In this episode I am joined by the brilliant Kathy Sierra. I came across Kathy's work near the beginning of my PhD due to her work with a fellow PhD candidate (studying skill acquisition in American Football) in Keith Davids Lab.
Kathy has been exploring using a constraints-led and differential learning approach underpinned by ecological dynamics theory for many years. This is a conversation I have been looking forward to for a long time, I know it's long but it is full of absolute gold so I couldn't edit it down.
I hope you find this episode as fascinating as I did. I know some of you will find it challenging in places because much of what is traditional wisdom in sports (including equestrianism) does not hold up under the lens of contemporary science of movement, skill acquisition, or pain science.
Kathy's area of interest is in the rehabilitation and skill adaptation of horses. She has an incredible amount of knowledge, skills, and experience in designing movement activities and learning environments/contexts that support horses to re-access their movement toolboxes. Using an ecological approach Kathy found that the horses she worked with would quickly blow past rehab and into high performance with surprising ease and motivation.
In this episode we explore a number of themes, including -
- How we can apply knowledge from neuroscience, pain science, and skill acquisition science research to working with our horses.
- Why a constraints-led approach to skill acquisition may be important for horse sports moving forward, particularly the role of self-determined motivation.
- Supporting horses to have autonomy and ownership of their movement.
- Why people and horses need to expand not reduce their movement toolboxes.
Kathy's website and information about her pain science courses and free resources.
The spider robot that learnt to limp.
Self-determination theory. How do we create optimal learning environments?
Learning the ugly zone.