Rachel Bedingfield

rachel roisin (1)Connection Training  is all about the art, heart and science of training and Rachel’s role is to bring you the scientific background which supports and explains the success of your training. Students say they love the way she makes science relevant to their daily training and how she expands the way they think about horses and their lives and happiness. She makes the difficult stuff easy and the dry stuff interesting!From her original background in bringing new science, such as organic farming, into the farming world, Rachel became a “born-again” horse-owner in the late 90’s and immediately began to explore better ways of keeping and training horses. After studying the work of Monty Roberts and Pat Parelli, she formed the Natural Horse Group in 2001 with the aim of bringing the world’s best equine practitioners and thinkers to the UK. Rachel hosted courses with such luminaries as Marthe Kiley-Worthington, Lucy Rees, Pete Ramey and Jane van Lennep. Through her learning with all these people, she applied the latest science on  equine ethology,  nutrition, hoof care and training to her own horses, with excellent results. (Pic of Rachel learning “soft hands” with Mark Rashid)

At this time, she was involved in helping Abigail Hogg research her book “The Horse Behaviour Handbook”. Along with Abi, she started running courses in equine ethology and natural horse-care in their business, Horse-Centred Training.

In 2004 she started the Natural Horse Shop, bringing excellent forage -based feeds and other great new equine products into her area. She studied laminitis and equine metabolic syndrome at Lincoln University, focusing on the management of chronic conditions.

In 2006 she started to develop the UK clinics  programme for James Shaw, who’s tai chi for riding is revolutionary. For 5 years, she ran 3 courses/year for him, taking his work all over the UK and developing her own understanding and practise of riding in balance and with breath as the principle aid.

At the same time she started to train more formally in clicker training with Alexandra Kurland, and again worked with her for 5 years, being part of her prominent group of Yorkshire students who were leading the way in developing this approach.

Along with Hannah, she founded the Equine Clicker Conference in 2012, the world’s first gathering of people specializing in marker/reward training for horses. In 2013, they also included a follow-up online conference, so many more practitioners could present and students from all over then world could join in the discussions.

She was also a developer and coach for Hannah’s Clix College, which was the precursor to Connection Training, conducting online seminars, video tutorials and one-to-one internet coaching.

All along, Rachel has studied the scientific background to horse welfare and training, and travelled extensively to gain more education. She has attended many courses and conferences, always questioning the validity of presenters and checking that their approaches were based on good empirical evidence.

This exploration led her to studying the underlying neuroscience of how horses learn, information which challenges much of the accepted dogma, such as the notion of dominance hierarchies in horse herds. She is currently writing the science behind training for the new Connection Training book, due to be published in late 2015.

She loves travelling and is delighted to be meeting her online students at her live clinics and seminars.