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ABSTRACT
To assess the knowledge of learning theory among accredited equestrian coaches in Australia, a 20-item questionnaire was distributed to all coaches registered with the National Coaches Accreditation Scheme in Australia (n = 830). Of the 206 respondents, 79.5% considered positive reinforcement to be “very useful,” yet only 2.8% correctly explained its use in horse training. When asked about the usefulness of negative reinforcement, 19.3% of coaches considered it “very useful,” with 11.9% correctly explaining its use. Punishment was rated “very useful” by 5.2% of respondents, although only eight coaches (5.4%) explained punishment correctly. Release of pressure was considered the most effective reward for horses among respondents (78.2%). These results indicate that many equestrian coaches lack a correct understanding of positive and negative reinforcement as they apply to horse training. Given that qualified coaches play a significant role in the dissemination of information on training practices, this highlights the need for improved education of equestrian coaches. Education to remedy this situation has the potential to enhance the welfare of horses through reduced behavioral conflict and improve training outcomes.

 
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I really like where you're going with some of the things you've posted about training and common methods as well as the misconception of the relationship we have with our equine partners.

I think about the training techniques employed by many of those in the horse training community and wonder what would happen if those techniques where used on people and how long it would take before the clamour or outcry would reach a deafening level.

I also like your tag line for your posts; there is a connection that most of us have failed to make between ourselves and our equine friends in an effort to create a willing partner.
 
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