Does it surprise you to know world renowned dressage star and two time Olympic competitor Steffen Peters is a clicker trainer?
US Olympic team rider Steffen Peters and Ravel, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki, achieved victory with a score of 77.915% at the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals, defeating nine-time World Cup champion Anky Van Grunsven who came in second place, and two-time World Cup winner Isabell Werth who earned third. Steffen said,
“He gave it all to me today, I didn’t have to push him – he just gave me all the movements – I’m beside myself with excitement!
Steffen explains his training program,
“When I train, 75 percent of what I’m doing is really training the horse mentally. The other 25 percent – getting the horse fit and developing the muscles, really isn’t that complicated.
With a technique like clicker training, we have a chance of rewarding the horse as soon as he does something right, because he associates the noise of clicker with a reward. Horses need to understand when they do something right – more than just a pat. It’s so important to keep horses out of the gray area. It’s got to be black and white, right and wrong.”