Alexandra Kurland's DVD Series

What Alexandra says about her DVDs:

In this series I want to show you how to use the clicker to create the horse of your dreams. These videos are designed to be in-depth private lessons. Suppose you could call me up and arrange to have me come to your barn to help you with your horses. That would be a great way to get started with the clicker, and that’s essentially what I’ve done with these video lessons. I can’t actually travel to your barn, but with these videos I can show you the nuts and bolts details of clicker training.

For horses it’s not enough to understand in general terms how clicker training works. To be successful with horses you need to understand the principles of good training, AND you need to develop good handling skills. Since we ride the animals we train, good handling skills are probably more important than they are for any other species. Make a mistake with a dog, and you have a rude pet. Make a similar mistake with a horse, and it can get you both hurt. As a teacher, it isn’t enough simply to introduce you to clicker training. I want to provide you, lesson by lesson, with the skills you’ll need to create an outstanding partnership with your horse. My goal for this series is to create a close substitute for my coming to your barn and working directly with you and your horse.

Most videos are produced by professional production companies. That means that all the filming is done over a very small block of time. The result is a very narrow view of training. What a horse presents on the day filming takes place is the limit of what you see. I wanted something different. I want to help you train your horse, and for that you need to see real training occurring over a period of time. You need to see all the little details that make a difference, and you need to see what happens when something goes wrong. Training is not all smooth sailing. Horses are like toddlers. They have days when they are perfect, and days when they can drive you crazy.

Training is also a matter of balance opposing requests. For every behavior you teach, there is an opposite behavior that must be kept in balance. If you teach your horse to stand still, you’re also going to need to teach him to move forward. If you teach him to move out, you’re going to need to teach him to stop. If you teach him to drop his nose to the ground, you’re going to need to teach him to lift it back up. To truly master an exercise you have to bring it into balance with the rest of your horse’s training. These videos are part of an on-going series that will teach you how to do just that. In a sense they are not videos at all, but a series of lessons.

Thanks to the hi-tech world we’re living in, I have access to professional-quality digital cameras and editing equipment. That means I can film the same horses over extended periods of time and show you how training progresses. As a teacher I can focus in on the details of a lesson that will help you to be successful. That’s my intent with this series. But please understand that I am not a professional videographer. And just as you are learning how to train horses with the clicker, I am learning how to make videos with the equipment I have. It is all a shaping process. In particular, Lesson 1, the first video I produced has some technical problems. The sound quality is less than ideal. However, the training information is solid. You just have to bear with me as I learn the craft of video production.

How to get the most from your DVD series:

In general, you will get more from the lessons in this DVD series if you follow them in the order that they were made. They build step-by-step through a training progression, so there are pieces covered in detail in earlier lessons that are used in the later ones.

There are, however, lessons that can be watched out of sequence, such as Lesson 14: Poisoned Cues, or Lesson 10: Microshaping.

Certain lessons do need to be watched in order to make sense. Lesson 8: 3-Flip-3 is a continuation of the work that began in Lesson 5: Why Would You Leave Me Game. The same is true about Lesson 11: Capture the Saddle and Lesson 12: Riding on a Triangle.

Lessons 1-4 accompany the first two books (Clicker Training For Horses, and The Click That Teaches: A Step By Step Guide In Pictures). The later DVDs cover work discussed in Riding With The Clicker.