"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

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...

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...

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...

September 25, 2014

I wanted to share Alexandra Kurland’s reply to a recent question posted in the online course forum here, as it says so many things that people new to clicker training need to know, and there was no point in writing my own version as she writes so much more eloquently!


There are several parts. This week is part one. Enjoy!

This post is about a recent conversation on safety and how to manage a horse who was getting excited and kicking out when he was being turned out. What I’m adding is more general philosophy rather than what-to-do recipe.

Keys to the Kingdom

Where to begin and what to add to the conversation? That’s always the question. So I think I’ll begin at the beginning – both of the course and of my own training journey.

I know when people are first joining the course, they are eager to get going. That firs...

July 15, 2013

I like to relate grown-ups and duration by suggesting you look at it this way. You and I are having a great conversation, you have my attention and I have yours. We are responding to each other’s emotional bids. Now along comes a friend of mine. I now ignore you and talk to my other friend. How would you feel? Left out, upset, wondering why you aren’t being included in this conversation? Part of how you feel will depend on your understanding of what is going on. If you are young and still learning the rules of social interactions I should not expect you to wait long before expecting my attention or at least acknowledgement.

A two-year-old human toddler will need to be reinforced more frequently for his quiet waiting than say your husband who has figured out how this works. So, while I can expect my clicker sup...

May 21, 2013

This series of lessons, showing you how to use the foundation lessons of Alexandra Kurland’s clicker training, though they appear very simple, were very carefully designed. If you progress systematically through them, you will see amazing results from your horse and reap unexpected benefits to your relationship.

Each lesson presented will explain another section of the “polite horse” rule book to your horse. The lessons will also address a whole host of issues such as barging, pushing into you with their shoulders, rearing, biting and shying to mention a few.

Now, I know you’re going to be eager to go out and try this with your horse but, before that happens, we’re going to begin by perfecting the basic mechanical skills you will need to be a great clicker trainer.

We start by having people work on these lessons...