• jenni9982

From Aversion to Atrraction: helping the fearful horse

How horses go from fear and aversion to attraction. "Systematic desensitisation" is a process of becoming progressively less reactive to a certain trigger, like human presence, by graded exposures to people. Over carefully managed, successive exposures, the horse's emotional feelings and motivation to escape or avoid the situation wane. "Counter conditioning" allows the horse to form a new, and opposite, attractive association with the previously feared situation. Such as by pairing human presence with feeding. There can be a wobble or few, where the horse is in two minds. To avoid, because the desensitisation is not yet complete, and to approach because the food is attractive. In these cases, desensitision needs to be the primary focus. Later the human (or other object) can be soooo attractive the horse feels they need to guard them against other horses (or people). Again, the focus needs to be on gaining a calmer state of being before presenting anything attractive! Moderation is our mate! #horses #horsebehaviour #equinebehaviourist #horsebehaviouristinWales #horsestranslated #apbcequine #abtcregistered #abtc #behaviourmodification

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Jenni Nellist Clinical Animal Behaviourist

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