Report on the First Progressive Equine Behavior and Training Forum

The first meeting of the Progressive Equine Behavior & Training Forum took place this past February.  Organized by our good friends and colleagues Ms. Sharon Madere, CHBC, Dr. Robin Foster, CHBC, CAAB, and others this Forum brought together some of the most experienced horse behavior professionals in the country.  They met to discuss  a variety of horse training and behavior modification techniques, the efforts to bring more positive reinforcement procedures to the field, and to discuss current research and controversial topics, such as the use of negative reinforcement and punishment.

This invitation-only Forum included panel discussions and individual presentations by every attendee.  Sharon, Robin, and Dr. Tammy Donaldson, CAAB (a Forum presenter) have graciously agreed to present a CAAB Chat to give all of us a chance to hear what these leaders in the field shared with one another.

Ms. Madere will begin by explaining the purpose and structure of the forum.

All three guests will then devote the rest of the Chat to telling us about a few of the most interesting and significant presentations.  Topics presented at the Forum include, but are not limited to:

  • Stereotypies and cribbing in horses
  • Guidelines for helping owners make euthanasia decisions for behavior reasons
  • Development of the Basic Behaviors Profile
  • Voluntary control of behavior
  • Positive reinforcement training
  • Learning and behavior development in foals
  • And MUCH MORE!

Because this was an invitation only meeting, you might not know much about the Forum and its goals.  Click HERE to learn more about the 2018 Forum.  Its purpose and values are reproduced below:

Our Purpose

A gathering of equine professionals dedicated to:

·        Creating a community of supportive and cooperative colleagues

·        Using science-based training methods

·        Advancing our knowledge and skills re: horse behavior & training

·        Improving the welfare of horses everywhere

·        Educating horse owners

Our Values

Unity     We believe that the greatest gains for education of equestrians and improvement of equine welfare will be achieved through collaboration, coming together with unity of spirit and purpose.  We choose to build bridges, not walls.

Diversity    We embrace the fact that there will be diversity of persons, and well as perspectives  and priorities.

Kindness and Respect    We hold ourselves and one another accountable to treat each other with consideration, kindness and respect – especially when there are differences of opinion.

Humility    We recognize that no one has all the answers, and we choose to set aside egos and turf-battles for the greater good of significant change in the horse world, as well as our own personal and professional development.  We choose camaraderie over competition.

Community   We desire to build a safe and supportive environment in which everyone can freely share, ask and learn without fear of judgment.  At the same time, we value critical thinking skills, and recognize that for science to advance, we must always be challenging assumptions.   We will help one another to explore, question, and discover… and to find our highest selves.

The Chat is completed and replays can be found on the bottom of this page.

Here are other websites and articles mentioned during the Chat.

International Society for Equitation Science 

Couldn’t make the live chat? No worries, you can purchase the replay now for only $15.00!  

 Pay with Paypal.  You do not need a Paypal account – you can pay with your credit card.




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