I’m having an absolutely marvelous time with my latest clicker training challenge; I am training a two-year-old deaf horse. I can see so many people would say “Why would you bother to try and “clicker train” a deaf horse when you could just use pressure. I answer that by saying “Because I can and because I know horses flourish with clicker training, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.”
Yes, the marker signal or “click” has been modified; I use three quick taps on her body as her bridge signal. She now understands that these taps can happen anywhere on her body and she recognizes this as her signal that the behavior she just did was the correct one. Of course, she receives a reinforcer after that.
It gives me such joy to know that this horse is going to have a method of communication with people that goes beyond what she might have received as a deaf horse. It also gives me great joy to know that she is in the process of becoming a therapy horse. I think the future looks bright for this little one.
I’m going to be blogging more about this horse as well as begin to reach out to other people with horses who are deaf OR who they might suspect that something is “different” about their horse. Stay tuned.