Monday, June 30, 2014

Make the Right Thing Easy and

... The Wrong Thing Difficult.... so the familiar horsemanship saying goes.

Or is it: "Make the Wrong Think Difficult and The Right Think Easy...". It's the right attitude to have.

In Reiner-Speak: "I will release pressure, stop and pet on you for really trying. Otherwise I will keep up the pressure or increase it until you do. Make take a few sessions."

I've developed it into a habit since I like it so much.  I even have a banner with the saying on the inside of my riding arena for reference.

This saying makes the behaviourism techniques of Negative Reinforcement and Positive Reinforcement easy to remember. More operant conditioning information here, if you like. 

Do you know the terms and conditions of this to apply it properly and well? I have found many uses for it in training and horse handling that I'd like to share.

I, recently, offered my suggestions on a Facebook question, in one of the groups I belong to. This guy was having trouble getting his 18yr. old round-pen bronc to change his resume and retire from active up-in-the-air duty. The horse wanted to go up not forward.

I suggested that he use the above principle to rid the bucking. The horse will not ever stop knowing how to buck, of course, but we can let them know that we will make the wrong thing difficult, uncomfortable, or very bothersome if they decide to pull it out of their tool kit and use it. There is varying degrees of correction depending on the type of bucking.  The horse was made to hustle forward and frequent turns.

Equally, we will be a respectful leader and reward the horse when they do good and to build confidence. They always know that if they try and get the right response, they can trust the fact that there is a release-of-pressure reward.  The horse was allowed to walk when the bucking stopped.

Even Buddy Thinks The Cowboy Curtain is Easy

A list of Making The Right Thing Easy:
  • Remove leg pressure when the horse complies with your asking.
  • Removing rein pressure when the horse complies with your asking.
  • Using a slower gait as a reward for the horse trying and improving, even if just a little.
  • Setup a scenario to make is easy for the horse or donkey (in this case :) to learn something new.
  • Ending on a good note.
  • All forms of releasing pressure.
  • Stand a horse inside a trailer as a reward, not outside the trailer

A list of Making the Wrong Thing Difficult or Uncomfortable:
  • Not rewarding the wrong response from a horse
  • Not giving up so easily when you don't get the right response
  • Not quitting too early when the horse hasn't really tried.
  • Don't release pressure until you get the response you're looking for.
  • Making the horse hustle for rude behaviour.
  • Increasing pressure incrementally until there is a good response.
  • Don't let the horse stand at the mouth of the horse trailer. (Stand them inside the trailer as a reward.)
  • Make a horse stay on cross-ties until they stop pawing or fussing. (Be prepared to wait awhile. :)
 Used in combination and consistently, it makes for speedy training and quick, fast results for the enjoyable horse that you want to be with. It's easy to have a well behaved horse using this philosophy.

Putting my Spin on Negative Reinforcement and Positive Reinforcement
@KISS Reiners

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