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Training Techniques

This is a discussion on Training Techniques within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        08-26-2008, 04:41 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    Honestly......i have never looked at any of the natural horsemaship / parelli stuff.
    Infact the only lessons in riding or whatever I ever took with an instructor was when I was 9yrs old. Did PC but that didnt teach me anything I didnt already know.

    Basicly I learnt to read my horses on my own. I did the whole trial and error thing. I have now done a little bit of clicker training with one of my horses and love that technique, but havnt done any for a while with him, I also did it with my dog and cat and it worked very well indeed with them.

    And I go by a rule of : in any given situation think back and imagine how the horse would react if it were in a similar situation in the wild.....i think how they might react and any possible after effects from this, and I find ways to counteract this or limit its after effects in as stress free way as possable. I always go back to thinking of the horses natural instincts, as it opens up any explination to the way a horse reacts to its surroundings..therefor making me more aware of my own actions


    This way of thinking and many years of work has brought my once timid, unfit , sad boy Banjo into my most treasured pet 8)

    Hope that made sence :roll:

    I always take in others advice and methods.( wether its what not to do or sound advice )..but I often adapt it to my own situation ....changeing it slightly sometimes. Taking bits and peices from here and there.
         
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        08-26-2008, 02:57 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Cool! Bitless, nice input!
         
        08-26-2008, 04:43 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Love the BS meter!!!
    Negative reinforcement is using a big stick really hard-it only teaches fear
    Positive reinforcement is using a small stick and using it selectively and teaching an animal respect by treating the animal with respect-

    Still love the bs meter-you can find usefull info all over the place like she said "sift through it and find what works for you" without dumping wads of cash into someone elses pocket for junk that has nothing to do with horsemanhip.
         
        08-26-2008, 06:17 PM
      #14
    Foal
    I see the concept behind the "natural horsemanship," but there are so many negatives I have seen I don't even know where to start. On the Parelli, I watched a clinic on RFD tv where the poor horse was thrashed in the face with a flying lead rope to teach it to......throw its head straight up in the air and run backwards...and when the horse reared to get away from the pressure hitting its face Parelli then hit it upside the head with the end of the lunge (can't remember the catch phrase for the Parelli item). I was sickened, that is not my only Parelli story, but the most effective. The idea of horse psychology is wonderful. I strive for that with my horse, but I don't consider anything I do on the same lines of "natural horsemanship." Every movement I want is slow, relaxed and flowing. I think the natural horsemanship is about quick, sharp and jerky. I don't see any slow, relaxed movements out of their principles, and I want a horse with a relaxed, slow attitude and the only way to get that is to approach the horse relaxed and slow in all you ask for. I can ride my gelding bareback, bridless and do patterns, trail courses, etc. with no problem, and there is nothing "natural" about his training.

    Sorry, I am a very anti-natural horsemanship person, for I feel it is actually unfair to the horses, and you get a negative response and attitude eventually from them. I've seen a lot of nice horses ruined from it, and therefore have a real negative look on it....sorry for being so blunt...but I wish everyone would research and really "look" before they implement training techniques. If you want a speed horse, or reiner out of all of them I do like Clinton Anderson for a quicker minded and paced event type horse. His methods make a little more sense under saddle. Dona Hokaman (don't know if I spelled that right) has some great videos with training techniques on them, as well as Cleve Wells.
         
        08-26-2008, 07:22 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rubonsky
    I see the concept behind the "natural horsemanship," but there are so many negatives I have seen I don't even know where to start. On the Parelli, I watched a clinic on RFD tv where the poor horse was thrashed in the face with a flying lead rope to teach it to......throw its head straight up in the air and run backwards...and when the horse reared to get away from the pressure hitting its face Parelli then hit it upside the head with the end of the lunge (can't remember the catch phrase for the Parelli item). I was sickened, that is not my only Parelli story, but the most effective. The idea of horse psychology is wonderful. I strive for that with my horse, but I don't consider anything I do on the same lines of "natural horsemanship." Every movement I want is slow, relaxed and flowing. I think the natural horsemanship is about quick, sharp and jerky. I don't see any slow, relaxed movements out of their principles, and I want a horse with a relaxed, slow attitude and the only way to get that is to approach the horse relaxed and slow in all you ask for. I can ride my gelding bareback, bridless and do patterns, trail courses, etc. with no problem, and there is nothing "natural" about his training.

    Sorry, I am a very anti-natural horsemanship person, for I feel it is actually unfair to the horses, and you get a negative response and attitude eventually from them. I've seen a lot of nice horses ruined from it, and therefore have a real negative look on it....sorry for being so blunt...but I wish everyone would research and really "look" before they implement training techniques. If you want a speed horse, or reiner out of all of them I do like Clinton Anderson for a quicker minded and paced event type horse. His methods make a little more sense under saddle. Dona Hokaman (don't know if I spelled that right) has some great videos with training techniques on them, as well as Cleve Wells.
    This is great input!! I agree 100% with slow, relaxed, and flowing training, like you have mentioned. Like I said I am still researching all of this myself and any facts, information, and techniques I can get are vital.

    I do not so much like Parelli myself. I've just learned a little bit about him and I think any person who believes his way is the only way, and his tools are the only tools, are full of it! :roll:

    I do not agree with any quick, sharp or jerky training when it comes to horses. I find this to be very harsh and can really damage your horse's self esteem and create more problems then solutions.

    Thanks a lot for your input Rubonsky!!
         
        08-26-2008, 07:59 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArabianAmor
    As for upnover, I know what you mean when you say that every horse has its individual way of training needed. That makes perfect sense.

    But I still think that the way a horse thinks and responds to certain things can be somewhat the same in a sense. Due to the fact that they are all prey animals and think and act relatively alike.
    Yes! While many specifics might have to be 'tweaked' differently for different horses according to their personalities, the basic principles are the same. Even so far as species, while different things concern or motivate us according to our species & personalities(& the time & place), we all learn in essentially the same way whatever animal we are.

    I think a big part of the issue is that we all also learn based on our own perceptions & perspectives, from previous experiences. Therefore, 'natural horsemanship' is one of those terms which has come to sort of mean everything & nothing - it means different things to different people. Same goes with the perceptions and understanding of different techniques, understanding(or lack of of the principles behind the specifics....

    So I will give my own personal opinion, understanding & perception of the subjects....

    To my mind, learning about & working within a horse's natural way of thinking, natural horsey tendencies is what 'natural horsemanship' is about. It is also about working with a horse in a way that promotes *willing partnership* rather than a sort of master/slave relationship, which 'old fashion' methods often develop. Therefore, it applies equally to all horses.

    Taking Parelli as an example(because that's the NH 'guru' I know best), while many of his 'games' etc are based on natural equine behaviour, I don't know that I'd call the actual techniques natural. In hindsight, I can also see that without enough knowledge, this teaching still led only to a master/slave relationship with me & my first horse, tho this was plainly not his intent.

    As for positive & negative reinforcement, while different things motivate different people, within or outside a species, everyone learns like this. Punishment is also a learning 'tool', but it is not as effective or well accepted(without 'side effects') as reinforcement, even by humans, who have an understanding of abstract concepts such as past, present & future. For clarification....

    Positive Reinforcement(+R) = addition of something desirable in order to strengthen the behaviour

    Negative Reinforcement(-R) = removal of something undesirable in order to strengthen a behaviour

    Positive Punishment(+P) = addition of something undesirable in order to weaken a behaviour

    Negative Punishment(-P) = removal of something desirable in order to weaken a behaviour

    People often don't understand the principles behind these concepts, so therefore they are often not effective in their use tho. For eg. Reinforcement or punishment must happen *at the time of* the behaviour that you are wanting to modify. And the behaviour is either strengthened or weakened, not 'known' or understood as 'right or 'wrong', without many, many repetitions.

    I find with regard to c/t & especially feeding treats, there are a couple of mental blocks that people have. The first is the idea that an animal 'shouldn't' have to be given treats in order to 'work'. That because you 'own' the animal, it 'should' work just because you tell it. Or it should work because you're the one who feeds it it's dinner.

    I think this is an incredibly flawed view, because firstly, There is a difference between using treats as conscious and well timed positive reinforcement and giving them whenever, without thinking about reinforcement. In the first instance, it's not just about 'rewarding' 'good' behaviour, but actually teaching it. Secondly, animals live in the here & now, don't have moral understandings of right or wrong, should or shouldn't, but do what works *for them* and quit doing what doesn't work. They might bond with someone because of the care they get, but they won't learn to come when called(for eg.) if they're never reinforced - or inadvertently punished - for it. Thirdly, the concept that an animal should feel obliged to do as it's told for this reason, or just because you own it & order it, is flawed, because they don't understand these concepts, and didn't ask to be owned & have no choice in the matter.

    Another problem people have with positive reinforcement that comes from a lack of understanding is specifically food treats. People think that feeding treats causes or encourages bad behaviour. They often aren't fully conscious of exactly what they're reinforcing, so it leads to them inadvertently reinforcing 'bad' behaviour. Eg. The person wants to reinforce the horse for coming when called, so they give the horse a treat. But they don't notice or don't worry that the horse also comes at them with his ears back, or uses his teeth to take the treat.... until they've reinforced (strengthened) this behaviour often enough that it becomes an established problem.

    People also seem to commonly think of things like praise and patting as adequate positive reinforcement for a horse. While this may be adequate for a person, praise is just noise to an animal(tho it can be effectively associated to true +R to have some meaning, in the same way that a clicker is...) and horses often - never say never - just tolerate(or actively dislike) patting & other grooming, rather than really desiring it. For a positive reinforcement to be effective, it needs to be something truely desirable *to that animal at that time*, whether it's food treats or otherwise.

    Anyway, that's my..... 2000 cent's worth I hope this has given you some more food for thought! Have fun with the assignment.
         
        08-26-2008, 08:20 PM
      #17
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArabianAmor
    I do not so much like Parelli myself. I've just learned a little bit about him and I think any person who believes his way is the only way, and his tools are the only tools, are full of it! :roll:
    ...And another 2c from me :roll: While as I've said, I used to be big on Parelli, but I agree that there are many negative aspects to his teaching. Actually threw the baby out with the bathwater when I first learned about behavioural psych & c/t & decided he was all bad...

    I tend to concentrate on learning the principles behind people's teachings. One of Parelli's principles that people regularly seem to miss, so have the above prob, is that he does NOT believe his way it THE way, or that people should only learn from one source, or that any specific tools are necessary or will make it work for you. While I've heard the man himself say the above, I agree that his practices and insinuations often contradict what he has preached.... but as I said, I concentrate on the principles, so many practices(including the huge marketing machine) generally goes unheeded over my head.
         
        08-26-2008, 08:49 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Loosie, I just want to thank you for putting the time and effort into that reply. I got a lot out of it!!

    I also do agree that Parelli has a lot to offer that we can learn from, but we just have to run some of it threw out "bs" meter....

    Anyway thanks for your 2000 cents worth!! Hahaha!! I wish I had more to say on the subject but I am more just taking everything in, and when I'm done with the assignment, I think I may have an opinion more of my own...
         
        08-27-2008, 06:22 AM
      #19
    Trained
    Totally 100% agree with what upnover said about taking everything everyone you meet says, determine what is useful and what isnt and then use what works for you. The natural approach is obviously best but some occasions call for whatever method works for you, within reason.

    I don't follow a NHorseman nor have I really delved a whole lot into it but I have picked up bits and pieces from the odd dvd here and there and on here as well. Im basically self taught in every way apart from the odd tid-bit from others of course :) obviously approaching horses in a way they are going to actually understand is best which lends more to NH type techniques
         
        08-27-2008, 01:19 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Jazzyrider, would you be willing to share some of your techniques??
         

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