Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Bribery method v Natural method

We had the absolute delight of working with another yearling this week and what an absolute joy she was to communicate with. She was like, a young child, absorbing everything we did like a sponge does to water.

Initially we were asked to encourage her NOT to bolt off with a child at the end of a rope or as used to happen -  with a rope waving in the wind due to the speed she galloped off at!

This 14h mare had, unfortunately learnt that this was an easy thing to do and so had started to abuse it with what ever person (young or old) she was, supposedly attached to. Not a good thing for a young horse to learn or indeed for any horse to learn and one that could have been extremely dangerous had she realised she could get away with it for a number of years .

Bribery and Corruption is usually understood as a method that humans use with their children and as a result of this, which, nine times out of ten, usually involves food, a new toy or money and for some reason we seem to think that all animals should also be given this type of an award! Although this method can speed the process up a bit, it does not necessarily allow the animal to learn naturally or is not a way that other horses  would reward another horse, or how a dog would reward another dog.

A result of bribery and corruption - as soon as the dangling carrot is finished the animal will either bully you for more or is off and paying no attention whatsoever, at least until there are more carrots dangling in front of it. Often this method can encourage bad temper, greed and can initiate a potentially dangerous situation where someone could get hurt . . .

A result of the Natural way, or otherwise known as 50 50,- The animal wants to be with you, until the 50 50 communication is not being relayed, or until either the human or animal wishes to go on another tangent or perhaps needs the toilet. PHOTO to follow

50 50  encourages total dedication and a natural will to work,walk, talk and play with each other . . THE BEST METHOD OF ALL BY FAR.

At the end of this amazing Session with such a sweet learner, who had previously been considered as a bully, someone came in to borrow the Inside School, a gentleman infact, with a young horse, a very intelligent young horse, but who had learnt that  food was the core of the reward. Having seen this in action numerous times over many years I have to admit I sighed thinking, 'one day this horse will not have that carrot, and could be in the hands of a young handler then BANG - out comes the negative behaviour all because of the lack of a carrot. However, from that moment on, the owner, would give it a carrot once it had behaved itself then hey presto the cycle repeats itself and the horse has learnt to manipulate humans!

However this horse on the day that we saw it did most of what was asked of it, but as soon as the training had finished he immediately started to show bolshy behaviour and when being led would not stand still unless it was given something!

We know which method we will promote for all living creatures, no matter whether they are animal, bird or human - 50 50 is absolutely the way to go.


  1. I agree, i do not think bribery is the way to go, animals learn habits very quickly and never forget. How would you start this yearling of, perhaps a carrot once or twice, then what would you do?
    Thanks Chris x

  2. If you have had a foal since day one then you, in theory should know its' language then train it using 50 50 horse language and reward it as other horses would reward it. A lot depends on what you are wanting it to do, but 'human form of training, which is based on bribery' is not an equine technique! hope that makes sense, If you are training a yearling feel free to email us and we will guide you forward . . .