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Episode 32: Observational Learning

Observational learning - what does that mean? How many different ways can we interpret that phrase to the benefit of our horses. What kind of an observer/learner are you? Is that fixed for you or do you understand the power of "yet"? Words matter. When you see a horse refusing to move forward over a simple trail class obstacle, what is the "story" you create around that? Is this horse being stubborn? Or is there another explanation?Maybe he's feeling overwhelmed by the environment. Something that is okay at home has suddenly become very frightening. The first story leads to punishment. The second to lessons that will create training success. Which story will you choose? Words matter. They ve

Episode 31: The Basics Done Well

At the end of the previous podcast Dominique was saying the more she knows, the more she sees the value of the basic work. The basics well done. That’s what training is. When you have that, the basics start looking like very fancy performance. You develop a real back and forth conversation with your horse. That’s when it becomes truly joyful. Your horse not only has a voice, it is a voice that is being listened to. That’s how we ended the podcast. As we continue the conversation, we explore what it means for the horse to be given a voice that counts. It includes a discussion of our animals being able to say “no”. How do we deliberately teach “no”. How do we show them that it

Podcast 30: Repertoire - The Bigger the Better

This podcast continues a conversation we began last week. We ended Episode 29: Pre-school with a “save that thought” comment about the importance of building an extensive repertoire of behavior. As Dominique said: “If you don’t have a repertoire - you have nothing. How can we talk? You don’t want me to do - whatever. But you haven’t taught me what I CAN do. Teach me a hundred other things I can do, and then we can talk. And then you can redirect me. Repertoire of behavior is under-rated. It’s our tools we’re going to use to find solutions. And you can never have too many.” Dominique’s closing comment was: “If you don’t know what to train - train anything”. In this podcas

Episode 29: Pre-School

This week’s podcast opens with a quote from our recent webinar with Dr. Susan Friedman. We were discussing a twenty year old horse that came to her new owner very shut down by force-based training. Susan ended the webinar with her recommendation for this horse - go back to pre pre-school. "This horse is not ready to learn even simple things such as targeting. How do we know this? The data tells us. The horse’s behavior tells us." Susan’s recommendation provided the launching point for our discussion.