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The Power of Positive Reinforcement Training for Horses

Last updated March 18, 2024 by Brook Norris

Introduction to Positive Reinforcement in Equine Training: As horse owners and trainers, we are constantly seeking ways to enhance our connection with these magnificent creatures. Shawna Karrasch and Jessie Hillegas, experts in positive reinforcement training, joined us on the Double D Trailers podcast to share their invaluable insights and experiences. Their journey from marine animal training to equine mastery is not only unique but also a testament to the power of positive reinforcement in horse training.

The Shift from Traditional to Positive Training Methods: Shawna, with her background in marine animal training, and Jessie, transitioning from traditional riding methods, discuss the noticeable differences in horse behavior when switching from conventional methods to positive reinforcement. This approach, rooted in trust and understanding, leads to a more profound and respectful relationship between horses and their trainers.

Addressing Common Challenges: The Case of Trailer Loading: One of the most common issues horse owners face is horse trailer loading. Shawna and Jessie provide practical examples of how positive reinforcement can be effectively used for this and other challenges. They emphasize that this method is not just about food rewards; it's about creating a positive emotional state and a desire for cooperation in the horse.

> Read more on how to load an anxious horse onto a trailer.

Getting Started with Positive Reinforcement: For horse owners eager to start with positive reinforcement but unsure where to begin, Shawna and Jessie outline the key first steps and essential equipment. They stress the importance of patience and understanding each horse's unique needs and responses.

Conclusion and Resources for Further Learning: If you're a horse owner interested in exploring positive reinforcement or seeking to deepen your bond with your horse, this podcast episode offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice. Visit Shawna and Jessie’s website at www.shawnakarrasch.com for more resources and to embark on your journey towards a more compassionate and effective approach to horse training.

Listen & watch the episode below! 

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