Kandoo-Kansay

Day 77 - Don't be a loon 100 days Dec 17, 2017

The Common Loon is a beautiful water bird found on lakes across the North Americas. These migratory birds return back to the same lake to nest every year. They are monogamous (for approximately 5 years, which, having been married twice myself, sounds like an interesting option) and when one or...

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Day 76 - A life of crime 100 days Dec 14, 2017

Now back in Australia, I'd checked the important things off the list - got the children settled and happy, enjoying a lovely herd of horses, meeting lots of wonderful riders on my training travels and successfully divorced husband #2. Things were looking up!

But something was nagging at me -...

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Day 75 - Objectivity continuum 100 days Dec 13, 2017

Having worked out that we need to use language that is based on our understanding of the horse's natural behaviour and cognitive abilities, I then began to look at the objectivity of the terminology and how universally it was understood.

The diagram shows terms taken from a dressage coaching...

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Day 74 - What's my horse thinking? 100 days Dec 12, 2017

Once I'd decided that both horse and rider were best served by teaching owners to train their own horses, it became more important than ever that I had a means of measuring and comparing all aspects of the training process. Last time we talked about anthropomorphic terminology and it became very...

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Day 73 - Why Kandoo? 100 days Dec 12, 2017

When I moved home to Australia, I rather thought I'd semi-retire, enjoy my horses and see the children through high school. 

Umm, it didn't go quite according to plan.

You know how it happens, you visit a mate and they ask you to help them with their horse. Goodo. They tell their friend, who...

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Day 72 - Anthropomorphic terminology 100 days Dec 12, 2017

Anthropomorphism is when we ascribe human traits, ambitions, emotions or behaviours to animals. When it comes to horses, the problem with anthropomorphism is that it can lead to us making assumptions about the horse's intelligence, motives, temperament and much more.

Lloyd Morgan's canon (1903)...

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Day 71 - That special horse 100 days Dec 10, 2017

Having country-hopped for 17 years, I was keen to return to Australia and give the children a sense of home before high school started. My English, (now ex) husband #1, was less keen and who can blame him. But the maternal instinct kicked in like a tidal wave and I rode that through the...

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Day 70 - When the holiday's over 100 days Dec 10, 2017

I used to say that a horse will remember 80% of a well-learned lesson for 18 months if it hasn't been worked in the meantime. These days, I'm sure it's at least 80%. By well-learned I mean any lesson that has become a solid habit with your horse. This may be great flying changes, Working...

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Day 69 - You've got to ski for at least 2 weeks a year 100 days Dec 09, 2017

I know, you think I've gone completely nuts.....skiing???

It was something I was told, back in a previous lifetime when I could, occasionally, be found on the slopes. The reasoning was this: In week 1 you get to where you ended the previous year, so in week 2 you improve.

Ah, that makes some...

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Day 68 - Food and shaping 100 days Dec 08, 2017

People often look at liberty work and assume that the entire routine has been taught using food treats but, with horses, this is almost never the case. 

Training is usually a combination of negative and positive reinforcement. That positive reinforcement might come in the form of a scratch...

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Day 67 - You can teach some horses some things 100 days Dec 07, 2017

I was once told that 'you can teach some horses some things using food' and I believe this to be true. You cannot teach all horses all things using food and there are a few reasons why that is the case.

  1. It's very hard to raise the emotional level of a horse with food. Last time we looked at how...
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Day 66 - The old food debate 100 days Dec 06, 2017

The photo shows my dog's (Mac the Doberperson) reaction to the verbal command 'sit' with and without the addition of positive reinforcement in the form of food (actually a pig's ear, yum). Other than the fact that he's actually performing the requested behaviour in the second photo, what's...

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