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I am surprised and a little disappointed to find such a discrepancy between reward based trainers
Just like with traditional trainers, different positive reinforcement trainers will have different approaches, training methods, and slightly different philosophies. Different horses may do better with different approaches. I would also caution against going with Shawna simply because of her background. Although she has a very impressive history in training it doesn’t make her the end all in clicker training. If Keno was doing fine with the target there is no reason why you have to stop using it. You can absolutely “mix” training methods from different trainers as well.
I have not read the book but I would expect that it is positive and useful
I’ve read it, it’s a great book. I really like her philosophy, she is strongly against -R. She uses a lot of free-shaping in her book. I would not think of release from reins as a reward. The horse desires the release but does not engage in the behavior because he craves the relief he gets when he is released from the aversive.
 

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Keno's training has taken a slight dip. I remembered from past reading somewhere that the first thing that should be trained was keeping the head away and not mugging.
Just thought I’d make a suggestion, although you may already be doing this. Don’t train the “head away” behavior where the horse actually bends his head all the way away from you. Click him when his head is centered and straight in the middle of his body. Feed him in the same position as well. This will help create a clean loop. Whenever you are training any other behavior, such as targeting, always feed him in the same centered position. This will help solidify the behavior and give him the peace of mind that his treat will always be given to him in the same spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
Yes! The -R method is more appropriately called pressure/relief!

If you've read it, I'd be interested in your take on Shawna's first book.

I'm not clear on what mixing methods would be, but because of Keno's long and strong reward history for mugging (by me) I do think that behavior needs to be worked on until it is rebalanced. I think the mugging tendency I've taught him gets in the way of the reward procedure for other training. I used to always leave for a ride with bulging pockets of large treats. So he's not your average horse in that regard. My bad. So my fix.

We crossed posts. Right. I actually have treated him for his head being too far. Shawna does mention over and over to feed him where you want his head to be. No matter where it is after the click, feed him where you would prefer his head to have been.

So you and Shawna are at least on the same page there.

It's all so simple...........until one begins actually doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
Oh yeah. The target. Keno was doing great with the target until he wasn't. Not sure, but I think the problem may have been that rather than keeping the sessions short for several days until solid I decided to lead him on fairly long walks with it with the treats interval becoming longer and longer. I think I may have been drilling him or doing what Shawna calls the greedy trainer syndrome which means do a little more, or just one more, ok another, until the horse decides this isn't fun anymore. Went past the fun limit before the fun became intrinsically motivated. Or whatever.

Because of all that, I'm determined to get just the clicker down solid from any position I'm standing with his head forward and then slowly introduce the target again in several days of very short 5 minute sessions and progress slowly from there.

Shawna actually doesn't introduce the target until podcast #3. The second podcast is learning to walk along with the trainer off the trainer's shoulder. One step, two steps, etc. with solid liberty leading established in hopefully 2-3 weeks. Only after that does she introduce the target.

I know I'm more impressed with Shawna than you, and that's ok. We're all different, a fact that I rejoice in. The thing that sways me toward Shawna is the sheer volume of horses she works with. From starting horses as babies to older horses that have been through the mill with -R. But yeah, I don't and won't put blinders on. I'm much to inquisitive and questioning to ever do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Shawna Karrasch set up a YouTube channel in 2010 and has since added a TON of videos which I have begun perusing beginning with the oldest.

There is a "Sort By" link on the channel that allows the order of the videos to be arranged from newest or oldest. I'm starting at the oldest. After viewing a video I simply hit the backspace arrow and select another without having to scroll all the way to the bottom.

I don't have a TV so stuff like this substitutes for a TV, for me.

 

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Discussion Starter #106
New Year's Resolution: To never ride a horse again without clear, informed, and enthusiastic consent from the horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
Here's an interesting article by Mary Hunter praising Shawna Karrasch.

 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
Quote: Despite the apparent similarities, however, there is an essential difference between luring and targeting. As Ken Ramirez, ClickerExpo faculty member and Training Director for the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, explains: "In luring, the animal is focused on the food. The trainer uses the food to guide the animal toward a desired behavior, just as a trainer would use a target to guide the animal. What goes on in the animal's head, however, may be significantly different. Luring keeps the animal thinking about the reinforcement or the treat, while targeting gets the animal thinking about the task."


While both methods may succeed in getting the behavior, a lured animal may be so focused on the treat that it is not aware of what behavior it has just accomplished to earn the reinforcement. Less learning, therefore, has been accomplished. An animal that follows a target, on the other hand, may still be working to receive a treat, but because the treat is not right in front of him, the animal must think about the actual behavior. The result is an animal that is more engaged in the process, has accomplished more learning, and is more able to apply that learning to any number of other behaviors.



Targeting vs. Luring | Karen Pryor Clicker Training
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Friend sent this.

Call it melodramatic, and it probably is, but I liked it anyhow. Well, it has horses. I also particularly liked the part about a new fresh snow without footprints representing the year now before us.

 

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Discussion Starter #111
This morning I listened to a podcast on The Willing Equine that discussed an early book by Lucy Rees discussing the true nature of who and what a horse really is. Then I went to Lucy Rees' website and read the "about" part. Then I went to YouTube and watched a few videos by Lucy Rees.

Then a thought struck me. What if some advanced life form, extraterrestrials, rounded up humans and kept them as we do horses in servitude to them? Would the humans develop problems from the confined servitude as domestic horses are believed to develop?

What would a movie or film look like that was based on the accurate research by professionals of both humans and horses in and out of confinement?

The thought also struck me that since there is wide agreement that the horse is one of the highest fear and most flight prone mammals, that the horse may also be one of the most prone to post traumatic stress disorders.

Research on PTSD establishes that when both flight and fight are both unavailable as reactions to the perception of a life threatening situation for an extended period of time, PTSD develops which often affects the behavior on a 24/7 basis for both human, horse and other mammals for an extended period of time after the threatening situation has ceased.

This leads me to wonder how many horses are shut down and in reality suffering from PTSD. How many horses would do what we ask or require of them if they really had a choice? This question continues to loom larger and larger for me.

End of morning's ramblings.
 

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If you've read it, I'd be interested in your take on Shawna's first book.
I haven't read it, but its on the list, lol. Actually, I just got the book Connection Training by Hannah Weston. Although I had heard of Panksepp's emotional systems before, I had never looked to far into them. The book really covers it in depth and it has been very interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Although I had heard of Panksepp's emotional systems before
I have also ran across the same and have also not looked too far into it. Main thing I remember is it being called, Grandma's Rule. If you do this first, then you can do this. As in if you eat your broccoli, you can have your chocolate cake.

Haha. But I'm certain it goes a lot deeper than that along with some heavy reading.

Take this topic: BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO AVERSIVE EVENTS: PUNISHMENT AND NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT

Sounds pretty simple until the PDF is downloaded and read. Not so simple reading.

 

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Discussion Starter #115
And another 3 strike mustang gets lucky.

 

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Discussion Starter #117 (Edited)
Actually, I just got the book Connection Training by Hannah Weston.
I was reviewing this book online at Amazon this morning via my kindle reader. There was a supportive video mentioned, The Way Horses Feel, so I went to YouTube and searched for the title. Lo and behold, she shows Shawna Karrasch targeting a horse in the video. That fact alone causes me to be interested in the book. But I had just ordered my long over due copy of Don't Shoot The Dog so I'll wait a while on ordering it. But the review does look compelling.

Edit: Here's a screen shot from the video The Care System.

I highly approve the teacher Connection Training is following:):)

1107384


Edit again: I just finished reading the free preview of Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 2. This is a great book and will definitely be my next book purchase. It could also serve as a course in human psychology. Thanks for posting about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #118
Mustang Maddy refers to herself as the Compassionate Cowgirl and reminds viewers in each of her Mystic series that, "Remember, you can't have compassion for your horse, until you have compassion for yourself".

And she tells a little story she heard about empathy vs compassion. Empathy would be feeling for a poor plant indoors without sunshine that was wilting whereas compassion would be taking the plant outside in the sun where it could thrive.

Well, I stumbled upon an article about compassion and it sure dovetails with everything she pushes. Caught my attention when the article said self criticism activates the same part of the brain that is activated fear in fight or flight. Yup, we're just like horses in so many ways.

The article went on to say that you can't have compassion for others until you have compassion for yourself. Just like Maddy except the others is horses.

And the article went on to say a person could not even receive or accept compassion until they had compassion for themselves.

The article sure brought up a lot of thoughts about the +R I've been delving into.

Just in case....here's the article: Silence Your Inner Critic: A Guide to Self-Compassion in the Toughest Times
 

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Ok, so I’ve been waiting for this course to open for a few months and it’s finally starting a new session. The Pain Science course by Kathy Sierra is finally reopening and I think I’m definitely going to sign up. I first heard about her on an episode of Spirit of Horse where she talked about pain, movement, and motivational science. After watching the preview videos for the course I‘m determined to learn more about encouraging horses to move boldly and have freedom and better control over their bodies. I highly recommend visiting her website and taking a look at the videos she has up. There are only a couple days left before the course starts, so if you’re interested in watching the free video series she has up right now or joining the course I would act fast.
Also, here’s the original podcast episode that got me interested: https://open.spotify.com/episode/24JYACGPn5aHkQ644nZpf5
Its long but it’s well worth your time!
 
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