Equine Cognition and Training - (15 credits)

This module looks at how the horse learns, looking at underpinning theories of habituation and desensitisation, classical and operant conditioning, latent learning and problem solving, social and observational learning. Building on this foundation of understanding we will then apply these key principles to how the horse learns in everyday situations to evaluate what type of learning is occurring so that we can identify how to get the training process right and where it may go wrong. Understanding the roles of positive and negative reinforcement are also studied in depth and practical examples of these methods are utilised to assess their efficacy. Evaluation of traditional and alternative training techniques including classical riding and natural horsemanship techniques is a key part of this module. The main criteria is to understand what basic learning methods are happening within the vast array of training styles available in today’s industry. This module involves the delivery of content that allows assessment of the following SEBC modules: 4 Recognising learned behaviour problems 5 Practical training techniques 6 Evaluation of alternative training systems