Meet your Horse Tricks Club trainers. They’re a dedicated and passionate team from the USA and Australia, each bringing unique and varied horse training experiences.
They are kind and positive and their main aim is to guide you in achieving your goals and creating an amazing bond with your horse (while having lots of fun)!
When I was just eight years old, I took my first horse riding lessons, but the teaching was very strict. The horses did what they were told but I could see they didn’t enjoy what they were doing.
Not knowing that there was any other way I continued to ride like this for many years.
I went on to work for one of Australia’s top racehorse trainers, whose horses won all the best races.
However, I always felt there had to be a better way.
This way came when one of my horses, a thoroughbred, was injured and couldn’t be ridden for a few months. I wanted to keep us both busy, so I started exploring trick training.
This involved rewarding my horse for doing certain things, and what a difference it made!
Our relationship and communication grew so much stronger. We both had fun, and my horse showed me how much he enjoyed this type of training. Instead of being hard to catch, he would call out when he saw me and started following me around everywhere.
As our trust in each other grew, we started to explore lots of activities at liberty, without any gear – just my horse and I. We managed to accomplish things I never thought possible before discovering trick training!
Driven by my newfound passion and eagerness to understand these creatures better, I went on to study Advanced Equine Behavior at University.
Now, I live on a farm in Australia where I’m surrounded by a variety of furry and feathered friends. Each day, they further my knowledge and experience in animal training and understanding.
Finding this approach to training has been a game-changer! Every day, I’m grateful to be part of a method that makes horses and their humans happy, creating bonds that are truly special.
Advanced Equine Behavior – University of Guelph
Horse Training Management – Charles Sturt University
Horse Anatomy and Physiology – Scone TAFE
Living & Learning with Animals (Professional) – Dr Susan Friedman
Developing Behavior and Training Services – VetMed
Dr Deb Bennett
I had ridden and trained horses my whole life. I dabbled in various disciplines: reining, cutting, dressage, endurance. I have a cabinet of ribbons and buckles to show for my limited time spent showing. I even spent my twenties starting colts.
When I volunteered to take a young rescue Morgan horse named Rusty, I ‘knew’ that fixing him would be no problem.
So he ran people over and came with plenty of warnings about his behavior? I was confident I could fix him with some time in a round pen. Only I couldn’t.
All my experience hadn’t prepared me for a horse that ignored my presence and walked through me, no matter how hard I hit him. He left blisters on my hands when I tried to control him with a rope. He left bruises on any body part that got too near, with too little caution.
I nearly gave up on him. Until I saw a lady teaching her horse to play fetch. Rusty had already bit everything that came within reach. I could teach him to play fetch!
The woman had taught her horse to play fetch using food as a reward. It wasn’t a concept I was unfamiliar with. I didn’t receive any formal riding lessons until I was an adult. As a child, it was just me, my mom, and the horses out in a pasture. We played with the horses freely, not influenced by the norms of the horse world. When it became clear that our horses responded well to rewards like food or scratches, it made sense to offer them. As an adult, even as I started colts, I did the same without a second thought. Everyone got a cookie with their first introduction to the bit. This method proved, time and again, to be effective.
But fetch required a little more finesse. I went in search of guidance and found Horse Tricks Club!
In teaching treat manners, my problem horse soon stopped biting. He learned to play fetch in no time. My problem horse had become practically perfect. Rusty and I were lost down the rabbit hole, never to look back.
Dr. Temple Grandin
Trained under/interned with Don Ulmer, reining and reined cow horse trainer specializing in Arabians.
Trained with Kathy Hart, reining horse trainer.
Trained with Deb M’Gonigle, dressage instructor.
Understanding Horse Whorls
Cow Trick Training – How To Get Started
WORLD RECORD HOLDER
Guinness World Record for most tricks performed by a cow in one minute (2022)
My world opened up when I found Reward Based Training. I then began to learn in leaps and bounds. I found that along with my enthusiasm to communicate, the horses responded with the same amount of enthusiasm toward me. I discovered the secret language. All doors in the equine world began to open in more ways than one. I learned not only how to communicate with them, but then observed how to interact through my own body language and understand the body language of the horses. It became a loud but silent conversation. I found that if I listened to and respected the horse, everything else fell into place. I have since been on the never ending journey to continue to be able to fine-tune my ability to connect with all horses. I now also explore equine body work to ever increase my ability to listen to horses.
I now enjoy living a quiet rural life in Australia with my herd of horses. I use Reward Based Training to teach everything from husbandry to fun tricks, agility and riding.