Build Your Riding Confidence Using Target Training – A Simple Technique for ALL Levels of Rider

Do you get anxious when riding your horse? How do you keep your horse calm, focused and listening when you ride?

This targeting technique is really simple and I use it for horses and riders at all stages:

# First steps from the mounting block so you’re connected from the start.

# Teaching and refining aids for walk, halt and turn (great for keeping horses who nap, spook or get distracted calm and focused).

# Moving up into higher paces without worrying about losing the attention or control of the horse.

# Introducing or overcoming fear going over poles, spooky obstacles and jumps.

# Keeping horses responsive and safe when riding in open fields.

# Even training bridleless riding!

Most rider anxiety occurs when you feel your horse is tanking off, getting spooky, napping or not listening, so this is a huge piece in building your confidence. Using positive reinforcement (clicker training) is a really effective way to help your horse stay tuned in, responding to your aids and listening to you.

I hope this video shows you how you can use targets to stay safe and feel confident when riding your horse.

Let me know if you have questions or comments below ☟

➣The CT Club is an online membership site where you can get access to hundreds of step-by-step training videos on training your horse using positive reinforcement, both on the ground and for riding. We have loads of step-by-step video tutorials on exactly how to train your horse to stand for mounting and stay calm and connected when being ridden. You can find out more and sign up here We look forward to seeing you there 🙂

➤ You can also find out more in the #1 bestselling Connection Training BOOK 📖 Get it on Amazon (search for ‘Connection Training’) or download Chapter 1 free here for a preview 👀


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2 thoughts on “Build Your Riding Confidence Using Target Training – A Simple Technique for ALL Levels of Rider”

  1. Patricia Bradd

    I Live the target training and my horse response great to it
    – he likes it too much at times
    He Fundes himself looking for targets to stop a regular ride in the big arena
    He will continue to go and touch a barrel for example and not go around it or past it
    What should I do

    1. Hi Patricia, this is a good problem as it means you’ve trained targets well! However, you need to shift your horse’s focus from the targets to you as he’s disconnecting from you when diving to target things you haven’t asked for. Make sure your cues for each behaviour are clear and your horse knows when he’s supposed to touch a target or, if not, what else it is that he should be doing such as standing next to you, walking past etc. Then start to reward responses to your cues and moments that he tunes in and listens to you, rather than if he goes to an object you haven’t asked him to. For example with the barrel, make sure that your cues for steering are clear and reward responses to these much more than targeting the barrels. This is the ‘connection’ part – focus on the communication between you and make working with you and listening to you the most rewarding thing, so that he stays tuned in and listening to your cues. There are step-by-step videos on how to do exactly this in our Home Study Course on Starting Your Horse Under Saddle – in it, we use targets to create movement but then go through this process as we move away from targets and want the horse to listen to our ridden cues. You can access that in the CT Club, so check it out as it has all the steps you need 🙂

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