What is Clicker Training Actually Good for? by Catherine Bell

Clicker training is one of the recent success stories of equestrianism. It makes use of a bridging signal to indicate the moment of the desired behaviour, followed by positive reinforcement. We are told that training with positive reinforcement is more ethical than training with negative reinforcement and/or punishment. We are told that positive reinforcement activates […]

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Shakedown – *UPDATE*

Well, after some puzzling, scratching behind the ears and much file copying, The Equine Independent now has a new home. As you can see, there is no change in the internet address, no change in the layout and no change in the (original) content – I hope! However, under the skin, one or two changes […]

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Not So Merry Go Round, By Josepha Guillaume

The round pen, rope halter and lead rope. These combination of things seem to have become as much a part of each other as bit, spurs and whip have been over the course of many centuries. As opposed to bit and spurs, the round pen and the lead rope seems to have an image of […]

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Questions and Answers with the Equitation Science Group by Emma Lethbridge

I was recently asked to do a question and answer session for the Facebook group Equitation Science (http://www.facebook.com/groups/equitationscience/). The questions asked were very interesting so I thought I would do an article including some of the Q and A session. I would like to note that there were many fantastic comments made by the other […]

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The Nonsense of Naughtiness By Alison Averis

If there was one thing I could do to improve the welfare of domesticated horses, it would be to get rid of the notion that inappropriate equine behaviour is naughtiness. The word ‘naughtiness’ implies deliberate misbehaviour, and it’s all too common for owners and riders to assume that this is what is going on when […]

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What Do Positive Reinforcement Trainers Actually Do? By Catherine Bell

A common criticism of those who train horses using positive reinforcement is that we are so busy discussing behavioural theory that we do not do anything practical with our horses, just a few “tricks”. Or that our training is so constrained by theory that there is no “feel”. Or that what little practical work we […]

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Equine Science Hot Off the Press! By Emma Lethbridge

Welcome to my round up of some of the latest releases in equine science. These scientific equine papers have provided some interesting information sure to spark debate and inform our equine management and training practises; including a most important paper which provides evidence that horses ridden in hyperflexion may experience difficulty breathing because of airway […]

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Don’t Throw Your Horse’s Friends Out with the Bath Water! by Suzanne Rogers

As an equine behaviourist one of the common reasons people contact me for help is separation anxiety – their horse isn’t coping when taken away from other horses or when left alone. Sometimes horses form such a strong bond or attachment to a particular equine friend that even if other horses are present they can’t […]

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Positively Encouraging Behaviour by Emma Lethbridge

For those embarking on training their horses and wishing to use mostly or completely training which is based in positive reinforcement, the problem of how to encourage the behaviours they want to train to occur, so that they may be rewarded and propagated, is often encoutered. In conventional training desired behaviours are often encouraged through […]

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