Lead a Horse to Water

Trudi Dempsey

Lost in the sea of horse training?

Step aboard for evidence based equine training and behaviour content.

All Episodes

Another wander through some of the crucial theories surrounding clicker training. Errorless learning sounds too good to be true- what it is all about? Stimulus control was the topic of our last weekend Train Clean deep dive and as usual there were some interesting results. Friend and colleague Sooz Foster joins me again as we take these topics down some interesting rabbit holes. High fiving cats and why extinction bursts in your horse are thankfully less dangerous, or are they? Shout out to Sooz who since our last recording has gained her IAABC certification and ABTC accreditation, check her out at her new website www.soozequine.co.uk My Improve your R+ and Trudi's R+ Coaching courses will be open again for new year intake at understandhorses.com and Sooz and I will be hosting another Train Clean Workshop in January, follow us both on FB to avoid missing out. In May 2022 we will be returning to Nine Acres in Norfolk to host our live practical clicker training workshop- limited spaces will be available soon.

Nov 26

49 min 43 sec

Sooz Foster and I recorded this episode amidst our live in person training weekend at Nine Acres equestrian in Norfolk. We dive into the detail on reinforcement routines (loops, procedures, practices...) in a light-hearted episode!  Train Clean Stimulus Control Event  https://www.facebook.com/events/168407405378673

Oct 16

37 min 31 sec

In this episode I speak to colleague and friend Maisie Wake. We discuss trick training, the ethics and methods. What are tricks and should we train them? Maisie is an Equine Massage Therapist and a behaviour consultant for both equines and chickens. She is a supporting member of IAABC, and a member of the Equine Behaviour and Training Association. She is also currently in training to be an animal physio, as it is important to her that she can offer help both behaviourally and physically. Maisie loves working with a variety of species, and started her career with work experience at two wildlife aid centres, exotic birds at Exmoor zoo, falconry training, and then many years at The Donkey Sanctuary. You can find Maisie on both Facebook and Instagram @mwaketherapy. https://mwaketherapy.wixsite.com/equilibrium

Oct 5

1 hr 1 min

Dear listener, Season 2 is upon us! Episode 1 of the new season (episode 16 as we go) is ready for you. Larri is not only a good friend but an amazing horse person. We recorded this episode earlier in the summer when I visited my old boy Moralejo (Moo) who is on retirement livery at Larri's amazing track livery Horse Haven - Holistic Livery and Ethical Training.  You can find Larri  on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HorseHavenWales and Instagram and her website is https://www.horse-haven.co.uk/ Not just a livery provider (rehab, retirement and training) but a hoof geek, a behaviour geek and an Emmett practitioner. Larri is your all round horse person and has a wealth of knowledge- go check her out...AFTER you've listened to the podcast!

Sep 3

48 min 30 sec

A question that came up on one of my recent R+ training course Q and A sessions was just too good not to answer publicly. Thanks for such a great question Sara...what do you do when your horse appears not to hear the click? In this final episode of the season I consider this scenario and offer some solutions. What do you do when your learner doesn't react to the bridge in the way you expected?  I'll be back at the end of summer with a new season and some great guests and topics. Get in touch if you would like a question answered or have any suggestions for episodes.

Jul 5

31 min 57 sec

In this episode I talk to friend and colleague Lauren Fraser, in the main, about CAT and having compassion for horse guardians that are transitioning from traditional methods. A couple of LaHtW rabbit holes and the off tangent. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Lauren is an experienced horsewoman, who has worked professionally with horses since 2006. Prior to her current specialization, Lauren taught riding and horsemanship, and trained horses. Lauren holds an Equine Science Certificate (with Distinction) from the University of Guelph, and obtained her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour (with Merit) through the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Her dissertation research looked at the behavioural effects on horses of a controversial training practice: ‘laying down’ a horse in an effort to effect behaviour change. Lauren is a Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant (CHBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is a member of the IAABC application review committee, and she was hors division chair for the organization for almost a decade. Lauren is also a practitioner member of the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), and a Fear Free® Certified Professional. In addition to working one-on-one with horse owners to address behaviour problems, Lauren presents educational events and lectures on horse behaviour to a diverse audience - monthly workshops for horse owners, online courses for veterinarians and other equine professionals, guest lectures for university equine science programs. Lauren has also worked as a freelance journalist, writing articles and press releases about horse behaviour and training for various publications and scientific conferences. Lauren owns three horses: True, an Arabian gelding, Calcite, a half Arabian gelding, and Viveza, an Andalusian mare. While she grew up riding English, she currently rides Western. She particularly enjoys starting horses under saddle and teaching life skill behaviours as well as teaching cooperative care behaviours.  A vocal proponent of shaping behaviour using positive reinforcement with all species, Lauren especially enjoys working with horse trainers and owners who may be transitioning from traditional or natural horsemanship backgrounds. Lauren lives in beautiful Squamish, BC, Canada and can be found online at www.equinebehaviourist.ca and at www.understandhorses.com where her new course on CAT will be launching very soon.

Jun 19

49 min 29 sec

Lately there has been a growth in the UK of trainers and groups labelling themselves as LIMA. What is LIMA and what is its impact on my work as a trainer and behaviour consultant? From the IAABC (iaabc.org) “LIMA” is an acronym for the phrase “least intrusive, minimally aversive.” LIMA describes a trainer or behavior consultant who uses the least intrusive, minimally aversive strategy out of a set of humane and effective tactics likely to succeed in achieving a training or behavior change objective. LIMA adherence also requires consultants to be adequately educated and skilled in order to ensure that the least intrusive and aversive procedure is used.'' Adopting LIMA is about having the equine learner at the heart of your decision making about training protocols/behaviour modification programmes. But is it a rich table of ingredients that we can pick and choose from according to our own personal ethics?  Can we be pure R+ trainers? When does R- creep in even if we didn't plan on it? My thoughts as I scratch the surface on this and more in this 13th episode, lucky for some!

Jun 2

29 min 59 sec

Starting out with positive reinforcement training? This episode delves into the pointers and pitfalls that are common when starting out. In this episode I'm joined again by Clare Young of Kindly Equine. Clare is studying the NAC behaviour qualification and I'm really pleased to announce she has been accepted on the MSc at Edinburgh university to study clinical animal behaviour. Find the podcast on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/leadahorsetowaterpodcast  find Trudi at www.equine.training and her online courses at understandhorses.com https://www.facebook.com/kindlyequine https://www.instagram.com/kindlyequine/

May 16

1 hr 15 min

In this episode I natter to Clare Young of Kindly Equine (see below for links to FB and Insta) about getting started with positive reinforcement. It's a great chat and we did go on a little longer than planned but I've left it whole as I think it works well. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it, there will be further digs into the world of the new trainer in future episodes.  Clare is currently studying Equine behaviour with the Natural Animal Centre and is hoping to be accepted on a Masters course to study Clinical Animal Behaviour. I first met Clare when she began training equines with R+ and I travelled to meet her in Hampshire. Since then, I have come to know her as the QUEEN of learning environments- she is meticulous at setting up her learners for success and strives to create comfortable and fun learning opportunities. https://www.facebook.com/kindlyequine https://www.instagram.com/kindlyequine/ Books mentioned in this episode: The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat, Bradshaw and Ellis Equine Empowerment: A Guide To Positive Reinforcement Training, Jessica Gonzalez Connection Training: The Heart and Science of Positive Horse Training, Hannah Weston and Rachel Bedingfield

Apr 7

1 hr 15 min

Your horse appears a little 'out of sorts'. Advice from your trainer to push them through it doesn't sit well. Is your horse trying to tell you something? In this episode I talk about the signs of a horse in discomfort or pain and how to trust yourself in recognising those signs. Catch up with me at www.equine.training and find my new interactive course at understandhorses.com The equine pain face information here Sue Dyson's ridden pain information here

Mar 9

27 min 35 sec

In this episode Sooz Foster (check out previous episodes for her bio) and I dig down into patterns and how they can help us help our horses. Adapted from Leslie McDevitt's pattern games for dogs, these simple devices can ease anxiety for you and your horse especially for horses that struggle to leave home because of separation based anxiety. Join the Creative Patterns for Horses group on FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/123550816354507 to find out more about patterns. Apologies for some sound issues from Sooz at the start and interruptions from my dogs- real life problems! You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com, sign up for news of my upcoming interactive online course- six weeks of lectures and feedback on your training! Find people mentioned in this episode: Sooz Foster at https://www.facebook.com/sfequine Leslie McDevitt at http://www.controlunleashed.net/

Feb 24

44 min 57 sec

Touchy about targets? No, really I'm not! I just love good, careful and clean teaching of handheld target behaviours (and all other behaviours of course). Targets are often used to lure forward movement- again I have no issue with this WHEN DONE WELL. Listen while I ramble through my thoughts on the subject and gather your own thoughts too. Who is targeting for? When should handheld target training be part of your plans?  More to come in future episodes: how to train handheld targets, targets as lures, undoing the damage when targets go wrong, cues to help when targeting, mats (and other objects) as a target... Send me your training tips for targeting, share your target pics and video on the Lead a Horse to Water FB page!! My piece on targets written for the IAABC Journal https://fall2020.iaabcjournal.org/target-training-for-horses-hit-or-miss/ Find me at equine.training on Facebook and Instagram

Feb 6

30 min 58 sec

Thank you all for the amazing support and for listening in. Please reinforce me as you see fit by sharing this episode and by getting in touch with any questions, suggestions or just to say you've listened! You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com Email me (contact via my website) or message me - I WILL  get back to you. Fire your suggestions at me for future podcast themes, guests and  questions you'd like answering or just let me know how your training and behaviour change is going. In this episode (7) I was joined by Dr Dorothy Heffernan to talk about improving behaviour issues and welfare through changed management and enrichment. This is a topic close to both Dorothy and my hearts but it is an immense subject so do check out the links below to Dorothy's Facebook page, Horse's Under Our Skin, and to the resources she recommended. Dorothy can be contacted through her Facebook page. Dorothy is a psychologist based in Scotland who applies her knowledge of learning, cognition and neuroscience to help horse guardians improve their horses’ lives through a changed approach to management, training and environment. She uses a force-free approach to training and enjoys making science fun and relatable. Since 2013, she has written a blog about horse behaviour, Horses Under Our Skin, helping people understand why their horses act the way they do. She is an endorsed trainer of the World Bitless Association and helps horse owners transition to bitless riding using positive reinforcement techniques. In addition, she works with horse, pony and donkey owners using an evidence-based approach to resolving behaviour issues from handling, riding, transporting and husbandry problems.  She has been a chartered member of the British Psychological Society for nearly 20 years. In the podcast Dorothy recommended Rachael Draaisma's book Language Signs Calming Signals Horses and The Equicentral System Contact Dorothy via https://www.facebook.com/HorsesUnderOurSkin

Jan 16

1 hr 8 min

In this episode I speak to Andrea Harrison about positive training and adopting a growth mindset. It's a good one! I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Andrea is an educator who is passionate about all species, including horses, dogs and humans! She has taken her positive message to the media many times, including appearances on TV shows, print radio, podcasts and more. Andrea has worked with a wide variety of people as an educator for decades. The science of brain research fascinates her. Helping students of all ages be successful, reduce anxiety and stress and manage their time by using her training in counselling, personality typing, and experiences matters to her. Her competitive addictions are now dressage and scent work, though agility and eventing will always have a special place in her heart. Andrea and her animals have earned many ribbons and titles together. Her super star dog Sally was the canine lead in the feature film “Saving Dinah". Andrea attained B level Pony Club before aging out and then completed her Level one coaching certification. A passionate life learner one of her favourite parts of teaching (and coaching) is the learning it allows her to do. You can find out more about Andrea and what she is up to at www.andreaharrison.ca and you can find her on Facebook and check out the Heart Equine Academy and look for her Planning and Organization for Dog and Horse Trainers and Animal Sports People on Facebook too. The Brene Brown short animated video is here The power of empathy I'd highly recommend checking it out, at less than 3 minutes it is a great place to start resetting your growth mindset. You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com

Dec 2020

55 min 48 sec

Give me a clue! Is that a cue?  In this episode Sooz Foster and I dig deep into the topic of cues. What is a cue? When do we introduce a cue? What does a suitable cue look like? Is the environment a cue? And lots more! It's rather a long episode as we begin to unravel our thoughts on cues and it might need a couple of listens.  I mention in the podcast Understand Horses which is a new online equine education platform. You can find my current course here Understand Horses  Sooz Foster is a BHS stage 4 senior coach and stable manager she is also a ride with your mind accredited level 1 coach and certified Franklin ball coach and is currently studying behaviour with the Natural Animal Centre. She lives and works in North Devon in the South west of England. Find Sooz on Facebook at SF Equine  Thank you all for the amazing support and for listening in. Please reinforce me as you see fit by sharing this episode and by getting in touch. You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com.  Email me  or message me on Anchor or via the podcast FB page - I will to get back to you. Fire your suggestions at me for future podcast themes, guests and  questions you'd like answering or just let me know how your training and behaviour change is going.

Nov 2020

1 hr 19 min

In this episode (episode 4, I'm on a roll)  I answer a listener's question about how to introduce movement behaviour using reward based training. It's a typical scenario where we have trained a good stand calmly behaviour only to find when we want to introduce movement (walk on) our horse is stuck. I talk through some different training protocols to help if you find yourself in the same situation. Thank you all for the amazing support and for listening in. Please reinforce me as you see fit by sharing this episode and by getting in touch with any questions, suggestions or just to say you've listened! You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com Email me (contact via my website) or message me - I will get back to you. Fire your suggestions at me for future podcast themes, guests and  questions you'd like answering or just let me know how your training and behaviour change is going.

Oct 2020

31 min 58 sec

In this episode of the podcast I'm in conversation with Jenny Eicher from Equine Centred. Jenny has been involved with horses her whole life. She has a BSc in psychology doing her dissertation on foals understanding of human given cues. After graduating from university, Jenny went on to train as a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Equine Therapist. She also studied Applied Equine Behaviour to instructor level in groundwork and qualified as an Equine Behaviourist having completed the  Natural Animal Centre Equine Behaviour Qualification. A lifetime around horses  and a passion for learning have lead Jenny to study natural horsemanship and most recently positive reinforcement and clicker training. In addition to her business Equine Centred through which  she teaches and promotes standards of equine management and training in line with LIMA, Jenny has worked in the field of Equine Therapy and Counselling for 10 years as Programme Director for IFEEL  who provide qualifications for Equine Facilitated Human Development and Psychotraumatology, for the Dare to Live Trust Charity as an Equine facilitator working with military veterans and she also runs a human counselling private practice, Integrated Psychotherapeutic Solutions. Jenny combines all this with caring for her two horses and a busy family life with her young son. To sign up for the FREE Positive Equine Conference which takes place between 17th and 30th October visit the website and make sure to sign up before October 17th 2020. I personally look forward to speaking to you at the conference on Sunday 25th October at 7.00pm GMT LIMA and humane hierarchy as mentioned by Jenny. You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com

Sep 2020

40 min 23 sec

In this episode Sooz Foster and I discuss her crossover from traditional to positive reinforcement trainer and the joy that horses bring us even without the opportunity of riding. We talk about the importance of considering pain and physical issues before putting a training plan in place and Sooz shares her horse, Teddy's, journey. A BHS stage 4 senior coach and stable manager, Sooz is also a ride with your mind accredited level 1 coach and certified Franklin ball coach and is currently studying behaviour with the Natural Animal Centre. She lives and works in North Devon in the South west of England. Find Sooz on Facebook at SF Equine https://www.facebook.com/sfequine/  Check out her video of Teddy and the mounting block that we talked about in this episode https://www.facebook.com/sfequine/videos/604146673601610/ Apologies for some slight sound problems from Sooz's connection. You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com

Sep 2020

36 min 9 sec

Trudi Dempsey introducing myself (with some trepidation) to my potential six guests (OK if it's less than six I promise not to cry). Who am I, where did I come from and where am I going (someone tell me please)? Answering two of my most asked questions regarding positive reinforcement training. I'm a certified horse behaviour consultant with the IAABC offering consultations in the South West of England and evidence based training in person and online.  Fire your suggestions at me for future podcast themes, guests and  questions you'd like answering or just let me know how your training and behaviour change is going. You can get in touch via my website https://www.equine.training/equine-training-podcast/ on Facebook or Instagram and you can find my online courses at understandhorses.com Mentions in the podcast: Writtle Uni BSc (Hons) Equine Behavioural Science and Natural Animal Centre

Aug 2020

23 min 14 sec