What brilliant articles, Josepha!
I sent the food rewards article to a friend who was, until this week, using clicker training, but then went to a clinic, and has now been thoroughly convinced by the trainer (a reasonably well-known one in Australia) that using food is bad, doesnâ€™t work, and is mucking up her training. Apparently he explained and showed her in depth "how it really works". She and her horses were doing great things and everyone seemed extremely happy with that way of training, so itâ€™s a shame. I hope she will read your article and give it some thought.
I like what you wrote about rope halters. I do own some, but I agree with you, they are not a soft and kind alternative. I even used one quite recently.
I actually started to think that maybe I was being a bit silly about not using them, because just about everyone else thinks (including very kind people) that they are soft and kind haltersâ€¦ of course, I only needed to come to AND and do a bit of reading to find that Iâ€™m not alone in what I think of them. (Also, I should know better by now than to let what other people do affect my judgement.
) But I donâ€™t like the metal buckles on the nose of most webbing halters either, many have the metal bit sticking out underneath, which can dig into the horseâ€™s nose. I need to find some halters with smooth, soft nosebands. One day, when I can afford it, Iâ€™m going to buy the cavesson you have for sale in your shop â€“ it looks lovely.
What is written and spoken by trainers and what is actually executed is often quite a different story.
This is so, so true, in dressage and also other training methods. I think if trainers were actually honest and straightforward in describing exactly how and why their training methods work, there would be a lot less people involved with them. (And probably a lot more people here on the forum!)
Anyway, now Iâ€™m rambling. I just meant to say that your articles are wonderful, thank you for writing them, and I hope that the people I point towards them will read them. I can only agree with Karen about your writing:
it's clear, packed with what SHOULD be common sense (which some people seem to lack!) and it's absolutely truthful.