Learning Schools and How to Avoid Tribalism

Cayuse Communications has published many articles on horses’ learning processes. We’ve featured pieces on optimal learning and long-term potentiation, the role of attention, dopamine/reward cycles, and negative reinforcement. Our article on the cons of clicker training drew a lot of attention from the training method’s fans and detractors […]

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Sun, Snow, Snoozing

I have a pet theory on snow-and-sun-induced snoozing: During a winter storm, horses get a bit stressed. It’s windy. Visibility is poor. Conditions are in flux. Afterwards, the sun comes out and everything is quiet, peaceful, and bright. The sun warms horses’ coats. The birds […]

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Cribbing: What’s Good to Know

What is a smile or a handshake? The answer is like a Matryoshka doll with another doll inside it and then another doll inside that one. Sure, they’re gestures of welcome. But neurologically speaking, they are the manifestations of a bundle of voluntary and involuntary […]

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Will Evidence-Based go the way of Natural Horsemanship?

When does a term outlive its usefulness? Decades ago, “natural horsemanship” started out as a term to describe what was, for the most part, a more gentle, thoughtful, from-the-horse’s-perspective type of work. The phrase was used prominently by Pat Parelli and it soon became shorthand […]

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Dr. Sheryl King: Demand Evidence, Question Traditions

Editor’s Note: We hear this week from Dr. Sheryl King, a returning presenter at the Best Horse Practices Summit. King is professor emeritus of Southern Illinois University and one of the most popular presenters at the inaugural Summit, will present on forage-based nutrition: King writes: “The […]

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We talk with NY Times’ David Philipps on Wild Horses, Part I

Editor’s Note: New York Times reporter, David Philipps, is the author of Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustangs. Taking on a topic that is rife with politics, intransigence, and polarizing factions, Philipps manages the near-impossible: an intriguing through-narrative with fair […]

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Why Horses Don’t Get Frostbite

Editor’s Note: Horses are dramatically different mammals than humans, and, yet, we continue to treat them as if they had the same physiological conditions and needs. In this post, Best Horse Practices Summit board member and Southern Illinois University professor emeritus Dr. Sheryl King helps […]

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Donkeys: “We don’t need no stinkin’ blankets!”

In winter, equines are generally best off if you provide them with plenty of hay and the option of shelter. More specifically, Best Horse Practices views blanketing as not only unnecessary but potentially harmful in most horse-keeping situations. Read more about that here. What, then, […]

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Is Stress Good or Bad?

Recent research on stress and learning in horses, conducted by a group of French scientists, has made a splash in horse media. The study, titled “Stress Affects Instrumental Learning Based on Positive or Negative Reinforcement in Interaction with Personality in Domestic Horses” involved work with […]

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Links for Junior Scientists & Curiosity Hogs

We’d like to think that BestHorsePractices can point you to better sources than, say, your average Facebook newsfeed. Here are several interesting, science-related articles for your consideration. They are not necessarily horse-y, but if you’re a lifelong learner, constantly curious and gravitating to new insights, […]

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