Empowering Equestrians to Train their own horse with 100% Force Free & Horse Friendly methods

Posts tagged ‘Sandra Poppema’

What’s your horse’s best behaviour?

Today I posted this question on my Facebook page and the answers were pretty diverse and also surprising. When I thought about this question myself I thought back to when I got Kyra.

Kyra’s story

Kyra was 11 months old and was separated from her mom and her whole family herd three weeks earlier. Kyra was born in a nature reserve. (more…)

Click with your Horse

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by horses. Every year on my birthday and every Christmas I asked for a pony. I dreamt about riding and training horses at liberty. Of course in these fantasies the horse and I were one.

We could communicate in a way that the horse would do everything voluntarily and with ease. I never needed to use force, or use training aids like a bit, a whip or spurs. I dreamt about being friends with my horse and that he would trust me in every situation. That we really could rely on each other…

When I was older I chose to study animal management. A study in which animal-human relationships and animal welfare were key subjects.  After my bachelor degree I became a certified riding instructor. I trained horses, but I still had the feeling there should be something else out there, something better…

The traditional and classical ways of training and riding horses were too focused on getting results. There seemed no place to spent time and effort on the relationship between the horse and the rider. Something I was still longing for. I wanted to train and ride my horse, but wanted to have a solid foundation of trust and friendship first. No one seemed to teach this…

Move away from pain or move towards pleasure

When I started studying learning theory, I learned that there are basically two ways to train behaviour. We all have this in common. We either want to move away from/avoid discomfort or pain or we want to move towards pleasure.  This was when it hit me:  I was still using discomfort to train my horse. Even though I was told I was playing a ‘game’ with my horse, he was still learning by moving away from discomfort (which was called ‘yielding to pressure’ to make it sound more humane).

Apparently you can also do the opposite in order to teach behavior and use ‘pleasure’ to teach your horse new skills. Horses are like humans: we share the same emotions. Like us, horses also like to move towards pleasure.___clickertraining_hippologic

Change the foundation of your relationship

What really amazed me when I started changing my ways is that the relationship with my pony also totally changed. I used to think that I had a good bond with my pony because I trained him from the day he was born. We spent 18 years together. After changing my training approach and using positive reinforcement, I noticed that my pony was also changing. He became eager to work with me, he started whinnying as soon as he saw me coming and he even started to canter to me in the pasture. Something he normally didn’t do. He didn’t walk away, but I always had to come over and get him. In a short period of time we became really good friends and developed a partnership based on trust, which is an excellent basis for all training.

Don’t get me wrong: it wasn’t easy to throw out all the equipment that I used to force a horse into doing things. It was a process. A long process with lots of ups and downs.

_carrot_or_stick_hippologicAre you ready to change your ways?

If you are ready to make the change to a more ethical approach of horse training and improve your bond with your horse and have more fun together, let me know by sending me an email.

I offer personal coaching in which I help you train your own horse. I believe that you know your horse best. I think there is more value in you training your own horse than sending your horse to a stranger to get trained. I want you to gain the knowledge and the experience so you become the best friend you can be for your horse.

I wish for every equestrian to have a click with his or her horse.  Visit my website http://clickertraining.ca if you want to learn more about me or my training method.

Sandra Poppema
Are you interested in online personal coaching, please visit my website or send me an email with your question to info@clickertraining.ca

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About the author

This blog is written by Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASandra studied Animal Management in The Netherlands, Europe. She graduated in 1999.

Animal Management
The key focus of this Bachelor program is the management of human-animal relationships and animal welfare. Ethics, animal welfare, behaviour and human-animal relationships were key topics of this curriculum, along with biology and management. She continues to study these topics with a focus on the communication between horses and humans.

Instruction
Giving riding and groundwork lessons and training animals were always Sandra’s biggest passions. After completing her degree she worked as an editor at a publishing house which was specialized in animal books. Sandra has co-written and authored three animal books. She has published several articles about pets & horses in magazines.

During this time she also continued her education as a teacher and became a certified riding instructor with the Royal Dutch Equestrian Sports Bond. At this point she stopped her full-time job as editor and became a full-time riding instructor and gave private riding lessons and horse training sessions in the Netherlands.

Centered Riding
Sandra discovered Centered Riding in 2010 and in 2011 she became a level 1 Centered Riding instructor. She followed riding lessons with her own instructor who taught her the benefits of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques. Sandra uses NLP in her lessons to communicate effectively with her pupils and really knows how to find someone’s goals, divide them into achievable building blocks and motivate both people and horses to achieve them.

Building a lifelong bond with your horse
She loves to help horse enthusiasts improve their relationship with their horse in the saddle and on the ground. She prefers teaching private lessons because she feels riding is also ‘teaching the horse’ at the same time. In private lessons she has more time to explain not only the bio-mechanics of the rider, but also to explain the point of view of the horse and how he learns best (learning theory).

Canada
Sandra emigrated in 2012 with her husband, baby, two cats and her horse Kyra to Canada. Kyra was born in a nature reserve in The Netherlands and was feral when Sandra got her. She tamed Kyra with clicker training and started this blog. Initially this blog was to share her training methods and the process of taming her 11 month old filly and has grown into a repository of knowledge.

Now Sandra lives in Burnaby, BC, Vancouver and Kyra is boarded in a nearby stable in Delta. She is still passionate about sharing her knowledge about horse training and riding.

Websites:
HippoLogic
Clicker Training
Happy Herd

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