This is the story of my quest to train my three Dales Ponies for classical dressage, primarily by using Alexandra Kurland's clicker training methods, with a touch of others such as Philippe Karl and Anja Beran thrown in. I turned to clicker training because I had come up against some issues that I didn't know how to fix and because I wanted to inspire them to become enthusiatic partners. Bella and Jack are all my own work and have never been ridden by anyone else.

Bella, Grace and Jack

Bella aged 6

Bella aged 6

Treat Delivery

Jack aged 7


Monday, 10 November 2008

I read somewhere an interview with Anton Du Beke, of 'Strictly Come Dancing' fame, where he said that although dancing might not save everyone, it had been his salvation. That's how I feel about my horses - they have been my salvation; saved me from a life more ordinary.

One last, last quote from 'The Ethics and Passions of Dressage'. Right at the end of the book Charles De Kunffy writes that the "leading classes of Western society made sure that their young elite recieved an education on horseback" because:

"... horses can educate through first hand, subjective, personal experiences, unlike human tutors, teachers and professors can ever do. Horses can build character, not merely urge one to improve on it. Horses forge the mind, the character, the emotions and inner lives of humans. People can talk to one another about all these things and remain distanced and lonesome. In the partnership with a horse, one is seldom lacking for thought, emotion and inspiration. One is always attended by a great companion".

To Bella and Jack, and those who went before; the greatest companions anyone could ever have wished for.

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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!