BEHAVIOURAL ASSESSMENT & MODIFICATION

This is a huge subject in all ways. Problem behaviour modification is all about understanding why your horse is feeling the way he does and why he is behaving the way he is.


All behaviour’s have a function to the horse and all behaviour’s are controlled by released hormones inside those exposed emotions. They are always triggered by the environment (facing somewhere scary, leaving somewhere scary, something coming into its immediate environment (the introduction of a worrying stimuli- certain equipment like the saddle or girth, a vet, a farrier, a worming tube, clippers, a bus or a tractor. These are just some examples which may trigger a bad reaction and produce unwanted behaviour. All of which will be remembered from bad past associations and frightening experiences).

I often see that so many people inherit problems at the point of sale which then impacts on their future relationship.

Behaviour’s are only repeated if something is reinforcing them. Finding out what the horse gains from preforming that particular set of behaviour’s is key. They are usually avoidance or escape driven and can range from freezing to pure flight. Sadly sometimes rage comes to the fore and fear aggression may follow. Both are violent in nature and is a terrible way for any horse to feel, never mind to then act on those feelings.

By training your horse on the emotional level, we will work hard to change how he feels about life- so that his fear, defense, frustration or rage are replaced with calm and relaxed emotions through the use of positive reinforcement training.

Past associations, pain, fear of remembered pain, accidents, fear of punishment, acts of ignorance or a history of harsh or unfair training, confusion, frustration, anger at life and what life means or has meant to him in the past - all these things have a price to pay as far as your horse is concerned….and then it is also you who pays the price. This is the “BIG” subject and is the most common reason for owners to seek out professional help.


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