Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour


Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour

Knowing Your Horse: A Guide To Equine Learning, Training And Behaviour Pdf

By Emma Lethbridge

Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour PDF. Is your horse afraid of the farrier? Are you both struggling during training sessions? Do you want to use clicker training but don’t know where to begin?

If you understand how your horse learns and why your training is effective, you can train faster, more ethically, and more sympathetically. Knowing Your Horse will be a key resource if you want to better understand your horse’s behaviour and make the most of that understanding to improve your training techniques.

Knowing Your Horse gives you a range of practical tools to employ in solving equine behaviour problems, and training tasks and case studies demonstrate these tools in use. Emma Lethbridge thoroughly but simply explains learning theory as applied to horses, and offers practical advice on reward systems, positive and negative reinforcement, and overcoming fears and phobias. If it’s not horses but humans that are causing you problems in training, this book will also help you to explain the concepts to other people. Learning recaps offer quick summaries and training logs are provided for your own training notes.

Table of Contents





Chapter 1 The Principles of Good Horse Training

Ten Basic Principles of Good Horsemanship

Learning recap

Chapter 2 Does Classical Conditioning Ring a Bell?

Different Stimuli and Response Terms

Training Task: How to Classically Condition Your Horse

Specific Training Situations

Learning recap

My training log

Chapter 3 Living With the Consequences

Operant Conditioning

Applying Simple Operant Conditioning

Training Task: ‘Don’t Mug Me’ Training

Learning recap

My training log

Chapter 4 All Possible Consequences

Defining Positive and Negative Consequences



Which Consequence?

Learning recap

Chapter 5 Other Laws and Factors in Learning

The Final Law – Extinction

Understanding Generalisation and Discrimination Learning in Training

Learning recap

Chapter 6 The Power of Positive Reinforcement

What Can Be a Positive Reinforcer?

Which Reinforcer Should I Use?

When to Reward

Training Using Positive Reinforcement

Learning recap

Training Task: Using Positive Reinforcement to Teach the Back, the Heel, the Stay, the Recall and the Yield

Training Task: Teaching the Head Down and Placement using the Target Lure

My training log

Chapter 7 The Sound of Learning – Clicker Training

What is Clicker Training?

The Training Game

Target Training

The Secrets of Clicker Success

Learning recap

Training Task: Using Clicker Training

My training log

Chapter 8 Negative Reinforcement – Reinforcement Through Escape

Pressure-Release Training

The Important Factors for Applying Negative Reinforcement Ethically

When Not to Use Negative Conditioning

Avoidance Learning

Is Every Physical Contact with the Horse Negative Reinforcement?

Combining Positive and Negative Reinforcement

Adding Cues and Commands

Learning recap

Training Task: Using Negative Reinforcement Through Pressure-Release

My training log

Chapter 9 Understanding Punishment

The Side Effects and Problems of Punishment

Applying Punishment (Minimising the Side Effects)

Is it Possible to Train a Horse Without the Use of Punishment?

Learning recap

Chapter 10 How to Deal with Unwanted Behaviours Without Using Punishment

The Simplest and Hardest Option – Ignoring the Horse

Counter Conditioning

Driven to Distraction

A Final Note

Learning recap

Case Studies: Alternative Ways to Correct Unwanted Behaviour

My training log

Chapter 11 Step by Step



Applying Shaping

Training Task: Shaping

Training Task: More Complicated Shaping – Teaching the Spanish Walk

Applying Chaining


Learning recap

My training log

Chapter 12 Overcoming Fears and Phobias

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Overcoming Established Fears and Phobias



Systematic Desensitisation

Counter Conditioning

Combining Systematic Desensitisation and Counter Conditioning

Learning recap

Case Studies: Helping Horses Overcome Their Fears

My training log

Chapter 13 Learning with Character

Does the Sex of the Horse Affect Learning Ability?

The Effect of Age on Learning Ability

Does Social Status Affect Learning?

Nature Verses Nurture

Learning recap

References and Furthern Reading.


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