Putting the science back into equine behaviour – Equine Behaviour Symposium 2011 by Suzanne Rogers

There are many websites, books and people (including me) claiming expertise in equine behaviour. They give advice to horse owners, demonstrate practical work with horses and often sell specialized tack or other tools that claim to fix a myriad of problems. However, many of the messages are confusing and conflict with each other – it can be difficult for people who want to learn about behavior to identify credible sources of information and find training methods that will not […]

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Book Review – EQUITATION SCIENCE by Paul McGreevy & Andrew McLean

EQUITATION SCIENCE by Paul McGreevy & Andrew McLean Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, paperback, 314 pages. ISBN 978-1-4051-8905-7. Illustrated in colour and B&W. £29.99. Science is neither more nor less than the best method we humans have yet devised for finding out how things work. Most fields of human activity have been immeasurably improved over the […]

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It don’t impress me much, by Suzanne Rogers

With the explosive increase in people using social media, such as Facebook, I find myself being sent an array of video clips from You Tube. Usually these are accompanied by a message that says “Isn’t this amazing?”, “Isn’t this funny?” or “Isn’t this terribly cruel?”. However, often the message is totally inappropriate considering the content. […]

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Can I combine positive reinforcement with negative reinforcement? By Catherine Bell

Positive reinforcement (+R), particularly when used in conjunction with clicker training, is commonly combined with the use of negative reinforcement (-R) and/or punishment. Typically the aversive stimuli (i.e. the pressure applied) in these cases will be mild and the combined approach is used to clarify and/or hasten the training. Is there anything wrong with this? […]

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He almost talks to me you know! By Ben Hart

How similar is equine thinking compared to ours, is a common thread running through many articles on animal behaviour and animal-human relationships. Most owners feel a greater contact with their animals because they give their pets at least some human thinking abilities and our close proximity to our pets actively encourages it. So, there is […]

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What is wrong with horses the way they are? By Alison Averis

Am I the only person to be concerned about the increasing trend to control and overcome natural equine behaviour? Now before all the training people leap on me, yes, I do know that all our interactions with horses have an effect on their behaviour, and that all training is designed to do just that. I’m […]

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The Latest Abstracts from the World of Equine Science and Other Useful Resources – Emma Lethbridge

Abstracts Attributing attention: the use of human-given cues by domestic horses (Equus caballus) Leanne Proops and Karen McComb Recent research has shown that domestic dogs are particularly good at determining the focus of human attention, often outperforming chimpanzees and hand-reared wolves. It has been suggested that the close evolutionary relationship between humans and dogs has […]

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Heart Rate Monitors – What can they tell us about stress in horses during training? By Emma Lethbridge

Recently I watched an episode of Monty and Kelly’s Horsemanship Essentials on Horse and Country TV. The series showcases the horse training methods of Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks. In the first part of the third episode of this series a heart monitor is worn by the horse – a lovely 3 year old Trekehner […]

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The Battle with Obesity – Part 1, By Emma Lethbridge

Summer is a great time for riders and horse owners alike, the long days and hopefully sunny weather bring greater opportunities for spending time with our much loved, four-legged friends. However, for some horse and pony owners summer can also be a worrying time and the start of an ongoing battle with their horse’s waistline. […]

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