Motivation for learning.
When teaching any horse what you want, you must have motivation. Horses will not want to learn or show skills without good motivation. And the motivation you propose should be better than the others that the horse can find. For example, if your horse is “companionable”, your motivation should be stronger than her buddies calling her from the stable or from the nearest pasture. Otherwise, all her attention will be directed not at you, but at her friends, and you will lose control.
When choosing any type of motivation to work with a horse on the ground or under the saddle, you must first know what a particular type of motivation can give, as well as its weak points. Most of the commonly used motivations now are: food, pain, praise, and pressure. Below I will describe why each type of motivation is good, as well as its weaknesses.
Food is the best motivation and reward, using it you can achieve the right behavior or a good reaction. Most horses will quickly do what you ask for a good reward. The flip side of this type of motivation is that you cannot constantly reward a horse with a treat. The horse will soon realize that if she does a good move or task well, she will receive a treat for it. If you do not give her a treat as usual, the horse will be surprised and will hesitate to fulfill your command or not. It will be difficult to get the horse to continue to work well when you remove the reward that she usually received. You will not always have food with you to reward it. Another problem with using this motivation is that the judges in the ring usually do not want to see you rummaging around in your pockets looking for goodies for your horse.
So the best way to use goodies is to mix it with another type of motivation, and repeat it “L” once.
Pain is the worst motivation to train a horse. It is used in many forms, from strict iron and spurs to whip and physical contact. I can not find a single positive point in the use of such motivation, except that it can only work at the moment when you apply it. But the only thing a horse can learn at the same time is a bad attitude, and she can also get used to the pain and ignore it. You will never achieve the desired result from the horse that was taught in this way.
The punishment of the horse must always be justified. Vocabulary or physical punishment can be deservedly applied only to horses that maliciously bite or kick. I think that apart from this there are no cases for the application of punishments.
The longer the pain is used in training the horse, the more it becomes insensitive to pain. She learns to tolerate her and care only about what she wants to do. Horses that require strong iron, spurs or a whip to ride on are actually just victims of trainers who used pain motivation. A horse brought up by those who used pain will always find a better motivation than this (such as fear or food), which is currently occupying the horse. In such situations, the horse will ignore all the requirements of the rider and will become dangerous for everyone around.
Praise is very good motivation. This is usually the best reward you can give a horse for a well-executed team. The horse is usually praised with kind and affectionate words, as well as patting or stroking it. Praise alone is sometimes not enough for the horse to repeat the desired action. Nevertheless, combining it with other types of motivation you can achieve excellent results. Most horses love attention!
This type of motivation is used in Teaching and Learning. You can find more about this by reading the section of the same name.
This type of motivation involves applying some pressure (such as pulling down a halter tied to a horse’s halter), and this pressure should be constant until the horse responds as it should. As soon as the horse does the right thing, the reward is immediately removed.
Pressure seems like the best motivation you can use to train your horse. The reward is always available (lack of the delicacy method), it does not cause fear or pain (lack of pain motivation) and it always sends the horse a clear positive signal when she has done something right. The next time you ask the horse to repeat the action, she will do it much sooner.
The reason that the pressure works so well is that you can exert the same pressure for as long as you need, while not injuring the horse. Say you pull the halter slightly and put pressure on the snaffle to slow down. As you exert pressure, the horse becomes a little uncomfortable and all she wants is for you to remove the pressure.