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Bornhede, Maria, 2010. Training techniques used in training horses (Equus caballus) : with a focus on positive reinforcement. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



Instrumental conditioning, the use of reinforcement and punishment, is used when training horses and these procedures may have different consequences regarding animal welfare. The aim of this study was to investigate what kind of reinforcers that are used in training horses and when these reinforcers are used. This study has its focus on positive reinforcement and its advantages and disadvantages. Interviews of five A-level and B -level equestrian coaches about their training methods were conducted to complement the literature search and give a greater understanding to why certain methods are used or not in training horses.

The results show that negative reinforcement seems to be the foundation of training horses whereas positive reinforcement is used but not to the same extent. Integrating positive reinforcement in training may enhance welfare of horses and will make the task easier and safer for the handler. The coaches that participated in this study use punishment in situations that can be unsafe, however some of the situations can be prevented by training. Secondary reinforcers are used but unsystematically. Using a secondary reinforcer, such as clicker, properly can enable the use of positive reinforcement during training of horses since wanted behaviours can be reinforced from a distance.

Main title:Training techniques used in training horses (Equus caballus)
Subtitle:with a focus on positive reinforcement
Authors:Bornhede, Maria
Supervisor:Blokhuis, Harry
Examiner:Atkinson, Sophie
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:329
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:horse, positive reinforcement, welfare, clicker training, equestrian coaches
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Animal husbandry
Deposited On:05 Jul 2010 06:13
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:14

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