Earlier this year I was asked to put together a challenge video for members of Ask the Trainers, encouraging owners and riders of all levels to try out target training for themselves. I frequently recommend target training as a confidence and trust-building activity so I jumped at the excuse to put together a ‘how-to’ on the subject!
Whether or not you are participating in the monthly challenge, I would invite you to give target training a go! As well as being a versatile exercise in its own right, it is a fantastic introduction to using positive reinforcement and a great starting point for training a whole host of other behaviours.
What is Ask the Trainers?
Ask the Trainers is a unique Facebook group that allows members direct access to a list of approved trainers for feedback, advice and support. Unlike other social media pages where anyone can offer their opinion, this group vets the expertise of trainers so that members know that the person offering advice is a professional with a relevant background. The list of approved trainers is constantly growing with professionals from many different disciplines – and though perspectives may differ, there are some core principles that everyone agrees on! The group tries to promote a friendly, supportive, and positive atmosphere and trainers are always reminded to be kind and constructive!
I would recommend the group to anyone who is tempted to seek out training advice on social media. While a group like this can never truly replace having a professional’s ongoing support in person, for those who either do not have access to suitable trainers, need a second opinion, or who cannot afford to hire a professional, this group is a wonderful resource. It has become a bit of a ‘hobby’ for me to sit down and answer a few questions in the evening or in a spare hour – and seeing how these few minutes of my time can help people across the world to improve their relationship with their horse is extremely rewarding!