“You are just a silly circus trainer – you don’t know anything about really difficult horses. Your stuff maybe good, but it only works with good ponies.”

Positive reinforcement training, often known as clicker training, has a strange reputation in the horse world.

It’s often ridiculed and very often deemed as the little girls trick training practice that has nothing to do with real horse training.

The fact of the matter is that clicker training is one of the only animal training methods scientifically proven to work. Look up neuroscience behind positive reinforcement training and classical conditioning – this stuff is mind blowing! You have heard about Pavlov, but I can assure you he wasn’t the only scientist studying how learning happens in animals.

Think about it – if this method trains rhinos, tigers, lions, sharks, wolves, eagles and even bloody goldfish, then why is not a widely acceptable method for training horses?

Is it because it’s too easy? Too calm? Doesn’t make for a good show? You don’t get to be the boss?

In the horse world each one of us has our own tools – so don’t ever be ashamed to rock up to train your horse with a treat bag and a clicker.

Some people choose to use whips, we choose to use clickers – what’s the matter with that?!

Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.