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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Meet The Superstars

I always have some 'not schoolmasters yet' available for lessons to allow you to learn how to deal with issues that can come up when teaching new behaviours and to work on your timing, mechanical skills and foundation lessons.

 

You will not find any 'normal' horse training/riding lessons here.  You won't start learning by getting on and going. You will spend time on the ground. You also won't find any yelling of instructions or telling you to MAKE them do something! So if you are looking for a positive, uplifting, detail, relationship oriented way to learn then this is the place for you.

Snowy was the pony that I began my clicker training journey with over 18 years ago.  Bob, as she is affectionately known as, was my daughter's ponyclub pony. I bought her from Saskatchewan sight unseen. The people who had her had been doctoring a cut by tying all her feet together and then her head to her feet. Needless to say she was very shut down, so it is no surprise that her claim to fame according to the ponyclub instructor was being a minimalist... only ever doing the least possible effort to get the job done. Thanks to clicker training this pony will leave her meager ration, in the company of other hungry ponies, to come and play. Not only does she walk along in a beautiful lateral flexion, she will Spanish walk or do her version of passage or even terre a terre on a really energetic day. This is not what a minimalist pony would do... a minimalist pony would stay eating her hay! This is the power of the clicker and positive reinforcement. Bob loves to come out and help at the clinics here. She loves to show off and allow people the opportunity to feel what inhand work should feel like (with a bit of Spanish walk or passage thrown in for fun). The really fun part of playing with ponies in the work is that you can actually 'feel' like you are riding them and discover the proper shape for the exercises because you can look down on the whole pony. 

Snowy de Bobbers "Bob"

TJ

TJ is a Lusitano. He came to me with a great attitude but with some physical issues.  When any horse comes to me, I always have a chiropractor and body worker go over them first to identify and fix where they can. I then start in with the clicker work and the inhand classical work to help them relearn how to move correctly. An interesting addition to this process is the core workout (Equispeak Aware), which I've developed out of the clicker work I did when rehabbing some leg injuries on Icky. It uses purely positive reinforcement and shaping to help shut down and physically challenged horses to regain their joy , body awareness, core strength and movement.

TJ will soon be joining the superstar school masters available for you to learn from.

Flash

Flash is my main driving pony but he has a strong clicker and classical inhand foundation.  He's a clinic favorite because he loves to give kisses and hugs and who doesn’t love a kiss or hug.  He always makes everyone feel good. If you are having problems coordinating the reins, etc for the inhand or ridden work, Flash can help, as he has been taught to do this classical work without reins so that you can get the feel of the position and he is small enough that you can have your hands in a riding position without riding!

'U'

'U' is a Lusitano that was given to me because he was 'too slow' to do the performances he was needed for.  He was very grumpy when he first came and liked to put his head in the corner and hope he would be ignored.  After some of the 'you can do nothing wrong' sessions with me and high rates of reinforcement for behaviors he liked to do (but was probably told not to in his previous life) the spark came back and he is now a very eager participant, happy to show off his leg lifts, 'magic hands' and an energetic trot.  He almost demands hugs now; pretty cool for a horse who wanted nothing to do with humans. An amazing change for the better.  He is one of my clicker superstars and loves to help out in the clinics.