Via Nova was so happy to have our student trainers, Cami & Jasmine, kick off their Via Nova: Priority to Positive® Program in August of 2021. Soaking up the experience in the classroom, in the barn, and around the property, they shared a day in the life after their first […]
Opportunity or Avoidance? Should we, as horse trainers, combine positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement?
Hi Guys, Shawna here! I am often asked about the feasibility of combining positive reinforcement(R+) and negative reinforcement(R-). It is not a simple answer. Some people have referred to this practice as combined reinforcement, but this is not a scientific term or construct. I think the thing we need to […]
One of the seminal books on positive reinforcement training with animals (and humans, too!) is ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’, by Karen Pryor. When I was a zookeeper, this was required reading, and really has been the manual of this method of training for exotic animals since it was published. For […]
One of the participants in our last workshop was Sarah Matlock, an instructor of Applied Equine Behavior at Colorado State University. We originally met Sarah at CHATTcon (Convergence of Human and Animal Training Technologies) in Seattle in July and were lucky enough to have her come learn with us earlier […]
As we bring the concepts and skills of R+ into the traditional equestrian world, one of the first confusions to arise is often, “What is truly positive reinforcement? Is using pressure to create behavior, then rewarding that behavior, a form of positive reinforcement?”
Both ‘treat’ and ‘reward’ have been used in […]