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  • Writer's pictureAdele Shaw

Episode 47 // LIMA for Humans & Supporting Change: Part One

For our 47th 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."


Adele: [00:00:00] Hey there. Welcome to the TWE 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 TWE 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 TWE 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]

Hey guys. Welcome back to another TWE podcast episode. Today I have a very special guest, Bree Simpson. Bree Simpson is the founder and owner of PATH equestrian in Ontario, Canada. She is studying to be a certified horse behavioral consultant through the I A A B C and has been training and working with horses for over 14 years.

She has dedicated her last four years of researching and studying equine behavior, 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 and humane science-based methods of training.

So without further ado, Brie would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a little bit more about yourself and what you do and where you're located and all the stuff that is makes you,

Brie: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm located in Kitchener, Ontario, if [00:02:00] that kind of narrow things down for people. I would say that I'm an equine behaviorist. I don't like saying that until I have my certification. But that's kind of been what the last four years of my life have been building up towards being. I spent a lot of the last, I wanna say, year or so, really narrowing in on positive reinforcement training taking courses and kind of figuring my own methods with positive reinforcement training adding in kind of the ethology, enrichment and all that stuff through it. But the last year has been like really bogged down on that . And yeah, that's, that's pretty much it. I have three horses right now. Two of them are rescues and they've kind of been my projects and kind of doing a full restart on one of them with positive reinforcement. So that's been a bit of a journey for the last six months, but it's been awesome.

Adele: Thank you so much. Well, we were talking about I don't know how we even got started talking. We were talking on Instagram. I love having, getting into deep conversations on Instagram with different people that I [00:03:00] love watching their training and I respect his trainers. And just have so many creative ideas to share with everybody. And somehow we got started talking about. This idea of pure positive reinforcement and how it can really trip people up and help the, and make them feel like either they don't even wanna give it a start because it's all or nothing like it appears to be that way, or they kind of stumble throughout the process and then give it up eventually because it's too hard, because there's no real grace for their learning process and just, just kind of that whole. I don't know. There's just this sense, this feeling behind it, and I know you have a lot to say about it and I have a lot to say about it. And so we really wanted to get on here and have a recorded conversation about this and hoping that it will help my listeners and people are here, listen for Brie to kind of get an idea of the, a way that we can get into training with positive reinforcement [00:04:00] without getting, you know, feeling that paralysis like that we can't do it all or nothing. And then just talking more about that process and how we help our students through it and clients and even honestly the horses too. But yeah, so that's kind of where we got started. And So we wanted to talk more about that today and really dive into it. So Brie, is that kind of your interpretation too, of how we got started with that conversation

Brie: Yeah. Yeah. I would say that's kind of just been a topic of conversation to me for the last few months actually. I've run into a few clients who have had that R positive paralysis and, and have had kind of feeling of inadequacy to move forward, which I think is a big thing for a lot of us, especially those of us who have come from another form of training. So I do have fortunate to have clients that are straight R positive from the start. Like they have not had any natural horsemanship background or traditional horsemanship background. But [00:05:00] most of the time that's not the case.

Adele: Yeah, same for me as well. I mean, for myself, I come from a traditional background for way longer than I've been doing what I'm doing now, and most of my clientele and my students also are coming from that background. So they have an extensive learning history with how to apply what is essentially negative reinforcement, but sometimes also positive punishment in their training of their horses. And so they're, it's like this autopilot. It's this thing that they know, it's become like a subconscious, like this is just what we do. So it's easy for them and makes sense. They can create training plans with that in mind, and it's their go-to, and then now they're trying to learn something new and all of a sudden it's just feels so overwhelming and even bordering on impossible with a lot of roadblocks and ups and downs and all of that because they're having to really start, I mean, Learning something new requires them to kind of start back and think things through fresh in a fresh sense and [00:06:00] relearn in a couple things. I mean, they're still maintaining all of their old learning history. They don't, that doesn't go away. But it's like, okay, we're gonna look at this same situation with the same horse, and how would we do it? Now with positive reinforcement versus negative reinforcement, and it can just seems like such a daunting thing. And I can definitely see, and I know for myself this has happened too, where it's just like this, it feels like a wall that you're trying to climb and you don't know how to get up over and you don't have the skills to get up over it. And then so you're, it's very possible that you could give up at that point or just kind of claim that it doesn't, you, you know, some people say then it doesn't work or just kind. You know, like it just feels like this such a daunting thing. And, and so I have been exploring this, this area I should say like this. I don't really wanna call it a problem or anything cuz it's just kind of what it is. And it's just a new opportunity to learn from myself as an instructor and as a coach, how to help people work around this or [00:07:00] through it. I've been exploring it for a while now because I see it over and over again where people are so passionate and they so much wanna know how to train with positive reinforcement. They see it, they understand the science, you know, all of that. But like how do we get out there and actually do it? And then how do we take into consideration like all of our past training and also what we still need to be able to do with our horses. We still need to be able to take care of them. We still need to be able to get them exercise, like all this stuff and just help them through that in a little bit less painful way, and make it fun and positive for everybody and it sounds like you're in a similar boat with your clients and helping them through that and just hearing feedback from them too.

Brie: Yeah, absolutely. It's it's something that I also went through too a lot of traditional horse training. So I can empathize with that and I understand the, that process, like I was very lucky and I kind of dipped my toe in and my transition was very gradual. So as I was learning, I was kind of moving that direction. A lot of people kind of [00:08:00] just get all that information and they just need to change everything at once. And they go from having a complete training history with their horse and a complete like experience for them and all these habits and behaviors. And then they essentially learn all this information and it's, it's so overwhelming. It is very overwhelming. .

Adele: I mean, that's what the similar path to what I took too, is I dipped a toe in and kept building and building from there. Initially what I was doing, I looked back and I was very much still what I would kind of call like negative reinforcement with the cherry on top, like I was just, or cookie on top, like I was doing everything I was doing before, but just with the food. Yeah. Yeah. Just clicking and adding a little food, which got me into everything and it is great. It was a great start, but there was definitely some fall out and I, I talk about that in other podcast episodes, but it can be hard. I see a lot of people cold turkey kind of go into this because they see [00:09:00] the benefits of it, they see it, they want it, they understand the science. And now I can, I really see, understand why they do that, but it can be so it's a lot of practical skills. , yes, it's a lot and. And we have to think about with our horses. You know, they have this learning history too, right? Of, you know, this years and years of negative reinforcement, trained and maintained behaviors and cues and all of that. And now all of a sudden we're like, okay, we're gonna do a positive reinforcement and we're not gonna apply pressure anymore, and we're not gonna, you know, aversive pressure and we're not going to force you to do anything. It's all consent. You know, all of that stuff. And the horse is like, okay, well this is different. And now our cues are different and the reinforcement that's maintaining the behavior is different, and so everything kind of falls apart and then all of a sudden it feels like you just ruined everything. You ruined your horse. You can't do anything anymore. What am I gonna do? I don't have the skillset now to be able to get to where I want to go and take care of my [00:10:00] horse, and my horse doesn't know what we're doing and it's just this. It can become quite stressful.

Brie: Yes. That pretty much just sums up that . Yeah, that's exactly, it is. It's you're, you have this, it's almost like you have this knowledge, but your body doesn't know how to do it yet. Yeah. And your horses just completely unsure because their, their whole history is pressure, and then all of a sudden we decide one day, Hey, we're not doing pressure anymore. And, and they don't really get that memo for a bit. It takes a while for them to kind of, get on board with it and understand it too. And then it's kind of just an experience for both the person and the horse to figure out how they're supposed to work together now.

Adele: Yeah, 100%. And this is really, you know, we started off with that conversation and this is really what started leading us into discussing more of like, Well, setting our, our learners, our human learners, up for success with the horses, but also talking about applying the concept of Lima, so least [00:11:00] intrusive, minimally aversive approach to training with horses, but also playing, applying this to humans, our human learners. And I'm curious to hear more about what you think about that and how you would go about applying that with your human learners to help them. To help them make this transition in a minimally aversive way. Right? Or they're not hitting that roadblock and feeling overwhelmed and yeah. So,

Brie: On concept with Lima, I kind of always start with environment. So even when I'm doing behavior modification or I'm training, I'm kind of looking at environment to start first anyway. And I always think that, A good place to start with the humans and the horses is making small environmental changes that aren't super overwhelming for the human or the horse, but enough that you can start seeing already positive changes. And this is kind of why I like enrichment, because enrichment can kind of be that building block and that first step of the antecedent arrangement is building up a species appropriate lifestyle and letting the human be more involved [00:12:00] in setting up the horse's environment. And yeah, and just kind of from there, we, the biggest thing is I think building up lesson plans and breaking things down. Starting with a goal, like let's say your goal is to ride with positive reinforcement, there are a lot of steps involved in that. Yes. And so you kind of gotta break everything down by approximations, just like, With training, but in this sense, you kind of need to look at what skillsets you have because as of right now at the start, if we're assuming someone's coming from a natural or traditional horsemanship background, their skillset is not quite there enough to say, I can start riding my horse with our positive. So it's about kind of starting with a lot. Baby steps, but also making sure that you essentially, with positive reinforcement, reinforce yourself for all the small steps. All those small steps are, are so important and you need [00:13:00] to take a moment to kind of reward yourself with them instead of looking at that big possible picture of, I wanna ride this way. Maybe I'm going to look at this small picture of my horse touching a target and, and feel good about that.

Adele: Applying a positive reinforcement to ourselves. We tend to be very hard on ourselves and apply a lot of negative reinforcement to ourselves, or even punishment towards ourselves. You know, we didn't do that right? We didn't do this right, and oh, it doesn't look like this, you know, social media influencer that I saw, or it doesn't look like that horse and all that, and we punish ourselves for.

Brie: It's very easy to compare yourself to a very short, 10 minute clip on Instagram .

Adele: Yes. And also to their what's potentially their finished product or getting closer to there, or somebody who's been doing this for a whole lot longer. And so it'd be unrealistic to expect yourself a, you know, potentially a beginner in doing this to. You know, achieve those same goals in the that same timeframe or for it to look the same or whatever. Cuz I guarantee you, all of the professionals, all of [00:14:00] the, you know, influencers that you're looking up to that have been doing this for a while, they did not start off looking that way. Like it didn't look that way when they first started. It was messy. It had all kinds of, you know, stuff in there that wasn't supposed to be there. They had stressed horses, whatever. You know what I mean? And, and we tend to look at the finished product and being like, well, shoot, I didn't look like that today, so therefore I am, am a junk trainer.

Brie: Yeah. And, and it's so easy to beat yourself up to, like, you're gonna look at someone else and their quick minute video and their years of professionalism in this sector, and then you're like, okay, well my behavior doesn't look like that. Maybe there's latency, maybe there's a little bit of frustration. And instead of taking the moment to be like, yeah, I, I got this started, we're looking at that finished behavior and going, why doesn't mine look like that?

Adele: Yeah, well, I mean even, okay, so I'll put myself in the, you know, cuz I put myself out on social media and I share clips of training and stuff, and so I can put myself in the professional category or the social media influencer category, [00:15:00] whatever. And I have short little clips of finished products and, and I try and show like the ongoing progress stuff too, but just due to time limits and the fact that I can't explain everything in a short caption, it's, I'm limited. . And also I share a lot of content in, you know, like my academy and for my students and stuff. But even like some of the stuff that you know, that process going up to those finished clips, like the before and after, or. Even within the same training session or even those exact training sessions, I will take them and then put them up for my students and I will talk about the we have a thing that we do where we talk about the one thing that we like that we did, and the one thing, I mean the human trainer and the one thing we liked that the the horse did and then the one thing we want to try next time. And so that keeps us trying, you know, focusing on the positives with a productive, you know, simple and, and non overwhelming task to work on the next time. And obviously I can analyze the [00:16:00] training session way more than that. I watched most of, like, some of my training sessions, like 12 times in a row. . Yeah. And, and I'm piecing them apart and I'm like, oh shoot, I didn't watch for that start button quite as well as I wanted to that time or whatever. But anyway, I take even what looks like finished products and analyze them and work on it. And I see lots of gaps and lots of holes and errors and all of that. So, yes. You guys, you know, anybody's watching my stuff can be like, oh, I wanna, you know, do that. It was so perfect, whatever. But even for myself, from my own perspective, I'm like, Ugh, that's just not there. So I think we're, we're all, no matter where we are and our stage in our learning stage with a trainer and all that, we're tend to do that. We tend to be negative have a negativity bias and just really pull ourselves apart and look at all the negative stuff and forget to look at the stuff that we did well, and the fact that we even. Started trying something new. I mean, that is such a huge leap forward that takes, you [00:17:00] know, so much. Just takes a lot of courage to do and I think we forget to reinforce ourselves for that and be just be like, girl, you're doing this , you're amazing. Like, yes, it wasn't perfect today, but we are a step closer like we are getting there.

Brie: Exactly. Yeah. It's, it's having that kind of, those, those small steps that you're proud of to get to that end goal and it's, they're so important to recognize and should not beat yourself over things and kind of make sure that you're, you're being positive cuz it's easy to be positive. I'm talking to clients, but then, and they send me videos and I'm like, ah, yeah, that's awesome. That's great. And then sometimes I get to my stuff and I'm like, okay, well this, this, and this. And, and it's so important that we, we don't do that to ourselves, especially while we're learning cuz it can just kind of paralyze you. Right. It just, it's so paralyzing to look at a behavior and see all the things wrong with it and not seeing where it's going and not seeing. Any good things and then you kind of just shut down essentially. [00:18:00]

Adele: You know, I found for myself, and I see this in my students too, the more negative they are towards their own progress and what they're doing or not even, they don't even, may not even be. Like, they could be talking in a really positive tone or whatever, but they're just like, yeah, I need, I, you know, I didn't do this here. Or look at that, you know, that part of the video there, and they just have this long, long list of all the things they didn't do right. Right. And things they wanna change for next time. It can feel overwhelming then to go into your next training session with that list. Of all the things you need to do better, and then you add more the next time and then it just keeps rolling. Right? It piles up. Yes. And then guess what? You're gonna start finding yourself doing, not going out to train because you can't do it right. You have made it impossible for yourself to access reinforcement and you are just like, this is not fun anymore. It's not reinforcing for me anymore. I can't do Right.

Brie: And yeah, it becomes stressful. It becomes a, an aversive experience for us.

Adele: Yes. And that's, we don't want it to be that way for. For ourselves, you and I, and [00:19:00] also for our students. And, and you know, it doesn't seem. Like it's a mutually beneficial situation if the horse is getting all the positive reinforcement and we're not giving ourselves any either. So we have to be careful doing that.

Brie: Yeah, and, and we have to be careful cuz when we're, even if we're trying to be super positive with our horses and we're coming into a training session with negative feelings towards ourselves. It does show up in our training. It shows up in all of our work. Those kind of emotions. They, they do play a part in training too. So if you're going into your training session and you're thinking about all the negatives, your horse is gonna kind of feel that it's, it's a different I guess it's a different atmosphere when you're coming into it and you're being positive and you're excited versus going into it with the stressed out, I need to get this behavior perfect.

Adele: Yeah. And you know, one thing I find people doing when myself included , I'm really bad about this. When they've got that long list and they're feeling a little bit stressed about, you know, getting it right or whatever, they tend to hold the [00:20:00] breath, which then affects the nervous, affects the nervous system. And then the horses feel that, and, you know, their nervous system responds to that. And it's just like everything starts spiraling outta control. And then we wonder why our sessions are going so poorly. Yeah. , but I love this because. This applies to Lima because when I think of, you know, setting up the environment for success and, and also setting up the environment for, you know, our or well Lima for horses, yes, but also Lima for people. I look at the environment aspect of it. It kind of doves heels off of what you were saying, which is trying to set the person, the human up for success through an environmental arrangement. If I walk into a training session with somebody and it's, maybe it's my first consult or whatever, and we talk for a long time, and then I slap them with this huge list of all the things they need to change and give them all these, you know, behaviors to do [00:21:00] that they have no idea how to do. You know, like all these things. And then also I say, okay, now walk out into the field and do this with your horse. Like, I'm just not setting, well, I'm not setting anybody up for success, particularly the human . So I like to, well, so this rolls over into like creating a training plan and a shaping plan for the humans. And we can do this for ourselves. I do this for myself, I do it for my students. I encourage people to do this, which is to create approximations for yourself. So, Try not to go in. Like we're going to do positive reinforcement now, and now I'm gonna ride at Liberty with tackless and lead my horse completely at Liberty, and we're gonna do everything cooperative care, like we're going all in tomorrow. Right. And I've never done this before, . I wouldn't expect a horse to do that, and I'm certainly not gonna, you know, that also translates to the people too. Like I can't expect myself or anybody to do that. So instead, I like to say, okay, let's just pick one thing. Let's pick one thing and let's set the horse up for success to get it quickly. Let's set you up for success to get it quickly and let's get a win for both of you guys really quickly and [00:22:00] then we can build from there. Yeah. And that gives you the instant positive reinforcement the human, and gives the horse a positive reinforcement and sets everybody up for success. And really just start sets the stage, sets the antecedents.

Brie: Exactly. And, and you get that. Behavior momentum rolling too, right? Like yes, that that constant, that win and the win after win, even though they're small wins, they kind of build this big snowball of like this nice picture when you kind of build it up that way.

Adele: And it becomes addicting. To be honest, I can't tell you I can't tell you how many people I come into like working with me or, or anybody, and I hear them like even on some just comments I get on social stuff. They're like, yeah, I was just gonna like teach my horse to self halter or pick up its feet or just something, right? It was real small. They just wanted to do one thing. It was a problem behavior that they were having and they just wanted to fix that one. And within a couple of months to a year, they're like all in. They're like, I can't stop. This is amazing. And it's so much fun.

Brie: It's [00:23:00] addicting. But going back to the approximations, it's about those, those small approximation and those small slivers. So even in our training, if we start with something that's really, really small with the intention in our training plan, that we can have all these tiny steps afterwards and then reward yourself for all those tiny steps, and then you'll find in your training sessions that you end up. Six or seven wins and there's no disappointment that way. If you're, if you're making the small kind of steps to roll into the bigger picture, you kind of set yourself up for not failing in that way.

Adele: Yeah, 100%. Which then very much leads us into another topic we wanted to cover, which was, you know, because of this process that I tend to encourage, and it sounds like you do too, where we're like, we're gonna start off somewhere where we can all be successful and then keep building. This means, in a lot of cases, especially horses that [00:24:00] are at boarding facilities or handled by other people, or have to still be, you know, have their feet trimmed or anything else. Right. Just they still have these other behaviors that need to be performed, but they are now happening with positive reinforcement, we have to then make this decision. Do we maintain them with negative reinforcement? Is that okay? Like, and a lot of people get into a moral kind of, they just feel some people get conflicted about that, right? Just maintaining and continuing to use negative reinforcement over here, while on the other side they're like, okay, with this stuff we're gonna use positive reinforcement. What are your thoughts on that?

Brie: So I think the big thing at the start is I tell people to keep them separate. So, it kind of makes things easier when you separate your sessions with positive reinforcement for a certain session, negative reinforcement for session, but also for behaviors. I think that [00:25:00] you kind of wanna pick and start choosing behaviors that you wanna train with positive reinforcement and then build from there. So you like making this whole big picture. All of it has to be positive reinforcement. You can kind of go, okay, like I wanna build into X, Y, and Z being done with positive reinforcement, but right now I'm gonna focus on X, isolate that work on it, and then go from there.

Adele: Yeah. And that's, that's basically the same advice I give especially as of more recently, meaning the last year or two because I started noticing the temptation, and I understand it, to go just all in all at once, but not having that established skillset like we've talked about, and. Then running into problems like, okay, now my horse is gaining weight. Really fastly cuz we're no longer riding, exercising movement. Because what happens is, and I see this happens over and over again, the horse goes, oh, I have a choice. I don't have to do these things. [00:26:00] And also I have no known learning history of how to respond to like, Following the target at a trot over jumps and all that. Like they just don't know how to do that yet. Right? And get that exercise that way. And so now we start seeing some potential If we're looking at the horse's overall wellbeing, this could be cons, a considerable problem. Especially if you've got like a metabolic horse, or let's say all of a sudden they don't wanna have their feet trimmed anymore. And you just like all these things and they need to have their feet trimmed, you know, within a certain amount of time. Or it's just consider considered an issue . So it to me and the advice that I give to people, unless you're dealing with a severe trauma case or like a truly feral horse or a horse that really doesn't have that long learning history anyways it is beneficial, like you said, to start off with isolating things and, okay, so like you can keep riding doing your lessons or leading your horse to and from the barn, or maintaining a lunging or round penning behavior over here. [00:27:00] But then we have set times where we put on our treat pouch, we go to the pasture and we work on training free- shaping the backup or putting on the halter or picking, you know, or I don't know, something else like following the target, something that is unique, something they've really not done before. So there's no real history there and has a unique context. So the cues, everything is different. So the, the setup is different. What you're, what you're doing is different. There's no real tack on or equipment. We're just kind of setting a fresh stage, and it's just a different stage than anything else they've ever done. And that can be so beneficial. And then as you develop your skillset, You start to expand your, you know, what might happen is, okay, so hey, I've got my horse doing, you know what? I might consider the foundation behavior. So it's like five different behaviors and great. They're doing fine there. But now I'm noticing that I would really like to retrain my horses taking oral medication. He's just not great about taking his dewormer. Okay, fine. Let's, let's [00:28:00] take that one on. Let's add that behavior to our list that we're training with positive reinforcement. Let's get that going. Let's get that reinforcement history, all of that for everybody. And then when that's feeling really good, let's add another one in. And before you know it, you can replace all of your previous training if you want. You don't have to, but if you want, with your new skillset and your horse's new skillset, but. You need building blocks first.

Brie: Yes, for sure. Yeah. And, and I think going back to environment what I kind of recommend is, as you said in the field, so sometimes what I'll do is if clients have like two arenas or an arena and a round pen I'll recommend kind of keeping one of those to be for our positive training cuz sometimes people can't train in their fields, so I kind of try to say this is your, our positive environment. The treat pouch is present. I personally use a neck rope for my horses so they know when it's time to receive food so that they understand that while they're wearing this neck rope, we're working on our positive behaviors and you can receive food and we can work on consent with [00:29:00] this and, and you have the ability to say no in this sense. When they're not wearing that neck rope or they're not in that environment, some things still need to stand like, like medical treatment. So my horses all work in the neck rope most of the time now. But when the farrier's there, sometimes the neck rope's not present because I'm not giving them the chance to say no if it's an absolutely needed kind of behavior, right? I have a, a rescue who we're working mostly on consent, and he is saying yes, and we're doing his feet and he's doing great. But with the farrier, he says, no . And so we try to do our best to respect his no's but there's a point where sometimes we have to remove the consent and say, this needs to happen for your own health and your own benefit, but we'll go back to the consent and build on it.

Adele: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And for me, I think I don't like 99.99% of the time I'm operating [00:30:00] on with consent and all that, even during farrier work with my personal horses, I should say. The only time there has been a few times where like if we're. Like we travel to a vet clinic or something's going on or whatever. It's usually when the, when the lead rope's on, they have a limited amount of space that they can move away from me. And they have, I established all the lead rope cues with positive reinforcement. We did all that, but there is still this A end of the lead rope, there's like an end of the line. Right. They can't, yeah. Completely .

Brie: Yeah. And it's, it's, it's unfortunate when you have to take away consent, and I'm with you, most of my stuff is on consent, 99%. But there's sometimes where these moments where you're, you have to take it away and it's kind of like we've built up these behaviors and we've gotten them used to leading and being handled with our positive cues with the halter. But it goes back. The fact that there are some moments where. , it's important that, not that they don't have a voice, it's just important, important that we might know what's better for them [00:31:00] in that situation, if that makes sense.

Adele: No, for sure. And what I like to tell people is, so even in those situations, like let's say my horse is getting a blood draw or something like that, like they really can't walk away, it's a, it's kind of important that they stay in the location. Or even their farrier or whatever, let's say they have their lead rope on. There is an end of the line. They can't go. They can't like leave or if I'm traveling to a vet clinic, right? My horse can't be at liberty at a vet clinic. I just, this is not safe. So we do as best as we can, right? We just maximize their positive experiences. We establish the cues. We work on it. We work on it. We work on it. But you know, Unfortunate if, you know, thing happens and they're not really wanting to be there, whatever. I just do the best I can to help them stick through the situation and, and make it as positive as possible. We might be what, what I call open bar feeding. I was just about to say.

Brie: Yeah. It's in those situations. I'm like, you can have all the food in pouch. Like, I'm so sorry I'm taking this away from you. Yeah. You're so good. Here's [00:32:00] food and you try to be, make it as good as you can, and it's, they're very, very, like 1% of the time it happens. But I think that if we take that thought and that idea to us building up and learning, it's kind of the same thing.

Adele: Yeah. And, and we build up that positive, you know, piggy bank, like a piggy bank of positive experiences. And our horses are so willing to, at that point be like, okay, I trust you human. I will deal with this crap.

Brie: That's exactly it. Yeah. With the, with the farrier for the one guy, he he was done they would actually sedate him and. Put him down to do his feet. Oh my gosh. Yeah, he came from a really, really rough background, so, geez. He's, he's very, very sensitive about his feet. So with the farrier while she's there, he's doing targeting, so he's keeping his mind busy while he's getting his feet done. So I'm not really. Making it a aversive experience. And I'm not really like, it's not a really bad experience, it's just like you need to stay within these boundaries here, but you get to do your favorite behavior, which for him is targeting. That's like the best thing in the world for him. . [00:33:00] So for him it's like, yeah, we're, we're making this, this small section. You gotta stay here and this lady's gonna be handling your feet very gently. And we're going very slow. And she's there for like an hour and a half. She's amazing. But you're gonna touch the target here, but I can't have you leave this. .

Adele: Yeah, and, and those are situations that come up. And I think through just the, the nature of what social media is and even books or videos or even online courses, it's a limited amount of information, even if it's a very thorough, you know, whatever post or course or whatever. And it's also a limited view into every interaction with horses that are trained this way or people that are training this way. And so I think the, there's this false perception of a false perception of, like, that we're, we're really going into this like pure R plus and like if our [00:34:00] horse says no, you know, even when it's a, you know, whatever, a serious situation comes up and we will be unwilling to say like, okay, horse, you gotta stay here, or whatever.

Brie: I don't know if I behind being entirely and positive, right? It's, yes. It's, it's this kind of perfect picture that we get into that we're like, everything needs to be our positive, which is a good. goal. Yeah. But it's not the be all to end all. It is, it's a goal. And you should strive towards being non intimidation. No fear, no, no force. And that's kind of your, your goal, but it can't bog down everything else. Yeah.

Adele: And it can't, this goal that you're working towards, this ideal, this image, whatever. it can't be such a impossible, or it, I should say it this way, it can appear so impossible, especially if you're all the way at the beginning stages. You're just like, how would I ever get to that point? Right. With positive reinforcement, when the horse, right now that I'm working [00:35:00] with like, You know, I, this happens sometimes where a horse that does have, you know, negative associations or with people or training or whatever, they realize they can say no. And it's just like, oh, I'm just gonna say no a hundred percent of the time. Yeah. And that when, when you're starting off there, it can become so overwhelming and impossible seeming to get to this goal so that we never even, you know, we give up or we try for a little while and it's just like, this is not working.

Brie: Or It's, it's an impossible goal at the start, right? With, with your, you gotta think of what, what your current skillsets are. Yeah. And at the start, your, your current skillset is not, That pure positive. Right. And I think that even many of the professionals with their abundance of skill sets, there's still moments where it's not always entirely possible.

Adele: Yeah, absolutely. And I will tell you, you know, from. Sitting in conferences and courses and lectures and all of that with the top of the, yo