ISES 2015 8 augusti
Practical Day, som blev innehållsrik och bra. Delegaterna behövde inte flytta sig från halvön, varken för presentationer, konfensmiddag eller practical day, även Southlands Riding Club fanns här, sedan 40-talet, men nu kringränd av en golfbana, ett bostadsområde och havet. Fast det verkade inte stå många hästar där, om de inte gick ständigt på lösdrift. Jättefin stor täckt bana, det är tydligen så man gör i annat klimat. Några utebanor på varsin sida och ett rart klubbhus med gräsmatta och uteplatser.
Andrew McLean, The essentials of learning theory, as applied to the training of horses
Elephants and horses, it's the same sets of learning principles. People say that all horses are different, and this is only partly true, the learning process is the same. What we do is perhaps just prioritise one principle over the other with one specific horse, but it's all conditioning, after all.
Habituation is to learn not to respond to a stimulus, and that's important with horses. Neophobic behaviour is what gives horse trainers so many problems, it came clear yesterday when listening to Nina about the calves, and we wean horses so early, most are away from their mothers at six months of age.
Habituation I see also a bit like overshadowing. It's not a difficult thing to habituate to a bridle, but a big thing to habituate to something tight around your body, and some horses never do it. One process we can use is the desensetisation. You can use the step forward and step back as a diagnostic tool. When he's light, we bring the clippers a little closer, we step back, and we can introduce anything to the horse that is new. By stepping the horse back we can habituate.
Also letting the horse chase what they're afraid of is really effective, it's worked on police horses with diggers in many different places. Investigate this thing that keeps running away.
Another technique really useful is just wait and count to 20, and after a certain amount of time the horse usually goes forewards. It's worth thinking about this technique. Learning theory is such a rich toolbox, trainers often think I want to sell them something, but it's just a technique.
Often the visual picture is not a problem, but it's the sound they react to. Overshadow the spray with the hosing, and you mock spray while hosing. It is stimulus blending, but if it doesn't work and he does escape, you have a problem.
Elephants don't buck, but they shake and it's like two washing machines with a soft bit between them, and goes wilder and wilder.
The reins are really a conduit for the horse's body, and if you deaden it with five kilos it will probably take more than that to have an effect.
We're basically training muscles to move bone and our communication is through learning theory. Such a rein spike has been measured when people think they just use their seat, as they move their seat so it affects the hand, and of course the horse will feel that. Every interaction, no matter how mild, is negative reinforcement, so you are going to do it either you know it or not. I've seem all of you doing negative reinforcement right now, shifting in the seat, so it becomes a bit more comfortable.
If we compress the reinforcement into three second sequences we make the signals much clearer. It's important that we teach the horse taking longer or shorter, quicker och slower steps. In terms of tempo it's smoother, more linear, like music. From 45 beats per minute or 55, which is what the dressage judges like to se. And stop at three, which gives a smooth transition. Asking with two pulsar for the go, as the second is for tempo.
Scratching the withers is a positive reinforcer a few seconds after Good boy, but do not use the word Good boy when you're not going to pay it.
If they learn to turn by adducting their leg, they learn to tilting their turn and you've to fix it later. Adducting the front leg you do from the rein.
If you get lightness first, you get head carriage, and don't have to struggle with getting the head in the right position.
Janine Davies, dressage lesson, self carriage
If we use a heavy aid for a longer time, we're habituating it. We shape one thing at a time. The indirect rein is going to give us flexion and bend and roundness. Indirect rein towards the wither, and then he will be drifting and abducting, not using the rein, the reins are affecting the forelegs.
Rider Pam here is not actually making the horse work in a specific outline, we just shape the responses one after the other. If we're slowing the steps, we're slowing the tempo, but if we're asking for a shorter step, this aid is briefer.
Self-carriage is when we ask the horse to keep going.
Angelo Telatin, jumping lesson
Other industries where we use animals are way ahead of us. Horses are binary animals, they say yes and no, but when we're in the saddle we often say yes and no when we mean the opposite.
I will show you some exercises that will neutralise your mistakes.
You feel what you want to do, and automatically you understand what you want to do. You can explain it to a rider as much as you want to, but it's almost impossible to make them feel. Kinestethic learning, make them (the riders) feel. You follow them (on foot), you make them feel and they unlock (here the elbow).
Intermittent contact is yes and no.
Shape by let them do it, you let the contact go at first pole on the ground. When he jumps he's going to learn that a jump is one phase and the canter is another and he is taking care of what he's supposed to do. A lot of riders learn to go with your upper body instead of the thighs, but if you land in mud, you'll never know where you'll land, but your thighs will take care of it.
I only help the horses with my body, never with my hands. When the horses are excited we start making negative reinforcement, you end up sooner or later with the wrong response. If you use the collar/halsringen instead of the reins, you have to anticipate every movement.
You have to habituate them and make them generalise.
The horse that stops: What is my behaviour - falling forwards. If I stop i displace him. We ask them to do something, but when he does something we punish.
Some horses just learn they get hit in that area. Some learn they get hit when they come into an arena.
Manuela McLean, Para-dressage lesson
The moment you feel like nagging, you go up a pace, and then bring the horse back to walk. Feel like you have a little girl in your hand, I feel that's a good thought, but sometimes she wants to lead you across the road and that's not allowed, so you tell her that.
Marion Weisskopff, Western lesson
Let him wait. If he's anticipating the next move, let him wait instead of correcting him for walking all over the place, trying to find out what you want.
Look through the horse's ears, one or a couple of steps at a time, and he learns to back up straight.
Gemma Pearson, Safety horse handling techniques for veterinarians and others
They thought I was the crazy vet who was taking too much time doing that behavioural thing, now they say Gemma, this horse is a bit difficult, can you come?
It's classical conditioning, they see the vet with the stethoscope and get fearful. Start off with scratching the horse and immediately the heart rate goes down. The keys to good shaping are in little steps.
Make vets to be aware of arousal levels in horses.
Just give a quick scratch rather than just slapping the stethoscope on the horse.
Whoever is holding the horse can stratch or stroke the horse along the neck.
Taking the horse's temperature, start at the wither, stroke over the back, and that hairless little area by the tail.
On worming, the horse owner: Every time the horse throws its head up the syringe comes away, so how do we do it? The second thing that is really important is shaping. Put the syringe on the back of the jaw, move further and further down the head, and you get closer and closer. Whenever the horse is aroused it's unable to learn effectively. I think touch is really important, so I teach the students to touch and remove as the horse is still. Put it on the mouth and wait, my fingers are still in contact with the horse, getting away from that fear response.
With needle-shy horses, you easily shape the wrong response, as the horse first makes a very slight response and you lose contact, then a bigger response etc, so the vets have trained that response, although they didn't want to do. Overshadowing is very helpful, I just scratch and put my hand there. When the horse stands nicely, I just step back for a second. Horses that are needle-shy are hyper sensitive to any touch in that area, so every time I scratch I actually desensitise the skin there.
When the horse is learning new things, there are new pathways being found in the brain, so it's important to give a little break. It's using glycogen to allow the pathways to replenish with the nutrients they need. 20 seconds is usually enough.
Positive reinforcement is what we've already done by scratching, but if the horse is really needle shy, use something the horse really likes, as food and for timing, use a clicker. Click as soon as he relaxes, always followed by me reaching for the bum bag. They learn clicker really fast. I try to get it before we get the neck-shake. You press harder with your hand every time, and 99 percent of the horses stand still and relaxed when being vaccinated.
You've got to remove or click at once, the timing is important.
I don't think the horse thinks the needle is as bad as we think it is. It triggers a fear response as the expectations are that we're going to have this done really quickly so nothing happens.
Jody Hartstone, A scientific start, applying learning theory to foundation training
Starting a horse, you need to make it start and stop and turning and a little later move its hindquarters. I need to get control of his feet. I teach him what he needs to know about the bit by backing up, don't need to do much more, as pressure on the mouth gives relief when stepping back. Few horses are afraid of the bit, mainly naïve to it. They are more likely to get rid of the whip touching him, by moving away, and if repeatedly, soon people will say he's been beaten.
Only reward the correct answers. What makes a horse really calm is knowing all the answers to the questions you will give him.
Why do we want to get on the horse bareback? Horses love touch, it's really good for habituation. It's something we would benefit to learn in English riding. Overshadowing is really great, I move him back and forth while my partner jumps up and down at the withers - don't think about her, just listen to me - and I can feel in my hand how heavy he is in my hands.
All we're saying is Hey buddy, that person on your back is actually a neutral stimulus, so listen to me instead.
I've never had to worry about a horse having the saddle on, as it's probably more scary to have one of us laying all over his back. But, we do have the girth, and that may really be far more of a bad experience for a horse. Fingers underneath the girth ether side of the horse is one good way.
Every time you've let him practice flight, he's going to have that bad experience embedded in his brain.
On why not to use long reins - you're in a dangerous position behind the horse, it takes a long time to release. Like anything done well it's not an issue, but if it isn't the risks are so big.
Konferensen upplöstes vid ridklubbens grindar. De som inte skulle hem eller någon annanstans med bil åkte bussarna tillbaka till UBC.
Liksom kvällen innan avslutade vi på Mahone's, den irländska puben behändigt vid busshållplatsen på UBC. Andelen asiater omvänd mot utanför, om ens några. Vancouver har den största asiatiska befolkningskoncentrationen utanför Asien, många blev kvar efter flytten från Hongkong. På universitetsområdet är asiaterna definitivt i majoritet, men de går inte på puben. Små spröda dockor i pastellfärgade kläder eller de lite bullrigare som går inåt med tårna och har en hårslinga i grönt, blått, lila eller rosa, gemensamt att de är strävsamma och säkert sköter studierna exemplariskt.
Tomburkar behöver man inte bekymra sig om på vandrarhemmet, lämnas de på bordet under trädet på baksidan är de försvunna på morgonen. Man ser personer på bussen med stora svarta plastsäckar, som det skramlar om. De är ganska medfarna, men killen i husbilen som dök upp och grillade och bjöd på hamburgare en kväll, han tog också emot tomburkar tacksamt. Fast han hade jobb som svetsare på bygge och fotograferade bröllop på helgerna, upplyste att han nästan tjänade bättre på bröllopen än på byggena. Eller som den prydlige cyklisten i full sportmundering, som kom på morgnarna och kollade containrarna. En morgon hade han hoppat ned i en container och rotade runt nedanför mitt fönster under visst skrammel. Alla fönstren är öppna och har myggnät, ändå är det varmt i sovsalen, och jag har bara ett tunt lakan över mig, täcket hoprullat vid fötterna.
Förevisningar i täckt ridarena; ridhus utan väggar.
Alla slags discipliner ingick.
God service med bra ljudanläggning.
Bilder från övriga dagar Pictures from other days
Strandade valen, i eget hus på UBC.
Öarna utanför Vancouver.
Masker, Museum of Anthropology.
Hangglider vid Capilano Dam.
Fyren i Stanley Park.
Version av nationalträdet.
Grunden till Granville Island, dubbelklicka och titta en gång till.
Min utmärkta temugg.