"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...

September 10, 2016

This blog is written again by Carolina who is living and learning for a while with The Pony Fairy, Monty Gwynne. And in the photos, she’s almost starting to smile!

Living in Fairyland oddly keeps reminding me of the old fairy tales. You remember how pretty much every fairy tale ended, “and they lived happily ever after”? Well, it seems to me in our world “ever after” is a rather short while. We all have a backpack with old feelings, habits or pattern which we take everywhere – even into Fairyland. I think, especially when we are trying to live our dreams or feeling really good, our subconscious mind thinks “Hmm, maybe it is time to have a look in that backpack and find out what needs some of this positive energy which is around.” And all the sudden something shows up. To me it was my inner perfectionist once a...

August 10, 2016

The following post was made by Carolina W. She has been here about two weeks now and will be here a few more. She is from Germany and her family raises Fjords.  She contacted me early this year asking if she would be able to come and learn from me. She has taken Alexandra’s online course but  wanted more!

Do you remember the old fairy tales you were told as a child or read yourself being a little older? Do you remember all these feelings in there, the whole variety of feelings we all (sometimes) have? Like fear and anger and love and hope, new unthought-of possibilities or help showing up while wandering around in a dark wood? Even fairies show up to help you out for your dreams coming true.

Right now, just for a little while, I live with a fairy and all her horses and ponies. She is The Pony Fairy. T...

July 13, 2016

This month’s blog is all about an amazing lady who inspires me and everyone who meets her. Her name is Bernice. Her horse’s name is Altea and together their ages total well over 100. Altea being 20, so you do the math.

Bernice and Altea have been at my barn for about a year, but I’ve known Bernice for many years. She was originally my teacher when I was at University and was fondly referred to by all the students as ‘the dragon lady.’ You did not mess with her.

Bernice had been doing work with the clicker for several years with me off and on at another barn where she was boarding for several years. Zack, her old Arab, had been trained by a wonderful fellow and knew how to do lots of things, including some high school dressage, but he was getting on and had many health issues so things, while they progressed, we...

May 6, 2016

I had the pleasure of teaching in Ottawa this past weekend. There were a great group of ladies with many, many years of combined horse experiences, but only a few who had been exposed to clicker training, and most of those through the dog world, so it was very exciting to see all of them get excited about the possibilities with the horses.

As the weekend unfolded and they could see just how fast the learning occurred they got very excited about all the possibilities for their horses.

The horses we used in the demos were a good cross section with regards to exposure to the clicker work.

It went all the way from Carter who was a rescue and Anne his owner did a lovely demo for us all of all the work she had done using the clicker to get him from a horse referred to as dangerous into a lovely confident fellow who lo...

January 7, 2016

Well, 2015 certainly zipped by. I have now had ‘U’ for a bit over a year. Many people would not have been happy taking this amount of time to get to where we are in our relationship, but I have both the luxury, and experience to be able to do feel confident in this decision. And ‘U’ has certainly proved it to be the correct decision.

‘U’, when he first arrived, did not want anything to do with humans. He would stand with his head in the far corner of his stall, not wanting any interaction at all. He was an angry and depressed fellow. Never was he mean or nasty but definitely not a fan of interacting.

I introduced him to novel behaviour that would have no negative associations with them and made sure is was told he was right and wonderful for doing these simple behaviours like targeting and standing on a mat. Tr...