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...

March 19, 2014

To shape a hind leg lift for hoof cleaning, I use the same basic idea as I did for shaping the front leg lift. This time I will place my hand on the stifle so that I can feel when the muscles engaged to start to lift the leg. Once again, I will take the smallest try from the horse and gradually wait for a bit more and more until he is readily lifting and holding the leg in the air.

At the point that I think he feels comfortable with me ‘holding’ the hoof, I will very lightly place my hand on the hoof wherever it may be, even if not in the final position I would like. This teaching process, just like any other, continues to be refined every time you ask for it.

You need to be careful not to click and reinforce when he swings the hind leg outward, like a cow kick. I have no issue at all with them lifting the leg...

February 20, 2014

So, how do you start getting your horse to offer to hold up a hoof?

Here are the videos that go with my article in the March/April issue of Horse-Canada.

I will share some video clips showing how to start this process with a horse (pony in this case) that has had a bit of clicker training, so understands the relationship between the click and treat and how it is linked to a behaviour we like.

These videos of Squirt were done early on in his clicker career. As you can see, he is a busy little guy so getting the timing for the click was challenging. He is one end of the spectrum while the other end is the horse that never offers to lift his feet. I will discuss the training for both types over the next several blogs, so stay tuned. I would love you to comment and ask questions if you need further clarification on...

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