The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:14 pm

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 51 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2 3 4
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:14 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6231
Location: Dresden, Germany
Miriam wrote:
I would love to see more of Leslie Desmonds work and how the definition of 'feel vs pressure' works out in practice. do you know if there are movies of this type of training on the internet?


Many of them: Leslie Desmond videos on youtube.

Unfortunately I can´t watch them now, because I am at work and still have a lot to do, but maybe I can watch some of them this evening. :smile:


Top
   
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:09 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Hi Miriam, I used to belong to Leslie Desmond's "Bill's Book" yahoo discussion group for a while. Some interesting things. But I quit it because it was driving me batty that the moderators kept returning my posts to me.. unposted.. because I wasn't following the rules.. :green: :green: there were quite a few..Any discussion had to stay strictly within the context of what Bill (Dorrance) had said, and the appopriate page (with paragraph number if I remember correctly) had to be referenced... which for me kind of stilted the flow of thought. But.. if you haven't read "Bill's Book".. (True Horsemanship Through Feel) I highly highly recommend it.. it's an absolute gem. He didn't actually put pen.. or word proccessor to paper.. it was a collaborative effort with Leslie Desmond providing the actual writing, done when he was in his eighties. I think she's done a great job of preserving his words, his personality, his meaning, his stories in a really authentic way, while making the writing cohesive and easy to read. What a lucky woman she was to get to spend that time with him! I imagine she has lots of new insights to share as she takes what she learnt from him and moves with it in her own way.

But yes, I agree with your assessment... She's comparing treating + pressure based training, to clearer, more feeling pressure based training without the treats. That would fit with what I know of her work.

Cheers,
Sue

_________________
Image
I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Well here I am dragging up this topic again so I can find it later!!!!
Seriously though, I wanted to add in on my earlier thoughts about treats. i have been paying with treats off and on with a few horses the past couple of weeks and have made peace with using treats and see them in a totally different light.
What has been key is teaching the horse firstly about treats and how they should behave around them. Once this is established, so much motivation is brought about by the treats and it is so easy to shape the behaviour we want to see. I have yet to get into clicker/treat training big time but am enjoying playing with it and using it as another tool to increase my options.
I have to say it has been lots of fun with the youngsters that are full of themselves!!!!

This is a great thread and was very helpful for me so I thought maybe some recent members might like the reading!

Romy your links to Leslie Desmond are great. Something else to watch and think about. I do think that the horse doesn't have much choice on a 20ft line. Most horses only need to run into a line a few times and then learn it's a good idea to leave the slack in it! I wonder if she took it's space and it was free it wouldn't just keep on going................. must watch some more as she makes some good points.

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:31 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Oh, Annette, we're so glad you've joined us on the dark side....


Bwaaahaaahaaaaaahaaaaaa!
:twisted:
:funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny:

;)

Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Tracey and Kami
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:11 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am
Posts: 2147
Location: Vienna, Austria
Edit by Romy: The following two posts were split form Tracey's and Kami's diary

Tracey Harris wrote:
I didn't want it to be a bribe or just for when they do something I ask or want! I can see how it may be confusing though for many horses if they do not know when they are getting a treat. I also give them for nothing at times which may have been confusing for them.
I prefer to see the treats as a very simple token of communication that can be used in very complex ways ;).
Clicker training is jusually about using treats in a very defined, black and white way. The treat is always coupled with a marker signal. Using treats that way has the benefit of being precise, of being understood easily by the horse and it teaches both human and horse the marker-reward contingency: that the treat is the fulfillment of the promise that the clicker gave. Thus the horse has the insurance that a treat will come if certain criteria were met before.
Clicker training clearly structures communication and helps greatly with food manners in that the horse is confident that food will come and it can wait calmly until it does.

This benefit of clicker training is at the same time it's biggest downside in my opinion: communication can become overly structured and abstracted. Trainer and horse may become emotionally detached from each other, making the interaction quite mechanical and as joyful as it could be.
That's where for me other ways of rewarding come into play: rewarding without a marker signal, or at least with a much more fuzzy one, like a word or even just body language. There will probably always be a marker, as we react somehow to the actions of the horse, which is perfectly fine with me and the way it's supposed to be.
Rewarding like that has the huge benefit of carrying much more subtextual content, like emotions or subtle bodily hints, even variable reinforcement is possible by just the amplitude of the reaction.
The downside again is that I am rarely fully aware of the information my reaction carries. The communication is fuzzier and so setting up rules - like food manners - are more difficult.

My preferred rule of thumb is to reward what feels good to me. Given of course that I feel good when the horse feels good as well, I can establish multiple things at once that way: I have a simple guideline for my own actions, I will be positively reinforced myself if the interaction was successful and I am automatically setting up a code of conduct for our relationship.
Like that the interaction comes very close to a human-human interaction and thus more authentic than for example when a human is expected to "talk horse".
Also, questions like whether a treat is used as a bribe, can be quite easily answered in my opinion. When I bribe someone, I use a reward that is offered beforehand to make that person do something she would not do voluntarily. Usually that person also would not feel good afterwards, but guilty or having been forced. If that applies to a situation with my horse, than the treat was used as a bribe.
Since bribing is usually connected with concepts like moral and ethics, it's debatable whether it could apply to horse at all. Maybe 'luring' would be more fitting, but I think my answer has already gotten long-winding enough, so I stop right here ;)

_________________
Volker

The horse owes us nothing.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Tracey and Kami
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:01 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6231
Location: Dresden, Germany
Volker wrote:
Also, questions like whether a treat is used as a bribe, can be quite easily answered in my opinion. When I bribe someone, I use a reward that is offered beforehand to make that person do something she would not do voluntarily. Usually that person also would not feel good afterwards, but guilty or having been forced. If that applies to a situation with my horse, than the treat was used as a bribe.


For me this is not an easy question. I have often come across the argument of "bribing is if you offer it before" but for me there is no real difference between (physically) presenting the reward before and the horse having formed a clear anticipation during the training that a behaviour will lead to a reward. After all, to a large extent actions are controlled by activating a mental representation of their consequences, so for me these two situations are very much alike. As I see it, bribing has two components. The first one is emphasizing the contingency between an action and an outcome. This is not problematic per se, and I guess nobody would feel bad if for example he was reminded that he will get a delicious apple if (and only if) he climbs up a tree and picks it. Nobody would feel bribed by the tree, despite the fact that the apple is physically present. ;)

Therefore, I guess a second component is necessary for making it feel like bribing: the social aspect of it. If you are not an apple tree but a human, you could, in principle, just give the apple for free. But instead you decide that the horse can get it, but only if he performs a certain action. Thus, you are putting yourself in the position of the one who is controlling the contingencies. I think it really is that control aspect rather than the social aspect per se that makes it feel problematic, because I guess nobody would feel bribed if there was a person who cannot possibly give the apple to the horse unless the horse performs an action (e.g. if the horse has to walk under the tree so that the human can climb on the thorse in order to be high enough to reach the apple). In contrast, in the treat training situations are often referred to as bribing, the person has the treats and could give all of them for free, thus breaking the contingency between the action and the reward, but he decides not to do so (or he sets up the contingency in the first place, depending on how you see it).

Thinking about it in this way, I wonder if one of the benefits of a very systematic, mechanical clicker training approach is that the contingencies are very clear and unquestioned, so that the human almost becomes like the tree. ;) In contrast, a less systematic approach might have the potential of making the horse feel frustrated because he is often reminded of the fact that the human is controlling the resources. This is because the link from behaviour to outcome is more variable and may feel somewhat arbitrary at times. Still I prefer the less structured interaction, for all the reasons Volker has explained so beautifully. And at the same time I do not want to be perceived as controlling and bribing by my horses, so I simply hand some of the control over to them. That is, they know that they get treats for performing, but they also know that they get treats for not performing, if they really don't want to, or for just telling me that they want a treat right now. Only yesterday I saw that Pia has become so clear and confident in this. We were working on the school halt and she got rewards for each try and more rewards for better ones. However, sometimes she simply did not respond to my cue but instead pushed against my treat bag with her muzzle in a very determined way. Accordingly, I gave her a treat for free, and after that she simply resumed the school halt training. :smile:

Now that was a bit longwinded, but I guess what I wanted to say is just that for me the question of bribing or not has to do less with the timing of the reward (presented before or after the action) but more with the question of who is in control and how arbitrary (and in that way perhaps also manipulative) this control is perceived by the receiver of the reward.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 51 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2 3 4

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.