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Clarifying Learning Theory Terminology in Order to Enhance "Fair" Horse Training


There is frequent confusion regarding the terms “negative reinforcement” and “punishment,” at least as they relate to handling and training horses. A “reinforcement,” whether positive or negative, is something that increases the frequency of a given behavior. A “punishment,” whether positive or negative, is something that decreases the frequency of a behavior. So, we should not be considering either term to be something bad or forbidden.

In this presentation, Dr. Camie Heleski goes in-depth about how learning theory can be applied to horses.

Presenter Information

Dr. Heleski is a senior lecturer in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Previously, Dr. Heleski was an instructor in the Animal Science Department at Michigan State University and coordinated the Agricultural Technology Horse Management Program. She taught courses in horsemanship, introductory dressage, horse selection and judging, equine exercise physiology, horse behavior and welfare, and supervised student internships.

Watch the recorded webcast below!

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