Horse-Human Communication: The Roles of Language and Communication in the Context of Horse-Human Interactions
Kieson E and Sams J
Horses have played an important role in human history and the techniques and strategies with which we interact with them is based on concepts of operant conditioning with emphasis on negative and positive reinforcement. The human-horse interactions in training are primarily based on the desires and goals of the human with the recognition that proper response to horse behaviors should be considered in order to effectively achieve the desired training goal and minimize stress. When considering the concepts of language and communication, horse owners need to consider the ethological communication strategies of horses and the role they play in traditional horse-human interactions. By including principles of interspecies communication, mutual development of language, and pro-social behaviors, it may be possible to involve horses in the decision-making processes in which they are so often involved.
Keywords: Equine; Training; Welfare; Language; Interspecies; Operant Conditioning; Relationships