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Trudi Dempsey

creative equine training

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How I like to train my Horses

Over many years I've read the books, taken the lessons, cried the tears of frustration and marvelled at my horse's patience. Where has this left me?

  • Firstly I fully believe in encouraging the horse to be a horse. That is to say I cannot speak 'horse' any more easily than he can comprehend my human language. My respect and understanding of all things that make him equine is essential; ignorance of this demeans him and endangers me. From this base we can form a common language and mutual trust. Understanding the basics of equine learning is important for all trainers and riders.
  • Simplicity wins every time. As Bruce Lee said "It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials." Things are much clearer when stripped back to the smallest essential parts.
  • Training horses starts with calm; look for it and encourage it.
  • Respond to feedback from the horse; your training may not always follow the chapters of the book you are studying!
  • Classical dressage trainers, historical and modern, offer us tried and tested methods of training horses, I have accepted their generosity and absorbed their knowledge but try to keep an open, enquiring mind.
  • There are indeed many roads to Rome; don't become blinded by the goal see the path before you and take one very small step at a time.
  • If you have to use physical force to stop or start something then go back, your horse isn't correctly prepared. Force is unacceptable when training horses.
  • Most gadgets are a means of covering mistakes; avoid them.

These points may give you some idea about who I am as a trainer, there  are many nuances that you can only gain from consistently working with a trainer but it will serve to give you a taste of my philosophy.

The following are just a few of the books have helped me find my way or that I feel are consistent with my general philosophy. They are in no order of preference and the last two are not equine based but may feed your curiosity in the field of clicker training/operant conditioning upon which I base much of my own basic horse training.

My book list

  • Udo Burger

- The Way to Perfect  Horsemanship

  • Philippe Karl

-The Art of Riding

  • Oliver Hilberger  

- Schooling  Exercises In-   hand

  • Anja Beran

- Classical Schooling with The Horse  in Mind

  • Alfons Dietz

- Training the horse In Hand

  • Waldemar Seunig

- Horsemanship

  • Omar Rabia

-Cobs Can

  • Paul Belasik

- Dressage for the 21st   Century

  • Karen Pryor

- Don't Shoot the Dog!

  • Susan Schneider

- The Science of   Consequences

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My Training Principles