photographs are provided by Sentient Equine and others

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About Me

The focus of my journey is now on trying to help reach the tipping point in positive, scientific based horse training. To bring science into the work, and training out of the dark ages. Having seen the joy that positive reinforcement training brings to both partners in the horse - human relationship over the past 17 or so years, there is no going back...

 

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"Thinking of your horse as behaving badly disposes you to think of punishment. Thinking of your horse as struggling to handle something difficult encourages you to help him through his distress."- The Concordia Connection

March 19, 2016

As an aside for those of you playing the Tim Horton’s online no need to buy anything roll up the rim game, I found it to be an interesting experiment in reinforcement schedules. I played for a while and even managed to get badges that earned a ballot to a draw for a bigger prize and two free cups of coffee, whoopee. But I stopped shortly after the rate of reinforcements in the form of free coffees or tickets took too long to get. This is often what happens when training our horses; they suddenly stop doing the behaviour we were getting before.

There can be several reasons behind this:


1. Like in the Timmy’s example, often the rate of reinforcement or the amount of reinforcement (size of reward) is not enough to keep the horse ‘in the game.’

2. There may be a behaviour that you ask for after this first behaviour...

September 16, 2015

As the old saying goes, ‘Time flies when you are having fun’. Well not all of these past few months have been fun, a lot has for sure, but it has sure flown by.


Valor’s leg injury was looking good and then suddenly the stitches blew and it opened up again and along with it came proud flesh. With the help of my homeopathy course and diligent wrapping it is looking great now. A bit thicker than his other leg, but healed and sound. Clicker work certainly helps make his doctoring for those many weeks much easier on the both of us.

He is anxious to get in his play time now that I no longer need to doctor his leg, so we have begun continuing his education and making him safe before we make him fancy, but for a two-year-old, he sure knows a lot of things. Different things than a lot of two-year-olds and we will take...

April 2, 2015

Usually this blog is about ‘U’ but this week we are going to talk about ‘V’ or Valor. I wanted to talk a bit about him this week as a comparison to ‘U’.

Valor is my not yet two, two-year-old Azteca gelding. I have had Valor since he was about four months old. His weaning and transport would not be what I would call ideal, but he seems to have suffered no permanent emotional damage from it. I’ll just leave it at that. He had to have his feet done when we got him and as soon as possible as his legs were not growing correctly because of them. He was a star for that less than totally positive experience. I made it as positive as possible, having a great farrier who took it slowly and calmly, with lots of breaks and over a couple sessions, with lots of scratches, that valor seemed to enjoy while the whole thing was...

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