I decided to finally get off my lazy rear and start working on clicker training with Chrome. I'll admit I've been putting it off a while because I'm just so afraid of messing anything up. I know how to train a dog but this will be my first time using clicker training methods on a horse. So after a little more research and studying to reassure myself I went out to the pasture armed with clicker, treats and a target stick (a tennis ball on a wooden dowel rod).
First I worked on charging the clicker. Click, treat, click, treat. I quickly realized I was rewarding minor mugging so I quickly moved on to target training. I'm going to work on the mugging thing tomorrow, because I want it drilled into his little brain that he will not get treats for sniffing my hands or pockets. He's doing so well with the nipping thing that I don't want to encourage it all over again. He hasn't offered to nip in a while now.
Chrome caught onto the target training quick! As soon as I held it out he touched the bright tennis ball because he was curious and had never seen one before. All it took was once. After clicking I would put the rod behind my back while feeding the treat, then I would bring it out again and he would touch it immediately. I did that until I ran out of the pocketful of sugar cubes I had. I'm going to dice up an apple later and put a bit of sugar on it with the hopes of converting him to an apple lover. I just don't like feeding him that much sugar. Apple pieces would be so much easier to train with. Anyway, I kept the session short and gave him scratchies afterward. I think he really liked it. Later when I went outside he came right over to me and kind of stretched his head out looking at me like he wanted to play again. :) I think Chrome is going to be fun to train.