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

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...

April 18, 2014

In this blog, I am going to explain in more detail how to teach trailer loading using clicker training.

The featured horse in the article and videos on this blog is Oli, a delightful, but very large, Warmblood, three-year-old gelding. Sarah, his owner, decided to train him when she first got him as a two-year-old with clicker training. Over the last year and a half or so, they have progressed through the foundation lessons, started the in-hand work, which has produced a very balanced young horse, who carries himself in amazing balance and self-carriage and he has recently been introduce to being ridden using clicker training. Trailer loading was another thing Sarah wanted to teach in preparation for horse shows.

Having done all the foundation lessons, Oli was very familiar with mat work and targeting so continu...

September 10, 2013

I hope you played with mats and moving them to different locations last week and worked a bit on building duration as well after your horse was ok in the new locations. This week we are going to add in a couple more components.

The first one is playing the targeting game on the mat to make the mat an even better and more interesting place to be. So, you will hold up your target while he is on the mat and reward for his touching the target with his nose as well as clicking and treating for his just standing on the mat.

Before you try the trailer you need to make sure your environment is set up to make him successful.

Try and place the trailer (hooked to the truck!) in an enclosed area so that you can turn you horse loose to find the mat. If you have trained the exercise on a lead then introduce off lead in an enc...

May 6, 2012

Spring is here and thoughts are turning to horse shows and trail rides. This usually means we need to get our horse into a horse trailer, a task that can be quite challenging for some folks and their horses.

Trailer loading, just like any other behaviour we would ask our horses to do, must be taught before we can ask, and expect, the horse to perform that behaviour. More specifically, all the “component parts” of the behaviour have to be taught; neglecting to do this is usually why a behaviour falls apart.

So what are the “component parts” of trailer loading behaviour?

What behaviours do we need to teach before even attempting to load a horse onto the trailer?

Some of the behaviours needed will depend on the loading history of the horse and also on how you want to go about loading your horse onto the trailer. Do...

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