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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you travel for lessons?

I can travel in person all over Vancouver Island BC, for a travel fee for fuel expenses.  If you're out of my service area, a zoom lesson would be better suited for you.

Q: What is reward-based training, and is it the same as positive reinforcement?

Reward-based training utilizes as much positive reinforcement as possible, meanwhile positive reinforcement, is one of the 4 quadrants of operant conditioning used in behaviour modification. 

Q: But won't food rewards make my horse pushy?

No, food manners are a fundamental part of positive reinforcement training and it's the first thing we work on when transitioning any horse to food rewards. So fear not, your horse will be well behaved around food, if not better.

Q: Do I need my own horse & equipment?

You will need your own horse & equipment for a zoom consult.

For personal lessons where I travel to you, you'll need your own horse but equipment can be provided for you.

For lessons at my facility you may bring your own horse & equipment, or we can provide equipment and one of our demonstration horses.

Q: Woah, that’s a lot of terms! What is operant conditioning? 

In simple terms, it’s a scientifically defined learning process - a way animals & humans learn, and modify their behaviours accordingly. We learn via operant conditioning whether we want to or not, but as humans, we know how to use it to train certain behaviours in other species. Once you know it, you’ll see it everywhere!

Q: What is force-free training?

Force free training is exactly what it sounds like. It's the philosophy that training should not involve hitting, coercion, punishments or cause distress, pain or anxiety to the animal. It also means following the humane hierarchy & using reward based training.

Q: So what are the 4 quadrants?

The 4 quadrants are defined via punishers, and reinforcers. Punishers are what weaken behaviours, and reinforcers strengthen behaviours. We also have positive and negative, for each. Which gives us positive reinforcement(R+), Negative reinforcement(R-), positive punishment(P+) and negative punishment(P-). Positive and negative isn’t thought of one being “good” or “bad” but instead we talk about them in mathematical terms (removal and addition) if this is confusing to you, don’t worry, we do cover this in all our courses and personal lessons!

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