10 Learning Theory-Based Horse Training Principles
“It’s not about turning horse training into a science,” he explained, “but, rather, understanding, defining, and measuring what we possibly can.”
McLean presented a revised version of his training principles at the 11th International Society of Equitation Science Conference, held Aug. 6-9, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are as follows:
1. Train according to the horse’s ethology and cognition. By understanding horses’ behavior (e.g., their social organization, attachment, fear responses, separation anxiety, arousal, need for space and companions, etc.) as well as their thought processes, we can better comprehend what causes them fear, makes them feel secure, and so forth and incorporate those things into training. “It’s normal for us to project a very human interpretation of how horses think,” said McLean. “But in doing so we’re expecting far too much,” and this can create negative welfare
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