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can become

a cooperative patient!

19.2. 2021

How long will it take?

This is one of the questions I often get when it comes to solving a non-cooperative horse patient’s problem (or, in fact, any problem). I can understand why people ask this question. We have all learned to strive for effectiveness to some extend. However, when it comes to horse training or problem-solving, effectiveness alone is not what we...

11.2. 2021

Yes, it’s OK to give your horse treats when he’s scared

Personally, I am an advocate of using food rewards with horses – especially when they learn something new or during veterinary procedures (where possible). When it comes to using food rewards with the horse who is afraid, many owners are worried that they can reinforce the horse’s fear. The same applies to comforting the fearful horse....

31.3. 2020

Cooperative Equine Veterinary Care: Way to go?

What is cooperative veterinary care? What is it based on? Is it useful for dealing with horse patients? Can every horse learn to be a cooperative patient? Let’s go find the answers to these questions! What is cooperative veterinary care Cooperative veterinary care is a complex approach to the animal patient, focused on reducing the patient’s stress....

17.4. 2019

What if a horse doesn’t like vets

Making this project, I’ve been focusing mainly on the underlying causes of the horse patients’ unwanted behaviour, using low-stress and low-restraint techniques, and adding positive reinforcement, highlighting the benefits of having cooperative horses. In this article, I’d like to look at the importance of having a cooperative horse patient from a little bit different perspective: What are...

5.3. 2019

The “scary vet syndrome” in horses

Do you know why it is still more and more rare to see a vet wearing a white coat? First, because it is practical and far more comfortable (especially for an equine or a large animal practitioner) to wear jeans and a vest or outdoor jacket. And second, there is a white coat syndrome. In small animal practice, pastel colours...

17.1. 2019

Positive treat-ment: Getting started

Positive reinforcement-based equine health care is a great way of changing the unpleasant associations with the vet which the horse might have created during the earlier visits. Adding just a little bit of a reward-based training into the equine health care helps increase the cooperativeness of horse patients and the safety of vets and handlers. Where can positive...

2.1. 2019

Positive treat-ment introduction

Let’s start with something new and fresh at the beginning of the New Year! Using positive reinforcement to facilitate equine healthcare is quite a new technique compared to the traditional methods of working with horse patients. But why not to add some treats to treatment? What is positive reinforcement? Positive reinforcement is technically one of the four quadrants...

3.12. 2018

How to easily get along with an equine patient

Tired fighting with non-compliant horse patients but not so much interested in diving into the behaviour modification problematics? Here I have a few easy tips for you how to get along with horse patients safely and effectively without eliciting a defensive response. Although the biggest responsibility for horse behaviour lies on his owner, this article is addressed primarily...

28.11. 2018

Not only horses may have loading problems

Although being primarily focused on horses, I decided to dedicate this article to cats. Why? Because I have literally plenty of them! Currently, we have five rescue cats at home and about four or five half-feral cats (all of them already castrated) around the house where we have moved to. I don’t consider myself an expert on cat behaviour...

11.11. 2018

No-restraint equine veterinary care

Using various kinds of restraint techniques has a long history in horse handling and training. Some of them are currently considered unethical, while some of them (like picking a leg, nose twitch, ear twitch, lip chain or taking a pinch of the skin on the neck) are still widely used. The primary purpose, of course, is to make...