Motivation, punishment and encouragement
Motivation is a very important factor in the training of both people and animals. Many animals, especially dogs, are easily motivated for training – here the “pushing” moment is the desire to please their master. However, in the case of horses, we should distinguish three main categories of motivation to work:
To give pleasure – the horse is motivated by his own desire to please his master. Based on practice, this method of motivation exists and successfully works with one caveat – between the trainer (owner) and the horse, rigid hierarchical relations are established, where the horse takes the place of a subordinate and learns to please. But to establish such a relationship requires a long time of mutual contact. Thus, this principle is quite true for a private horse owner and his horse. Especially if the horse was acquired by another foal. In this case, the animal is accustomed from an early age that the owner is higher in the hierarchy and his wishes must be fulfilled.
Difficulty arises when a horse needs to be trained in a short time (what the trainers encounter when they are given a horse to train). In this case, the principle loses its effect. The horse has no incentive to please an annoying unfamiliar object whose hierarchical superiority has not been proven.
Food is a perfectly acceptable method in working with a horse, but has some practical limitations. You can achieve great results when working “in your hands” / on the ground /. The horse learns various tricks and movements with pleasure. However, a problem appears with similar motivation from the saddle. Of course, you can give the horse a treat by leaning forward and down so that the horse takes it out with his mouth – at the basic stage of work, this can still work, but in the case of an already more or less prepared animal, this method exhausts itself.
Firstly, while working with cows or during a show, the encouragement of treats is unacceptable.
Secondly, body movements in the saddle that a rider forced to make a treat for the horse can cause confusion in the horse, which has just been trained in stops, turns, movements in a circle (movements that require interconnected work with the body, arms and shenkel), and slow down learning process.
Fear is perhaps the most powerful motivating factor. Proper use of it allows you to achieve the widest range of required reactions. In this case, a natural fear of everything that can bring painful sensations is used. The horse learns that when fulfilling the expected, there will be no pain.
However, you should immediately make a reservation that punishment by pain should in no case be understood as torture of an animal or conscious and methodical beating. On the contrary, any potential cruelty should be excluded as much as possible.
It is enough to make disobedience a DISADVANTAGE! For example, when a foal is taught to walk on a halter, obeying human movement guidelines, use a rope that prevents the foal from pushing and backing away. To get rid of the unpleasant pressure of the rope from behind, the foal moves forward. The same principle works in the case of the shankel, where the horse tries to get away from the pressure of the legs on the ribs, and with necraining, when the reins touch the neck as an “irritant”.
Punishments and rewards
Speaking of punishments, we should by no means keep in mind animal cruelty. Any cruelty is contrary to competent work and the achievement of positive results in training a horse.
Different horses have varying degrees of sensitivity. So, for example, we can conditionally say that thoroughbred horses have a lower pain threshold (i.e., are more sensitive) than their cross brethren. As a valid “booster” of his instructions, the rider may use a whip and spurs. However, their direct application may be optional. A horse, once accustomed to a spur, subsequently can work perfectly from a pressed schenkel. In the Wild West, despite the lack of sentimental relations there, the rider risked to be ridiculed and beaten for letting his horse bleed with a spur. He could not call himself a good rider. The horse in those days, although it was a “consumable” material and means of transportation, was highly valued. This was especially true for hardy and trained horses.
Also, just the look of a whip may well be enough to discard attempts at stubbornness or laziness. This is the so-called visual stimulation. The whip or stack can be used only as a “pointer”, but in no case for punishment. The animal should not shy away from one type of whip, but should understand that during training it is necessary to respond to directions with the stack.
Beating a horse even “for the cause” is unacceptable, since it destroys the hierarchy and trusting relationships, and so much effort and time was spent on achieving it.
Some riders use hard iron, trying to punish the horse with a sharp impact on the mouth.