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Pushy clicker trained horse and alternative rewards?

This is a discussion on Pushy clicker trained horse and alternative rewards? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        02-13-2013, 08:59 AM
      #61
    Trained
    What I was going to write last night but did not have time to:

    I have a book from the 1950s written by a show jumper in south america. I can't remember who it is, I can go find the book tonight. He trained all of these not super athletic horses to jump big fences. He decided with one horse that every time he jumped a fence he was going to give it a sugar cube to reinforce the behavior.the horse was very enthusiastic about jumping ! But that doesnt mean the horse had good form or was athletic or talented or correct in anyway. He just knew he was supposed to get to the other side of the jump.

    This is mainly why I don't give CT too much credit.

    Paired with the fact that I already positively reinforce my horses. 'good gir' or a break or a pat or all three. My horses are excited to do their jobs and want to do them well.
         
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        02-13-2013, 09:00 AM
      #62
    Trained
    Btw thanks for finding that video, I will watch it later.
         
        02-13-2013, 09:48 AM
      #63
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
    what I was going to write last night but did not have time to:

    I have a book from the 1950s written by a show jumper in south america. I can't remember who it is, I can go find the book tonight. He trained all of these not super athletic horses to jump big fences. He decided with one horse that every time he jumped a fence he was going to give it a sugar cube to reinforce the behavior.the horse was very enthusiastic about jumping ! But that doesnt mean the horse had good form or was athletic or talented or correct in anyway. He just knew he was supposed to get to the other side of the jump.

    This is mainly why I don't give CT too much credit.

    Paired with the fact that I already positively reinforce my horses. 'good gir' or a break or a pat or all three. My horses are excited to do their jobs and want to do them well.
    Ah well it makes sense why you wouldn't give it credit based on that experience. However, here's the problem: That is simply just bad training, and any clicker trainer that knows what they're doing would agree.

    (Disclaimer: please forgive me if I'm off-base on what makes a good jumper since I don't jump)

    First, that isn't even clicker training - it's treat training, which I don't feel has any place at all in the horse world. In treat training, it is only possible to present the treat at certain times where it is safe and feasible to do so, I.e. AFTER the jump is completed. Therefore, it is impossible to train things like specific head and leg positions in mid-air. How is the horse supposed to know what he did wrong if you don't give him the treat/reinforcement until after he's done the entire jump?

    In clicker training, the click is used to mark the specific behavior and the horse knows the treat will follow soon. After the horse got the idea that he was actually supposed to jump the jump, I imagine would start clicking for correct form before I ever asked him to do higher or more advanced jumps. (At this point, the horse doesn't get a click for simply going over the jump since he knows what he's supposed to do and it's expected) For instance, I could click while he's still in the air each time the horse lifted his knees when he went over the jump. That way he connects the reinforcement with the correct form rather than just simply going over the jump. Eventually, he would figure out where his legs were supposed to be and that he had to jump with them in the correct position to earn a treat.

    As for reinforcements of "good gir" or a pat, I still can't figure out how that's rewarding for the horse. I think we find it rewarding and, naturally, pair those with the true reward for the horse, like getting to rest or not having to correct something that moment. Thus, it becomes a weak "reinforcer" - but again, it's not presented after all the behavior is over so the horse may or may not connect it to doing something right. If you stopped patting your horse or saying "good gir", would she still work? My bet would be yes - because she's actually working for the release of pressure (the "true" reinforcer, though it's negative reinforcement at this point since you're taking something away I.e. Subtracting it like you would a negative number)
    Tessa7707 likes this.
         
        02-13-2013, 09:57 AM
      #64
    Trained
    I forgot to add, it was an experiment pretty much on positive reinforcement, it was only done on one horse, because clearly it isnt that useful !

    If click= treat, how is just giving a treat any different ? That is just tomato tomaato...

    So are you supposed to click in the air over the jump ????

    Well you have associated 'good girl' or a pat with a release of pressure and/or good things happening long enough that they know it is a reward. Yes the biggest reward is the release of pressure, but the praise just backs it up and reinforces it. Just like a crop can reinforce your leg.
         
        02-13-2013, 10:23 AM
      #65
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
    i forgot to add, it was an experiment pretty much on positive reinforcement, it was only done on one horse, because clearly it isnt that useful !

    If click= treat, how is just giving a treat any different ? That is just tomato tomaato...

    So are you supposed to click in the air over the jump ????

    Well you have associated 'good girl' or a pat with a release of pressure and/or good things happening long enough that they know it is a reward. Yes the biggest reward is the release of pressure, but the praise just backs it up and reinforces it. Just like a crop can reinforce your leg.
    To clarify, clicker training is a practical application of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is constantly present in our lives - Do you work so that you get money? That's positive reinforcement!

    The click is used as a bridge for the treat so that you're able to mark more precise things. For example, could you give your horse a treat in mid air over a jump? No. But can you click to mark the correct body position in mid-air over a jump? Yes! This gives meaning to something specific the horse is doing than simply going over the jump, and since it is instantly marked along with the behavior rather than after the fact, then the horse is able to make clearer conections with what it's dong correctly and then is able to do it more often.

    By definition, positive reinforcement is something that causes a behavior to happen more often. Verbal rewards or pats are far too sporadic for them to become effective reinforcers, and since they happen AFTER everything, you would run into the same problems as treat trainers since they can't mark the exact behavior as soon as it happens.
         
        02-13-2013, 10:27 AM
      #66
    Yearling
    By the way, I'm going to clarify what a "reinforcer" is later today on my thread but from your response I can tell there is sone confusion on what exactly a reinforcer is. The terms "positive" "negative" "renforcer" and "punishement" are used differently when referring to behavior training. This is similar to how a "negative number" in math isn't a "bad" number - it's simply a number below 0. It's easy to miss the point of the point and methodology of clicker training if you don't understand these terms.
         
        02-13-2013, 10:29 AM
      #67
    Trained
    Thats the point I don't get, why the click. Do I really have to click while im focusing on jumping a 4 ft fence and holding the reins and holding a crop and steering and staying balanced over my horse ? That is so much more complicated that staying out of my horses way, which im sure she appreciates more ! I don't understand why the click can't just be left out.

    Horses can associate something that has happened in the last couple seconds, same with dogs, talk to a dog trainer. I trained dogs professionally for 3 years, I know how and when to reinforce behaviors. You can't wait long, but you for sure have a window of oppurtunity.

    This is also why pressure and release works so well, it happenes very quickly and there arent so many steps for the horse to put together. Just one, I move = no pressure.
         
        02-13-2013, 10:35 AM
      #68
    Weanling
    I am going to be home this weekend. Is there anything people would like to see me teach my cow with C/T? Keep in mind, I will only have one day.
         
        02-13-2013, 11:39 AM
      #69
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
    thats the point I don't get, why the click. Do I really have to click while im focusing on jumping a 4 ft fence and holding the reins and holding a crop and steering and staying balanced over my horse ? That is so much more complicated that staying out of my horses way, which im sure she appreciates more ! I don't understand why the click can't just be left out.

    Horses can associate something that has happened in the last couple seconds, same with dogs, talk to a dog trainer. I trained dogs professionally for 3 years, I know how and when to reinforce behaviors. You can't wait long, but you for sure have a window of oppurtunity.

    This is also why pressure and release works so well, it happenes very quickly and there arent so many steps for the horse to put together. Just one, I move = no pressure.

    The reason the click can't be left out is because you don't want the horse to think that getting to other side of the fence is the most important thing.
    I teach my pony unmounted agility, he's too small to ride and has an old rib injury preventing a small rider from riding him. I want to pony to approach the jump at the gait I want, I want him to pick up his knees and go over the jump properly and balanced, and I want a calm landing. If I were to just shove treats in his face after the jump then his whole goal would be getting from one side of the jump to the other side as fast as possible. If my pony approaches the jump at the wrong gait he doesn't get his click and we turn around and approach again. If he drags his knees he will not get his click (of course this all happened in stage and progression). When he lands I expect him to come out of it calmly - if he gets worked up no click. While I wouldn't typically click for them landing calmly it was an issue and he got excited so he needed to learn calm is better.
    He is gradually moving up to jumping a series of obstacles. The Click clearly marks the action I want. If I just fed him treats when he's landed the jump, how will he know it's because he trotted this time? Or tucked his knees better this time? The click says 'yes' right this minute that's what I want.

    As for your comment "o I really have to click while im focusing on jumping a 4 ft fence and holding the reins and holding a crop and steering and staying balanced over my horse ? That is so much more complicated that staying out of my horses way, which im sure she appreciates more !" I hope that's not how you actually jump. It takes a little more work than just getting out of their way. And no you don't need to click, because you don't like CT. But if I were to be teaching my pony to jump well and I was on his back, yes I would click when he did it better - or I'd have a friend on the ground click at the right time to make sure to mark the correct behavior. Also if your concern is about carrying a clicker while riding, yes that's difficult - I don't use a clicker at all I use a smooch noise I make myself so I don't have to carry anything.

    Pressure and release does work well. I'm not arguing that - All I'm saying is CT works also, if you have good timing and reinforce the correct behavior. Pressure and release is often screwed up too, it's not a fool-proof training method. I used to work at a hunter barn and at their barn I work with their horses their way (of course). They tell me to back a horse up with a rope halter on and standing in front of him and shaking the rope vigorously. They weren't happy with how vigorously I was shaking the rope until the horse's head was all the way in the air, he was backing aggressively and desperately looking for a way out. He got this treatment everytime he invaded the leader's space. While this method works I found it to be much calmer and more relaxed to teach a horse to back up calmly and quietly. I like my animals to be relaxed and unafraid. Not saying all pressure+release trainers work this way - my point is just that like any training method it can be screwed up too. Also at this barn, it's quite interesting, they put down the idea of clicker training, but they tell me the only way to lead one of their horses from his stall to his paddock safely is by carrying a carrot in front of his nose to make him follow it. They also have a horse who kicks the wall whenever he runs out of food, because it's annoying they give him food whenever he does it. This has obviously taught him to kick the wall more. Positive reinforcement - even unintentional.

    There aren't many steps for a horse to put together with CT, just like a release of pressure the click is a clear marker of the word 'yes' the difference is not all things can be taught with release of pressure. Like targeting.
    No one is saying you can't use Pressure+release, it works. The difference is the people who have actually tried CT and done it properly have realized how eager and motivated it makes horses to learn. When I do CT at my rescue I work with 1 pony at a time in a herd of 3, 2 of them are my projects the 3 is a project for a little girl I'm teaching. When I go in I take the one I'm working with the a corner and start - not 2 minutes I the other 2 will be over offering skills to me. If I ask my pony to back up, the other 2 will be backing as well. If I'm not asking anything they'll offer skills, backing up, holding up a hoof, searching for my target, any number of things. It makes me happy to see my horses wanting to learn. I love to watch their wheels turn as they figure out what it is that I'm looking for. Teaching my mare to Stand was a ball. I would stand out in front of her and say stand, then back away gradually, she would watch me SO intently, looking for what she was supposed to be doing. The click was a surprise to her when she didn't do anything xD. When I stepped to the side and began circling her she'd turn and face me, and not get a click, she was trying SO hard. If I stepped to one side she'd turn, so I'd step back, ad she'd turn back. It was adorable. Now we've reached a good solid Stand. I can be walking her say Stand and she'll stop even if I keep going

    Here is yet another great video to show just how effective and useful CT can be :)
         
        02-13-2013, 11:40 AM
      #70
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aldebono    
    I am going to be home this weekend. Is there anything people would like to see me teach my cow with C/T? Keep in mind, I will only have one day.
    Teach her to touch a target! I'd be curious how fast she picks it up. My horses learn it fully in about 2, 5minute sessions. My pig learned it in 20 seconds flat xD Targets are an easy skill to learn - Please take a video!
         

    Tags
    biting, clicker training, natural horsemanship, removal of pressure, treats

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