Is the Release Really a Reward?

I can’t set foot in any horse training arena without hearing something like,

The release is the reward.
Horses learn through pressure/release/reward.
Horses work for the release.

That’s great but, notice that the so called reward always comes after something, usually irritating, that needs to be released. Hmmmm. Continue reading

Aversives: A Fancy Word for “Ouch”

A friend of mine sent me a link to the website of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals.

Lots of big words on AABP’s site, but check out their general statement, which pertains mostly to dog trainers. I’ve bolded the parts that I thought were awe inspiring. How very cool would it be if we had something like this for horse trainers. Continue reading