Treatment Name: Training Theories: Negative Reinforcement

Treatment Type: Training Techniques

Rated for: American Paint Horse

/ 5
Easy to use
/ 5

Pushing the horse forward through a buck

Stephanie Marie



Cashmere, Washington, United States

Posted Jun. 23, 2018

When a horse bucks - he/she is technically in a "backwards" motion. And, often if you try to bring the horse to a stop - you are teaching the horse that bucking gets him/her out of having to move ahead and work. So if the horse is in a backwards motion when bucking, to get him/her out of a buck, it is actually more effective to cue and push the horse forward faster. This seems counter-intuitive, but it is very difficult for a horse to buck if they have forward compulsion. This also reinforces that bucking does not get them out of work, but it in fact will create more work for them. Once the horse is moving forward freely and no longer bucking, release the pressure or cue you were apply to move them ahead (the release of pressure is the negative reinforcement). For safety reasons, this is best done in an arena with solid fencing and good footing to reduce risk while working at higher speeds and preventing "run-away" situations. Furthermore, this is best done by a more experienced rider with a secure seat.

Reinforcement is not the same as punishment. The true definition of negative reinforcement is reward through the release of pressure or other unpleasant stimulus.

Another option is push the horse forward but in a circle to the right or left, bending their head around and keeping leg pressure on to keep their feet moving and not locking up.

0 member found this helpful