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monstrpony
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:43 PM
The idea of learned helplessness was apparently discussed at the recent Global Dressage Forum (and was last year as well). It's described as "all about long-term stress, when animals are in one of the following situations: a state of sustained pain or are exposed to aversive stimuli that are unpredictable, uncontrollable and/or inescapable. In studies, animals developed motivational, emotional and cognitive deficits resulting in despair and anhedonia--they stopped striving for pleasure and failed to respond to outside stimuli--and they never recovered." (from GDF article in the January Dressage Today). Horses have not specifically been studied for this issue, only dogs, rats and humans (this from the Chronicle article on the GDF).

What are your thoughts about this topic and its appearance at the GDF? Or in relation to dressage training systems at all?

My initial thoughts are that, given that the equivalent of "learned helplessness" is essentially a cornerstone of certain low-level western pleasure training systems, I find it somewhat disturbing that it's even mentioned in relation to dressage training. But I have no doubt that it IS an issue for horses.

ride-n-tx
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:18 AM
that's interesting. in what context did they mention this topic or how did they bring it up? what parallels to dressage did they draw or allude to?

ms raven
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:15 AM
Very interesting question. I second ride-n-tx's comments and what do they mean by "never recovered"?

Scary thought.

Good article: http://http://horsesforlife.com/LearnedHelplessness

Rusty Stirrup
Dec. 29, 2007, 07:23 AM
I've read about horses that when routinely "laid down" in the course of their training seemed to lose all sparkle and interest in their surrounding and never recovered. Maybe that's what they mean?

Trixie's mom
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:25 AM
i've seen horses like this...school horses, trail horses, performance horses.

They are found throughout all disciplines.

I think that it is the owner's/trainer's responsibility to manage thier training in a way that the horse always has the opportunity to be a horse.

I know of a horse that was 'thrown down'...the trainer got him as a last resort in an effort to rehab him. It took this method to get the horse to stop fighting anyone that came at him. he is now a happy horse...he is still with that trainer and he has a purposeful life and trusts this man.

monstrpony
Dec. 29, 2007, 10:17 AM
From the DT article: "So, what is its relevance to dressage? The common dressage concerns of short necks and tight nosebands open the possibility of unrelenting pressure for the horse. Dressage, we all agree, is not all about riding on a loose rein; it is about contact and collection, so the use of uberstreichen to release the pressure to prove that the horse retains his outline and balance is a wonderful technique."

Apparently, uberstreichen has recently been incorporated into some of the higher level tests, so I guess that's where this comment is directed.

The article in the Chronicle has the comments "Learned helplessness in horses remains unresearched and speculative at this stage. However, many researchers have identified the possibility, and I have seen it in trail horses. But, when a horse shows the LH syndrome, it's not able to react anymore, nearly dead. Therefore, it seems unlikely that dressage horses are experiencing learned helplessness. But on the way to [learned helplessness], there are many different stages, which can be caused through contradictory stimuli like the harsh use of the double bit and the bending of the head to the chest on one side and the strong use of spurs on the other side at the same time" This is a quote from the presenter, Australian scientist and former international rider Andrew McLean. It seems in the Chronicle article that his talk this year was backing down a bit from whatever he said last year. It is pointed out that aids must be clear to the horse or confusion results, and that prolonged confusion could be the top of this slippery slope.

Part of my interest is in finding out how this topic arose in the first place. I did not read about this in reports of last year's GDF, tho I admit I didn't follow that closely, and it was someone else who called my attention to it this year. But I have a horse that I have long believed does suffer from the "on the way to ..." version of this phenomenon (I speculate it's from some bad WP training in his past, both having his head tied and spur stop training), so it is very interesting to me to see it named and addressed.

freestyle2music
Dec. 29, 2007, 11:00 AM
The words "learned helplessness" came out of the mouth of the attackers of the RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem. When scientific studies, which where done some years ago, about this RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem proved that horses didn't developed any stress-hormoon under these conditions, these people came with these words.

CatOnLap
Dec. 29, 2007, 11:45 AM
The words "learned helplessness" came out of the mouth of the attackers of the RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem. When scientific studies, which where done some years ago, about this RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem proved that horses didn't developed any stress-hormoon under these conditions, these people came with these words
Very interesting thought. Thank you for that bit of politic, Theo. I have read those stress/RK studies as well. Weren't they Dutch? ;) *


The theory of learned helplessness is 50 years old in modern psychology, was demonstrated in animals and in humans long ago: the Wikipedia article is a reasonable synopsis. The idea has been used to explain the passive/neglectful behavior of some humans in overwhelming circumstances like domestic abuse, concentration camps. It was less succesfully applied to a theory of depression, to which general stress build up theory applies to a greater degree. And there are animal models of "depression" showing the same sorts of behaviors and chemical changes as people, it is reasonable to think that horses experience this to some degree and I believe I have observed clinical depression in horses.

What is interesting is that it is not a universal effect- some individuals display the behavior pattern, and others do not.

I have not read the Dressage Today article. Perhaps the quotes supplied in this thread are out of context, misunderstood or maybe the author misread the original research if it says the animals never recovered. The research trials were relatively short. Most did not even examine the issue of recovery and some sacrificed their research animals shortly after. Those that did, equated recovery with return to a previous behavior pattern within short order of the trials. Like a matter of days or weeks. In some cases, the research was done on baby monkeys, whose behavior was being shaped by the research. How does one "recover" if it was not ever in a state of emotional health?

I would suggest that any animal rescue can supply you with stories where the theory of learned helplessness explains a great deal of the animal's initial behavior, and where, the animal did recover given the right care and environment.

As for dressage training (not ill-used devices) causing learned helplessness?
:confused:
Perhaps poor training of any sort will do this to some individuals, but, not the art and relationship that most of us aspire to.

* It also occurred to me at the time, that in chronic states of depression or "learned helplessness", there is a constant high cycling of the stress related hormones, therefore, no change is observed in response to different situations, like rest versus rollkur. The hormone result might remain high the whole time. Also as I said, there are resilient individuals who will not show LH in response to the same situation as another. Therefore I was not impressed with the quality of research, which sampled over a short period of time and with a small number of horses who were already used to the method.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:02 PM
The words "learned helplessness" came out of the mouth of the attackers of the RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem. When scientific studies, which where done some years ago, about this RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem proved that horses didn't developed any stress-hormoon under these conditions, these people came with these words.

Well, this is actually what I study - not so much learned helplessness, but neuronal circuits in the brain and stress, and the interactions of hormones.

I can assure you there is nothing in the literature that would allow you to measure specific hormones and thus state, there is no stress here. Especially because we don't know basal levels in horses, which would vary according to breed (genetics plays a major part), sex, reproductive status, environment, fetal environment, and age. You'd first need to assess those levels in a "stress free environment."

Learned helplessness is a very real observation, it is used in rodent models especially for studying depressive states.

And I would say that, as has been stated before, it can be found in all horses and in all disciplines. But often, what is construed as stress by one individual does not always elicit a response from another.

If such a study was done with rollkur, please cite the journal reference. I'd be happy to go look it up on pub med and read it for everyone here. And of course, that would have to be a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal.

sabby
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:08 PM
that animals and humans were put thru inescapable pain and adverse stimuli in the name of research on learned helplessness on purpose:( Sorry, couldn't help going here:(.

Stacy

freestyle2music
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:19 PM
Well, this is actually what I study - not so much learned helplessness, but neuronal circuits in the brain and stress, and the interactions of hormones.

I can assure you there is nothing in the literature that would allow you to measure specific hormones and thus state, there is no stress here. Especially because we don't know basal levels in horses, which would vary according to breed (genetics plays a major part), sex, reproductive status, environment, fetal environment, and age. You'd first need to assess those levels in a "stress free environment."

Learned helplessness is a very real observation, it is used in rodent models especially for studying depressive states.

And I would say that, as has been stated before, it can be found in all horses and in all disciplines. But often, what is construed as stress by one individual does not always elicit a response from another.

If such a study was done with rollkur, please cite the journal reference. I'd be happy to go look it up on pub med and read it for everyone here. And of course, that would have to be a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal.

The study was done by Dr. Stoet and Professor van Breda and mentioned (á decharge) in the recent courtcase against Coby van Baalen in the Power and Paint case.

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:26 PM
I don't think there is any relation between depression (as a human disease of neruotransmitters) and situational unhappiness and 'life problems'. I think there's even LESS correlation between the mechanism of depression or life problems, and a rat that, when put in a tub of water and not provided with any escape, stops swimming sooner than a rat given a raft.

The original study showed that rats when put in a tub of water and provided a time or two with a raft to climb up on, kept swimming for a very long time in subsequent trials, the amount of time was longer than the rats swim time who hadn't been provided with a raft, the untrained rats stopped swimming and went under the water. presumably being rescued, but point in fact they stopped swimming sooner than the raft-trained rats.

I think the way the study has been applied to all sorts of unrelated situations is extremely absurd and very unscientific.

Not that that hasn't happened before, but USUALLY...USUALLY it isn't the scientists themselves that are running around suggesting all these ridiculous connections - THAT is the popular press' job!

In the wild, if rats fell in water, they would most likely 'learn' to keep swimming, scrambling aggressively for a hold on anything for a very long time, because most likely, anywhere they'd fall into water in the wild, would have a rough surface, a slanted surface, roots, masonry joints, all sorts of pawholds for them. They would 'learn' after many trials, to struggle out of any water, to struggle probablty for hours, in fact. Not only that, they're actually very strong swimmers in the wild, and great climbers. They will do amazing things, quite normally.

The lab rats had no experience like that. Most likely, being given a raft was very much like their wild experience. might be I think the rats that swam for a very long time were behaving more 'normally'. Lab rats don't get the exercise or trials in swimming except for very limited experiments, so their behavior in experiments like this can't be drawn out too far to make a lot of conclusions.

They have learned, very simply, to swim longer than a lab rat normally would. There's a pay off, so they KEEP swimming longer than normal. The way the study is interpreted, the animals without the raft training swim LESS than a normal length of time. That wasn't what the study showed. The trained rats swam LONGER than normal untrained lab rats. The study may have reinforced the behavior more than they intended or documented, as well. That was an early study. They weren't always terribly well designed.

The only real general application I think that can logically be applied to the results is that an animal, perhaps even a human animal, can learn to perform complicated behavior under complex circumstances, and perform an activity for LONGER than normal, if there is a reward in the end for the activity.

I think there is no justification, from that study, for a concept of 'learned helplessness' to exist.

The persitence of people to stay in an abusive situation is unbelievably more complicated than that - the abuser SEEKS OUT specific people, courts them, draws them in, then spends a great deal of time conditioning them and brain washing them, then spends MORE effort and time controlling and shaping their actions and one by one stripping every possible response but the desired one, away.

The mechanism is much more like complex multi- step cult psychology, and is far more multi layered than any thing like 'learned helplessness', which suggests that the problems of violent, abusive and destructive human behavior, as well as sadness and grief, life problems and disease of the brain like depression, are relatively simple to solve, and extremely simplistic. They are not.

It's the most ridiculous 'snake oil concept' I've ever heard when overused to that extent.

People DO see a sort of dispirited, inactive behavior in school horses (and, coincidentally, they see the same thing in any horse trained in a way they don't happen to like - and what is popularly 'disliked' changes over time).

I think in the quiet school horse this is a combination of things - no one is making the horse do anything that gets its blood up, it's perhaps a little stiff and old and conservative movements are more comfortable for it, or frankly, it's just taking it easy because no one is making it go forward and work actively. Many hot blooded, restless horses get nutty in situations where they are confided, but quite a few other horses just get quiet and sleepy and inactive.

Furthermore, the 'quiet' horse's behavior may actually represent an extremely happy and content animal, putting out a minimum of energy in simple work, enjoying its quiet routine and gentle exercise, and perfectly - happy. I always thought my horse was supremely happy when he was at his most 'unattractive' - standing still, head down, ears lopped over, weiner hanging out, one hind leg cocked....now to many people, a horse is 'happy' when he is running around screaming in the paddock, holding his tail up in the air and prancing.

To equate such frantic herd activity with 'happiness' - I don't understand how people think sometimes.

There are also those who say Lingh has 'lost his spark' and 'looks horrible' with Karen riding him. I look at him and see a happy, healthy horse enjoying his new rider, being ridden quietly, conservatively, with somewhat less impulsion and energy than Edward rode him, being ridden by a rider who is far more concerned about a quiet, relaxed and correct performance, developing herself as a rider, fulfilling intelligent and appropriate goals, and enjoying her new equine partner, as she should be.

And so many value judgements are put forth to explain what someone thinks they see, one gal I know who strongly opined that fly masks were 'abusive', treated me to endlness tirades about how my horses were 'depressed' because they were 'forced to have those horrible things over their eyes'. She ALSO used the term 'learned helplessness' - to describe my horses dozing in the pasture in the shade with their fly masks on.

People see what they want to see, and they think what they want to think.

CatOnLap
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:29 PM
that animals and humans were put thru inescapable pain and adverse stimuli in the name of research on learned helplessness on purpose Sorry, couldn't help going here.

Seligman's original study was on a dog in 1965- the rats came later.
Unfortunately, College students are still replicating his research- pub 2007, Univ of Nebraska. Rats forced to swim 48 hours until they drown...
http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/21/6/A779-a

Zen and Horses
Dec. 29, 2007, 01:01 PM
slc2 - Well said. Thank You.

philosoraptor
Dec. 29, 2007, 01:14 PM
I did not read the article. I became aware of it through reading behavioral science articles. The concept has been out there since the 1950s but we're just now thinking about what it means to horses (or people). I believe there is a counterpart in humans as well which is linked to long-term depression.

I see this in some of the horses coming into our shelter. Another way to put it is the horse has "given up" or "had their spirit broken". In my local area the biggest source is probably Amish workhorses, but you'll see it in other breeds. I can see where it could happen in any discipline or kind of horse under the right conditions. [Not trying to pick on the Amish; it's just that we get lots of ex-amish horses here and some were trained very harshly]

When these horses arrive, we cannot go back to the traditional methods (i.e. punishment/correction based) if there's any hope to have the horse come back to life. The horse might begrudgingly move his feet, but he's dead inside. It makes it harder to find a trainer. The best chance is when he's never hit/punished and we can slowly regain trust. This area still has trainers whose philosophy centers on "force him to respect me" or "showing who is boss". Things that DO work are lots of time & patience, positive-based training methods (eg. Clicker training), and handlers that a fair & consistent. The hope is that the shut-down horse has not generalized his helplessness to ALL humans and ALL enviroments; we try to convince him the bad rules no longer apply in this new environment.

There is alot of debate about if throwing a horse to the ground (cowboy "lying down") might be stressful enough to trigger it, at least in some horses especially if done repeatedly. It's done to create submission, but in some horses perhaps it does alot more? I don't know the answer to that. It would be a good topic for more study.

One might ask "who cares how the horse feels as long as he does what people ask without arguement?" My question to your dressage people: We look for submission in our horses. Is it really willing submission if the horse is permanently shut down inside?

Lots of good questions! Thanks for bringing up this topic, monstrpony.

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 03:27 PM
Zen and horses, do you have an interest in zen buddhism?

As far as 'throwing' horses, I think it is a VERY stupid practice that does NOTHING for horses. The only thing it does is increase the possibility of injury of the animal during training, and line someone's wallet.

When a horse is put down on the ground and held there, instinct takes over. It is no longer thinking or learning. It's on autopilot. All prey animals have a kind of switch that switches on when they are held down in a certain way. When thet scenario is created, they stop struggling.

Horses often do the same when they get caught in something - mud, a bog, etc. They get to a point where that switch goes on and they lie there and quietly put up with whatever is going on around them.

They are not in shock, and frankly, no, I don't think some great change happens in them. I don't think they think about it like people say AT ALL.

Horses have a strong instinct to stay on their feet - everything they do - yeah, nearly everything anyway - is tied up with not wanting to feel like they're going to fall.

When they get up, I believe they are the same horse they were before this happened. I don't think they 'learn' anything from it. I don't think horses think that way. At all.

At one barn I was at, a mare was very hot and nervous, and she was very difficult to ride and work with. She was both stubborn and hot, much like her GP jumper sire.

The owner, somewhat desperate, had a guy come and throw her.

Three years later, that trainer walked into the barn, and she was climbing the back wall of her stall trying to get away from him with her eyes bugging out of her head.

That's what she learned.

"Don't go near that guy...somehow, bad stuff happens when he's around".

Her personality did not change. She did not become more compliant. She was not any less hot or nervous. IT did not make her 'think'. She did get paired up with a rider that understood her well, and she performed well for that rider. But that was happening BEFORE she was thrown.

People want to imagine they think that way, because it does something for th= person's ego - makes them feel like they understand some great mystery, makes them feel clever - whatever.

Hungarian horses are taught to lie down, cavalry horses were taught to lie down, circus horses are taught to lie down - with no breaking of their spirit, no significant affect on their psyche - it's just something they learn to do. The routine in teaching them is just about identical to what the 'thrower' people do. The only difference is the speech the trainer makes to the audience...and that there IS an audience, LOL!

I don't think they particularly enjoy it the first couple times (hungarian, circus horses, etc), but they can be taught to do it on command and the first few times that's done they ARE forced to lie down, by setting them off balance (so it's no different from being 'thrown' by a Robert Redford lookalike) - and they STILL go ahead and do it rather quietly and cooperatively - because they learn to do it.

People - MANY people have deluded themselves (or their customers) into believing that something important or significant is going on during that time. It's been a part of every horse whisperer 'schtick' for hundreds of years.

I think it's baloney. I've seen horses 'thrown', and how it changed them - no change in their behavior, no change in their training success or co-operativeness.

News flash....you cannot change a horse's personality, energy level, nervous system, or the mistreatment and bad training he's had, by throwing him on the ground.

People want to believe what they want to believe, so they convince themselves it does something. Because that's what they want to believe. All I can say, is, leeches eventually went out of fashion too.

Rusty Stirrup
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:14 PM
Ahh, but leeches are making a comeback.

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:35 PM
That's an absurd distortion of what's going on.

They are still used to debride some sorts of wounds, in very rare circumstances.

Back in the day - leeches and bleeding was used for EVERYTHING - and the whole deal looked like a Monty Python script.

People were bled with leeches under the most absolutely insane circumstances and often died as a result of the bleeding. The use of leeches violated just about every currently known medical and physiological principle. The way leeches were used in the past, as a snake oil to treat EVERYTHING - often resulting in the death of the patient, is NOT coming back.

goeslikestink
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:43 PM
what i know of learned- in a horse is in his mind
he can only response to hows he treated and they learn by us the human
how we act is how they re- act good or bad but they also have long memories - and some can be of pain or sadness happiness some do say they dont feel i can ssure you they do
both mentally and physically

Ghazzu
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:03 PM
That's an absurd distortion of what's going on.

They are still used to debride some sorts of wounds, in very rare circumstances.

Deapite your expertise in the field of absurd distortions, you're incorrect here.
No. Leeches are used to relieve venous congestion.
Maggots are used for debridement.

Get your medicinal invertebrates straight, willya?

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:13 PM
Oh no, I have failed to choose the lesser of two weevils.

~Freedom~
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:29 PM
Oh no, I have failed to choose the lesser of two weevils.


So true.

There is also "learned helplessness" when you come on forums to actually learn something and find so much drivel being "core dumped" into various posting that you learn to be helpless in it ever changing so you don't even want to post real pertinent information.

claire
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:40 PM
The words "learned helplessness" came out of the mouth of the attackers of the RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem. When scientific studies, which where done some years ago, about this RK/Hyperflexion trainingsystem proved that horses didn't developed any stress-hormoon under these conditions, these people came with these words.

I think one has to realize that the Global Dressage Forum did not present clinical studies. So I do not think you can be drawing the conclusion that anything was "Proven". :confused:

Different training techniques were discussed and different opinions voiced in a forum setting.

Re: "learned helplessness" in relation to rollkur comment. This term came up last year at the GDF in Andrew McClean's presentation. His point was that more research would be needed to draw any conclusion.


http://www.horsesport.org/veterinary/PDFS/Workshop_Report_Final_050306.pdf (http://www.horsesport.org/veterinary/PDFS/Workshop_Report_Final_050306.pdf)
[quote]
"Dr. Andrew McLean introduced a new term, “learned helplessness” He described it as learned pain tolerance. A horse whose nose has been forced onto its chest cannot escape that position and may learn to accept the pain involved with it.
Dr. McClean wants additional research to know how much contact is neutral, how to measure pain in the contact, and how learned helplessness manifests itself in a horse."

Point eight(2006 FEI Summary of the GDF Hyperflexion Workshop)
states:
“The Veterinary Committee should now identify what research is required to confirm unequivocally whether or not there is a welfare issue involved in training techniques using Hyperflexion.”

The FEI never required further clinical research into the subject...

However, they did find:
Point three (2006 FEI Summary of the GDF Hyperflexion Workshop)

“Hyperflexion of the neck is a technique of working/training to provide a degree of longitudinal flexion of the mid-region of the neck that cannot be self-maintained by the horse for a prolonged time without welfare implications. There must be an understanding that Hyperflexion as a training aid must be used correctly, as the technique can be an abuse when attempted by an inexperienced/unskilled rider/trainer.”

So, No PROOF. Just alot of qualified statements. :winkgrin:

Unless, someone ;) could supply the specific references to the clinical study cited ???

egontoast
Dec. 29, 2007, 06:42 PM
However, Andrew MacLean did say I think both at the 2006 and 2007 GDFs (2006 anyway) that he had watched Anky's horses go (there was a rollkur demonstration by AVG at 2006 gdf) and in his opinion this was not 'learned helplessness". Funny how people like to leave that part out after quoting AM on the concept of LH.

This was all quoted and dragged up every other time this topic has been revived. I am not sure how to find these quotes now(and don't have the energy).

Andrew Maclean is a very credible and well regarded animal /equine behaviorist from Australia. His interesting articles can be found on the Horsemagazine site. He's a gem.

claire
Dec. 29, 2007, 08:03 PM
Here is the FEI Report on the GDF 2006. For an objective perspective on the presentations by Andrew Maclean and Professor van Brenda's study.:)
http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:T6BK0KPI01oJ:horsesport.org/veterinary/PDFS/Workshop_Report_Final_050306.pdf+andrew+mclean+lea rned+helplessness+rollkur&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us

Andrew Maclean:
"Learned Helplessness is a state of learned pain tolerance when, for instance, a horses head is held to his chest with no way of relieving the pain."

"Andrew Maclean concluded by calling for additional research into how LH manifests itself in horses. He asked if there could be a self carriage test to distinguish between "Good RK and Bad RK"

Professor van Brenda:
"Studied "overbending" elite horses and recreational horses, and noted that the health and well-being of the elite horses could be maintained despite non-natural positioining."

"He thought that overbending did not induce stress or pose a serious threat in skilled hands.
But the Professor called for more research with a wider variety of horses."

Basically, both called for additional research before any conclusions could be made. All made the qualification that RK/HF be used by Skilled Hands Only!

fiona
Dec. 29, 2007, 08:12 PM
Dr. McClean wants additional research to know how much contact is neutral, how to measure pain in the contact, and how learned helplessness manifests itself in a horse."


Clearly a genius.

egontoast
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:13 PM
From report by eurobreederstour who attended the 2006 GDF


At this point with all of the extensive research that has been done, the promises of more studies to be done, and a brave attempt by Anky and Sjef to put themselves and their methods out there once again for review and debate one would think we had reached a respectful level of critical thought and discussion. But think again. The microphone was then handed to Brigit Popp who noted that Sjef had said earlier in his lecture that the hyperflexion of the neck was not his system, but rather a tool within his system that he uses progressively. She then asked him "do you also consider learned helplessness to be one of your tools?".

Of course Sjef and Anky refused to even respond to this ignorant and vindictive statement, but Richard handed the microphone to Dr. McLean who had used the term in his lectures and his response was that this in no way shape or form was "learned helplessness". The horse was clearly happy to do his work and showed no signs of negative stress, let alone having been beaten down into a state of total surrender.



http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=69617&highlight=helplessness

HFK
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:32 PM
I was absolutely horrified and enraged to learn about these experiments when I studied animal psychology. I am one of those crazy folks that believe animals think, reason and remember. Not like humans, but within the scope of their individual nature. Generally not a politically correct opinion, but there it is.

It makes me so deeply sad to think of someone repeating these experiments on other creatures in the name of science. Sadists. We inflict enough of this on our beasts unwittingly.

Will shut up now...

fiona
Dec. 30, 2007, 10:42 AM
Yeah, these long pointless rambling posts about the evil or indeed existence of rollkur are torturous.
Please for the love of god STOP!

fiona
Dec. 30, 2007, 10:43 AM
Oh. You meant animal testing by misguided and deranged scientists.
Stop with them too.
And cancel Sunday.

~Freedom~
Dec. 30, 2007, 11:47 AM
And cancel Sunday.

I do believe certain trolls come out on Sunday, am I correct?

claire
Dec. 30, 2007, 02:03 PM
Well, another subjective viewpoint on the exchange at GDF2006. :winkgrin:


http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2006/06gdf/index.html

The Dutch duo was addressed by a panel that included Dr. Hillary Clayton, Kyra Kyrklund and St Georg journalist Kerstin Niemann. Kyrklund said that she doesn’t understand the benefit there is from keeping a horse so low and tight. “I don’t only evaluate the top horses trained on this system but also on normal horses.” The debate with the panel exploded when Niemann was asked to comment on the demonstration. She noted that there is much pulling involved riding the horses LDR. Anky refuted that immediately and said the horses felt light in the hand. This is probably true as Anky’s horses are conditioned to LDR.
http://www.eurodressage.com/images/2006/06gdf/janssen1.jpgUnfortunately, Niemann was unable to engage in a real discussion or represent her magazine’s viewpoint on the rollkur. Van Grunsven got quite aggressive in her refutations but remained clear headed and correct.

However, Janssen refused debate with German journalists Birgit Popp and Niemann. “I don’t talk to selective hearers,” Janssen said. Popp asked Janssen if he considered ‘learned helplessness as a tool too,’ which inflamed him and made the whole debate boil over with heated emotion.

Fortunately, Dr McLean cooled everyone down by saying that he didn’t see anything problematic but that it LDR can not be used as a smokescreen for other problems in the horse sport."

egontoast
Dec. 30, 2007, 02:28 PM
Andrew macLean had already spoken about learned helplessness and it was clear to everyone that 'learned helplessness' is not desireable. To ask someone if they use 'learned helplessness' as a tool in that context , was akin to asking if they 'abuse' their horses as a tool for training. I can certainly understand why someone might not dignify that question with an answer.

You have to understand the back story there and the adversarial relationship between that particular journalist and SJ. Whatever you think of rollkur (I'm not defending any training methods) , that particular question was intended as an insult, obviously, and was taken as such.

J-Lu
Jan. 1, 2008, 04:13 PM
The study was done by Dr. Stoet and Professor van Breda and mentioned (á decharge) in the recent courtcase against Coby van Baalen in the Power and Paint case.

Late to the party but... Geek, I have the rollkur "study" and I communicated privately with Van Breda about it. Essentially, the study is extremely poorly controlled/designed, landing the paper in a lab animal tech-type journal rather than a good science journal. You can search Van Breda's stuff on PumMed and find the rollkur "study" (have a glass of wine while reading it). Even he admits it is not conclusive because the design is so poor. The study should never have been published...it is that bad.

J.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jan. 2, 2008, 06:04 PM
Late to the party but... Geek, I have the rollkur "study" and I communicated privately with Van Breda about it. Essentially, the study is extremely poorly controlled/designed, landing the paper in a lab animal tech-type journal rather than a good science journal. You can search Van Breda's stuff on PumMed and find the rollkur "study" (have a glass of wine while reading it). Even he admits it is not conclusive because the design is so poor. The study should never have been published...it is that bad.

J.

*sigh* so much for peer review!