Happy Happy Horses and Karen Pryor comes to UNT

grazing horses

Spring is in full bloom in Texas. Green grass, green trees and lots and lots of blue bonnets and other lovely wild flowers! The horses are enjoying the weather. They’re kicking up their heels and then burying their heads in the wonderful spring grass. I’ve been busy too, playing with the ponies as well as busy with things at school. I’ve been opting for playing with the horses rather than updating the blog!

We’ve been working on getting all of the rescue horses that are available for adoption up on petfinder. This is a huge task, as it involves taking photos, editing photos, writing descriptions, and so on. Here’s our petfinder page, which has a link to the listings of the 2 dozen or so horses we currently have listed. There are a few more to add, but we’ve made good progress and now have the majority of the horses listed. We have also had quite a few people interested in adopting horses in the past couple of weeks, which is very promising.

Karen Pryor came and spoke at UNT a little over a week ago. She spent the day with ORCA (an animal training lab in UNT’s behavior analysis department) and we all had a blast. During the morning and early afternoon many of the ORCA members had a chance to present some of the projects they are working on and get feedback from Karen Pryor and the rest of ORCA.

There are some really interesting research projects going on right now. Many of the current projects are examining some of the procedures that are commonly used in the clicker training community that have never been examined formally. Everything from microshaping to performance cues and from increasing creativity to putting unwanted behavior under stimulus control.

Karen Pryor also gave a free public lecture in the afternoon. Man, the room was PACKED!! It was neat to see a wide variety of people in attendance, graduate students and faculty members from the behavior analysis department, quite a few undergraduate students and many dog trainers and others from the community. We had people sitting in the aisles and on the floor up front, spilling out the doors!

Dolores Arste and Kellie Snyder both came to dinner with ORCA and we had some lovely conversations about negative reinforcement, extinction, resurgence, desensitization, and CAT (constructional aggression treatment). I’m currently in the process of writing a longer post on some of these issues, some of it is quite eye opening!

Here are some pictures from the past weekend of, as the title says, happy, happy horses. Enjoy them and I hope you are enjoying spring with your animals.

Trophy rears
Mouse sleeping in the hay
beau grazing
autumn standing
chardonnay grooms chico
chico the donkey under the tree
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