The ultimate guide to using positive reinforcement on the ground and in the saddle, from a pioneer in the field of reward-based training.
For more than 30 years renowned animal trainer Shawna Karrasch has used positive reinforcement-reward-based training, also called “R+”to mold behavior, shape attitude, and teach valuable skills. She took her pioneering work in a pool with marine mammals and evolved it to support pursuits in the competitive equestrian arena. There, she immediately demonstrated how her ideas could help horses not only choose to perform, but do so with increased ability and remarkable enthusiasm.
Advances in the areas of neurobiology and an evolution in our belief systems related to animal emotional intelligence means we are today more aware than ever of the techniques and methods we choose for training horses, making Karrasch-s positive focus more relevant than ever. In her first book since her breakthrough clicker-training manual You Can Train Your Horse to Do Anything!, published in 2000, Karrasch provides the foundation you need to use R+ to achieve any equestrian goal. You will learn how to:
- Create better choices for your horse.
- Fit reward-based methods into any training equation.
- Develop the timing and awareness needed to use treats and food effectively
- Use a bridge signal and secondary reinforcer and condition your horse to look for them.
- Master cues and targeting that shapes equine behavior.
- Apply R+ to dealing with undesirable behaviors, as well as solving problems with common under-saddle skills, including those related to movement, balance, transitions, and contact.
By understanding that horses are always making decisions based on how to get something they want or avoid something they don't want, we can learn to establish important associations that can influence their behavior. Of course, changing behavior is the easy part, admits Karraschmolding the horse's attitude (finding emotional balance, motivation, and control) through training is the greater challenge. With her extensive knowledge and the crucial steps for success she outlines in the pages of this book, you will discover how gentle, positive techniques do indeed have the most power when training horses. This is a must-have reference for anyone looking to incorporate reward-based training in equine-related activities.