Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Death of the Join-Up?

Yesterday this link to research done by the University of Sidney was floating around online:

Researchers urge rethink of 'Monty Roberts' horse training method

Below you can find my response to their findings and observations:  

The data did prove that you do not need to act like a horse to be successful, but also that pressure and release works (which we already knew).  I would like to (as the article suggested) know what the researchers themselves consider to be humane treatment when initiating contact a 1,000lb prey animal. 

I will admit that the Join Up really does get miss used by the public.  I'm sure many horses think their owners have brain damage because they just keep doing the same thing over and over.  I myself use it only until I can catch the horse, and I don't use it unless I need to teach a horse to be caught.   

What it did prove (according to me) is that robots are as good or better than humans at training horses because they offer no emotion to influence, add to, or confuse the horse.  The talk about being a good leader or herd boss is really all for us humans to better project a cool, calm, and collected image to the horse.  All the talk is just a mind game used to convince owners to loosen up and stop being a doormat.  The horse could careless on how a person presents themselves, they just react to how you do it.  Even after 10 years together if this week I presented myself as a doormat Pie would treat me as such.        

It proved that you just have to speak clearly and consistently in order to "speak horse".  I'm quite certain that if they had continued the experiment using only pressure and release they could taught the horses just about anything.  

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