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Training Approach

Shaping Behavior: Human-Horse Harmony in Action

Happy horses and handlers have a clear system of communication that makes it fun to try new things together.

Although I ride and compete as an amateur and thus do not take on clients, I am around almost all the time and happy to help answer questions or help solve problems as they come up when I am available. My approach is to assess the horse, the handler, the environment, and the end goal, and to find a "win-win" approach that will keep both the horse and their person happy, confident, interested, and continuously learning. I don't "force" horses to do things, I want them to think on their own and develop habits of behavior that enable them to excel. No horse or rider is perfect, on the contrary, most of the time there's a big gap between "perfect performance" and the current state of affairs, but the fun is to figure out what next small step can be taken to increase trust, confidence, harmony, and try. I'm always testing, then assessing, then refining. The goal is a balanced, confident, attentive, and happy human-horse relationship, with 80% of the time reinforcing what's working well and 20% pushing to the next level, and knowing when to give time to think, to breathe, to try again if necessary, maybe in a different way that leads to understanding the challenge and ready to get a little better next time.

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2901 Barracks Rd.
Charlottesville, VA 22901