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Desensitization & Sensitization: Background learning in horses

We are always learning, and so are our horses. Learning that happens “in the background” or outside of our conscious awareness is called non-associative learning. Two important parts of this form of learning are desensitization and sensitization.

The meaning of these terms is quite simple, one means getting used to something and the other means becoming more sensitive to something.

These processes are an essential part of daily learning and behavior, and they can act in ways that are beneficial for our lives with horses or in ways that make the activities we do with our horses more difficult.

Today we are going to explore the meanings of these terms and take a look at a few examples of how they work.

What is one thing that your horse needs to become more sensitive too or more accustomed to? It can be an activity you do with your horse or something in his an environment.

For more on desensitization you can read this article: Methods of Desensitization

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