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post #21 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 03:48 AM
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Considering the 2 trainers you spoke to, IMO a 'middle ground' approach is what I'd take.

Like I've said, I do agree this horse needs firmness, but I don't think that means it's *generally* best to use such strong methods as to cause pain. Mild discomfort and persistence until you get the smallest yield at what you want is IME just as effective with less 'side effects' IME.

I do agree with PP basic principles(effectively just negative reinforcement, but so saying, haven't been in the PP scene for at least 15 years, so I suspect there are a lot of changes), but understanding & applying the principles don't add up to the sort of 'recipe' approach & specifics others often use. As mentioned, I think it's not the principles but trying to follow a set of 'instructions' that tend to go wrong, because everyone has their own perspective, including the horses.

I too agree that 'clicker training' is a fantastic method for any sort of training, be that fearful or 'dominant' type horses, be it for 'tricks' or 'real work'. It's actually about my most effective 'tool' for changing motivation & behaviour of 'rude' or 'make my day' type horses. I think, as with most things, it is vital to understand the *principles* behind it though, and the specifics(eg. whether you use a plastic clicker or otherwise, whether food treats or other +R) are optional.

I personally tend to use a combination of both positive and negative reinforcement - both trainer's methods you describe, without going to the extreme of a stud chain to 'pop' him painfully or such(unless it's a safety concern, which means I can't afford the patience to teach the horse), and while I use 'c/t' principles, I don't use a clicker & only part-time use food treats as reinforcement.
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post #22 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 11:44 AM
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With just the choice of the two trainers, I would go for the first.
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post #23 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 12:29 PM
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The only times one needs to really smack a horse hard is if it either threatens to kick or attempts to go over top of you. The idea of tapping a horse is to not only get his attention but to annoy him in to moving. Sometimes the tapping has to become more forcefull but not to the point of applying the whip hard to get his attention. A common error is to continue tapping the horse when he moves. This makes Jack a dull boy. The tapping needs to stop the moment the horse tries to comply. That is his reward. Wait a few seconds then ask again. I don't bother rubbing the horse with the whip as Parelli does as I've found it makes no difference. The reward is removing the whip, not rubbing the horse with it.
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post #24 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
The reward is removing the whip, not rubbing the horse with it.
If those trainers are the only option I'd definitely go the second. I agree with your post Saddlebag, except that the above quote grates on my pedantic self What you describe is not a reward. It is negative reinforcement. A reward is positive reinforcement.

Positive Reinforcement(+R) = Adding something desireable at the time of a behaviour in order to strengthen it.

Negative Reinforcement(-R) = Removing something undesireable at the time of a behaviour in order to strengthen it.

& then we have positive punishment, which many seem keen on, & negative punishment too...
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post #25 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 09:15 PM
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I was always told, do as much as necessary and as little as possible.
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