I was at a clinic once and watched a natural horsemanship trainer work with a horse who wanted to do something different than what the trainer wanted. The trainer said, “The way I deal with this is to make the horses dream become a nightmare.”
The trainer used lots of negative reinforcement, the horse began to focus on him and horse gave up its original intention. At the time the techniques made sense.
When I began clicker training I also began to shift my focus. I didn’t want to bring nightmares to my horse. So I had to discover ways to set it up so my horse WANTED to offer the behavior I liked, offered from a position of choice, not to escape pressue.
This sounds quite different to many horse people. Imagine wanting to be more interesting or entertaining to the horse, rather than more dominant or demanding of the horse.
The journey has been challenging, but at this point I can honestly say I am primarily offering my horse cues so appealing, that for him, the chance to do them is a dream come true!!