Hey, Jo Hughes here!
Positive reinforcement training is known for enriching horses lives by giving them choice. It gives them some control over their behavioural outcomes as well as allowing them to gain rewarding consequences as a result.
Adding in consent training to that positive reinforcement training can offer yet another layer of choice still when training behaviours which have an aversive element to them. It hands a deeper level of control back to the horse by giving them the ability to use Start and Stop signals to affect the onset and cessation of unpleasant, aversive procedures at will.
In this video I explain how this works and show you the subtle differences in the horse’s behaviour responses when consent training is used.
You can see Ellie has learned to bring her eye to my hand to ‘start’ this fairly uncomfortable procedure. She can also ‘stop’ proceedings at any time by moving her head away and disconnecting from me.
From worming to wound care, injections to dental examinations, these techniques can empower horses to choose to participate willingly in all sorts of aversive procedures.
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