Dealing With Enthusiastic Equine Learners
Q. I have taught my horse to do carrot stretches from side to side and down between her legs. She’s become so enthusiastic about them, however, that she immediately tries to wrap her neck around to her flanks or between her legs when I enter her stall or am otherwise interacting with her off cross-ties. I’m glad she’s so eager, but can I or should I discourage this?
A. What you describe happens all the time as a normal, natural phase of the learning process. For enthusiastic learners such as your horse, as long as she is not rewarded—either with the carrot or any form of attention from you (positive or negative)—she will next learn to discriminate when her behavior leads to reward and when it doesn’t, and she will give up the fruitless
Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.
Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with