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dressage

I hang out in a lot of clicker training forums but sometimes it gets uncomfortable for me. I don’t use clicker training for everything. In fact, I mostly use it for bombproofing.

The clicker work I’ve seen under saddle has been cringeworthy.

It is possible that it can be done correctly, but I haven’t seen it. Though I do think training a nice square halt might be well served by CT.

I’ve tried it myself and found it awkward, plus if my horse is foamy and on the bit, it gets gross!

Lots of clicker people think you should never use any form of training other than +R. They try to convert me into seeing the error of my ways.

I don’t want to be converted to pure +R. I don’t want to struggle to reinvent the wheel. I barely know where the wheel is in my chosen discipline!!! (Dressage.) And I choose to follow those who I KNOW understand far more about the wheel than I do.

I don’t see CT experts teaching dressage. (I barely see CT teachers even doing under saddle work let alone dressage work.)

If you want to learn something, and you are a good student….you go to the people who are DOING what you want to do. You go to the people who know more than you do. You go to the people who have some proven mastery of the topic. You don’t go to people who tell you there’s a newfangled, better way, but don’t have any proven track record with that.

If I started telling my trainer that I have a better way to train dressage, she’d rightly tell me to go eff myself.

I am a student. I am not an expert and I don’t claim expertise.

If I had my own accomplishments and my own mastery, then….MAYBE, I’d decide I knew enough to play around with other methods to get the same results.

But I believe it would be folly for me to think I know how to get there by not using the classical methods when I barely know what I’m doing.

That said, I’d still LOVE to see someone has done it. I’d love to learn that an Olympian or at least an FEI level rider used pure +R to get there. I’d LOVE IT. I’d have a new role model and new ways to think about things.

But it would be supremely arrogant for me to decide that I know better than those who have mastered what I’m trying to learn.