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Help please! Need training advice!

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    11-28-2013, 03:47 AM
Originally Posted by spirit88    
I disagree with the pocket full of treats horse should do what's asked without having to be given a treat. I have a gelding if given treat by hand gets down right rude and pushy.
That's your opinion, that horses 'should' do what they're asked without positive reinforcement. Each to his own re treat feeding IMO. I was just pointing out that whether or not you feed treats or how, it's not the food/treats/hand feeding that makes them 'rude' or 'mouthy', it's the rules of the game you've taught/reinforced. Ensure rules are clear and consistently enforced and it's not an issue.
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    11-28-2013, 09:48 AM
Originally Posted by loosie    
That's your opinion, that horses 'should' do what they're asked without positive reinforcement. Each to his own re treat feeding IMO. I was just pointing out that whether or not you feed treats or how, it's not the food/treats/hand feeding that makes them 'rude' or 'mouthy', it's the rules of the game you've taught/reinforced. Ensure rules are clear and consistently enforced and it's not an issue.
I didn't say they didn't get positive reinforcment I said I don't hand feed treats when training or anytime. Like iv said before iam not on here asking for training help because my horses are well trained and respectful. Never have trouble catching either all three horses come to me.

When they do good they get a pet I put that on my other post guess you failed to read that part.
So guess what I do works dispite what others on here think iam not mean to my horses either don't use there it horses don't need treats their feed grain twice a day they think that's a treat.

Iv seen the results of hand feeding treats pushy mouthy in your face 1000 pound brates that think their a puppy dog......NOT MY HORSES EITHER....
    11-28-2013, 10:58 AM
Originally Posted by spirit88    
I His reward for good behavour is a pet
There it is but everyone seems to fail to see it.If that's not positive reinfocement then what is giving treats by hand?

When I go to get a horse to ride I don't have to worry about them mugging me for treats,or running all over me. Oh because they RESPECT ME Positive reinforcement isnt about getting a treat if it is then to bad I wont use it.
    11-28-2013, 11:19 AM
Spirit, please understand no one is telling you you are a bad horse owner - on pretty much other thread on this forum everyone would agree with you. But you entered a thread where the OP uses Positive Reinforcement training, so we gave her suggestions based on the style of training we use.

Now I think you're getting offended because we're using scientific terms to define things, but I think you're putting an emotional connection to the terms.

First of all you (and most modern horse trainers) rely mostly on what's called (scientifically) "negative reinforcement"
To understand the difference between positive and negative reinforcement, as well as positive and negative punishment - first you need to get rid of the emotional connection with all of those words. Positive simply means "adds" Negative simply mean "subtracts" Reinforcement= "causes and increase in that behavior" Punishment="causes a decrease in that behavior"
I hope this image can explain it better than I can:

Now you're right giving your horse a pat could be positive reinforcement. In our training style, we typically use a food reward because it's what's called a "primary reinforcer" meaning every animal is born desiring food, it takes nothing on our part to make food valuable, it just always is - horses are perfect for this because they eat 24/7 (versus predators which may eat a few large meals infrequently). A pat or a praise word is what's called a "secondary reinforcer" it's something that has no meaning, or may even been aversive to the horse (many horses are not a fan of patting - my TB stud for example cringes as gentle strokes, very thin skinned). But when the pat or praise is frequently connected with a release of pressure or with a food reward eventually it becomes reinforcing for the horse - but that takes time. For example the sound of my click becomes a secondary reinforcer, I never stop backing it up with a treat though.

As for your horse respecting you - if he respects you and you don't use treats that's perfectly fine. You are free to train your horse how you like and I think most horse people would agree with you about the "no treats" thing. But we are different. I use treats to train my horse - it allows me to train them using minimal to no pressure and allows me to never need punishment.
As far as horses respecting you or mugging you for treats - I have 17 horses (total) that I train, 3 of my own are included - the rest are rescues from every walk of life, from damaged show horses to completely feral horses never handled before. I use Clicker Training (positive reinforcement training) on all of them. I can promise you none of them will bite me, invade my space or be otherwise rude, regardless of whether I have food in my hand or not.

If you have something that works or you - please don't less us burden you with more information. But if you're interested in learning more let me know.

Here are some other references you might want to look at to understand more the difference between positive and negative reinforcement.
The Dominance Model and Horsemanship by Equine Ethology Are Dead | enlightened horsemanship through touch

This is a great thread on here, the first couple pages have detailed descriptions on the science behind Positive Reinforcement training:
Clicker Training: Challenge Accepted
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    11-28-2013, 11:46 AM
Punkstank I don't disagree with your above post very good explanation. Iv seen to many newbies with first horse and using hand feeding and horse turns into a monster.

Maybe it works for people who understand how to use treats and how to keep horse from getting pushy. But for someone new to horses I think hand feeding treats is a huge MISTAKE.

Sounds like the OPS horse has little or no respect for her I also think treats need to be out of picture for a while. If she wants to give treats put it in a feed pan.

The pushyness op talks about if not taken care of will escalate into horse bitting her. Think she needs to get horses respect first then go back to using treats if wanted. Like iv said before iv seen results of horses being hand fed by clueless owners.

Op could also use letting horse have a bite of grass doesnt require hand feeding but its a food treat. One thing if you have their respect but another.. when horse is already mugging you for treats. Also the grass eating doesnt require treats in pocket for an already disrespectful horse, who will endup bitting owner.
    11-28-2013, 12:38 PM
If you look at some parelli groundwork videos - these help a lot with gaining respect and more of a 'bond' with your horse.
Buck brannaman also has some great tips!
    11-28-2013, 05:57 PM
Green Broke
Horse will learn to behave without dragging this out, or trying to be his buddy. Walking around with him or standing while he eats is waste of time. You are not a buddy standing guard, and walking him around like a Lab will not translate into him wanting to do anything for you either.

Consistent handling of horse, calm and sensible works wonders. And waiting on a horse to want to do something to please you also is a waste of time. They do not think like that.

Getting a horse to stand still while being groomed, tacked or what have you doesn't take that long. And again, them cooperating has nothing to do with them wanting to please you, as much as it has with you are telling them to behave with your corrections and your mannerisms.
    11-30-2013, 03:50 PM
I got him to stop sticking his head in my pocket. Iv also got him to follow me, stop with me and back up. So that's something. He stands still for being tacked, and usualy for grooming, the most he dose is lean into the brush, or push his head into it if I find spots he likes. I try not to give him treats unless he dose something that's deserving of it such as walking with me all the way through the trail with out stopping to eat some grass. Thanks for the help everyone
    11-30-2013, 05:23 PM
Joining up is what you want to do next, look it up on YouTube and you will be able to do it yourself. Also you might want to look into getting a few lessons from a perfesional trainer.
    11-30-2013, 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by LyraFreedom    
Joining up is what you want to do next, look it up on YouTube and you will be able to do it yourself. Also you might want to look into getting a few lessons from a perfesional trainer.
thank you :)
LyraFreedom likes this.

dominance issues, morgan, training, training advice, trust building

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