How Horses Learn

The Truth Behind How Horses Learn

If you’re a horse owner, you probably think a lot about how to properly train your horses. In order to get your horses to behave the way you want them to, it’s a good idea to know a little bit about how horses learn.

Desensitization

Any horse owner will tell you that it can take a while for a young horse to learn to accept common things like a brush or a rope. As horses get older and better trained, they become desensitized to these things and learn not to react to them.

Reinforcement

There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. Positive reinforcement means giving the horse something he or she likes, such as a treat or praise, immediately following a desired behavior. Negative reinforcement is easily confused with punishment, but it’s not the same thing. It means removing an unwanted stimulus, like a tap on the flank, when the horse does what you want it to do. Either way, it’s important to apply the reinforcement immediately, so the horse learns to associate it with a given behavior.

One important thing to note is that causing fright does not help a horse learn, and should only be used when the horse behaves aggressively.

Training your horse is just one important aspect of horse ownership. You also need to house your horses safely, securely and comfortably. Deer Creek Structures has been fabricating expertly made horse barns and run-in sheds deep in the heart of Texas since 2005. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you!