Training Principle #1 is a big one as it encompasses ethology (looking at behaviour and social organisations) and cognition (examining how the horse processes information and learns).
- Ethology - horses are social animals and will naturally spend 16 hours a day walking and grazing. With this in mind, housing 24/7, in an isolated stable with 4 meals a day does NOT fit with their ethology. Whereas, horses at pasture, in the company of others, fits perfectly.
- Cognition - horses are great pattern learners and will repeat behaviour that they practice repeatedly in the same pattern. When the horse exhibits a behaviour that we don't want, realising that it is a pattern that the horse has learned and not the horse being deliberately 'rude' or 'naughty' is a better fit with his/her cognitive abilities.
Can you think of other examples? Let me know in the comments below.
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