Prevent Your Horse Stopping Abruptly When You Click

Some clicker trained horses can get into the habit of stopping dead when they hear the click or their marker. From a trot or canter, this can cause the horse to slam on the brakes, bracing and hollowing as they stop. This can cause problems for the horse physically and is uncomfortable to ride.

In this video, I show you how to teach your horse to stop slowly and gently when you click. Starting with leading exercises, you’ll make sure your horse knows to halt softly and in balance. I then show you this process when lunging and riding in trot and canter.

Watch it now:

Let me know if you have any comments or questions below ☟

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9 thoughts on “Prevent Your Horse Stopping Abruptly When You Click”

  1. Hi, This was so helpful as this stopping abruptly for a treat happens to me and my horse. I’ve gotten through it in the past by rewarding intermittently so my horse doesn’t always expect a treat and also by using my riding cues to keep him going. But I love this approach as well and will be trying it out soon! I love Connection Training and have been using it for over 6 years now with great results! Thank you so much!

    Just a note, at about 7:20 in this video as you are facing sideways to camera while seated on Freckles, it looks like your saddle really comes up in the back and doesn’t make good contact with his back– is this a saddle fit issue or just the way that particular saddle sits on a horse? (I’ve had so many saddle fit issues with my horse, my eye naturally finds potential issues– I realize it could be a change in his body composition of late that might cause this too)

    1. Hi Elizabeth, that’s great, glad it was helpful and that you’re enjoying Connection Training!

      The saddle is a Free n Easy. It’s a panelled saddle, so the panel (inside the numnah – you can see where it’s sewn around it) sits on his back. The seat is raised above it, which is why it looks like it’s not making contact, but I promise that there is a huge area distributing the weight evenly by the panel and it just looks like I’m floating above his back because of the design. I’ve also had many saddle fit issues and have spent 20 years exploring many different types to find the best ones for each horse. Free n Easy’s are one of my favourite makes and my horses love them, too. Unfortunately, they don’t make them any more but I have a selection at home that can be easily refitted to different horses and throughout the year as they change shape, too. Also, my horses are very vocal with their opinions and I’ve tried a few saddles on Freckles where he’s just point blank refused to go forwards. He’s also done this when his free n easy needs an adjustment – it can be just a few mm but he knows and he tells me! I hope that helps clear it up and reassures you that it’s comfortable for Freckles – thank you for your concern 🙂

  2. I love this video. I’ve always worried about clicker-training inadvertently teaching horses jarring stops (especially with horses like mine, whose go is, hmm, not exactly fly-like-the-wind like). Makes lots of sense. Thanks Hannah!

  3. Thanks so much for this Hannah, I’ve been guilty of using the click as an emergency brake at times, so I’ve accidentally trained abrupt stops. I will be giving this a go soon!

    1. Glad it’s helped. I don’t mind using the click as an emergency brake if necessary (it’s certainly better tan many options available when you need to stop in a hurry!), but when you’re connected and using it as a marker, then you want the stops to be soft and balanced. I think you’ll find it quite easy to change in your sessions 🙂

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