photographs are provided by Sentient Equine and others

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About Me

The focus of my journey is now on trying to help reach the tipping point in positive, scientific based horse training. To bring science into the work, and training out of the dark ages. Having seen the joy that positive reinforcement training brings to both partners in the horse - human relationship over the past 17 or so years, there is no going back...

 

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"Thinking of your horse as behaving badly disposes you to think of punishment. Thinking of your horse as struggling to handle something difficult encourages you to help him through his distress."- The Concordia Connection

April 24, 2017

There is a Beatles song that keeps running through my head: “Eight Days A Week”…and even though I spent eight days away from home, it wasn’t enough time to spend with all the amazing people and horses (and ponies) I had the pleasure of introducing to EquispeakTM and the clicker training.

The weather certainly didn’t cooperate, but the humans and the animals most certainly did. Everyone embraced the work and stood by me in times of technical computer issues (many thanks for that and yes a new computer is on its way!)

I gave three clinics during the six days and a couple private lessons as well, so no wonder I was a bit tired when I arrived back home, but we were on “horse time” so the days just flew by.

In the new format for the clinics, I give the participants a set of behaviours that they can take away and use...

February 9, 2017

I thought it was finally time to write about my clinic in Denman Island that happened last year! It is almost time for this year’s clinic and there is one spot left for anyone interested. Definitely one of the best times of my year, so why don’t you join us and find out what I mean!

At this clinic we all get to play with Cynthia’s fabulous donkeys. Now we usually get some horse folk who come but are skeptical about how working with a donkey can compare to working with a horse. They are small and so should be easy. Well it doesn’t take long for the donkeys to first win them over because they are so cute, but it also doesn’t take long for them to find out that they are stronger and much more particular about their training. The people come away with a new appreciation and a better set of skills then a lot of peo...

December 14, 2016

A big part of my dream for many years is finally realized. My farm’s boarders are now ALL clicker trainers. It is so cool to go out to the barn and hear clicks and see food delivered and horses praised. There is no tension in the barn, no negative thoughts, just happy positive interactions going on. I’m also delighted to have a couple younger boarders who have embraced the work and are doing a fabulous job with it.

It has been fun to see the horses learn from each other. One of the boarders asked if I had been playing with their horse (like I have time, with 12 of my own…lol), as he was offering hind leg lifts, but the owner had never taught them. I said “Don’t you know they talk at night?” I wasn’t joking…I’m sure they do! Many people who come out to visit and have a look at the work have commented on the dif...

November 18, 2016

This year I was fortunate enough to be invited to teach at Heroncrest Stables, near Ottawa Ontario. I was there in the spring and had a great group turn out for it. I got to go back in October and thought I’d share some of the pictures and stories with you now.

In the first clinic I introduced the foundation lessons and we did a lot of human with human learning. I always start this way and often revisit it. By taking the real horse out of the training/learning process and using a ‘human’ horse it allows for the learner (trainer) to have much less to worry about while learning the mechanical skills needed.

I have covered all the foundation lessons in my early blogs here so please head on back into the history and check them out.  Many have demo videos to help you learn.

The second clinic this October followed a s...