Author Archive | Mary Hunter

Fish Genius!

The fish training kit I use was developed by Dr. Dean, of the R2 Fish Training School. The BBC has just produced a short clip of one of his star pupils, Comet, for it’s program Animals at Work. It’s pretty great to watch him performing all of his tricks. Blaze, the fish I’m training, is […]

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How is Strangles Transmitted?

I just finished reading an interesting article from The Horse about the disease Strangles. I had always been told (and had read in at least several places) that the strangles bacteria, Streptococcus equi, stays in the ground for years and years and years. This is why many people are quite afraid of Strangles, not only […]

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Who really needs a fork?

My mother has been reading David Freeman Hawke’s Everyday Life in Early America. Here’s a quote she shared with me: Spoons were the essential utensil at the table. Knives, if they turned up, were pointed and used to spear food from the common serving dish. Forks did not appear until the eighteenth century. There were […]

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How to Praise a Fish

Many animal trainers that use positive reinforcement and operant conditioning rely on a clicker or a certain word (such as “Good!”) to mark correct behavior. The marker sound or word functions as a secondary reinforcer. It’s paired with food over and over again until the animal associates it with good behavior. Then, when you give […]

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Time For Horses

I spent the better part of the afternoon sitting on the ground picking bunches of grass and feeding them to a big blue-eyed brown and white paint horse. He’s still not at all sure he wants to be my friend, but he started being convinced by the end of the session. I had a friend […]

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