When You Give a Horse a Cookie

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“Polly wanna cracker?” “Hey, kid! Ya want some candy?” “Here, sweetie, lemme give you a treat.” “How about a cookie?” What do you think of when you see or hear those words – candy, cookie, treat? Something special, right? Something … Continue reading

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Boorriinngg! Not.

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Many people first starting out with training their horses with positive reinforcement (R+) say that their horse gets “bored” and walks or wanders away. Sorry to have to tell y’all, but the horse ain’t “bored”.  The horse is frustrated or … Continue reading

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

As the song says, “Men hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest.” Why is that? Why do people only take in, if they take in anything at all, what they already know and want to hear? What … Continue reading

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Eighty Percent Rule

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According to Bob Bailey, an icon in the training world (look him up), eighty percent of training problems lie with these three things: * Rate of Reinforcement (RoR) too low* Criterion too high (see above)* TimingThe RoR should be around 10-12/minute, or every 5-6 seconds. … Continue reading

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Bottom Dollar Training

Something I’ve noticed lately is that several people calling themselves positive-reinforcement (R+) trainers say they “don’t pay attention” to the quadrant they’re in during training. That if someone is a “good trainer, they pay attention to the animal and see … Continue reading

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‘Fraidy Cats, Part Three, 7-29-20

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Leo is a feral cat that I’ve seen in my barn a few times over the years, mostly in winter.  I haven’t entertained his residence until this past winter because he and Ebony seemed to tolerate each other and because … Continue reading

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‘Fraidy Cats, Part Two, 7-29-20

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Lena came from a feral colony and was re-homed to me as a barn cat about four years ago, before I got Ebony.  She’s a calico who has a limp in her left hind. I got Lena when she was … Continue reading

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‘Fraidy Cats, Part One, 7-28-20

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Ebony is a barn cat that I got three or four years ago from a church friend.  Ebony was nine at the time and had spent all his life as an indoor-outdoor house cat.  He is now a full-time barn … Continue reading

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Finnian’s List

I have a long, long list of things to train Finnian to do.  So many things that I almost don’t know where to start.  I feel overwhelmed.  But certain circumstances have clued me in to the ones that seem to … Continue reading

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Random Thoughts: Horse, Cat, Dog, 8-1-2019

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A collection of random thoughts about training: Diamond With Diamond the pony, most of my issues have to do with chaining extraneous behaviors in with the behavior I want. For example, I want to clean out her feet.  There is … Continue reading

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