Rachel is one of the foremost teachers of positive horse training in the world. She has been researching and teaching about equine wellbeing and training for 25 years.
In 2004 she founded the Natural Horse Shop, applying her knowledge of equine nutrition in advising owners and supplying forage-based feeds. She also studied for an M.Sc. on laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome at The University of Lincoln. Her topic was the early detection and management of chronic conditions.
In 2006 she began to focus on two more areas of horsemanship: positive reinforcement training and rider biomechanics. She had fallen and broken her back two years previously and these two streams came together, helping her to train horses to be safer and herself to be more balanced and secure.
Her fascination with learning processes and overcoming fear brought her to study the neuroscience of emotions, led by the work of Jaak Panksepp. This helped her to develop a unique approach to understanding equine behaviour and wellbeing. She developed her own approach to confidence building which enabled her to help more people to overcome their own fear and insecurity and create confident relationships with their horses.
In 2012, Rachel and her daughter Hannah Weston founded Clix College, pioneering online seminars, video tutorials and one-to-one internet coaching for horse training. In 2014 this became Connection Training, which is now the most comprehensive online resource for positive horse training, covering everything from the basic foundations to ridden performance. Their recent book of the same name , instantly became a best seller and is quickly becoming a classic.
In 2016 Rachel realised another dream when she founded an equine rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing centre. The aim of Positive Horse Training, Spain is to demonstrate the best approach to emotional recovery in rescue horses. At the Centre, students come to learn all about positive horse training. There, working live with students, Rachel brings all her experience and knowledge to enable horse lovers to find their own special way of connecting with horses.
Rachel’s 2022 Presentations
A Ticket to Ride? Giving your Horse Choice - 16 min. 59 sec. .Day 1 Horse; Mind, Body Spirit
Does your horse love to be ridden? How do you know? Wouldn’t it be lovely if you knew that your horse was as enthusiastic to be ridden as you are to ride?
At Connection Training, we always give our horses a choice about being ridden. To do that, you have to find a way to ask your horse the question: would you like me to get on? And you have to be prepared to accept no for an answer at times, if you want to get an enthusiastic yes most of the time.
So explore with me ways to train your horse to tell you how he feels about being ridden. About how to give him a choice. And then share the delight when the answer is a big fat “YES!”.
The Many Uses of Protected Contact - 35 min. 40 sec. Day 2 Horse; Mind, Body Spirit
Would you dare to train your horse in a way that gives her complete choice to engage with you or simply walk away? What response would you get if you gave your horse such a choice?
Training in “protected contact” is a way of giving complete choice and gaining complete cooperation. A technique we at Connection Training have brought into horse training, it is being used all round the world by our students, to improve their relationship with their equines by building trust, connection, and joy.
From working over a stable door to help reduce aggressive behaviour to building top performance in the arena, protected contact is a versatile tool for everyone. Watch these examples and then go and try it for yourself. You may be surprised by the result!