Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #489
Horsing Around with ABA: What Riding a 1,200 Pound Animal Can Teach You About Behavior
Monday, May 29, 2017
4:00 PM–4:20 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H
Area: AAB
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Lisa M. Todd (Wayne State University School of Medicine)
Horsing Around with ABA: What Riding a 1,200 Pound Animal Can Teach You About Behavior
Domain: Theory
LISA M. TODD (Wayne State University School of Medicine), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: In most applications of applied behavior analysis, the intervention program is planned in advance, data are taken, and results are plotted objectively. Programs are often planned just as carefully for non-humans. In most cases, the data analysis and other critical aspects of the program are done at relative leisure, in an office or planning meeting, and then applied at some other time. However, when the behavior to be managed is that of a horse, perhaps one traversing a jumping course at a gallop with the behavior analyst on top (and hoping to stay on top), the nature of the programming must change. Advanced planning gives way to the unplanned use of immediate contingencies. Detailed knowledge of behavioral sensitivities and idiosyncrasies becomes critical. The clever use of incidental contingencies sometimes supersedes the use of clickers and other kinds of programmed reinforcement. This presentation describes some interesting and critical aspects of this kind of real-time behavioral intervention–one in which the life and safety of the interventionist might literally be dependent on split second decisions–and how expert horse trainers, who have no formal knowledge of behavioral contingencies, are nevertheless practical experts at their application.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh