What’s in It for the Horse?
By Max Easey
The first thing to be aware of when considering how horses learn is that all animals – without exception – will choose to repeat any behavior that “works” for them. When we own an animal like a pony or horse, an animal that we are going to handle or ride, it is essential to train them for safety reasons. The purpose of training a horse is to teach him cues for the behaviors we want him to be able to do. The end goal is for us to have a way to communicate what we want him to do, and to motivate him to want to do it…While there are many different behaviors we might want our horses or ponies to do in response to a cue or aid, there are, surprisingly, only two reasons why a horse will repeat any behavior we are trying to train. Both come down to the same thing – how the horse perceives the consequence of his behavior. Read more.