There are many unqualified behaviourists, trainers, whisperers and counsellors, using a range of training methods within the animal industry today. Unfortunately although heavily marketed as 'natural' and 'free' when we delve into the science behind many of the techniques used today we find a very different story.
Without a language that us humans can understand life becomes very difficult for domestic animals, in relation to both management and training. This is why a detailed understanding of ethology, learning theory and physiology are so important in our day-to -day interaction with our beloved companions.
Devoting my career to the improvement of the welfare and well-being of the domestic animal, I have found that the only truly 'ethical', 'natural' and 'free' approach to work in a gradual, STEP-BY-STEP manner using only POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.
Used for years within the dog training field, positive reinforcement training (more commonly understood as clicker training) has been proven to be the most successful method, creating a tremedous motivation to engage with the task that has been set. However with our horses our society relies upon gadgets and punishment, nagging and even chasing around round-pens for hours to teach our horses about our expectations of them by way of fear and supression.
Scientists have shown for decades that any living being is more likely to learn behaviours that result in positive rewards rather than negative threat or worse. Clicker training uses a ‘POSITIVE-REINFORCEMENT-BASED SYSTEM OF TRAINING’ where the trainer provides a reward in exchange for a requested behaviour.
Developing confidence with the control they have over the consequences of their actions, your animal becomes motivated and enthusiastic due to their expectation for further pleasurable rewards. this makes learning faster and more effective as well as improving his outlook and well-being.
With an understanding of your horses needs in day-to-day management along with knowledge of positive reinforcement in training, you will be set up to win in every situation that you both encounter.
For more detail please do not hesitate to ask any thoughts, ideas or comments are welcomed.
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