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Training with treats - do you?

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  • mbm, maybe it is interesting to find out why some ponies and hoirses respond the way they do to various approaches of giving them treats.

    Comment


    • One of the first things I try to do with a new horse is to teach him/her to come to the sound of grain/pellets in a bucket, at the same time that I also whistle. It is a loud sharp whistle ... sort of like a 'cat-call'.

      It is very handy, especially if one gets dumped out in the middle of nowwhere, or has to dismount and possibly loose control of the horse.

      The whistle works wonders.

      So much easier than walking home.

      Comment


      • I've never considered this before, but after reading this thread I have a mare who I think could benefit greatly from this. Thanks for starting this!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by alto View Post
          But it IS a lovely phrase - not sure why it seems to be triggering negativity - it's a phrase/concept I've found to be fairly common among trainers/clinicians ...

          I thought rather similar phrasing was used by GM during the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions.
          It triggers negativity when it is used to established an expectation of better performance without explaining to the recipient HOW they are supposed to ACHIEVE those better results.

          Great, it's a lovely phrase.

          If I stand in the middle of the ring and tell all my students, "Ride your horse with quality!" over and over again, they won't actually get any better. Very few people come out to the barn with the plan to ride like the biggest possible @$$ they can, so just insisting they have to go for "quality" instead of ...aiming for crappiness today??...is not teaching anything.

          To actually improve the quality they can achieve, I have to actually get more detailed than that and say, for example, "OK, he is leaning in now, do you feel that? So use your inside leg to push him out. ...He didn't give you enough of an answer, ask a little sharper. OK! NOW he stepped over and you got a good answer!!" For $500, I want this paragraph, and well-timed to what my horse and I are doing that instant, not a "lovely phrase".

          Just going on and on about "ride your horse with quality" ...a tape recorder can do that, and I don't need to pay it $500. Oh, I'm so glad the tape reminded me! I was going to ride my horse like sh*t on a pile on purpose but now I'll try to ride my horse with quality. Yay, $500 saved!
          Last edited by meupatdoes; Nov. 7, 2012, 01:20 PM.
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          Comment


          • Training needed for treats

            You really can't expect a horse or pony to understand the significance of a treat until you explain it to them. That's what clicker training does, it first teaches a horse when to expect the treat. Without this understanding the horse will exhibit unwanted behavior. Like mugging you or "falling" over themselves to snatch a treat.
            Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
              It triggers negativity when it is used to established an expectation of better performance without explaining to the recipient HOW they are supposed to ACHIEVE those better results.

              Great, it's a lovely phrase.

              To actually improve the quality they can achieve, I have to actually get more detailed than that and say, for example, "OK, he is leaning in now, do you feel that? So use your inside leg to push him out. ...He didn't give you enough of an answer, ask a little sharper. OK! NOW he stepped over and you got a good answer!!" For $500, I want this paragraph, and well-timed to what my horse and I are doing that instant, not a "lovely phrase".
              Yes, but she was a shite instructor because she was a shite instructor, not because she used what is a rather common phrase among european (influenced) instructors.

              If only there was a "Refund" option on experiences like this

              Comment


              • I was SIMPLY AGREEING with a third party that "Ride your horse with quality," as lovely of a phrase as it is, doesn't actually give the person it is directed at any helpful tips. Is there some reason you find my person opinion of the helpfulness or lack thereof of that phrase so problematic?

                I don't care if the best instructor in the world gives the best lesson I have ever received, if one of the sentences they utter in the course of this wrold-changing lesson is "Ride your horse with quality," then that is one sentence out of the whole entire awesome world caliber lesson that is a lovely phrase but otherwise completely unhelpful. If they (unlike this particular clinician) utter enough OTHER helpful sentences that I can actually implement into improvement, the lesson will still be wonderful, and I will still spend several hundred dollars to come back, but that one particular nugget will still be a lovely phrase but otherwise imo totally useless.

                What exactly are you arguing with? Did I miss something where I need third party affirmation from alto on COTH in order to be allowed to personally find a particular phrase unhelpful? I'm not saying YOU have to find it unhelpful, but I'd like to be able to think it's unhelpful to me. If that's ok with you.
                Last edited by meupatdoes; Nov. 7, 2012, 03:15 PM.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
                  You really can't expect a horse or pony to understand the significance of a treat until you explain it to them. That's what clicker training does, it first teaches a horse when to expect the treat. Without this understanding the horse will exhibit unwanted behavior. Like mugging you or "falling" over themselves to snatch a treat.
                  Sorry. You have this backwards. Of course, horses innately understand what delicious food items are. They are yummy and they give them pleasure when they eat them. So they quickly figure out (like BF Skinner's pigeons) what they have to do to get the delicious food item. They figure out "if I do this then I get that."

                  The horse doesn't innately understand some random "click" noise that is totally meaningless to them in nature. A click is neither pleasurable nor painful. The food reward is what makes the click meaningful as a "bridge." When the click is repeatedly associated with the food reward, then the horse understands the click as a representation of the food reward--or when advanced--as a sign of approval, if they have been socialized to seek approval.

                  The unwanted behavior comes from poor training--improper use of rewards, mostly bad timing-- which confuses the horse about what he has to do to get the reward.

                  For a description of how to train with food rewards and "bridges" check out http://www.on-target-training.com/method.php The Q & A on the site also provides a good explanation of how to use operant conditioning.
                  Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Nov. 7, 2012, 03:36 PM. Reason: Add link
                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                    I was SIMPLY AGREEING with a third party that "Ride your horse with quality," as lovely of a phrase as it is, doesn't actually give the person it is directed at any helpful tips.

                    I don't care if the best instructor in the world gives the best lesson I have ever received, if one of the sentences they utter in the course of this wrold-changing lesson is "Ride your horse with quality," then that is one sentence out of the whole entire awesome world caliber lesson that is a lovely phrase but otherwise completely unhelpful. If they (unlike this particular clinician) utter enough OTHER helpful sentences that I can actually implement into improvement, the lesson will still be wonderful, and I will still spend several hundred dollars to come back, but that one particular nugget will still be a lovely phrase but otherwise imo totally useless.

                    What exactly are you arguing with?
                    Your point is taken. But for me, that one phrase has been helpful when i am confused about an approach, or frustrated with progress, or my own riding skills, I ask myself, is this quality? Have I presented myself to the horse with quality, and am i riding with quality?. How you define quality is up to the individual.
                    if offers nothing specific, but does present a way how out of the bog of procedural, step by step, science based, debilitating dogma. I find it liberating.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                      I was SIMPLY AGREEING with a third party that "Ride your horse with quality," as lovely of a phrase as it is, doesn't actually give the person it is directed at any helpful tips. Is there some reason you find my person opinion of the helpfulness or lack thereof of that phrase so problematic?

                      I don't care if the best instructor in the world gives the best lesson I have ever received, if one of the sentences they utter in the course of this wrold-changing lesson is "Ride your horse with quality," then that is one sentence out of the whole entire awesome world caliber lesson that is a lovely phrase but otherwise completely unhelpful. If they (unlike this particular clinician) utter enough OTHER helpful sentences that I can actually implement into improvement, the lesson will still be wonderful, and I will still spend several hundred dollars to come back, but that one particular nugget will still be a lovely phrase but otherwise imo totally useless.

                      What exactly are you arguing with? Did I miss something where I need third party affirmation from you in order to be allowed to personally find a particular phrase unhelpful? I'm not saying YOU have to find it unhelpful, but I'd like to be able to think it's unhelpful to me. If that's ok with you.

                      I'm surprised that this phrase elicits confusion or question as to it's meaning - even if you've no notion, it seems a straight forward enough concept that should become apparant during a course of instruction with a teacher that uses the term ...
                      (I'm still convinced that you're having me on)

                      I can't begin to imagine how you perceive this as some sort of personal attack.

                      Apologies to the OP as this is diverging rather far Off Topic

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                        So you can't tell me why you are against them, you just persist with being rude and suggesting you know anything about ME for one and others who have posted on this thread.

                        I don't have any hang ups.

                        You have no idea what my focus is at all.

                        I didn't ask you your opinion of my questions.

                        I don't do intoxication of any kind.

                        Lovely phrase "Ride your horse with quality". Doesn't mean anything.

                        Are you a politician, here on COTH incognito?
                        You are quite defensive. I responded to this on another post just now. I did not mean to infer you were riding your horse without quality. You was used in the general sense. I explain what i mean about quality in the other post.
                        I am thinking that the focus on "reward based training" carries the connotation that everything else is based on punishment, which is not accurate. To paraphrase Henry Wynmalen,(I don't have the exact quote in front of me) elevating personal experience into dogma becomes a straightjacket. I never said I was against treats. But putting emphasis on whether treating is a good way or not, takes away from the more important concept and question of whether or not there is any quality to the work being rewarded. That takes us back to technique and observation and skill. I presented observations of the trailer loading video as an example of how the quality and presentation could be better, and while that is being discussed, whether or not it is done with treats becomes moot.
                        I am also new to this format, so I mix up who and which post I am responding too, so forgive me for that.

                        Comment


                        • You've probably all seen this video before but it came to mind reading this thread:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as6FrosqND4

                          I use treats and appreciate the results with my horse. I also recognize there may be many means to the same end.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by alto View Post
                            I'm surprised that this phrase elicits confusion or question as to it's meaning - even if you've no notion, it seems a straight forward enough concept that should become apparant during a course of instruction with a teacher that uses the term ...
                            (I'm still convinced that you're having me on)

                            I can't begin to imagine how you perceive this as some sort of personal attack.

                            Apologies to the OP as this is diverging rather far Off Topic
                            What EXACTLY becomes apparent?

                            Let's say you are passaging.
                            I say, "Hey alto, passage WITH QUALITY!"

                            Is it apparent to you what you should do differently?
                            If you know exactly what I am telling you to change, why would you even need the reminder? Were you trying to passage without quality before I said something?

                            If you say, "But...what EXACTLY do you want me to do to improve the passage? Legs further back or more towards the girth? More from seat or a half halt on the rein?" should I just say, "I'm surprised you're confused. Just ride your horse WITH QUALITY. Really it should be straight forward enough that it should just be apparent."


                            And again, I wonder that you are so personally invested in my personal opinion of this one sentence that you feel you must post about it repeatedly. Why is it such a problem to you that I personally find this one phrase unhelpful? Is it ok with you that I find the theory of relativity confusing? Is it ok with you that I don't find instructions on how to operate a microwave written in French helpful? What am I ALLOWED to find unhelpful, according to alto? Do I even get to decide for myself what I find unhelpful?

                            If other people find it helpful, that's fine with me.
                            If you can deduce what to do with your legs in passage and with what timing from whatever your instructor is saying then more power to you!
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                              What EXACTLY becomes apparent?

                              Let's say you are passaging.
                              I say, "Hey alto, passage WITH QUALITY!"

                              Is it apparent to you what you should do differently?
                              If you know exactly what I am telling you to change, why would you even need the reminder? Were you trying to passage without quality before I said something?

                              If you say, "But...what EXACTLY do you want me to do to improve the passage? Legs further back or more towards the girth? More from seat or a half halt on the rein?" should I just say, "I'm surprised you're confused. Just ride your horse WITH QUALITY. Really it should be straight forward enough that it should just be apparent."


                              And again, I wonder that you are so personally invested in my personal opinion of this one sentence that you feel you must post about it repeatedly. Why is it such a problem to you that I personally find this one phrase unhelpful? Is it ok with you that I find the theory of relativity confusing? Is it ok with you that I don't find instructions on how to operate a microwave written in French helpful? What am I ALLOWED to find unhelpful, according to alto? Do I even get to decide for myself what I find unhelpful?
                              Guilty as accused- I do post with rhetoric & repetition.



                              If other people find it helpful, that's fine with me.
                              Really? if it is "fine" with you, why the personal, confrontational posts


                              My original post regarding the phrase that you seem to find so distasteful - post & phrase

                              But it IS a lovely phrase - not sure why it seems to be triggering negativity - it's a phrase/concept I've found to be fairly common among trainers/clinicians ...

                              I thought rather similar phrasing was used by GM during the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by alto View Post


                                Really? if it is "fine" with you, why the personal, confrontational posts


                                My original post regarding the phrase that you seem to find so distasteful - post & phrase

                                But it IS a lovely phrase - not sure why it seems to be triggering negativity - it's a phrase/concept I've found to be fairly common among trainers/clinicians ...

                                I thought rather similar phrasing was used by GM during the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions.
                                So let's sum up.

                                I post to a third party, unrelated to you, "I'm glad someone else finds this phrase unhelpful because I can't make heads or tails of it either."

                                You then pop in with how you are not sure why the "lovely phrase" is "triggering negativity."

                                I proceed to (re)explain that, though the phrase is lovely, it doesn't provide ME, IN MY OPINION, with enough explanation to actually implement anything. Thus I am frustrated when I spend money on clinics when this is the only thing the clinician says.

                                This is apparently not enough, because then you go on about how the instructor was just a bad explainer, not that the phrase itself is bad. (Which for the record was exactly my sentiment, immediately prior: that the phrase is fine as a phrase on its own, but it does not sufficiently explain anything else in my opinion when I am spending $500.)

                                Still apparently looking for an argument, you proceed to say you are "surprised" at my "confusion" because it "should be apparent." Apparently I can not be permitted to just not find a particular phrase helpful as an instructional tool. If I even allude to it to a third party who is not you I should be repeatedly questioned.

                                Do you feel personally confronted when I post agreement to someone who isn't even you? Do you feel personally confronted when I respond to YOU repeatedly questioning me? How did I confront you again???

                                Do I have to like this phrase to not be confronting you, or else at the very least feel a little bit stupid about it? For some reason it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to read, "Hm. Some people don't find this phrase helpful," and just leave them alone about it? It is not actually a personal attack on anyone else, or in anyway confrontational, that I don't find "lovely phrases" to be good riding instruction from MY perspective.

                                So again, is there SOME REASON it is a problem for you that I don't find this one particular thing helpful, and that I happen to agree with someone else on the thread on that matter? You are the one who apparently can't let it lie and is out on some mission to get everyone in the world to agree that this lovely phrase is helpful.

                                Is there some reason you can't just let me exist, agreeing with one other person on this thread that one particular phrase is unhelpful to us, without repeatedly posting about it? What exactly prompted you to pick up the torch on this?
                                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                Comment


                                • Meupat, save your energy.

                                  Circular nonsense for whatever reason is circular nonsense. Some folks just post in a snarky way. It does something for them.

                                  If they can't join the discussion they take it in other directions where they can play. Drop out now, it will only get worse.

                                  I asked some simple questions and got only a few answers from other people. The way some folks are totally AGAINST treats reads like there is something wrong about them. I tried to get clarification. I failed.

                                  I studied operant conditioning in college. Yes, I was a an undergrad psych major. We actually played with rats and people!

                                  I am sure some folks got a lot out of the thread and will be able to use it as another tool in the box.
                                  “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                  ? Albert Einstein

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                                    Sorry. You have this backwards. Of course, horses innately understand what delicious food items are. They are yummy and they give them pleasure when they eat them. So they quickly figure out (like BF Skinner's pigeons) what they have to do to get the delicious food item. They figure out "if I do this then I get that."

                                    The horse doesn't innately understand some random "click" noise that is totally meaningless to them in nature. A click is neither pleasurable nor painful. The food reward is what makes the click meaningful as a "bridge." When the click is repeatedly associated with the food reward, then the horse understands the click as a representation of the food reward--or when advanced--as a sign of approval, if they have been socialized to seek approval.

                                    The unwanted behavior comes from poor training--improper use of rewards, mostly bad timing-- which confuses the horse about what he has to do to get the reward.

                                    For a description of how to train with food rewards and "bridges" check out http://www.on-target-training.com/method.php The Q & A on the site also provides a good explanation of how to use operant conditioning.
                                    I think you don't understand what I posted. I do understand what the term "bridge" means. And I also understand that a horse needs to be trained on what the treat means.
                                    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                                    Comment


                                    • I really like what Charles de Kunffy says in his book the "Teacher's Notebook."
                                      "Remember the horse did not volunteer for this complicated partnership. However in exchange for kindness, frequent rewards and his favorite activity (moving effortlessly in perfect balance) he develops from raw, random nature to a monument of art.

                                      I might add that at an Anne Gribbons clinic I attended "she" gave the clients horse treats for a job well done.

                                      I just started to give treats in the ring to improve my mares attitude towards work and it works for her.

                                      Comment


                                      • Haven't read replies. Quick answer no. I never train with treats.

                                        That said, when retraining a really bad problem horse (on the ground) that has to be rehabbed behaviorly, I may do so...but very, very judiciously.

                                        I've bred, raised and trained a lot of horses that are still with me.. (some passed now) -- and rehabbed horses for others that needed behavior modificiation with bad habits, often from the overuse of "treats" by well-meaning owners who don't understand that being a benevolent leader is more important that even someteims food, for the species.

                                        Sure, it works for some -- bribing with food to get good behavior. But it is a facade, really.

                                        I prefer not to bribe with food, but get that connection and understanding whether on the ground or u/s, with leadership.

                                        Sure, the older citizens seldom take advantage of being treated and I love doing that. But the younger ones and those in their prime/work? Nope. Maybe a nice hot meal after they are in their stall after work, but not by hand.
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                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by countrygal View Post
                                          You've probably all seen this video before but it came to mind reading this thread:
                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as6FrosqND4

                                          I use treats and appreciate the results with my horse. I also recognize there may be many means to the same end.
                                          Oh boy, I am such a killjoy in this crowd. But...FWIW
                                          Am I the only one who thinks this is demeaning to the horse? The crowd finds it so cute and adorable. Here is what I see.: There is a body of work taking place, interrupted again and again by a now distracted horse looking for his treat. So an entire new behavior is introduced, and a now ingrained response that the horse cannot help himself over, and everyone laughs. I find it sad. Disturbing even. The only way now to inhibit that horse from whipping his head around for his treat, would be for the rider to resist with his rein. And now we have created an entirely unwanted response that has to be countered by another from the rider. It is a complete distraction from the work at hand. This is not classical riding and training, in my book. But trick training. This only convinces me more why I do not like using treats in training.

                                          Comment

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