“No Noise—No Nonsense” is an approach to natural horsemanship that ultimately builds trust, confidence and respect.  It is built around the analogy of tuning-in to a certain frequency when listening to music on the radio.  If all you hear is a bunch of static noise, it motivates you to continue searching until that noise goes away and the music you desire comes through clearly.  In the same way, we want our horses to tune-in to certain “frequencies” (the specific behaviors we are asking for).  They are motivated to search for those frequencies through the use of “noise” –which can be audible (i.e. a smooch), visual (i.e. the waving of an object), positional (body language) or physical (i.e. tapping with a training stick/rope or our legs as we ride). If the horse fails to find the right frequency (i.e. exhibits a behavior we ARE NOT asking for), the noise continues, and the horse is motivated to keep searching.  As soon as the horse makes even the slightest improvement in the direction of the right frequency (i.e. exhibits an approximation of a behavior we ARE asking for), the noise is removed.  The behaviors we desire from the horse are thus “shaped.”  Desired behaviors are systematically reinforced by the removal of noise, approximations are rewarded, and gradually more and more precision is required of the horse until the behavior is trained.

© 2018, Raney Horsemanship LLC

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