As we only have eachother's words, misunderstanding is extra easy, not to mention being a public forum, so there are lots reading here who don't understand the principles behind the practices either. I also have a slight suspicion I'm not a faultless communicator
It's for this reason that I wanted to elaborate & think that 'stating the obvious' is better than assuming things are understood so can go unsaid. So, not meaning to 'talk down' by stating obvious to a trainer. I feel like we've got somewhere too, certainly in further understanding eachother, but with any luck, it's been helpful to OP & others too.
I totally agree -- UNLESS A HORSE HAS BEEN BADLY SPOILED. ....So, you're comparing apples to oranges comparing a spoiled horse to a green horse.
& I totally agree with that too. I was trying to emphasise this.
...quit jerking, spanking & scolding.... only reward he understands
But you act like I am advocating this approach to all horses. Remember, I am trying to explain how to turn around THIS spoiled horse
I disagree thoroughly that horses, whether spoiled or otherwise, don't understand Good consequences to their actions as well as Bad. It also didn't occur to me that you may believe that just of spoiled horses, which is why I took this to be a general principle of yours, not just for this horse.
Every time you used the word 'punishment' it was misused. The term 'Negative reinforcement' is also very easy to misuse.
Agree they're often misunderstood concepts. I don't know where you think I misused the term. (Positive)punishment is the application/addition
of something undesireable
in order to weaken
a behaviour. Eg. jerking, whacking, yelling, whatever. Negative reinforcement is the removal
of something undesireable
in order to strengthen
a behaviour. Eg. quitting the Bad Stuff/pressure when the horse responds in the 'right' way.
So the difference between the 2 can be a very fine line & if taken literally, you can't really even have -R without starting with +P. However I think there's a big difference in intent, the way it's done & the way the animal understands it. I think - & IME - horses understand well applied -R very well & it's an excellent teacher, while +P is often misunderstood & taken badly. Therefore I personally use -R pretty much as a matter of course, but use +P only rarely. Did I make that any clearer than mud??
Horses that have any willingness at all and horses that have not been spoiled and desensitized to aids, only require an 'open door' to go through and require you closing the wrong door if they try to go through that one.
Love that explanation!
The removal of pressure is the only reward they need.
I think of 'reward' as positive reinforcement, therefore removal of pressure is not a reward in my perception. Leaving that aside... I agree that -R is all they NEED to understand stuff & to be trained. But what you said previously was it's the only reward the horse UNDERSTANDS, which led me to think that you believed force & coersion(-R, +P) were the only way. I think that the addition of *well timed* +R for 'good' behaviour is really helpful too.(BTW I did not say food treats necessarily!)
HORSES DO NOT LEARN FROM THE PRESSURE. THEY LEARN FROM WHAT THEY DID WHEN THE HANDLER TOOK THE PRESSURE OFF.
I get what you're saying(I think
), but wouldn't say they CAN NOT learn from the pressure, just that it's harder for them to learn *unless with -R they can work out how to avoid or rid themselves of it*. This is the reason I think punishment should be used very carefully & sparingly.