A recent Facebook conversation about positive reinforcement led to someone asking a question about one of my favorite fallacies – if you comfort a fearful or spooking horse, aren’t you just reinforcing the fear? I first encountered that idea when I started training our dogs, just over twenty years ago. My experience with a variety … More The fearful equine
Happiness in animals seems to be a popular topic at the moment. There was a recent publication of a study that concluded that snorting was a sign of “positive emotions in horses”, which was just one of the many studies cited in a recent article in Popular Science that asks “Can we really ever know … More What is happiness?
From the beginning of my life with animals I have seen parallels between their behavior and that of the people around me. I have seen them form friendships, show empathy, and grieve lost loved ones. I have also long been told by scientists, trainers, animal lovers, and behavior experts that those parallels don’t exist. Animals … More Liar, liar, fur on fire!
One reason I started this blog was to tell the stories of the horses in my life. As I work with each of our current herd, I think back on those that have come before, and what they taught me. Without their “lessons” I would not have the tools I need to deal with my … More My horses, my teachers: Delight