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

August 19, 2017

I’ve been playing with some "new to the horse world" ideas. I know, I know...so what else is new!

It has been a treat this summer to have a young lady interning with me who had a fabulous coach in the dog training world. So of course we started to play with how to do horse things in more of a dog way... why wouldn’t we? After all we are out-of-the-box thinkers to start with, so why not go way out?

You always see the horse agility videos where the horse is fairly close to the handler. In the dog agility world there seems to be two styles: the close and the far. We wanted to play with seeing if we could build distance in the work that most horse people do up close.

Eggo already knew his mat work and I could send him to a mat from a fair distance, so we started playing with going around an object to get to his mat....

April 15, 2014

I was recently asked ‘If I wanted to compete and still use clicker training, how would I ever ride a whole dressage test? I click and treat for every behaviour, which means my horse stops to get his reward.’

The science and theory behind the way to do this can be a bit of a mind-bender concept for some folk, but I will try and explain it here and hope you can wrap your head around why it works.

The concept is based on chaining behaviours together. This is typically used when you have a good sized list of behaviours already established to work with.

We start by teaching, through positive reinforcement, several behaviors – for example, the foundation lessons. Once a behaviour is well understood and has a strong reinforcement history, doing the behaviour becomes pleasant and the act of doing the behaviour actually...

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