My Horse University and eXtension’s HorseQuest welcome you to this live Webcast.<br />Clarifying Learning Theory Terminolo...
Meet our presenter:<br />Camie Heleski, Ph.D.<br />(heleski@msu.edu)<br />Coordinator, MSU Horse Management Program<br />w...
A few fundamental points<br />Training – modifying or shaping behavior to achieve a desirable performance<br />Key factors...
Some types of learning that we use in horse training:<br />Desensitizing/habituating – the gradual decrease of a response ...
Sensitization – increase of a response to a stimuli <br />Example: if the first few times the horse is clipped, the blades...
Operant/Instrumental learning<br />Animal learns to operate on its environment to obtain a reward or reinforcement<br />E....
Signal learning/Classical conditioning<br />For example, Pavlov’s dogs…learned to salivate in response to a bell (uncondit...
Training Pattern<br />Stimuli -> Response-> Reinforcement<br />Rider’s cue…Horse’s Response…Rider’s Reinforcement<br />Exa...
Stimuli (cues)<br />Unconditioned – a cue that naturally causes the desired response<br />Example: waving arms at a horse ...
Stimuli (cues)<br />Conditioned – a cue that must be learned<br />Example: teaching a horse that “cluck” means trot…needs ...
So a “punishment” is not automatically “bad” and, in fact, is often quite necessary if we are to train safe horses<br />A ...
Which of the following are the most “rewarding” to a horse?<At present, we don’t know for sure.><br />Rest time during a w...
“Fairness”<br />Children have a sense of fairness or perceived unfairness at a very early age<br />Do horses grasp “fairne...
Conflict behaviors (also referred to as evasion or resistance)<br />Horse that is simultaneously spurred to go forward and...
Example of “NR” only in an “average” horse (from previous experiment)<br />
Example of “NR + PR” in an “average” horse<br />
Suggested Resources<br />The International Society for Equitation Science<br />www.equitationscience.com<br />Equine Behav...
Summary<br />
Give us your feedback!<br />You will receive a survey by email in 1-2 days. Please take a few minutes to give us your feed...
Upcoming Webcasts<br />Shivers and Other Muscular Diseases<br />July 28, 2010 1:00pm EDT<br />
Thank you for attending this live web presentation!<br />For more information about <br />My Horse University please visit...
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Clarifying Learning Theory Terminology to Enhance "Fair" Horse Training (Heleski)

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There is frequent confusion regarding the terms “negative reinforcement” and “punishment”, at least as they relate to handling and training horses. A “reinforcement,” whether positive or negative, is something that increases the frequency of a given behavior. A “punishment,” whether positive or negative, is something that decreases the frequency of a behavior.

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Clarifying Learning Theory Terminology to Enhance "Fair" Horse Training (Heleski)

  1. 1. My Horse University and eXtension’s HorseQuest welcome you to this live Webcast.<br />Clarifying Learning Theory Terminology in Order to Enhance “Fair” Horse Training<br />Dr. Camie Heleski<br />Michigan State University<br />
  2. 2. Meet our presenter:<br />Camie Heleski, Ph.D.<br />(heleski@msu.edu)<br />Coordinator, MSU Horse Management Program<br />www.equine.ans.msu.edu<br />Contributing Lecturer: My Horse University<br />www.myhorseuniversity.com<br />
  3. 3. A few fundamental points<br />Training – modifying or shaping behavior to achieve a desirable performance<br />Key factors to success:<br />Consistency: using the same cue; having consistent expectations<br />Predictability: are your expectations high? Or moderate? Or do they change from day to day?<br />Contingency: reinforcement comes immediately after the horse’s response<br />Appropriateness of reinforcements: do they make sense in the world of the horse? <br />Preciseness of cues: especially important with young horses <br />
  4. 4. Some types of learning that we use in horse training:<br />Desensitizing/habituating – the gradual decrease of a response to repeated exposure to a stimuli (not fatigue)<br />Example: gradually acclimating a horse to accepting having his ears touched & manipulated<br />
  5. 5. Sensitization – increase of a response to a stimuli <br />Example: if the first few times the horse is clipped, the blades are hot or dull and the horse experiences discomfort, she will likely become sensitized to clipping<br />Note breakaway twine that is fastened to the halter in case reaction is more dramatic than this.<br />
  6. 6. Operant/Instrumental learning<br />Animal learns to operate on its environment to obtain a reward or reinforcement<br />E.g. Pony learns that sliding the stall door lever results in its release from the stall & access to food<br />
  7. 7. Signal learning/Classical conditioning<br />For example, Pavlov’s dogs…learned to salivate in response to a bell (unconditioned stimulus <yummy food> paired with conditioned stimulus <bell>)<br />
  8. 8. Training Pattern<br />Stimuli -> Response-> Reinforcement<br />Rider’s cue…Horse’s Response…Rider’s Reinforcement<br />Example: rider squeezes legs<br />A. horse walks forward<br />A. Rider releases pressure, maybe says “good boy”<br />B. Horse resists & doesn’t move<br />B. Rider uses heavier pressure or perhaps a kick or bump with a crop<br />
  9. 9. Stimuli (cues)<br />Unconditioned – a cue that naturally causes the desired response<br />Example: waving arms at a horse in a round pen to get them to move forward (action uses horse’s instinctive response)<br />
  10. 10. Stimuli (cues)<br />Conditioned – a cue that must be learned<br />Example: teaching a horse that “cluck” means trot…needs to be coupled initially with a more unconditioned stimuli (e.g. when longeing, snapping the longe whip)<br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. So a “punishment” is not automatically “bad” and, in fact, is often quite necessary if we are to train safe horses<br />A “negative reinforcement” is clearly not “bad” and is the foundation of all pressure-response type training<br />(Positive reinforcements are maybe not used with horses as often as might be desirable.)<br />
  13. 13. Which of the following are the most “rewarding” to a horse?<At present, we don’t know for sure.><br />Rest time during a workout or after working on a particular task<br />Release of pressure<br />Food treat<br />Kind words<br />Petting/scratching (especially at neck/wither area…like mutual grooming that horses do)<br />Or perhaps it depends on how we’ve established our bond with the horse?<br />
  14. 14. “Fairness”<br />Children have a sense of fairness or perceived unfairness at a very early age<br />Do horses grasp “fairness”?<br />Anecdotally, many of us would say “yes”<br />Goes back to consistency & contingency<br />Also, does the “punishment” fit the “crime”<br />Does the horse get the option of making a correct choice?<br />If the horse is going to be punished regardless (or negatively reinforced regardless), this is “unfair” and can create “conflict” behaviors<br />
  15. 15. Conflict behaviors (also referred to as evasion or resistance)<br />Horse that is simultaneously spurred to go forward and also is receiving heavy pressure on his mouth, may eventually rebel by kicking out, crow hopping, attempting to rear, etc.<br />If that same horse is subjected to contradictory cues repeatedly and, perhaps, is subjected to heavy punishment for the conflict behaviors, he may eventually offer up “learned helplessness” <horse no longer offers appropriate responses to aversive pressure/pain…may appear dull, may experience physiological changes, such as lowered immune status><br />
  16. 16. Example of “NR” only in an “average” horse (from previous experiment)<br />
  17. 17. Example of “NR + PR” in an “average” horse<br />
  18. 18. Suggested Resources<br />The International Society for Equitation Science<br />www.equitationscience.com<br />Equine Behaviour: Principles & Practice – book by D. Mills & K. Nankervis, Blackwell Publishing 1999, Ch. 9 Learning & Training<br />
  19. 19. Summary<br />
  20. 20. Give us your feedback!<br />You will receive a survey by email in 1-2 days. Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback on this webcast. It will help us to better serve you!<br />
  21. 21. Upcoming Webcasts<br />Shivers and Other Muscular Diseases<br />July 28, 2010 1:00pm EDT<br />
  22. 22. Thank you for attending this live web presentation!<br />For more information about <br />My Horse University please visit us at:<br />www.myhorseuniversity.com<br />info@myhorseuniversity.com | www.myhorseuniversity.com | 517-353-3123<br />
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