Thursday, 9 June 2011

Positive Reinforcement

Adding a reward for a correct response. Something the horse desires. A treat, pat or voice command, for instance. Treats are a highly motivating and are used a lot in the training of marine mammals and dogs, but not as much in horses. Something to consider: Can feeding treats to horses open up a can of worms – a whole new set of problems? Or is it the timing of the treat delivery? Do horses consider patting really rewarding? What about a vocal reward? I’ve got some thoughts on these things that I’ll cover in future blogs.

Next week – negative reinforcement – it’s not what you might think. Until then, let’s be thinking riders!

1 comment:

  1. I have a TB mare I ride on trail...I ride English. Sometimes she gets carried away and I can not stop her or slow her down. Last week, I carried carrots
    with me in the saddle pad pouch. When she got carried away and she finally stopped...I grabbed the carrot and leaned forward and gave it to her. Intermittent reinforcement is best. I will see if this changes her behavior...I wear a helmet just in case though here in Florida is always hot and humid at best.