The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:02 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 176
Location: USA Michigan
Hi All, I just wanted to clarify something with SATs, there still seems a misunderstanding regarding reinforcement.
A reinforcement follows the TB it is food that is random not a reinforcer.

One must be creative in finding what motivates each animal but the Tb gets a reinforcer after it, just not food after every one.
That's it :)

and we do condition the bridges with food but once conditioned, we begin to teach the horse or animal more of the details. :)

For the most part, my horses are like Sue's Sunrise, they are more interested.

Thanks
Carrie

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:31 pm 
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danceswithmanypets wrote:
A reinforcement follows the TB it is food that is random not a reinforcer.

One must be creative in finding what motivates each animal but the Tb gets a reinforcer after it, just not food after every one.
That's it :)


But that's the same as with clickertraining!

After a click you can give your horse a small, regular treat (be it food, or a scratch on the withers), and after an exceptional movement you can give him more rewards, longer scratching, more food or extra special food (a banana for example 8) ).

In CT you also vary what you give after the click, from something very small (pat on the back) to something enormous (two bananas 8) ). But you always give some attention to your horse after the click, be it food or not - that totally depends on what the horse wants like Sue wrote.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:26 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 176
Location: USA Michigan
:lol: the differences are the targets, the naming and explaining, Perception Modification, the intermediate bridge, which is very hard to explain in words, you know it is unique to this method when you start using it the way Kayce instructs.

And, the varied reinforcers start as soon as the bridges are conditioned with the primary reinforcer. So, I never gradually go to varied, I start that way.

:D I think it is more difficult being creative with horses than the dogs and birds.
The bird does seem to need more food reinforcement at times. :shock:

The dogs, will go all day without food as a reinforcer, my Dobe will work just for the sake of working or the opportunity to be involved.
The pitbull Peewee , isn't as into work as Raven is.


So, yep pretty much how Sue uses various reinforcers. I get alot of training done in about 5 minutes just as the youngster comes in from outside, this seems to be the time he is really motivated for some reason??? He leaves his hay and grain to learn. :?: :D

He did a baby half pass today, by following two targets. In the last week, he has had a major learning spurt. :lol:

It is all so much fun when they enjoy the interaction too!!!
Carrie

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Force no matter how well disguised begets resistance.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:27 am
Posts: 48
Location: Poland
Wow, thank you Miriam for sharing this :D

Lately I have started teaching Arpis spanish walk with foodrewards, but without any clicker.. The next day after first try he did nice stretching his frontleg. I am bad teacher, so I think he is very intelligent horse :wink: :lol: I just wonder, maybe I'll buy a clicker... You swayed (good word?) me to using foodrewards and clicker ;) But Grandomther-Sound is also encouraging :lol:

Well.. You all have got some animals to experiment and to learn how to use clicker.. horses, dogs, cats, birds...
I haven't got a horse (but with Arpis I think I will try).
The only animal I have got is... turtle.
Do you think it is possible to do some CT with a turtle? :lol:

Tuptus wants to say hello to you all! :D
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:38 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 176
Location: USA Michigan
Hi Ola, I had a red eared slider that I taught to follow a target and my marker was a small flash light.
They feel vibrations....also I taught frogs to follow target too but didn't have a bridge, wild frogs are very sensitive little creatures.

My parents have pics of my little frog friends.
My turtle, Smeagle, got out of my turtle enclosure and I couldn't find her . Sliders are notorious for escaping... :(
So I just enjoy my wild eastern painted turtles in my big pond now.

your turtle is very cute

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Force no matter how well disguised begets resistance.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:27 am
Posts: 48
Location: Poland
I wonder how I can do that.
Click-sound is different in the water and in the air.. My turtle is also red-eared slider and he lives and eats in water, but sometimes he climbs on a cave he has got.
What tricks I can teach him, following the target and what else?
Your turtle was also living in water, wasn't he? How did you give him foodrewards and what kind of FR?
Tuptus likes meat and fishes.. He is predator.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 176
Location: USA Michigan
Hi Ola, If you like I will right something on my introduction page so that the forum of food rewards doesn't have turtle training on it :lol:
Look in intro under danceswithmanypets
Carrie

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Force no matter how well disguised begets resistance.

Lakota proverb


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:23 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:01 pm
Posts: 22
Just curious... what if I were to ask my horse to perform an exercise and I didn't have any treats to reward him with? Would he still be eager to please me? I feel as though, by using the clicker+treat method, his only motivation in doing what I ask of him would be food.

This is not an attack on using such a method, but I am wondering if it is possible to train a horse to perform exercises without food rewards? Ultimately, I want my horse working with me because he truly wants to, not because he wants treats.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts--I have never clicker trained an animal before, so maybe I am just misunderstanding.


Last edited by rayne on Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Hi Rayne! Welcome to the forum!

Please don't feel bad -- it is a great question, one that I struggled with a lot myself. I eventually came to the conclusion that it was all right to use food rewards in my situation, but I won't try to summarize my lengthy thought process here. :) If you go to my diary (The Journey -- Hannah and Caspian) you can read my pages of thoughts on the subject!

As far as working without treats, I actually did a long session of that today, out of necessity in what we were doing (a photo shoot). My gelding, Caspian, still did great, even though we didn't have treats.

Again, welcome to the forum!

Blessings,
Hannah

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~Job 39:19a

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:57 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:01 pm
Posts: 22
Makana-

Thank you for your response--it is very encouraging! I will definitely read your journal and see what your experience has been with food rewards. :)

My horse is being kept at an older couple's house right now, and they treat him like their puppy, feeding him apples and carrots all the time. He has never been "mouthy" with me (I don't feed him treats), but because he associates them with food, he's always digging his nose in their pockets, nudging their hands, etc. Thus, "mouthiness" is already a learned behavior of his, never having been discouraged (but rather reinforced!) by this older couple, and I feel as though I might be opening a can of worms in this area by clicker+treating him. Your thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Location: Finland
Tammi lives with us now 2 days and so far I did never give food/treats with my hands, but always from the ground - to prevent any mugging for food to start.

Tammi is veery food oriented it appears. I guess it comes from having been a riding school horse. I did actually not plan to work with food rewards :roll: But now I was thinking, that this introduction of food rewards might help her to not look at every passer-by as a food source :D

Luckily not to many strangers walk by to give the horses treats through the fence - but would that actually work for the horses not to eat from the hands of others?

Then I was wondering, many here have also two or more horses in the same "training area". Do you use the same signal or two different ones. If the same signal, how do you prevent confusion?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:05 am 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
I have two horses in a paddock and when I train I always carry my little pouch full of hay pellets (their daily ration is less since I know I'll also be feeding while training).
I taught them, one on one not to invade my space. Of course they're always trying but I have a hand signal when they get too close which tells them back off and they do (I've been doing it for about 6 months now).
I only treat when I'm teaching them something. Otherwise, they get a good hug, or a nice stroke or a scratch.
when I'm training, I know they're doing it for the treat and not for me (at first). But that's their nature. But the important thing for me is that they know that I'm their friend and I'm asking them to do something new and when they do, they'll get a reward. Once they know what I'm asking, then they'll get a stroke, no more food reward but always trying to teach them something new or asking a little more.
I have one horse who is very food oriented so he's willing to try anything new but the other one is not so food oriented so sometimes he'll just leave if he doesn't want to do something in particular.
That is what makes it so exciting. I have to find interesting things to teach Magik otherwise, away he goes.
Anyways, before I started, I thought it would be an issue but the important thing (in my opinion) is to teach them not invade my space and treats are given only when I'm teaching them something.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:30 am 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
horsefever wrote:
I have two horses in a paddock and when I train I always carry my little pouch full of hay pellets (their daily ration is less since I know I'll also be feeding while training).
I taught them, one on one not to invade my space. Of course they're always trying but I have a hand signal when they get too close which tells them back off and they do (I've been doing it for about 6 months now).
I only treat when I'm teaching them something. Otherwise, they get a good hug, or a nice stroke or a scratch.
when I'm training, I know they're doing it for the treat and not for me (at first). But that's their nature. But the important thing for me is that they know that I'm their friend and I'm asking them to do something new and when they do, they'll get a reward.
...



So, how do you feel when someone show you they like being with you AND THEY TAKE YOU OUT TO DINNER?

Me, I think I've got a friend I want for life. And if they ask me to do something ... well, I'm very likely to do it. With or without a dinner.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Donald R.

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:20 am 
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Yeah' I think it's part of developing the relationship. Once it's there, then you have their trust, and you can ask the world of them (the only problem I have is asking them so they understand but I'm working on it). :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:59 am 
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horsefever wrote:
Yeah' I think it's part of developing the relationship. Once it's there, then you have their trust, and you can ask the world of them (the only problem I have is asking them so they understand but I'm working on it). :wink:


Then there's the premise that we must learn horse language and all will be hunky dory.

Problem with that is that we want to ask them things they have no symbol for in "horse."

The obvious answer?

Teach them a language.

One based on our wants.

Something AND members do routinely.

However, others do this as well, but grimly.

A language made up of what to the horse are threats and confusion and not based on horse perceptions of their universe.

The perfect language between us is highly personal. I might not be able to create the symbolic language for play with one horse, but can with another. Yet I might be able to create such a language for the greedy horse, but not the one content to ignore food.

If there is a single characteristic of horse (and of humans) that might provide a universal shared symbol, one with the same meaning in human and horse, it would be, I think, curiosity.

With it even the horse that has developed reactive violence, such as kicking, biting, etc. can be reached.

I am always teasing horses. Not mean teasing, but playful teasing. A month ago Altea still would not stand for her lips, tip of her nose, and her mouth to be handled. She still resists a bit but it's almost playfully. She pulls away, but not completely away. She backs up, but only a step then stops to be "annoyed."

In fact, I think the little sneak likes it. Likes to be pestered .

She shows the same signs that humans do when they have been isolated with little human contact and suddenly have one or more humans in closer contact. A dancing away, then advancing toward, routine.

These are the tools for communication. This play. This appeal to curiosity.

Horses that we are working with that have not bonded to us yet should be compassionately and lovingly "tolled."

Yes, it comes from tolling of a bell. What do the people do when the church bell "tolls?"

Amerinds used to draw Antelope in close enough to bring down for food and other use, by laying down on the plain, and waving a small skin, usually light colored, overhead on stick. The antelope could NOT resist the lure of this odd thing in their environment and would work their way in.

Currently there is a dog, a retriever, bred to 'toll' ducks. Nova Scotia is the location they are from as I recall.

It's all about appeals to curiosity.

I toll horses with two fingers. I simply wiggle them. Sooner or later, especially if I click them in, they will come and smell and touch my hand. In fact, I consider clicker training a subset of tolling.

I toll horses to follow me in the pasture, to catch them up.

I don't follow them, I pass them so they, out of curiosity about where I am going, and instinctual response to follow not only other horses, but even other animals that might move past them (chase the tiger, anyone?). It's just another form of tolling in.

Making the horse curious is what leads, eventually, to making the horse a safer companion. It feels safer, and you feel safer because it does.

When Dakota touched the rotten deerhide for the first time, it was because he'd been "tolled," into touching whatever he was afraid of or anxious about.

Now he knew they, the feared things, of course were not food, but treats became associated with them almost from the first time he heard the click and got the treat.

And now why wouldn't that be a curious thing in the horse's phenomenological world?

"If I touch EVERYTHING that scares me will I get food?" You could hear Dakota's gears grinding.

And for a long time he was going round touching everything in sight that had the least bit of "anxiety" charge on it. "Scares me, touch it, eat treat." "Now isn't THIS a weird thing my human is doing?"

Curiosity can do what pressure cannot.

Donald. R.

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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