I aim to help owners who have horses with behavioural probelms. This will entail a detailed history of management and training. The behaviour modification programmes are based on classical and operant conditioning ( concentrating on positive reinforcement).
This an outline of what a behavioural consultation needs to address, the behaviourist will take a full history of the horse, the owner/rider, how the horse is managed, how much turnout, what feed is used, what is the exercise regime, if you compete how often. This can be done beforehand via a questionnaire, if appropriate.
Only after getting the permission of your veterinary surgeon will they attend for a consultation. This is so they can be sure there are no underlying health problems contributing to the behavioural problem.
Most will not interact with your horse - as they may not be a trainer nor a riding instructor, however they can advise on choosing a suitably qualified one.
The interactions between you and the horse will be observed, if possible to demonstrate the behavioural problem - if safe to do so. The safety of people is of paramount importance and a behaviourists first priority. If at any time they feel it unsafe to proceed the session ca be halted.
If there are any aspects of the horses behaviour beyond their expertise they can refer to a more experienced behaviourist plus inform your vet.
If there appears to be an underlying health/pain problem they will refer back to the veterinary surgeon.
The horse needs to be in a safe area - a stable or enclosed space.
The time will depend on the problem, but as a rule the first consultation will be 2 - 2 1/2
Upon completion of the initial assessment a letter will be sent to the vet to explain and outline the programme. This will include the physiological basis for the behaviour.
You will receive a copy of the vet letter alongside the written Behavioural Modification Programme.
You will be left with information to start on the plan with pre-printed advice sheets, any tailor made plans will be emailed as soon as possible.
Please feel free to ask any questions not covered here. These the types of things a behaviourist will cover - there will be variations due to differences in experience and qualifications.
PS. I am currently not consulting hence the generic outline but if you wish to ask me a question please get in touch. I will be writing blogs about behaviour and basic learning theory so please pop back and take a look.
If I ever deicide to to consultation I will use positive reinforcement behavioural Modification Programmes. I will demonstrate how to do this, how to conditioner the clicker and how to safely use food rewards. You will be provided with handouts outlining the programmes most suitable for you and your horse. These are not to be shared with anyone else as they may ot be suitable for another horse. All programmes are copyrighted to the Natural Animal Centre.