Oh, great input
Sorry if I am off topic. If you want to, we can split the topic and make a new topic about the role of understanding vs. automatic responses?
You are on topic, Romy. You got a lot of knowledge in psychology, nice to be able to tap it
I will take your "human example" of dancing - even when I try to avoid such, but I guess in this case one might draw a comparison
Many things we learn, will be transformed into automatic movements - that makes things more easy. Just like dancing, first you learn the steps and it is not very fluent, one has to think and remember so much. Eventually the body learns the feeling and you get into the flow, you can do it automatically. But it is not just mere automatic response, there is some deep understanding of the movement, which is the base.
I do not know that much about dancing, so will now switch to Aikido. It is somewhat like dancing. But then comes also how to learn to fall and being thrown around without getting hurt. The Japanese used to learn that mostly by conditioning people to avoid the pain - when you got young, sturdy men you can do that
Some grow stiff from it and some who have enough talent, they move softly.
For myself, I preferred the way to analyze and understand the body dynamics first, even though it took me much longer to learn that way.
I think, some people use CT, but also have either good intuition or/and good horsemanship. So they use the CT, but also manage to help their horses to understand at least some important things.
I am not convinced though that the use of food does not bring about it's own set of problems so I am reluctant to take that path.
Yes, I feel the same
It is not about "nipping" or "mugging", that was already explained by others here, how to avoid such. Actually that was what I so far used food rewards for, to train my two horses, not to mug me when I bring them carrots or apples.
And of course they do get all those delicious things - carrots, apples and oats. But I feed only from the ground. They seem to love that just as much
My first problem was, that I would need to carry food around. I know that can be easy enough solved - oats are very handy for that. But it is one point.
The main reason to think the food rewards over was, that my two horses did start fight between each other over it. I did open a topic on that, but could not really find any solution other then to either separate the horses or stop with the food.
Giving food rewards in an other way then CT does confuse many horses - I believe.
Food has a high rate in when it comes to stuff needed for survival, but some other things still are more important, especially when the horse is not hungry. So it is easy to see, why horses would choose now and then against the treat.
And then the pressure/release training. Leigh you said "traditional", do you mean Parelli style with that?
As I already wrote, there is so much that is pressure and release, but is worlds apart. I am surely not going to do any Parelli style of training. If the horse does rush through a movement, like I see them do on youtube in the Parelli games, often it looks like they flee from some threat of pressure, that is just not what I would want to achieve.
The pressure should be a question, when the horse gives a try, the pressure should never be increased. A try is an answer. When the horse found the right answer, one marks that with the release. (Now that reminds me a bit of dancing
About that pulling on the lead rope. I think, when you lead, the horses job is to keep the float. When you give the lead to your horse, like when hand grazing, then it is your job to keep the float
In a herd, even a foal can sometimes be the leader, so I think it is just fine to switch the lead, but then the human is not allowed to pull
Behaviour is established and changed by adding or subtracting pleasant or unpleasant consequences. As I understand it, doing something because of the relationship means that something in your behaviour must be very rewarding for your horse. So for me it is conditioning anyway. Adding reinforcing stimuli.
Hm, that did give me a new thought. In that case I actually do not want the horse to do it because of the relationship
. I would wish the horse to realize, that I keep him safe and that he can learn useful things from me
My horses shall have a good time when they are with me.
An analogy that is often cited when it comes to using treats vs. relationship is the one with your friends: if they ask you to help them with something, you will do it because you like them and want to be with them, not because they are paying you or inviting you to dinner afterwards. So if the horse is your friend, how can you base your training on rewarding with treats? Analogies can be very helpful in illustrating certain things, but they can also simply be wrong or at least not really fit. Situations are being compared that are not really comparable at all. One difference between helping your friends and training with a horse is that the one is a singular (or at least less frequent) thing whereas the latter happens almost daily. And this is not comparable to hanging out with friends every day either, as I mostly donÂ´t ask them to perform difficult dressage elements all the time.
I never found that analogy fitting either, just like the one why people in NHE give treats now and then - you would give cake to your friends. But I could find a people example also for the other case: I did train Aikido with friends 6 days of 7 for a while. It was lots of sweat and difficult elements with repetitions. I did that even without food rewards
Horses and people have some things in common for sure, but they are very different mostly, in my eyes.
In fact, now I come to think of it; if you want to train only on the basis of the relationship - then why use rest and peace and quiet as a reward in the first place? Why do you still need to treat him with something?
I agree. I would call the release rather a message, saying "yes" to the horse. Some rest and peace does help to give time to think over what just happened. Also it is a bit of hanging out with your buddy. I noticed, that when I go to the horses and just stand quiet it creates a very nice atmosphere.