Training Science Articles:
What is Clicker Training?
Terminology
The Science Behind Learning
Creating Behavior
Reinforcement
Cues
Eliminating Behavior
Stimulus Control
Building Behavior Chains
The ABCs of horse training
Stimulus Stacking
Dealing with Fear

Putting it into Practice, Ethically:
What is an Aversive?
Over-excited about Food?
Enrichment
Protective Contact
Control vs. Communication
Transition Troubles
Making it a Lifestyle
"Un-ridable"
The Importance of Choice


The ABCs of Horse Training

As of now you should know about Positive/Negative Reinforcement/Punishment (if not check out the articles). We've learned how to create and methods to eliminate behaviors, we've learned how to put behaviors on cue and stimulus control... This is wonderful, to a point. I think there is one piece of the puzzle often forgotten in our discussions.

We have the "ABCs" of learning, "Antecedent -> Behavior -> Consequence". I think in most styles of training we put far too much focus on the Behavior and consequence aspect of this and very often forget about the antecedent. Particularly in situations where we want to reduce a behavior.
Antecedents are what triggers a behavior to happen. Controlling the antecedents can be a far easier way to eliminate a before we don't like, when applicable. We can also control natural antecedents to trigger behaviors we would like to reinforce.

Being limited to the +R quadrant may sound restrictive. Many people are overwhelmed by the idea of free shaping - but controlling the situation by setting up the environment to encourage the correct answer can make our jobs MUCH easier. We can adjust our environment to encourage the answer we're looking for, so we can reinforce it.