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Finding an open minded trainer is a challenge

February 3, 2016

I recently had a lesson and I don't think Aslan was too happy and really, I wasn't either. I wanted some help on the "go straight" issue and asked for some assistance.  I was very grateful for the help and it was done all for free.  Unfortunately our difference in training philosophies really didn't work out.  Because the person who gave the lesson was very much a

-R teacher, I wasn't able to click and reinforce very much and this person just thought that C/T was a waste of time anyway.  "Why bother when you can accomplish the same thing without a treat?"  Wow. Talk about totally not "getting" it." At this point I realized there was no point in explaining the proven and researched science behind it, or how it REALLY motivates a horse to cooperate and enjoy the work.

 

It was just unfortunate that we had to go through all that. Aslan was terribly irritated by the end of the lesson and was actually jigging and trying to go faster out of nervousness;  I've never seen him do that.  Usually he is SOOO lazy.  (We have to work on "go forward" a lot). I didn't want him to feel like bucking or kicking in protest, and I actually let him touch some cones and do C/T afterward so we could end on a better note.  It's amazing how using -R without offering some +R for getting the right answer, is almost a punishment.

 

Anyway, my point isn't to bash the trainer, it was very nice of them to help and their methods are no better or worse than any other -R trainer out there. I just thought I might get guidance with the "go straight" issue and really, I could see that doing it this way was going to damage the goodwill that Aslan had been offering.  Besides, I didn't learn anything that I didn't already find on the internet. The only good thing about it all was having the feedback from the ground; it pointed out some flaws I needed to work on.  Either way, I have a few exercises that I can use with MY method now.

 

I did find a dressage trainer who said that she didn't care how I reinforced my horse.  It isn't horsemanship, but I just need to know techniques and what things should look like or exercises I can do.  Then some ground feedback.  The rest of it I can handle on my own.