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Don’t worry, I’ll click when he stops!

So what do positive reinforcement trainers (more commonly referred to as clicker trainers) do if your horse is about to run into traffic? Let them cause a huge accident because stopping them isn’t positive reinforcement?

The short answer to this is that in the moment, if an emergency situation arises and all else fails, of course we’re going to do whatever’s needed to keep everyone safe – even if that means something like pulling hard on the halter or waving a rope in front of the horse; things we never do in training or in the course of everyday life.

The long (and much better) answer is that we have many ways to reduce the chances of having to do those aversive things, even in an emergency; as shown in the cartoon.

dont worry

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The Four (Emotional) Quadrants of Operant Conditioning

After a huge and positive response to this infographic I will definitely be making more like these. 🙂

Emotional Quadrants

“Thank you Fed Up Fred for a lovely clear illustration, now send it to Countryfile.”


“This is such a good graphic! The problem is people tend to think “positive = good” and “negative = bad” – not “positive = applied” and “negative = removed”. Very very good of you to make this graphic – I think it’ll clear up a lot for people.”


“This is excellent…best illustration I’ve seen. Can we share it and reproduce it in teaching, please? With full honours, of course!”


“Perfect illustrations as always! They explain it so well in an easy way.”


“Great Job! I love your illustrations.”


“Are we allowed to print it out and put it up at the yard?”


“Thank you that is really well displayed – can I use it in one of my presentations or is it copyrighted?”


“This needs to be on a t-shirt”


“This is seriously like a revision poster for one of my animal behaviour modules.”


“Fantastic!! I want this as a poster, so we can hang it in every barn and riding centre. Fed Up Fred; Can you please open an online store ?”