Equine Training Book from C.H.I.P.S.

Knowing Your Horse
A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour
by Emma Lethbridge

Knowing Your Horse will be a key resource if you want to better understand your horse’s behaviour and make the most of that understanding to improve your training techniques.

Knowing Your Horse gives you a range of practical tools to employ in solving equine behaviour problems, and training tasks and case studies demonstrate these tools in use and explains learning theory as applied to horses, and offers practical advice on reward systems, positive and negative reinforcement, and overcoming fears and phobias.


1. The Principles of Good Horse Training

  • Ten Basic Principles of Good Horsemanship
  • Learning recap

2. Does Classical Conditioning Ring a Bell?

  • Different Stimuli and Response Terms
  • Training Task: How to Classically Condition Your Horse
  • Specific Training Situations
  • Learning recap
  • My training log

3. Living With the Consequences

  • Operant Conditioning
  • Applying Simple Operant Conditioning
  • Training Task: ‘Don’t Mug Me’ Training
  • Learning recap
  • My training log

4. All Possible Consequences

  • Defining Positive and Negative Consequences
  • Reinforcement
  • Punishment
  • Which Consequence?
  • Learning recap

5. Other Laws and Factors in Learning

  • The Final Law – Extinction
  • Understanding Generalisation and Discrimination Learning in Training
  • Learning recap

6. The Power of Positive Reinforcement

  • What Can Be a Positive Reinforcer?
  • Which Reinforcer Should I Use?
  • When to Reward
  • Training Using Positive Reinforcement
  • Learning recap
  • Training Task: Using Positive Reinforcement to Teach the Back, the Heel, the Stay, the Recall and the Yield
  • Training Task: Teaching the Head Down and Placement using the Target Lure
  • My training log

7. The Sound of Learning – Clicker Training

  • What is Clicker Training?
  • The Training Game
  • Target Training
  • The Secrets of Clicker Success
  • Learning recap
  • Training Task: Using Clicker Training
  • My training log

8. Negative Reinforcement – Reinforcement Through Escape

  • Pressure-Release Training
  • The Important Factors for Applying Negative Reinforcement Ethically
  • When Not to Use Negative Conditioning
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Is Every Physical Contact with the Horse Negative Reinforcement?
  • Combining Positive and Negative Reinforcement
  • Adding Cues and Commands
  • Learning recap
  • Training Task: Using Negative Reinforcement Through Pressure-Release
  • My training log

9. Understanding Punishment

  • The Side Effects and Problems of Punishment
  • Applying Punishment (Minimising the Side Effects)
  • Is it Possible to Train a Horse Without the Use of Punishment?
  • Learning recap

10. How to Deal with Unwanted Behaviours Without Using Punishment

  • The Simplest and Hardest Option – Ignoring the Horse
  • Counter Conditioning
  • Driven to Distraction
  • A Final Note
  • Learning recap
  • Case Studies: Alternative Ways to Correct Unwanted Behaviour
  • My training log

11. Step by Step

  • Shaping
  • Chaining
  • Applying Shaping
  • Training Task: Shaping
  • Training Task: More Complicated Shaping – Teaching the Spanish Walk
  • Applying Chaining
  • Learning recap
  • My training log

12. Overcoming Fears and Phobias

  • Prevention Is Better Than Cure
  • Overcoming Established Fears and Phobias
  • Habituation
  • Flooding
  • Systematic Desensitisation
  • Counter Conditioning
  • Combining Systematic Desensitisation and Counter Conditioning
  • Case Studies: Helping Horses Overcome Their Fears
  • My training log

13. Learning with Character

  • Does the Sex of the Horse Affect Learning Ability?
  • The Effect of Age on Learning Ability
  • Does Social Status Affect Learning?
  • Nature Verses Nurture


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Knowing Your Horse
A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour
by Emma Lethbridge

2009 • 187 pages • $36.95 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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