For anyone who has experienced this… I’m sorry. I’m sorry, because I’ve experienced it, and I know how it feels. I’m sorry, because I’ve been guilty of doing it in the past. I’m sorry, because I know there is a trend to pretend this isn’t happening, or if it is, to dismiss it as comparable… Continue reading The Paradox of the Positive Trainer
I’ve been talking a lot about CAT-H and Tapping this past year. Safe to say, I’ve done more than just fall down the rabbit hole… I’m a permanent resident of Wonderland at this point. After experimenting with dozens of horses, from feral to unhandled domestics, from phobic and hypervigilant, to shutdown saddle horses, I think… Continue reading THE PROBLEM WITH CAT-H AND TAPPING
Have you ever tried CAT? Some say you shouldn’t do that “But it’s Negative Reinforcement, oh my!” I dare you to give it a try No need for so much consternation, we’re just looking for relaxation! …“But it’s Negative Reinforcement, oh my!”I dare you to give it a try!No need for so much consternation,we’re just… Continue reading CAT on Horses
Long story short, we need to strive to keep our horses’ ears level when we are bending them.The End. Just kidding. Y’all know I’m going to write a novel. I’m going to spam a bunch of past posts on the ‘crest flip,’ give a rider’s-eye view, and attempt to demystify and simplify this thing that… Continue reading KEEP IT ON THE LEVEL
Are boundaries and positive reinforcement mutually exclusive? Absolutely not. Boundaries are simply the physical space we require in any given situation in order for us to feel comfortable or safe. Everyone’s boundaries are different, and they change in different situations with different horses. We should never let someone convince us that our boundaries should look… Continue reading Boundaries, and Blocking, and Negative Reinforcement, Oh My!
My posts are often a bit of a brain dump of whatever it is I’m mulling over presently in my own horsemanship, often a result of researching, experimenting, and some very nerdy conversations with my favorite fellow nerds.￼ I used to be afraid to share these things, but I’ve had great feedback where people say,… Continue reading EVALUATING OUR USE OF THE QUADRANTS BY THE ANIMAL’S EMOTIONAL RESPONSE, NOT OUR OWN
No-Stirrup November is an opportunity to work on your balance separate from your stirrups, and maybe even pinpoint some muscle memory patterns you have that no longer serve you. Here are some of the most common ones, and certainly ones that have afflicted me: - Bracing the knee (ouch!) and heavily weighting the stirrup; some… Continue reading Happy No-stirrup November!
We talk a lot about poisoned cues, but what happens when those of us who could be ambassadors of positive reinforcement are poisoning the movement by being aversive? What happened to the idea of successive approximation? Allowing behavior extinction as something is no longer found reinforcing? If we know that Pavlov is always on our… Continue reading Contradicting Ourselves: Shaming and Judgement in the Positive Reinforcement Community
Sometimes my approach can come off a bit mystic, but science is always at the heart of what I'm doing... MY BACKGROUND For a few years, I facilitated an equine program for a detention center. In addition to the wonderful sessions I shared with the incarcerated individuals I met, I was emersed in learning about… Continue reading Parallels Between Equine Facilitated Therapy and Horse Training
The only way to keep evolving in our horsemanship is to open up our minds- and maybe our pens, too...