I have loved horses all my life, and although I grew up in a city I was lucky enough to spend my weekends and school holidays at a local riding school. I learned a lot about the practical side of riding and caring for horses, and built good relationships with a lot of the ponies, but always had a feeling that there could (and should) be more to the relationship than just riding and hard work. It wasn’t until years later when Honey, my first horse, was on box rest following an injury that I discovered the fun of clicker training to give us things to do and think about while she was recovering. It was clicker training (and later Connection Training) that showed me the missing part of the puzzle: the horses weren’t enjoying the relationship as much as the people were. Once the horses were given the opportunity to both understand and truly enjoy what we were doing, it became much more fun for all of us.
I enjoy teaching all aspects of horsemanship, and I consider that my job as a coach is to make horsemanship fun – as fun for the horse as it is for the handler. I have had first-hand experience of when things go wrong, and when both handlers and horses can lose confidence in each other. I have helped many partnerships rebuild their relationship, using the principles and process of positive reinforcement to overcome fears and doubt, and to create a bond that is strong, deep, and secure.
I am a Connection Training Coach, with a specialty in obstacle training and Horse Agility; I am a Horse Agility Accredited Trainer and have been European Horse Agility Champion (liberty or on lead) four times with my little rescue pony, Pip, and my donkey Molly, who was also Reserve World Champion donkey in 2017 – proudly taking positive reinforcement right to the top of international competition! I offer online coaching to clients worldwide who would like support and assistance training their equines (of all types) with positive reinforcement. I also teach regular monthly Horse Agility clinics in the UK, and I love using obstacle training to help horses and humans overcome their fears and worries, gain confidence in each other, and learn new ways to communicate using empathy, emotional awareness, and of course positive reinforcement.
Judith's 2021 Presentations
Setting up for Success – Before you Start :
We all want to be successful with our horses, but the success we strive for can be elusive. In this first part of a four part series we will look at the things which can make success less likely before you even start your training session. Sometimes they are easy to recognise, but some are much more subtle, and can affect our horses in a variety of different ways. We will see real life examples of how things went wrong, and also look at how we can address the problems to get ourselves, and our horses, back on the road to success.
Setting up for Success – Fighting Fears:
Have you ever ridden or worked with a ‘spooky’ horse, one who jumps at his own shadow, is terrified of everything, and tries to run if anything looks different from one day to the next? It’s no fun always being on the lookout for potentially scary things so you can be ready for him to spook. But imagine how much worse it must be for your horse to be living that close to the edge all the time! In this second in the four part series we will see how fear can affect our horses, and what you can do to help your horse build confidence with the things he finds scary.