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Hey all =)
I was just wondering what your views on fear vs respect are.
I have heard trainers say they are the same.
Personally, I completely disagree! I think a horse should have no fear of you but do what you ask because he trusts and respects you. A horse should just listen because he is worries about being hit. Just my opinion. What do you think?
 

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To me Fear in a horse (or any animal) is when they have a flight or fight response to you or you preforming an action. For instance, if I were to beat my horse (yeah that'd happen lol) it would react negatively to my actions and would have a flight or fight response due to a surge of adrenaline through it's body because the brain has made the connection that I am (for lack of a better word) a predator.

Respect in a horse is when they acknowledge me as their leader and alpha in their 'people herd'. I like to say that horses have two leaders; they have their horse leader and then they have their people leader. Simply put, when the horse is around me or a person than the person is the leader; when they're out to pasture then the horse is their leader. I personally demand the same, if not more than, respect that they give their horse leader and would achieve this by using the same methods that they know from the herd. (So a kick or bite or smack, even body posture). Respect does not trigger the flight or fight response from a horse due to a persons actions, at least not to the extent that the horse would have if it was experiencing fear.

A good example is of a horse I helped train. He was very aggressive and belligerent and one day he had a little come to jesus meeting. He was scared out of his mind by us for about two minuets and then calmed down and showed us respect without any further fear. Respect and fear go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. The horse knew that what I had done was just like when he was getting put in his place by his horse leader and that I would not go after him maliciously unless he came after me.

Sorry if that was unclear and wordy. I'm at the stage now where my brain is turning to mush because I need to sleep! :lol:
 

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The truth is Traditional and Natural horse training are both "pressure and release" training. It doesn't matter whether the horse respects or fears you. The horse does the behavior asked of them because if they don't something they don't want will happen.
If you want a horse to back up you ask gently, then gradually increase the pressure until they respond, over time they learn that responding to the first gentle cue is easier, because the stronger pressure really stinks.

This is Purely a form pressure and release training they are learning from the release of the pressure. The pressure can come in forms as light as your mere presence, being chased around a round pen, being hit with a stick, gentle touching with your finger tips - all these things are "pressure". The horse determines whether the pressure is aversive or not. An Aversive is a stimulus the animal wants to avoid.
The trainer provides the aversive the horse responds, if they don't respond or if they respond wrong, the aversive is made worse until they respond correctly.

It doesn't matter if it's fear or respect. The horse is responding the pressure and learning from what causes the pressure to be released.

There are other options, but this is what the vast majority of the horse world uses to train their horses, whether they use a whip, carrot stick, round pen, or their bare hands - they are using pressure and release.
I would say horses are working out of fear if I had to pick one - not panic, but they are working under the constant threat that if they don't respond correctly they will be progressively be made less comfortable, have to work harder or be in pain.
 

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I want the horse to listen to me because they want to. No they don't have to love it but they need to follow me because I am the leader. Fear is when they do something because they are afraid of the consequences. Yes similar, but I think a very different mindset. Fear is a negative emotion and leads to a stressed out animal. Fear will backfire.

Respect is earned by treating a horse fairly and with understanding. Fear is not. That is the difference.

I can understand why some people say they are the same. They are the same, they are also different.

Even without beating a horse as trainer's we do tap into fear. We never want the horse to be afraid of us. If that is the case something is very, very wrong. There are emergency situations where use of fear is necessary, imo. We want to teach the horse a fear of not respecting us. Either physical consequences, or being driven from the "herd". We do not want the horse to be afraid of us, we just need to use fear, a powerful motivator. There are also feelings of fear that are way smaller than full blown panic, just making a horse uncomfortable and "wrong".

Just thing of the #1 BAD thing you could/did do growing up. Now you did it and now your parents know. Are you afraid? Do you feel "fear"? I know I would. Does that mean you are afraid of your parents? Are you afraid of being hurt or mistreated (well, I hope not..) You love and respect your parents and maybe you are afraid of losing that. I know for me I would be scared of my parents finding out. If someone asked me why I'd say "because they'll be mad" and if that person asked why that was so bad... I wouldn't really have an answer. I'd just know it wasn't right. So while obviously the horse doesn't feel exactly like that I do feel that's a very similar concept. If someone had abusive parents they might have a reason to actually be afraid. If someone had kind, but firm parents that they respected, they wouldn't have the same genuine fear. There might be worry about the consequences, but I think most of the fear would be focused toward "I was BAD" and is not really the same as genuine fear.

It's like when the horse does something wrong. Then goes flying backward in a panic. It's because they know they did wrong and they know their in trouble even before you correct them, they "self correct" because they were BAD.

Respect has a confident trusting horse, fear does not.

I hope that made sense. I'm half asleep! Basically I would say they are not the same (by definition of course) or in practice though they are very closely linked. Using a horses natural fear in training is part of the work (even think desensitizing), using fear to train is not correct.
 

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To add to what PunksTank said.. Teaching a horse to respond to pressure. Even if you teach using fear (the horse won't move so you end up chasing them). Usually the horses are used to human presence to aren't actually panicked, but even if you use an extreme, you train it down to a simple touch (for example). So the horse doesn't move because it is afraid, it moves because it's been trained to. Usually if you have to "up" (simple touch to push) as you do that the horse remembers the fear and complies. Again, I don't feel like I'm making sense.. last post before bed! I just don't feel the horse feels fear every time you ask them to move in a simple way. I think it's there, but I think it's our job to use it to our advantage and of course to the horse's well being. If the horse is in a constant state of fear it's abuse not training, imo. (Generally speaking). It is our job to use it, but to minimize it at the same time. I also feel there are a million degrees of fear, from blind panic (which we obviously aren't talking about) down to a little worry) and also the term can be used in slightly different contexts as well.
 

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To add to what PunksTank said.. Teaching a horse to respond to pressure. Even if you teach using fear (the horse won't move so you end up chasing them). Usually the horses are used to human presence to aren't actually panicked, but even if you use an extreme, you train it down to a simple touch (for example). So the horse doesn't move because it is afraid, it moves because it's been trained to. Usually if you have to "up" (simple touch to push) as you do that the horse remembers the fear and complies. Again, I don't feel like I'm making sense.. last post before bed! I just don't feel the horse feels fear every time you ask them to move in a simple way. I think it's there, but I think it's our job to use it to our advantage and of course to the horse's well being. If the horse is in a constant state of fear it's abuse not training, imo. (Generally speaking). It is our job to use it, but to minimize it at the same time. I also feel there are a million degrees of fear, from blind panic (which we obviously aren't talking about) down to a little worry) and also the term can be used in slightly different contexts as well.

I completely agree with everything, expect - pressure/release isn't our only option. If it were the only way to train an animal (well then there would be no trained marine mammals - could you picture haltering a whale?) it would be a necessary evil - but it's not.
Anyone interested in learning the science behind how animals (horses included) are trained, how they learn - and what other options we have to train them without fear can read this thread (only the first few pages are information, the rest is just discussion)
http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/clicker-training-challenge-accepted-153311/


ETA: I'm going to nod politely out of the discussion right now, because I know my opinion isn't a common or popular one. I believe there's more than enough information I put above and on the link I linked to prove my point, I don't want to defend my point anymore (but I'm happy to explain it in more detail if anyone honestly wants to learn, just PM me)
 

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I don't think they are the same thing.

I've seen horses run from grassfire and from mountain lions (not at the same time!). And I've never made one look like those did.

Though... I have put a bit of fear into a horse or two when they were dangerously ill-mannered. I don't mind that the few I've really had to get after keep a wary eye on me for a couple days until they get the whole putting up with being handled thing sorted out.

It was really nothing more than the way a horse pays attention to the lead mare when first introduced into the herd.

Respect just seems to be having manners, and understanding and doing their job when needed. Horses and I end up with mutual respect. I work for them and they work for me.
 

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I completely agree with everything, expect - pressure/release isn't our only option. If it were the only way to train an animal (well then there would be no trained marine mammals - could you picture haltering a whale?) it would be a necessary evil - but it's not.
Anyone interested in learning the science behind how animals (horses included) are trained, how they learn - and what other options we have to train them without fear can read this thread (only the first few pages are information, the rest is just discussion)
http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/clicker-training-challenge-accepted-153311/


ETA: I'm going to nod politely out of the discussion right now, because I know my opinion isn't a common or popular one. I believe there's more than enough information I put above and on the link I linked to prove my point, I don't want to defend my point anymore (but I'm happy to explain it in more detail if anyone honestly wants to learn, just PM me)
I do hear you :) Just what you said made me want to make a separate point (why I didn't quote). I was speaking about "traditional" training. A good trainer will explore all logical options I feel. I know I for one am always interested in your opinion, and I feel it would be valuable to this thread.
 

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A respectful horse is sure of you and knows what he's supposed to do. You can count on him. A scared one will sell out on you the first chance he gets in order to save himself. You'll only get by him if you're lucky and/or can really ride. Personally, there's only one kind that I care to trust enough to put a leg on either side of.
 

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I personally think that they do have similarities, but at the same time they are completely different. This makes sense in my head, but I'm not sure if it will once I've tried to write it down...

For example, take my horse when being handled with me versus my mother. When my mother handles him, she coddles him. She doesn't raise her voice to him, even when he's being obnoxious. He basically walks all over her. There have also been times when my mother has been scared of him because he was acting up.

When I handle my horse, there are boundaries and the wrong side of those boundaries have punishment. Whether he fears those punishments, I'm unsure, but he sure as heck respects me for them. If he isn't paying attention, I use what I like to call my 'monster growl' voice. I'm not afraid to give him a tap with my knuckles or a whip as reinforcement.

A prime example is when he was really acting up due to new horses on the property. He was walking all over me, paying no attention and honestly just being dangerous. My mother was terrified and wanted to just put him back in the paddock. I got my lunge whip and worked his butt off. I kept the whip flicking behind him - he stopped to stare at the other horses, he got a smack on the bum. He quickly learned to ignore the other horses, and I haven't had an issue like that since. There have been similar cases under saddle and I use my three step system when he's being stubborn - circle, kick, whip. He knows that when that kick comes, the next step is the whip so he'd better smarten up his act.

I guess to some people my method might seem to be based on fear, but my horse has never shown any signs of being afraid of me. He knows that I am the one in charge, and he follows obediently most of the way because doing what I say has never had bad repercussions, whilst doing the wrong this has. That has made him trust me to be his leader. He has learned right from wrong as much as any horse could, I swear he has apologized to me after the worst occasions, walking up and resting his head lightly against my back.
 

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The truth is Traditional and Natural horse training are both "pressure and release" training. It doesn't matter whether the horse respects or fears you. The horse does the behavior asked of them because if they don't something they don't want will happen.
You are SO, SO wrong. This statement tells me that you know absolutely nothing about 'real training'. A horse doing what a handler / rider wants out of fear is entirely different from a 'trained' horse that is doing what it is supposed to because it respects the handler and has been trained and 'conditioned' to do what the trainer wants it to do. Good training and teaching has absolutely nothing to do with fear. Retraining spoiled horses? Maybe a little fear in the beginning, but not for very long.

I would doubt that you have ever been around a 'good trainer' and I doubt that you have ever ridden or handled a really 'well-trained' horse. As long as you are asking nothing more out of a horse than one would ask out of any companion animal, one is not teaching much.

Horses doing anything out of fear is so completely different than one responding because it has been 'conditioned' and 'taught' to respond are as different as night and day. They are in no way even similar.

I would say horses are working out of fear if I had to pick one - not panic, but they are working under the constant threat that if they don't respond correctly they will be progressively be made less comfortable, have to work harder or be in pain.
This is simply NOT how horses think and respond. Horses live 'in the moment'. Just like they do not stand around and worry about dying from some obscure cause. They do not think, "Gee, if I do not do this, Bozo here is going to hit me or make me miserable".

Good training by good trainers is no different than your 'clicker training' in that it 'teaches a 'conditioned response'. When the conditioned response wanted is something very simple or a 'trick', I can see where a clicker can produce the wanted conditioned response.

When a trainer is training a horse to do complicated things under saddle, I cannot see how the desired conditioned response can be attained by establishing a target or using treats. In 55 years, I have never seen it done with horses.

Other animal species have a lot more reasoning intelligence than horses do. Even donkeys do much more reasoning. Dogs and pigs do much more reasoning. The more reasoning intelligence an animal has, the more they can plan and project future consequences. Horse are in the here and now. Horses are 'creature of habit' much more than creatures of 'great intellect and reasoning'.

Can they be fearful or afraid of someone? Absolutely. When they are fearful, they are stiff, brace against the pressure they are anticipating and are anything but relaxed and happy. Their whole demeanor exudes fear.

While you think horses are conditioned to do something because they fear consequences down the road, I understand that they are conditioned responses that they have been skillfully taught to do. This is completely different than the fear response.

The more skill a trainer has, the less force or hard pressure is needed to teach the correct response. Once it has been taught, it only takes occasional small reminders when the horse starts responding at a lower level of compliance than it is capable of doing. Some horses require little or no reminders. Some horse have less natural 'push back' or 'resistance' than others. This is determined by background and breeding. We have specifically bred for 'good minded' horses that have 'trainable' attitudes along with specific athletic attributes and abilities.

I like to refer to good training as just 'opening the right door and LETTING the horse go through it'. The good trainer just closes all other doors and lets the horse do the thing that they have made easy (or possible). This is world away from beating or knocking a horse through the right door. If you can't understand that difference, you are never going to get a horse trained to do anything but be a companion animal. Until a person fully understands this difference, their horses are not going to do anything useful, much less competitive.

When I look at the avatar photo of Allison riding the big gray horse over a 5 foot jump, I do not see a fearful horse that thinks it is going to be beaten if it does not jump the jump. I see a horse that has been taught to perform a difficult athletic endeavor.

I am waiting for someone to explain to me how this could get done with a clicker or a treat? Anyone? I think it is the result of just plain good training techniques.
 

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What is respect?

I greatly respected my parents, I never went out and robbed a bank or mugged anyone because I was taught better and, the fear of letting my parents down was greater than my need to do wrong!

It is the same with training any animal, firm, fair and fun. Tight boundaries to start and then as the training and respect is cemented those boundaries can widen.

I do not mind a trained horse being cheeky and having a personality, but ill manners, never. They rarely ever need anything more than a verbal or finger poke correction.
The spoiled horse will need more in that boundaries are tight but with the three 'Fs' they soon learn.

A horse that is being difficult over say being clipped, I will get very cross with them, make them go backwards around the stable until they are showing signs of submission, then I will stop and continue to clip them. Their 'fear' of my getting cross, although in will not have beaten them up. Is greater than the clippers so they settle and recognise that I am going to do what I wanted regardless.

Before anyone decries this I use to be the only person clipping (hunter clips on all) a yard of jump racehorses, over 90 horses, they were fit and ready to go. Of all those horses there was only one that I had to twitch to do his ears. The rest were fine even for their last clips when they were really fit and ticklish. Before I was doing them there were at least six that had to be doped. One had put three lads in hospital yet I would do him totally loose (which was the way to do him, if he was tied or held he would fight) all some needed was making them think I was the devil himself, a couple just needed assuring. It was a matter of knowing the difference between "I won't'. And 'I'm not sure'.
 

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I do not think fear and respect are the same thing. Respect comes with trust and that can't exist unless fear is overcome.
I think that there is a certain amount of fear in the beginning when you are working on earning a horse's respect. However that is only a small element of respect.
Through conditioning, and consistency you create a environment with boundaries that a horse adapts to and trusts which builds respect. That is the bond all the touchy feelies talk about.
If a person is only using fear as training tool then they are going to reach a point where they can't move forward with that technique because the horse is either going to shut down or blow up.
 

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When I look at the avatar photo of Allison riding the big gray horse over a 5 foot jump, I do not see a fearful horse that thinks it is going to be beaten if it does not jump the jump. I see a horse that has been taught to perform a difficult athletic endeavor.

I am waiting for someone to explain to me how this could get done with a clicker or a treat? Anyone? I think it is the result of just plain good training techniques.
I've already mentioned I'm not going to talk more about my opinions on the OP, I think I've said enough and don't want to keep hammering a point.

That being said, you asked a great questions, can Clicker Training teach advanced things like advanced show jumping (like Allison's amazing photo) or advanced manuevers, maybe in Dressage or working cows? Of course is can and does work in those environments.

Many a show horse has either been clicker trained from the beginning or has had clicker training added to their training to overcome issues that couldn't be overcome with traditional training.

I'd like to share Shawna Karrasch's story of Judgement, a professional jumping horse with a fear of water jumps. This is a quote from one of Shawna's blogs:
"Beezie Madden, who is a two time olympic gold medalist, is who worked with when I started applying clicker training to horses back in 1994. She and her husband had a famous jumper named Judgement. He had a huge water jumping issue and clicker/target training helped him to overcome his fear. So it really works for every level." Teaching a Horse to Jump : On Target Training with Shawna Karrasch

I can't think of any more advanced bahaviors than a seeing-eye horse, who has to stop at cross walks, assess safety situations, get into cars, and guide and protect the life of their person. Here is Panda a purely Clicker Trained mini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLdO2cBAusw

This is Georgia Bruce who does both english and western events with her purely clicker trained horses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tBrOwuhFvo

Here's Hannah Dawson's amazing Clicker Trained horse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjyIXQljqc0
Here's another great Hannah Dawson one that shows some flat work skills and some jumping
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CNXmyVvMg

This is one of the winners of the World Clicker Equine Games:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILl6A8RGedo
Another amazing one from the World Clicker Equine Games:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-HIsXyRbMw


With Clicker training you can shape any skill you want. If you want them to ride more collected clicking and marking the times the horse holds himself more correctly will teach them how to hold themselves, if you want them to jump higher or cleaner you click click and shape the behavior into exactly as you want. You can literally teach a horse anything they're physically capable of doing by using a bridge signal.


Oh and I forgot this amazing story :) http://www.wect.com/story/24417490/horse-trainer-uses-unique-methods-commonly-used-with-dogs
 

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One of my horses might seemingly show respect but I knew he was scared half to death. His first reaction was to get rigid throughout his entire body as he prepared for flight. Then his head would go up and then he'd show the white of his eyes. A mere snap of a finger could easily have triggered him to take off. In spite of his fear he never displayed anger. Some fearful horses will suddenly fight back as they are now in life or death mode.
 

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I think horses respect us because they have a "healthy fear" of the consequences. The TWH I work with comes when called because she knows she'll be running if she does. My mare moves her butt over when I say "move over" because she doesn't want a poke from the thumb. They also know the consequence to biting is a hard smack in mouth.

Just like a heard leader. When the leader says move, they move. Or they risk getting a nice chuck of hair taken off their back side.
 

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I think horses respect us because they have a "healthy fear" of the consequences. The TWH I work with comes when called because she knows she'll be running if she does. My mare moves her butt over when I say "move over" because she doesn't want a poke from the thumb. They also know the consequence to biting is a hard smack in mouth.
This may be why your horse does what you want, but it certainly is not how it works around here. Sometimes in the beginning when we retrain a spoiled horse, they do things because they have to. But our own horses that have never been spoiled go through training with a happy and relaxed demeanor. We teach them to do what we want and they chose to do what we ask. We strive to never have to bully them into doing anything. I can think of many horses that we raised and trained from start to finish and never had to 'get after' them in any way. They had never been hammered on or knocked around and so there was nothing what-so-ever they could fear as consequences.

Like I have said so many times, if you 'open' the right door and let the horse go through it, it is so different than beating them through a door.

One of the things that so many people do not understand is how we can ride and train a horse for 2 or 3 months and then turn them out for 5 years or longer and they come back in like we rode them last week. The reason that works is because we teach them instead of just pushing them around. We ride them and teach them to do things instead of making them do things. Teaching a horse to do something is totally different than just making them do it.

If one can go through horse after horse after horse, and never have to punish them or use any strong reinforcement or pain, then the horses are not doing the right thing because they are afraid to do the wrong thing.
 

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By saying that respect has an element of fear to it, there is a difference between fear and terror.

I agree that horses live in the moment but they do also have a conscience and some have a sense of humour.

When I was running a busy riding school, the ponies would generally be very good. I could have them in the arena with a ride of novice riders, if one was thinking about taking advantage, all I had to do was to call out "Eh!" Or wave the lunge whip and they would instantly stop whilst non of the other animals would bat an eyelid.

Another time when I had eight young horses in a big loose barn and one of them turned their backside to me to kick at feed time. I instantly used the bucket with the feed (most was already in the long manger) to drive it away. I hollered and ran at the perpetrator who shot across tha barn. As did all the others. The innocent group stayed in one corner whilst I chased the kicker. They never bothered when I went past them nor would they let the naughty one into the group. They knew they were 'innocent' and the other had to take his punishment. ( which was just being chased and driven away)
As soon as I stopped they moved back to th feed and when I walked back into the barn a few minutes later, I could walk up to and scratch every one of them.
That youngster never booted out at anyone again.
 

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I will put this in this manner. When I grew up I feared my father but I did not respect him. (He was an A hole to put it mildly). I was afraid of the abusive way he treated me but I did not look to him for guidance, understanding, companionship, as a leader, teacher, or confidant. I did not respect him in any manner. I avoided him, hid from him when I could, ignored his rantings (unles there was a flying hand coming my way) I didnt go out of my way to do things for him and etc. So I see fear and respect as two VERY different things. My horse should not want to run and hide when I approach him/ her with a whip, but if I use it as a tool (extension of my hand) and teach them to respect it as such then I have gained trust and respect not fear. If I beat him with it then he will fear it and me but I still havent gained any trust, confidance or loyalty. Putting pressure (in various forms though not harsh) untill he/she makes the right decision in what you are asking is the same as process of elminating other possibilities. Me putting mild pressure on the horse's poll to encourage a drop in the head and repeating the process with consistant release when the right decision of dropping the head is made is developing trust and respect. Beating his poll with a stick untill he drops his head from fear is NOT. Being inconsistant with your "pressures" (again not talking about harsh methods) also builds fear or distrust of the humans intentions. Just like in humans. We cant talk to the animal via human language so we have to use cues and developing cues ot communicate for such.. Using a harsh method to do so will not accomplish this (not in a good way anyways) the only thing you will get is a horse that is not relaxed, not happy and does not trust you and simply avoids you or is afraid of you.. I have seen ppl hit smack, beat the animal but yet the animal feared the person but had no respect for them what so ever. They usualy where looking off somewhere else and avoiding the person at all cost unless the person was about to do something like smack or hit the animal, that was the only time the animal actually paid attention to the human involved. No respect there just the flight or fight response.

I have a supervisor that I dont respect in any manner but I do Fear in losing my job so I avoid the butt as much as I can and do his bidding because I cant lose my job for it. Respect him.....nope not one bit. It is not a comfortable coexsistance with him..

So, Yes I beleive whole heartedly that there is a big difference between fear and respect.
 
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