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As positive reinforcement trainers we search continually for ways to create partnerships with our learners. However, there can be a huge difference between simply gaining an learner’s cooperation and giving them true choice! “Start Button” behaviors are taught to an learning partner who can then direct the pace and progress of another behavior or procedure. Start buttons provide greater control to the learners themselves over aspects of the training process.

In this Session, Peggy will introduce ways of teaching horses to “give you permission or consent" to proceed or to indicate that they are “ready” to participate in an activity or procedure.

Consent in this context is also a powerful tool for humans and we will look at ways we can recognize and cultivate consent cues with our human learners.


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Peggy Hogan has had several passions in her life, but the two most constant were the love of music and horses. She fell in love with horses at age three when her sister put her on a pay-per-lap pony ride in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. She started piano lessons and was in her first beginning recital at age four. 

Throughout her adult life she has been a teacher of music, horses and their owners. The driving force behind her teaching and training is empowering the learner and more recently, the benefits of giving choice, consent and control to the learner.

Learning from clicker trainers of other species, Peggy has investigated ways to add more shaping, capturing, luring, and targeting to her clicker training for horses program. She explains and demonstrates that horses will offer complex behaviors freely if given the choice—behaviors that range from riding to horse agility to freestyle to medical procedures. Peggy has also worked with clicker training techniques successfully in the area of horse rescue. 

Peggy is the founder of The Best Whisper is a Click, offering training to horses and the humans of the horse community in positive reinforcement-based training for the past 20 years. She has been a speaker at ClickerExpo conferences since 2013 and is a sought after speaker and workshop presenter.  

Peggy has a master’s degree in psychology and is a Level 1 Certified TAGteacher.

RYANO, LLC is an Approved Continuing Education (ACE) (# OP-19-3037) provider and The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (“BACB”) does not sponsor, approve or endorse RYANO, LLC, the materials, information or sessions identified herein.