Why Avoid Aversives?
What is the difference between P+ and R-?
P+ adds and aversive to reduce the frequency of a behavior.
R- adds an aversive in order to remove it when the horse performs the correct behavior.
R- essentially punishes all behavioral choices aside from the desired one in that cue context.
Emotionally to the learner, what is the difference between R- and P+? Both are about doing or not doing a specific behavior in order to avoid an aversive consequence. The goal of both is about avoiding unpleasant, annoying, uncomfortable, or even painful stimuli.

So in reference to poisoned cues. If an aversive enters your training at ANY point, whether the intention was punishment or reinforcement, or even just by accident, it runs the risk of poisoning. Not all aversives will poison a pleasant situation – but they all could. Its a risk. At some point we cross the line.

Again i ask, should we not strive for better? We can’t be perfect all the time. Life DOES happen. But should we not strive for better?