Learning theory application in training the horse

This workshop will demonstrate the application of learning theory to training, in particular, to in-hand work with the horse. Using what is known about how the horse learns, one approach to training the horse to respond to light signals to carry out the responses of moving forward immediately, stopping immediately and standing still until asked to move forward will be demonstrated. Losses of responsiveness to cues (failure to stand still, heaviness in responses, lack of maintenance of responses) will be discussed and methods to remedy these losses in training will be explained and demonstrated, with an emphasis on aligning all training methods with the learning ability of the horse.


Presented by

Dr Orla Doherty, Animal Behaviour Clinic

Bio: Orla Doherty qualified as a vet (UCD) before completing a Master’s Degree in Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare (Edinburgh). Orla completed a PhD (University of Limerick) in 2016 on tack usage and recently completed a Diploma in Equitation Science. Orla runs the Animal Behaviour Clinic, a veterinary referral behaviour clinic treating problem behaviours in horses, dogs and cats. Orla lectures and gives workshops and clinics to vets, owners, riders and trainers and also provides behaviour consultancy at Dublin Zoo. Orla lectures at University College Dublin and the University of Limerick.