Approach conditioning is a habituation technique used by Equitation Science practitioners like Jody.
It’s a technique that combines the horse’s natural tendency to explore unknown objects with positive reinforcement from their rider or handler.
When using approach conditioning, the rider or handler is stimulating the horse to approach the object that it fears, which is then moved away as the horse approaches.
It is part of the principles of learning theory explored within Equitation Science and including in Jody’s online training program “Principles Of Horse Training”
Why use approach conditioning?
We don’t live in bubbles, and there will always be a time when your horse will find something scary. This could be simply out hacking or when you head out to your next show.
Teaching your horse how to cope when things a scary helps build trust and helps create a stronger safer relationship between the two of you.
It also teaches your horse how to manage itself when it sees something scary and gives it the tools to cope.
How to teach your horse to approach scary objects
Here is a snippet of the video ‘Approach Conditioning’ where Jody runs through the fundamental teaching with her young dressage horse.
She explains the timing of your aids and how you can use this approach in many ways to help build your relationship with your horse.
To access her entire series, join us here and take your Dressage Training to a new level by learning from the best. We hope you enjoy it.
Get access to the full video plus over 4 hours of Jody’s teaching with her online training program ‘Principles Of Horse Training.’
Want to learn more from Jody? Check out these articles
How to get your horse in front of your leg
Equitation Science – Cues + Signals
Want to improve your dressage riding off your horse?
Check out our sister site Dressageridertraining.com
Improve your riding posture off the horse
Glute strengthening exercises for dressage riders