Table 1

A sample list of tasks (and their relative level of complexity) associated with racing, show-jumping and dressage training
Discipline Task Type of learning process Task complexity
Racing (all types) Loading into the starting gate. Habituation and operant conditioning (negative reinforcement) Low
Racing (all types) Increased or decreased speed of gallop in response to aids (bridle, leg and crop) Operant conditioning (negative reinforcement) Low
Racing (National Hunt) Jumping Motor-coordination None
Show jumping Increased or decreased collection in response to aids (bridle, leg and crop) Operant conditioning (positive and negative reinforcement) Medium
Show jumping Jumping Motor-coordination and operant conditioning (positive and negative reinforcement) Medium
Dressage Specific dressage moves ranging in complexity from collection to piaffe Operant conditioning (positive and negative reinforcement) Medium-high

McBride and Mills

McBride and Mills BMC Veterinary Research 2012 8:180   doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-180

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