Training with Treats - With Relationship & Basic Training Locked In Treats Can Be an Excellent Way to Enhance Good Communication Personally Inscribed
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I’m not a professional trainer. I do not do it for a living. But I am a student of what works. Logic and common sense to a fault, I suppose. Which lead us quite unexpectedly to the discovery that horses can develop a vocabulary.
Horses can learn the meanings of words and, like children, as their vocabulary grows they can put those words together into different phrases and sentences. Even actual conversations. That’s not supposed to be true according to most, but Kathleen and I have found it to be absolutely true. And now there is even a scientific study proving it.
But why, I’ve been scolding myself, especially after decades of working with our canine superstar Benji, did it never occur to me to use verbal vocabulary with our horses, or to expect the horse to be capable of rational thought. I suppose it’s because so many of the trainers and clinicians we studied at the beginning of our journey eschewed the use of words and preached that we should stick to body language.
They felt the same way about training with treats. So why would we fly in the face of virtually every trainer I’ve ever been exposed to who are all in lock step on the subject. Use treats minimally, and never as a training device they say in unison. But when we discovered that training with treats seriously enhances and speeds up communication; and for the first time it gave our horses a way for them to speak to us, to initiate conversation… that’s when everything changed. With traditional training, we humans arealways the ones doing the talking. Telling the horse, one way or another, to do this or do that. Never do we ask or listen to what the horse might want. And for the most part we teach with negative reinforcement. Release of pressure. In other words we stop doing something that is uncomfortable for the horse when he does something we’d like him to do. And we call it a reward.
Positive reinforcement would be something that the horse considers… well, positive. Good. Desired. Even fun.
Whoa! Hold on there. Have we stumbled onto something that actually teaches the horse and the horse enjoys it, thinks it’s fun?
Yes, we did. And you can too.
1 Reviews for Training with Treats - With Relationship & Basic Training Locked In Treats Can Be an Excellent Way to Enhance Good Communication Personally Inscribed
Learned a ton - Tuesday, September 30, 2014"Have read all of his books and they are excellent. Have learned a ton about Horses from this man.” - Elizabeth Kirby on Facebook
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