top of page
  • Writer's pictureAdele Shaw

Ep 48 // LIMA For Humans and Supporting Change: Part Two

For our 48th episode on the podcast Brie Simpson of PATH Equestrian joins me to discuss "pure" positive reinforcement, LIMA (and the humane hierarchy) for human learners, damage control vs structured training, setting you and your horse up for success, transitioning from traditional training to positive reinforcement, and so much more! We hope you enjoy this episode and would love to hear if you have any questions for Brie and I on this subject. This is a topic that is near and dear to both of us and we hope that this episode helps you, as a listener and potentially someone working to incorporate R+ into your interactions with your horse, and encourages you!

"Brie Simpson is the founder and owner of PATH Equestrian in Ontario Canada. She is studying to be a Certified Horse Behavioural Consultant (CHBC) through the IAABC and has been training and working with horses for over 14 years. She has dedicated her last 4 years to researching and studying equine behaviour, positive reinforcement training, the learning theory and equine enrichment. Brie is extremely passionate about improving the day-to-day life and basic handling of horses and wants to help advance the equine world into using more compassionate, humane and science-based methods of training."


Ep 48

Adele: [00:00:00] Hey there. Welcome to the t W Podcast, the podcast where we talk about all things related to horse training, horse keeping, and being better horse people for our horses. I hope you enjoy this episode today, and if you'd like to share your thoughts with me or have suggestions for future podcast episode. Please feel free to reach out to me through social media or the t w website, the willing on my website. You can also find a ton of great information about horse training and keeping in general, as well as check out the t w services and just learn more about us. Also, we have courses and memberships that you could sign up for. Before you do that, though, I would love for you to listen to this episode, and I hope it inspires you in a positive way today.[00:01:00]

Well, and we're particularly, we're talking about two horses that are a little bit more like keep us on our game, whereas the horses that are more like go with the flow and stuff, I find that it happens even more often and it's just so, yeah. So much fun. And I, I mean, you can ask anybody I talk to, I'm just like constantly blowing up their phones with like, this was such an amazing training session today.

Brie: Yeah, yeah. Pictures. I have pictures and videos and I'm like, I did this today. And it's, it's, most of my training sessions are like that, right? It's like you go into it with a plan and you have all these little steps and then you keep taking these little steps and everything's going your way and it's working and your horse is saying yes over and over again and it's, it's so powerful.

Adele: It is. And you know what's also really beautiful about this is, I don't know about for you, but for me, just because, or I should say those sessions didn't necessarily, or they aren't necessarily without their [00:02:00] flaws, right? So they still had stuff like, we could still go back and be like, okay, but this I could have done here, or this I could have done here, or I could have, you know, whatever.

I could go back and nitpick those things. And I try like, it's okay to have something you wanna move forward with. So hey, next time I'm gonna try and give my cue a little bit more clearly, right? So we have this constructive self-talk kind of thing where we're like, next time we're gonna try this, but look at all this amazingness. And that's what makes it so cool.

Brie: It makes it worth it. Yeah. It's, it's your, you can go back and criticize yourself, but at the end of the day, the session was amazing, right? Like, you can have these little things, but then the whole picture is just, it's just amazing. Like, it's just an amazing feeling. And, and you've, you've put in the. To get to this point too, right? It's, it's building up that training plan and having everything move through that training pan plan. It's just, it's powerful. It's, it's, it's incre It's an incredible feeling to kind of have a plan, go [00:03:00] through it and have everything kind of line up. It's not perfect, but you're progressing and you're feeling that progression and you and your horse are having this just conversation and it's, it's, it's incredible.

Adele: Yeah. And you could even look at it as a relationship as a whole too. So yes, we had a terrible session, but overall, like, look at this relationship I have with this horse and, you know, look, pulling yourself out of that one crummy session, let's say, and really looking at it from the big scale, I, that is so worth it to me.

Yeah. And. , you know, cuz back in the day when I trained differently, I always felt like it was me against the horse. Right? Yeah.

Brie: It was just, oh yeah. It was, it was, it wasn't, it wasn't a conversation. I, I say that I had once started with commands and now I'm moving into cues. Yeah. And it was, I was commanding the horse to always work. And I did get my horses working. Don't get me wrong. [00:04:00] It was effective, but it's not the same as what it is now.

Adele: No. And not at all. And, and I, you know, I try and remind people when you trained the way you did before, , you had your ups and downs, like that's just normal. Yeah. And you're gonna have those same ups and downs here. What you need to do is pull yourself out and look at the overall positive changes that are happening, and also focus on the, in the session, in that moment, right after the session, really try and pull out the positive things. And yes, you can have the constructive things that you're gonna move forward with, but again, try not to let that negativity bias, like really get ahold of you. Cuz that's what creates that paralysis. That's what creates that overwhelming feeling, that feeling of you're never gonna make it to the pure r plus kind of whatever concept.

Brie: Yeah. Because you're, you're stuck, you're stuck at this thinking about all the negatives and you're using negative reinforcement and punishment on yourself and you're, you're not getting to soak up the good that's coming from it.

Adele: Yes, [00:05:00] 100%. That is exactly it. And you know, One thing, and I really wanted to talk on . We've just spent so much time gushing about how amazing and I love it. I could talk about it all day long. I'm like, yes. Oh yeah, absolutely. I, I'll, okay, I'll say this last thing, and if you wanna add to it, you can, but you have for my permission, but , I tr I've trained, I've had horses since I was eight. I have done this my whole life and they're, I am like a 10 year old again with horses. Like

Brie: I just, it's, it's, it's amazing. It's like having a unicorn. Like I have a client who's like, my horse is now a unicorn. Yes. And it's like, it's, it's like you're going back to that 10 year old self that just wanted to like, sit in the field and pet the horses, right? Yes. And you're, you're building this relationship. And I get to the barn and no matter what kind of horse I'm working with, whether it's mine or a client, the horse is at the gate and it knickers at me. Yes. And it's like that will never stop feeling. So amazing. Right. I know. Like that, that [00:06:00] feeling of your horse saying yes and being like, oh, you're here. I missed you. Let's work. It's, it's so different than what I've dealt with in the past where sometimes your horse walks away from you , and you're trying to get to halter on your horse is like, no. But when you start to build up this positive relationship with your horse, it changes everything.

Adele: Yeah. And, and every horse is different too. I'm just gonna add this in there because I know this has been a struggle for some of my students. Some horses this transition into a more positive relationship happens pretty quickly. Like within the first couple sessions they're like, oh yes, new game. We're having fun with this. Yep. Yep. And some of it takes months or much longer.

Brie: Oh, some, like I have one client that's taken about a year. Yeah. It's been, I would say like nine, 10 months. And it's, it's a process and she's seeing small changes, but it's not night and day immediately.

Adele: Yeah. And I'll say the most. Probably from me personally, the most extreme case. I feel like the horse didn't fully embrace or trust the new process, the new [00:07:00] game, the new whatever, training way and people, it took about two years for her and, and yeah.

Brie: And it's, it comes from trust, right? Like it comes from past experiences, how aversive have their past experiences have been.

Adele: Yeah. And hers were quite awful, but she. , and I will say this too, it definitely got a lot better. Like it was getting better that whole time. It wasn't like it took two years of, you know, it being terrible. And then one day we woke up and it was fantastic. Yeah. , it was just like, when I look back at the whole picture, I don't feel like she fully embraced the trust part of it until we right away hit, yeah. Until we hit about like a year and a half, two years. And then it was, it was like this. I came out to the barn and I started getting this feeling. I'm like, okay, this is, this is different. She's different. Like we're feeling this is different. And it was just a really cool feeling, but it was some hard work to get there. And it was worth it though. It was very worth it.

Brie: Yeah. And it's, it's always worth it. Like my one rescue, I think the second that consent actually clicked for him, it was like, like his face [00:08:00] lit up. Like I know the exact moment and I can think to that exact moment where he was like, oh, I, I have a say. Yeah. And you're listening to what I have to say.

Adele: Yeah. And sometimes I'll put this out there, and I've talked about this before, you know, with unpacking, sometimes it gets a lot worse before it gets better.

Yep, yep. That happens and that's a whole nother topic. We won't get into that. I recommend listening to my other podcasts on that. But definitely know that the beginning, it's not just like this light switch, it takes time to rebuild that trust just like it would in another human. If you had a child or another human that had been through some rough stuff or didn't, you know, didn't feel like they could trust people other people, it would take time for them to learn to trust.

So that is something that takes time and it's a little bit of encouragement there for you guys. A little reality there. Oh, okay. So I went on a little tangent. I'm, I'm queen of those, but I wanted to touch on. . How [00:09:00] so? Okay. So in the beginning, a lot of times you and I both, it sounds like, really encourage our students to start off with something that they can all be successful with the horse and them can be successful with, and continue to maintain what they have before. The only time I would say that that is not the case is when I have a really extreme trauma case or if the particular behaviors that they're considering maintaining are highly stressful to the horse or demo Absolutely. To the human. Those, those kind of gotta go .

Brie: Yeah. And you gotta kind of it, I say that on a horse by horse and case by case basis, right? Yes. It, going back to the backup, you might have a horse that loves to back up, but then some horses, you, they, they have pressure put on them and they're pinning their ears and they're swishing their tail. Yep. And it's, it's, you're like, okay, this behavior needs to be changed Now we're not gonna keep building on that negative

Adele: Yes. Mm-hmm. , because that's really gonna be counterproductive to the trust building that you're doing. With your positive reinforcement. I had one mare that the backup was used as a punishment, which is not, not uncommon . [00:10:00] So backups are tend to be a little bit just inherent. Corrective. Yes. Corrective to the horse. They have been used as corrections in the past, so the horse associates them with that. And she would just like totally shut down and just was like, if we could have been doing a full on positive reinforcement, everything was beautiful, gorgeous. And then somebody would ask her to back up and she would just like, oh, shoot, we're back here again. And it was so sad to see. So we had to rebuild that from scratch and it took time. But where I was going with this is I feel like. There is so much benefit to be taken or so much benefit of learning how to train with positive reinforcement that can then be translated over to negative reinforcement training. And I would love if you wanted to talk about that and how we can help, you know, while we're in that transition phase and, or even if people decide, you know, hey, on the ground domin use positive reinforcement, but I'm gonna ride with negative reinforcement. Great, fine. How can we make it all better?

Brie: And yeah, and, and this is kind of for me [00:11:00] and my transition to positive reinforcement. This was kind of my like, eye-opener for me because I am speaking kind of a bit from experience and a bit from people I've talked to. But when we look back at natural horsemanship and the traditional horsemanship and, and the clinics I did and all the, all the education I had in that area. , they don't really talk about the learning quadrants, so you're, you're learning all this kind of technical skills, but you're not really understanding the science behind it. Whereas with positive reinforcement, that kind of goes hand in hand, right? Mm-hmm. . And when you're working with negative reinforcement, sometimes you're not, I mean, at the start, you're not thinking about the release being the reward and the release being the reinforcement. So then you're looking at, let's say someone's lunging a horse. They're not releasing pressure or using pressure even effectively because they're not understanding that the release [00:12:00] is the reinforcement to drive the behavior. Yep. 100%. And, and that's kind of, that was kind of a big one for me is when I learned about the learning quadrants, I'm going, there have been so many moments where, There's been confusion between my, me and my horse because I'm not actually using negative reinforcement properly. Like I'm not reinforcing anything properly. And then you kind of think back to all the things that you've been reinforcing. You're like, oh, like , there's, there's a lot to kind of unpack when you start to learn the science of it. And that was kind of a, at least a big one for me. And I know I've talked to a few clients and it's like they'll look back and go, I wasn't really training effectively back then either. Like they weren't doing training plans, they weren't thinking about the whole behavior and breaking it down. They were kind of just at some points expecting force to get [00:13:00] them somewhere where they haven't really built up to that point, if that makes. Yeah.

Adele: Exactly. And that is my experience as well. If I , if somebody had just sat me down and explained to me that the pressure is what is causing the behavior, and then well not initiates it. And then the release is what reinforces it to make it happen, to encourage it to happen again in the future when you apply that pressure again. If somebody had explained that to me and then showed me how to apply that effectively, oh my gosh. Like things would've been so much better. And I would've been an entirely different trainer back then.

Brie: Yes. Like I think back to it and it's like, there are so many moments where I was like, why? Like, why didn't this click for me? ?

Adele: Well, nobody explains it. And then they use all of these like kind of ambiguous jargon terms and jargon. Yeah, yeah. All that. Like, and then of course we have all the labels that get wrapped into it with dominance and respect and all that. Yeah. Which we could go on a whole tangent about that, but it's, it's kind of, [00:14:00] It's like the teachers and the gurus and all of that happened upon being able to train really well without most the science. Yeah. Without the science, without actually understanding how it's working. But they just know it is. And then they're trying to turn that around and teach other people to do that, but they don't even really understand what they're doing.

Brie: They don't, they don't understand the, the ingredients. And they're trying to teach people how to cook . Yes.

Adele: Yeah. You got the, the trying to teach people the recipe without the ingredients. Right. Or whatever you said it was. The And and so now when I have students that are going to maintain some behaviors with negative reinforcement or, or just temporarily or long term, doesn't matter. I intentionally teach. How to use negative reinforcement in what I would consider a much more effective and ethical way where

Brie: Yes, and, and non escalating pressure is a huge part of this too, right?

Adele: Yeah. Or even well, non escalating pressure or even [00:15:00] minor, like, I'm not talking about fast escalating, but just like a, a minor increases fine. It's about timing. It's about breaking things down in approximations. It's about it's about. Having that shaping plan and having a quick release, a timing, approx all of this, all of the stuff that we talk about with positive reinforcement, and we get all into the technical stuff. I love all the sciencey stuff. And then we can translate that over to just a different form of reinforcement. Now it looks a little different because of we have to apply the aversive first and then release, but it can still be so much better than how it's commonly taught and people can actually understand what they're doing and therefore, and they're understanding that what's driving the behavior essentially, right?

Brie: Yeah. They're not just kind of, I, I guess, flopping around and trying to figure out what works is they are going in and understanding that I am applying pressure in this sense, and when the horse has that behavior I'm releasing.

Adele: Yeah. And, and they also, it's very easy for negative reinforcement and positive punishment to get mixed [00:16:00] up. And so a lot of times it's misinterpreted and, and we're actually using punishment when we're, you know, we should be using negative reinforcement or whatever, vice versa. But And a fun example, not fun, but a common example that I see, and I had this happen to me the other day, is a client couldn't figure out why her horse, like, it just looked like what was happening between them was like bantering or bickering. Like he was like an argument. Yeah. It was like an argument. Like he was turning his head towards her and kind of mouthing at her and she would like bat his head away and then he would come back and it was just back and forth, back and forth. And I'm like, stop what is happening? And just like, and so I was trying to, I knew she, you know, whatever this situation, it was better to use. Well, we had like, you know, we enr the environment a little better and I showed her how to reinforce the head staying away and all that. But I was like, if you're going to put your hand up to push his head away, which is fine, put your hand up here, place it flat up against the side of his head, put a little pressure until he moves his head away, then release like it's, it's don't do this whole like bantering back and forth, which is kind of similar to what you were just saying, like [00:17:00] the getting on and just kind of flopping around until the horse ends up going or does the lead change or whatever. We don't actually understand Yeah. What we're doing.

Brie: You don't, yeah. You and you don't. And, and I think back to it and it's, it's, it's almost cringey to me because I'm like, how did I train for that long? without knowing how it actually works.

Adele: I don't know. And this is why so many people get stuck at the more novice levels because we don't really understand how or what we're doing or why whether it's a novice riding or novice training or whatever. We just, there's only a select few that seem to get up to that more elite level. And I think it's cuz they somehow subconsciously or whatever, stumbled upon some ingredients that they, I don't know. I just figured it out somehow. That worked for them. Yeah. Yeah. The other thing that I didn't really understand was the process of establishing cues or commands or whatever with negative reinforcement. And this is a huge gap. It's huge part of it. And it's, yeah. And then, and then you start trying to talk to them [00:18:00] about establishing cues with positive reinforcement, which is a totally different process. I understand. But. Is mind blowing when you then start looking at, okay, so Adele says, creating a positive reinforcement cues goes through this process, right? And then you go, okay, but how did I do this with negative reinforcement? And, and so I, I walk them through that and then that light bulb moment goes off and they're just like, Oh, this is why my horse responds to this and this is why my horse responds to that. I'm like, yeah, cuz you have a cue that predicts, you know, all this stuff.

Brie: And, and it's, it's funny cuz some people don't even realize that pressure is the cue. Yeah. And that's, and that's huge, right? It's like, oh, my horse is backing up and I'm not touching it's face. But maybe with your body language, you're applying pressure with your body to move your horse backwards. Mm-hmm. right? And they're thinking that it's just this magical cue and they're like, yeah, I did it. But it, there's just so much more underneath for it.

Adele: Yes. And cuz I run across this, and I know you do too, where we have [00:19:00] situations where somebody either isn't ready for or doesn't want to or just they're not in a situation or the horse isn't in a situation where they can only be trained with, you know, I say only with quotation marks only be trained with positive reinforcement. And they are going to need to be trained or handled with negative reinforcement That's. First of all, it's okay. Like it's okay. like that happens. That is normal. That happens for some of the horses I have in my care and in my training. It happens for a lot of my clients and students. This is a normal part of domestic horse's life. It's just what it is, and we try, we're working towards making shifts and changes, but it, you just do the best you can right now. The second thing I wanna say is if that's gonna happen, let's look at how to make it as clear and as straightforward and as low stress as possible for the horse. Because now we're going down, right? The humane hierarchy. Yeah. If we're going to use negative reinforcement, let's use it. Well, and let's, yes, let's use it.

Brie: Let's avoid [00:20:00] moving into the punishment. But I even think that when we're using negative reinforcement, we're, we're thinking about the thresholds and the trigger stacking and all that stuff that we were thinking with the positive reinforcement. But now we're kind of applying it. into the negative reinforcement. Yes.

Adele: And this is, I actually, there's quite a few negative reinforcement based trainers that I love watching because they're really good at this. They're really good at watching those thresholds, watching the, the behavior signs of stress and, you know, looking at the horses response to things and, you know, controlling the amount of pressure they're putting on and releasing at the right time. They have good timing, they have good shaping plans. They break things down into small bite sized pieces that the horse can achieve easily and that the human learner can also achieve easily. And then building on that. So we're creating that like snowball effect. Right. And they're just really good at applying all that. And so it works really well. And that if you're going to train that way, that's how it should look. That's what it should look like. Just as when we're [00:21:00] saying, when you train with positive reinforc, , it should have all of those aspects as well, because you can do positive reinforcement really poorly without all of those things, and you can make it very, very stressful too.

Brie: Yes, if you can make it, sometimes make it more stressful than negative reinforcement, depending on how you're training .

Adele: When I talk to people about, you know, really. You know, talking when we need to look at what the horse is eating and watching their thresholds and their body language and, and avoiding cause I try and use a errorless learning process Yes. And all of that. I, you know, we talk about how positive reinforcement, technically that's just a scientific term, which is applying a reinforcer for a behavior to encourage more of it. Right. So it's just a science department. It's not an emotional positive, it's just Exactly. And you can make it. Really unfun, like you can use positive reinforcement in questionably a very unethical way. And they used to, I mean, back in the day when they were using positive reinforcement with dogs, they would starve the dogs so that they were so hungry that they would do just [00:22:00] about anything to get the food for the food. Yep. So this isn't, you know, from, again, that emotional perspective, positive, right? Yeah. This is just the science term positive reinforcement of Yeah. Yeah. . Yeah. And yes, applying an appetitive reinforcer. And so for me it's, you know, we talk about positive reinforcement and you know, tying it back into that negative reinforcement, there is going to be a better way and a worse way to apply just about any type of training. So no matter what type of training you're using, let's try and work towards the, you know, The cleaner version, the, the version that the horse understands really well and the less stressful version

Brie: Yes. For the learner and the teacher.

Adele: Yes, exactly. That's what, that's what I meant by cleaner . And so I think that like understanding that and applying that and learning how to use that, those, all of those techniques can really help [00:23:00] improve the quality of learning for the horse. But also I think it's important for the human learners to understand that it's o, that it's not only like okay to do that. It it is done Like we do it, like you and I do this when I, I go to clients' houses all the time where they're like, Hey, we really need this horse to find a lease home. Where they're gonna, you know, be ridden traditionally, but it's not gonna be with positive reinforcement. So what do we do? Cuz we want it to be, you know, whatever. I usually, if I'm put in that, if I'm in that situation, we will opt to do the training myself using all of those aspects that I just mentioned. Because the alternative in a lot of cases is that none of that happens and they end up being put, you know, in a situation where it's about dominance and respect and there's no Yeah.

Brie: And flooding and, and all that. Yeah. And it's, it's, it's, it's, I would much rather [00:24:00] a positive reinforcement trainer use negative reinforcement on my horse than a traditional negative reinforcement trainer who doesn't understand the science doing it themselves.

Adele: Yes. And I agree. And I know that's something we were talking about before that I really thought was valuable to bring up. What are your thoughts on, on that, you know, or hiring a positive reinforcement trainer and then you're in a situation where, You know, we need to work with negative reinforcement. We need to help this horse, let's say lead from the barn to the pasture.

Brie: Yeah. And, and, and I think that, that when you're thinking about Lima, you're thinking about not only your skillset sets, but the owner's skillsets and the horse's skillsets. So if we're kind of working down that hierarchy, if they don't have the positive reinforcement skills, we have to go to the next step. We can teach them those skills and we can help them build those skills, but at that time, we can't stop at that step, if that makes sense. . [00:25:00] Yes.

Adele: Okay. So let's go back real quick to, you know, before we mentioned that we use negative reinforcement as kind of a case by case or how we use negative reinforcement or continue to use it or whatever it is, and it's very case by case situation. What, could you explain a little bit more about your process of kind of what that looks like for you and your clients and how you base those decisions or what you base those decisions off? Yeah, so

Brie: I think that kind of starts with an understanding of body language, right? If you're, you were talking about all those really incredible trainers where they're watching their body language and they're using negative reinforcement and the horse doesn't look stressed, the horse is not anxious, the horse isn't running around. It's, it's still kind of a bit of a conversation. And I think that's a big thing with negative reinforcement is if you're going out to see a client or you're working with your horse and you're using even a little bit of pressure and you're getting so much feedback and body language that they are uncomfortable or [00:26:00] that they're, they're not enjoying it, then that's a point where you're going, okay, well I don't have the skillset to do the R positive, but maybe I do need to build that before moving forward with this behavior.

Adele: Mm-hmm. . And then, you know, cuz in some situations , like, I know I've come across this quite a few times where the. A client doesn't necessarily have the skillset for, you know, being able to lead a horse with positive reinforcement while simultaneously the horse is losing its mind while being led from the stall to the pasture kind of thing. And that's a situation where we might want to maintain, you know, negative reinforcement, but it can, I don't know, it's like such a, a gray area. Like which one?

Brie: The, it's so, it's such a case by case basis, right? Because if you don't ever have to lead the horse and there's no real reason to lead the horse, then you could argue that, go back to your anine and arrangements and work on this in a safe [00:27:00] environment and not outside of the field.

Adele: Yes, that I agree with that. And that's definitely, if I can. The response I will give people, you know, do you have to lead your horse or can they just hang out in the pasture? Could you find them somewhere to live? Or they have a companion water forage and a shelter. Then they're happy. Yeah, they can be happy there. And they don't need to go anywhere right now. Yeah. Like it's,

Brie: it's the same as bringing a horse into a barn, right? That's like, sometimes that's such an aversive experience and you'll be like, well, why do they need to go into the barn right now? And that's just like mind blowing .

Adele: Yes. And, and you know, it's in some situations, so like with a leading one, your horse. There's a lot of pressure on us to get our horses to be able to do a certain set of behaviors for their own safety. And it's a welfare concern. So you having a horse that can't ever be led, you are very limited. So I, cuz I've run across this a few [00:28:00] times, or if we have feral horses or whatever, they get injured, they're sick, they're whatever. You can't do anything like you're stuck and unless you're gonna put 'em through a shoot or something like that, which is very traumatic. And we don't wanna do that if we don't have to. So then we are saying like, okay, so there's all this pressure on us now to get the horse leading and that can just create kind of a, a little bit of an issue with the learning process. And for us, cuz it puts a lot of pressure on us. And then we have a tendency to be really hard on us when we're ourselves, when we're not making progress quickly. And so this is where it's so important for the trainer to come in and really analyze the situation and do the best they can to set both learners up for success. And. You know, get them through as quickly, and this is kind of what I would consider, you would intensely work on this one behavior. So if your horse needs to, you know, be led for their own safety or whatever, I might put aside things like. riding or obviously you can't really ride if you can't lead the horse but you know what I mean? Like you might put [00:29:00] aside some other stuff that's less important and focus on the welfare stuff, which is typically when people ask me, okay, where do you start? First, I start with welfare stuff. So yeah, I start with being able to lead, get in a trailer, being able to have medications, have their feet. Cleaned and what, and trimmed, and then being able to have wounds treated like, I think I covered most of the bases there, but you get my idea.

Brie: Like, yeah, it's, you gotta start with what is required for welfare. If something comes up, it, it's just, it's something that needs to be there. Yeah.

Adele: And, and I like what you said about. , you know, when we're doing a case by case, and this is what I tell my clients too, is we're, we're asking the horse. I like to say that I'm asking my horse, I'm gonna ask them a question, is this okay? And they'll tell me, if you're listening, they will tell you, when you put a little pressure on your horse's lead rope to come forward, do they throw their head up, widen their eyes, put their ears back, or straight plastered forward and start switching their tail, or maybe even whatever, like all the things reacting. Yeah. A big reaction to it then. Then the answer's no, . Like, that's not, not the thing. However, if [00:30:00] they just go, oh yeah, sure. And then come forward with a nice soft expression. Headed a level ish position, they're eager to come forward. There's not a big tail swishing, swishing, there's no trying to bite you. Whatever the answer is, yes, we can keep this behavior, we can do this.

Brie: This is okay, and we can keep pressure at this level. Yeah. It's, it's, they're consenting to pressure at that level, but they're also not consenting to you, like pushing it further.

Adele: Yes. And this brings us to another point we wanted to talk about, which was the idea of like non escalating or very mildly escalating or slowly escalating pressure and reading the horse's feedback because it's, we are I know myself, I used to be, and I think a lot of people are, we're very prone to going in kind of guns blazing . We're just like, do this thing right now, pressure on and we forget about, Well, one that our horses are super sensitive. They can feel flies on them. Right. They don't need us yelling at them. Basically with our body language and [00:31:00] cues. And we don't have to start at a 10 . Yeah. We don't have to start at a 10. And we can start off with something mild and ask And you said it's something earlier you said whisper. Tell me what that was.