the advantages and disadvantages of clicker training? There’s no hard sell, just Ben’s honest experience with years of clicker training, and why he often doesn’t recommend it even though it can be brilliant.

How will using equine specific clicker (ESC) training benefit my horse? What is equine specific clicker training, where did it come from, how to start, and how to transition from more traditional approaches

Learn when to avoid using clicker training, Ben explores some of his limitations with clicker training and why he has broken most of them.

Understand when and if clicker training fits into other equine training methods, Ben discusses the use of negative and positive reinforcement along side each other, when it seems to work and when you might not want to try.

Create patience by using equine specific clicker training, teaching patience is central to Equine Specific Clicker Training and hear Ben explain why he thinks the brains reward chemical dopamine plays such an important role in patience and how we can control it.

Ben shows the tools he uses and why. He explains the only “you must” he has for Clicker Training and why this one tool is so important in creating a calm horse.

How to get rid of the clicker; not only how to remove the clicker from training but why you would want to as soon as you can.

Solve your unwanted behaviours using positive reinforcement. Ben answers real questions from participants about their situations with their horses and donkeys and how they can apply positive reinforcement to help improve the situations these course participants have found themselves in.

Ben’s eighteen years of experience of clicker combined with is knowledge and application of the art and science of equine behaviour and his equine specific approach to clicker training gives the course participant the opportunity to safely explore clicker training, and how it can be used to create the communication and motivation in their equine partners that they dream of. Developing the clarify and confidence to use clicker training with your equine in a way that fits in with your principles and experience can lead to a whole new relationship.

This course is filmed during a live clicker training clinic, which sold out in just 24 hours of being advertised.  So you’ll get the experience of being on the clinic with the additional materials and tools that have been added to supplement the online course with the benefit of viewing in in your own time and re-watching it as many times as you need. You can also ask Ben questions through the discussion section, everything you need to gain clarity, calmness and confidence about using clicker training. 

Hilary Johnson “Great day! Really interesting and practical saw several horses with different personalities respond to their first intro to clicker training.....generating much discussion on the appropriate use of clicker training in equine training.”

Aileen Field “Thanks for a really enlightening and fun training course yesterday Ben.”

​IAABC Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant, ABTC Registered Accredited Animal Behaviourist

Ben Hart

Ben Hart hates injustice and wasted potential, and he has more than 20 years of experience helping people understand the true nature of equines by using the honesty of the science of behaviour to help both animals and their people unlock their true potential. He firmly believes working with equines doesn't have to be complicated, dangerous or stressful and by helping people to understand the true and amazing behaviour of equines, he wants them to better understand each other to make life better for horses, donkeys and Mules. Ben removes the myths and dependence on dominance and forceful training methods and focuses on positive, safe effective solutions that centre on both the animal and the human. Ben's delivery of training is unique, ensuring an outstanding experience that is enjoyable and life-changing. Ben is also the author of several books on equine behaviour and clicker training, as well as the creator of online courses and a unique series of individual equine training plans. He has worked with horses, mules, donkeys and people all over the world: from mustangs and race horses in California, stock horses in Australia, pleasure horses in Canada and Europe, and working equines in Cambodia and Ethiopia, Egypt, Mexico, Kenya.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the start of your Clicker Training clinic

    • What's in the course

    • Listening and learning instructions for the course

    • Over view of the course

    • Making training individual - please watch this and apply to your situation

    • Using positive reinforcement in training

    • What do you need to learn?

    • Chapter 1 What's all the fuss about

    • Workbook for The Art and Science of Clicker Training - online course

  • 2

    Chapter 1 - Hello and welcome

  • 3

    Chapter two - Getting started with clicker training

    • Why Equine Specific Clicker Training. How I found it

    • Some faults with clicker training and avoiding the vending machine

    • Tools of clicker training and tongue clicks and why not to use them

    • The essential rules !! Bum bags and targets

    • Timing and the importance of understanding elements

    • Dopamine and fustration

    • Recap on intermediate and terminal bridges

  • 4

    Chapter three

    • Practical session 1 - Introducing the clicker - Gordon

    • Practical session 2 - part 1 Smokey

    • Practical session 2 - part 2 Smokey

    • Practical session 3 - Not today

    • Practical session 4 - Toffee's first time

    • Recap the process of starting clicker training

  • 5

    Chapter 4 Putting it all together and problem solving

    • Ben's golden rule of clicker training for problems

    • Putting it all together for problems

    • Limitations for clicker training, considering when we might not use it

    • Limitations of clicker training

    • Problems like over arousal, dropping, biting and being uninterested

    • Contra free loading, say what

    • Speeding up your equine, marking speed

    • Is clicker training ethical

    • Clicker trained goldfish, do try this at home!

    • Final questions and setting up cues

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