It's not cheating if it works.
No, I am not talking about illegal drugging, abusive training tactics, or other wise breaking the rules.
I am talking about taking the simpler way when training.
I taught Mozzie to load this weekend. (Yes, I know I should have gotten around to it sooner but I just had a baby and life kind of got in the way.)
I didn't tap.
I didn't pull.
I didn't sweat, and didn't stress.
I just cheated and tried the easiest way first.
I offered a hungry baby his breakfast that could only be gotten by doing the right thing.
He put one foot on the ramp and was reward with a bite and in less than 10 minutes he had willing walked in.
I then backed him, unloaded him and did the whole process over and over. At the end of his 40 minute lesson he had quietly and calmly loaded and unloaded 8 times all because he was motivated by his breakfast.
While I was more than willing to do whatever I needed to get him in the trailer using force. I choose to first try positive motivation and was able to make the scary process of loading pleasant and enjoyable.
Moral of the story -
Why start a fight if you do not have too.
Give your horse a chance and start positive when possible because it isn't cheating if it works.
(Of course if positive reinforcement does not work you must continue try all options until you eventually achieve your goal)