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Muggy Equid Checklist 

  1. Is your horse hungry? Feed your equid before training.
  2. Is your equid’s only option the food in your hand? Have free food available during training.
  3. Have you set up the training environment to ensure success? Introducing hand feeding with a barrier between you and your equid will help them focus learning, instead of focusing on the food.
  4. Are you feeding your equid enough? If your equid is nipping your hand, they may be struggling to pick up the food. Try feeding larger handfuls.
  5. Is the value of the food too high? Choose a food that is valuable enough for your equid to work for but not so valuable that it creates frustration.
  6. Is the behavior you’re asking for too challenging? If the behavior is too difficult for your equid, they may get frustrated due to the lack of reinforcement. Try reinforcing more frequently, for less behavior.
  7. Are you feeding too close to your body? Feeding close to your body encourages your equid to search for food on your person. Feed away from your body instead.
  8. Are you moving your feeding hand before or at the same time that you click? Make sure that your food delivery is clear by remaining still until after the click.
  9. Is your equid moving too close to you after the click? Use the way you deliver the reinforcement to position your equid.
  10. Is your equid chasing after you when you try to end the session and leave? Create a clear end of session cue and leave your equid with an activity or extra food on the ground/in a bucket to eat while you make your exit.