1 - Good is a value judgment that I don't think horses share. It implies the trainer is 'nice', or 'good' - and I think that is what motivates a lot of folks to start 'positive' training...because it involves being 'good', instead of being 'bad'.
I agree with what you say above(& most of what you have said BTW) & didn't mean it in a moral way. The difference is in working out what 'good' might be *in any given situation or time for the horse*. FWIW I don't think +R is always appropriate either.
But the horse doesn't respond to 'negative' reinforcements as being 'bad'. It is either fair or unfair. Either I'm being a bully, or being just.
Again, I mean 'bad' as in unpleasant, undesirable. As in something to yield away from, for eg. Which is why -R works.
They live their entire lives that way! No lead horse gives treats to entice another horse to do what they say. No lead horse whinnies "Good boy" to a gelding who does something right. It simply is not in their nature.
I reckon understanding & considering what is natural behaviour between horses is invaluable. But I don't believe that just because a horse does something - or not - with another horse is a good enough reason to rule it in or out for us. I know some disagree, but I don't believe in biting horses as punishment either, even tho it's 'natural behaviour'.
3 - If no one who thought like I do took part in the discussion, all you would have is a cheerleading thread full of back-slappers.
You said you don't care, which is what I responded to on that note. Of course you can care but disagree & debate about it, which is what I think is really the case.... & that's what I think is constructive for all
Just that as you - & others - have pointed out, I think that some of your disagreements at least are based on lack of understanding.
And then a lurker would think, "I ought to be positive, because I want a Happy Horse Who Loves Me".
That is my personal feeling about those who disagree with the whole concept of punishment/-R I think they're... cutting off their noses to spite the other side of their face, to those who don't believe in +R
Much of this positive/negative talk fails to appreciate that horses adapt to our cues. Mild pressure from my calf is not painful to a horse.
I don't personally think so at all. I think that most reasonable trainers understand that very well, whether or not they use +R. I think that people who don't understand behavioural theory get hung up on 'negative=wrong'
I think it is harmful to horses to speak of 'positive training', because A) few people understand positive in its clinical sense, and B) fewer still would know how to use it well.
. People get into just as much trouble using more 'normal' techniques badly. It is 'harmful' to use any training principle without understanding what on earth you're doing. That's why I think learning the *theory* is so important.
Too many humans enter the horse world with no knowledge at all about horses (like I did 5-6 years ago). They then get suckered into things like "bitless is nice, bits are cruel"
Or they get 'suckered' into 'harsh' treatment which also frequently gets people hurt. Again, whatever it is about, I think it's vital to understand what you're doing, not just blindly follow someone's instructions without understanding & thought.
But Mia wouldn't like me at all if I was all positive.
How do you know - have you tried??
But seriously, I agree that is likely, but I don't think we're discussing that radical view of doing away with the other half the spectrum either.
This phrase was very revealing: "Why should you be so against rewarding your horse with something Good
". You are attaching a moral value that 'positive' and 'negative' do not clinically have, so as to make your case - your case being that 'positive reinforcement' is "Good". I reject that moral judgment, and my horses do not understand it at all...
+R is a tool IMO, one possible appropriate tool out of many. What I get out of the above is that you reject +R because for some reason you feel it's morally wrong.