"Hannah is inspirational. She is an equine interpreter whose patient and organic training produce real results. She is the horses’ voice and I’ve no doubt, the horses’ first choice."
Rebecca Townsend | UK
"I’m so excited!!! I have been following Shawna’s advice and I can proudly say that this afternoon I saddled Mojo at liberty for the first time ever! No broncing, bucking or even rounding of back! "
Judith Knight | UK
"I recommend the concept behind ‘target-training’ because when combined with a good lesson plan, it gives the traineran opportunity to develop a definitive and consistent way to tell the horse, “Yes, that’s it!"
"Your help and advice has been priceless to myself and Tonto. In five weeks we’ve gone from a 2 year old colt who’s been wild until his previous owner ran him into a stable forced a head collar on his head and drove him 7 hours (unknown) down to me, he was a stud clearance and faced meat man or me. I spent the next week with him snorting and stamping at me from the far side of a field. But following your advice and videos, we now find ourselves 4 weeks further on with him calling when he sees me, following and stopping at liberty, backing up on command, learning to stay, leading on a head collar gladly, walking on the road, seeing all manner of objects which are an opportunity for click and treat rather than opportunity to go berserk and leap about, and now letting me rub all over him even around bum and legs and letting me put a rug on him, AMAZING! We’ve built the most beautiful bond thanks to your advice and your videos. I’ll never thank you enough! You’ve helped myself be a better human and Tonto (not be a better horse as he was fine all along) but you’ve helped me show him we aren’t all bad 🙂 I am telling everyone about your site and hoping it makes a lot of better horse people for it! THANK YOU!"
Clare Monson | UK
"Hi Hannah, Rachel and Shawna, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the Connection Training website! I particularly like the in-depth theory presentations and how you show different horses at different stages in their training. The structured courses and Study Groups have helped me focus and be more particular in my training. All the best"
Wieteke de Rijke | The Netherlands
"Hi Hannah, I had to email you to let you know I am on SUCH A HIGH!!! I have had such amazing training sessions with Bea recently, she has been so willing, eager, amazing, kind, light, responsive……..the list just goes on with lovely words! I was just soooooo amazed, this is such a huge change in her, I feel quite emotional about it. I also feel very privileged she is working so willingly with me at the moment. Thank you!"
Dawn Emmerson | UK
"Looking forward to another year of connection training, it has really made a difference for two of my ponies. Both were previously highly strung and now one is relaxed working in hand and the other has really started to “slow down” under saddle and all thats thanks to your team, videos, Study groups and the like. Thank you VERY MUCH!!!"
Rachel Lechner | Austria
"I joined connection training about four weeks ago, and I have learned so very much during that short time. I have found all the materials on the site to be extremely easy to use. There is an excellent combination of video demonstrations plus theoretical background explanations of the learning principles which are in play. There is such a wealth of information here concerning all aspects of horse training – whether you want to work on the finer points of riding, or just teach your horse to lead nicely. Once the principles of positive reinforcement are understood, I am sure that they will readily transfer to all situations a horse may come across. He will have the tools to cope. My Horse and I are very grateful for all the help, encouragement and advice we have received from Hannah, Rachel and Shawna. We would both definitely recommend connection training!"
Elaine Hemingway | UK
"I rescued Segura in December 2012, she was a very frightened, underweight 5 year old who had only known rough handling due to ignorance, she tried to sit down when I asked to pick up her feet and go into flight mode at the slightest thing. I bought Shawna’s book “You can train you’re horse to do anything!” and watched some of her You Tube videos to get me started.It was clear in the first month that this was the way to go, but where and how ??? We were very lucky that Hannah, Rachel & Shawna launched Connection Training, I joined and it is the best money I have ever spent on my horsey education 🙂 Our progress has been amazing, we are in Spain so having an “in person” lesson isn’t possible, the coaching sessions, video lessons, Q&A’s, study groups, and videos have been invaluable to us. Within 6 weeks of starting Connection Training, Segura was relaxed enough to lie down next to me on the ground – something which I had only ever dreamt about. As we worked more dreams turned into reality, Segura now lines up at the mounting block happily and I can get on either with the saddle or scramble on bareback. She is brilliant with her feet and very confident with strange objects in fact she HAS to go and investigate what something is now as opposed to flying round in circles. I could write pages about our progress and the positive changes in our relationship, I have learnt so much and will carry on doing so, it is possible to learn via the internet and I encourage anyone to join Connection Training and the world of positive reinforcement, Hannah, Shawna & Rachel have so much to offer and other members are very supportive and encouraging too. All in all a very positive experience thank you with love from Claire & Segura x"
Claire Waldron | Spain
"There are times when you’d love to say to the horse, ‘That was right!’ and we’ve never had a way to do that. I think it’s a big hole in the system that we have. I think that this fills in that hole."
Beezie Madden | USA
"I started Connection Training when I first bought Charlie because he was a little bit bargy around food. Well, from watching Shawna’s video with Mint, I was so totally inspired, I bought a clicker the next day – I had never heard of clicker training before then and within a week Charlie was walking backward and looking away when I fed him. From there we have never looked back! I have used it as a training tool mainly and the most amazing breakthrough I had was when I COULDN’T STOP my LAZY pony from cantering on the lunge. He was so lazy I used to have chase him with a plastic bag attached to the lunge whip! One day I said enough, I made him canter with the whip, clicked as soon as he did, he stopped dead, came in for his treat and before he was back out on the circle he was cantering. For the next week I was saying, “No, don’t canter, Charlie.” I couldn’t believe it! I love clicker training and Connection Training has helped me get there!"
Susan Baker | UK
"This site is fantastic, I have jumped straight in with the course on getting your horse confident, it is so great to have a criteria to follow and I am looking forward to progressing logically with my horses’ training I just watched your video ‘How Horses Learn’ in the Getting Started Course, wow and thank- you! It is fascinating to learn about the horses brain and such an important concept about equine learning!"
Katrina Little | UK
"This method is wonderful. In one month my new horse (Bob) has learned all these at liberty: - Stop and freeze on “Woah”. - Back up with a hand signal. - Disengage the rear. - Shadowing me at the walk, gait and canter. - Standing and walking holding his head down. - Grazing with permission (head down or up with verbal cues over grass). - Send from target to target. - Side up to me for mounting from a mounting block or fence. - Stand on the tarp. - Neck flexing.His saddle arrived a few days ago, so now he knows: - Walk sideways along the fence. - Touch his own ribs (for bitless one rein stop). - Walking with head down. - Grazing with permission on the trail.We’re both loving it. So happy!"
Jodie Foreman | USA
"I’m an experienced clicker trainer but not an experienced horse trainer. I’ve been clicker training dogs for years and when I bought my first horse last August I knew that this was also the way I wanted to train my horse. But being new to horse training I needed inspiration and guidance in terms of what are appropriate behaviours to teach a horse and where do you start? Luckily I found Connection Training, which has provided tons of inspiration and great ideas for me! Whenever I’ve reached a dead end in my training I’ve logged on to Connection Training and a few minutes later, I’ve got a new plan for how to continue my training. Also the forum provides such great inspiration, and is full of helpful people. Sometimes you can feel a little alone in the “clicker horse training world” but the forum helps reassure you that you are not alone:) I Simply love what you guys do, and I’m looking forward to what’s next!"
Camilla Dindorp | Denmark
"I just wanted to tell you this story about my mare, Gertie. She came in from the field with a bad injury on her leg. When the vet arrived to see to it, she would NOT stand still – kept fidgeting and pawing, no matter how much sedation they gave her. She was just getting increasingly wound up. I finally insisted that we try to clicker train her through the process instead. I began to bridge and reinforce her whenever her foot was on the floor and she was standing still. Slowly the vet started to approach and build up to treating the wound. Gertie then stood like a rock throughout. The vet was amazed and now thinks clicker training is the best tool for gaining co-operation from horses for vet treatment! Of course, it was all the preparatory work I had done with Gertie which helped her be able to stand calmly through this process so thank you, guys! I am using the techniques to change her dressings and tend to her wound in between vet visits and it is easy and quick – without this I would have been dreading it every day! Her wound is healing well, thanks to being able to care for it properly. Anyway, just thought you’d like to hear that success story and thank you!!"
Helen Gilbertson | UK
"Paddy was in a terrible condition when we got him, he was covered in burns where he had been set on fire, he was skinny due to not been fed, his belly was full of worms, his hair was full of lice and his body was battered in scars. On the way home in the horse box all he wanted to do was sleep and we had to keep stopping to wake him up otherwise he would slip under the bar in the wagon. As soon as I got him home and in to our field he slowly mooched over to the grass and glanced back at us not sure what was happening, he was shaking with fright and went to the other end of the field every time we tried to get near him. This happened for over 2 years… The only way we could catch him was with feed, due to him being starved he loved his food, but he was still really scared when we got close. I tried so many methods to try and get paddy to trust again but nothing worked until one night I saw a live demonstration on Connection Training with Hannah. From that night on I started clicker training paddy. It took a while to initially teach him the first few stages but slowly away I saw paddy coming out of his shell and learning to trust again… I now believe paddy trusts me 100% he would always be by my side if he could be! He is now 5 years old and loves his daily clicker training lesson! Last week we passed a man who was having a fire in his front garden and he just plodded past, I couldn’t have been more proud of him! If we hadn’t found Connection Training I don’t know where we would be today! I now clicker train all of my horses, and last year I got another project ‘Little Alf’ who is my mini mini Shetland due to him having dwarfism! I have started to teach Little Alf new tricks and methods to which he loves!"
Hannah Russel | UK
"Dear Shawna, Hannah and Rachel. I am contacting you to thank you for the brilliant material in the loading and travelling course on Connection Training. My horse, Red, would go up the ramp but would then panic and run out backwards again straight away. Nothing I had tried had helped. But, when he had his target in there, everything changed! He now loves to stand in the horsebox and will travel happily. I didn’t think I’d ever get there! It took some time but, with patience, I can now take him to competitions and it is stress-free for both of us. No more worrying about whether he’ll load to go home, either! Thank you."
Audrey Dyer | UK
"I’ve used On Target Training (Connection Training) for everything from clipping ears to starting piaffe. I love any training technique that’s based on reward (positive) reinforcement."
Jane Savoie | USA
"Connection Training is great – it’s like having your instructor with you 24/7!"
Rachael Wherry | UK
"Our transitions, lateral movements, square halts and calmer jumping have all improved since I started using the clicker…he has always appreciated being rewarded for his efforts but the clicker reinforces when he has got it right and usually results in a nicker or two when we finish our session"
Jackie Atkinson | UK
"I joined Connection training at the beginning of last year after an email exchange with Dr Helen Spence. Other training approaches were not helping motivate or improve the confidence of myself or my horse, Bracken. I am pleased to report that restarting Bracken’s training with Hannah, Rachel and Shawna”s help and support is fab. I rode out for the first time in over a year on a calm, responsive, motivated Bracken in a head collar and clip on reins and felt safe and confident she was tuned in! Bracken did not want to come home – for a horse who suffered bouts of separation anxiety this is amazing! 🙂 Thank you!"
Alison Willis | UK
"This has been a great course. With a very few sessions of ‘head up’ Ellie’s posture at liberty & ridden is very different already. She can be quite stiff/ tense, something I have been struggling with for years, but is now responding to rein cues including head up, side-bend and forward down almost effortlessly… Lots more work to do, but THANK YOU Hannah !!"
Caroline Hooper | UK
"When I got my ex-racehorse, Gertie, she was stiff, unbalanced and uneven. Surprisingly for a TB, this made her reluctant to go forward! Conventional lessons weren’t getting us anywhere – instructions to try and ‘get her on the bit and get her moving from behind’ only made her lame. Luckily, Hannah showed me this approach. Although it felt slow at first since I wasn’t used to spending so much time in walk, it actually didn’t take long (just a few weeks) before Gertie felt like a different horse! She was suddenly MUCH softer and more supple (she could bend!), much more even left-right and much more relaxed and happy to go forwards. She started to come onto the bit on her own and felt really happy and relaxed in her schooling sessions. When I took her for a lesson with my conventional instructor she couldn’t believe the difference and Gertie was then able to freely and beautifully work over poles and jumps. She is now staying sound and loving her ridden work, whether that’s dressage, jumping or hacking."
Helen Gilbertson | UK
"I cannot believe that today I sat on Ace for the very first time. It was all very calm and relaxed and wonderful. I actually sat there on his back with tears running down my face. The first few times I got on, clicked, got straight off again and gave him a treat. I then started to click and treat him from the saddle, and stayed on his back for longer periods. He was so happy with this!I do not intend doing ridden work for at least another year, as he is only three years old. His riding from the ground is coming along nicely though. The connection I felt with him today was overwhelming and very very emotional. Connection training has made everything so straight forward for us. I never thought we would get to this point so quickly and calmly. Ace actually asks me to put his saddle on now. When I put it on the fence he goes to stand beside it and waits til I put it on him. He even walks away from his hay net to do so!"
Elaine Hemingway | UK
"I would be lost without your site and my horses would be too – they love clicker training. I’m going to take some time out and come to your next event regardless of where it is in the country – I need to meet the people behind Connection Training and shake your hand because you have made a dramatic difference to the relationship I have with my horses."
Sue Fletcher | UK
"Thank you so much for Connection Training! We are using it with all 4 of our girls and they love it! They range in age from yearling to 21 years. It is absolutely the most stress-free training system I have ever come across. And the ponies learn so much more quickly and easily when they are not stressed & overwhelmed."
Karen Chorney | Canada
"Hannah, Thanks so much. I got the copy of the Live Q&A recording – really good stuff! I’m enjoying all the videos and instruction so much and having fun training my gelding, Kai."
"Loving connection training, feeling totally inspired!"
Janice Evans | UK
"I have used clicker training with exotic animals before for a few years (being a zoo keeper), but have never had to start my own pony before. I knew I wanted to work with my pony in a non invasive method and knew I wanted to use clicker training but had no idea how to go about it. It was by pure luck I ended up talking to Rachel Bedingfield about rhino training and that brought me on to Hannah and Shawna as well. I attended a demo with all of them a few months later and after that I was completely sold. I knew this was the way for me. I brought home a completely untouched pony, she was rude, mugging and had never had any rules before. I have been doing the online courses with connection training now for 2 months and I am ecstatic. My little pony is super clever, a quick learner and I have to constantly find new things for her to learn as she is so fast. She is no longer pushing through me, mugging me or rude. I am constantly being told by my trimmer, yard owner, stable hands and ‘baby sitters’ what a well behaved 4 year old mare she is. I cannot wait for the future and it’s all thanks to the wonderful courses, endless videos, great network and excellent support from the girls from connection training. They are the first people I want to share my newly learnt behaviours with, they are there if pony or I have a bad day and they are always there to listen even if it’s just to say ‘YOU WILL GET THERE HANG IN’. I love this way of learning and training with my pony, we both love it. And it’s all thanks to connection training. Watch this space! Thank you so much for helping me find the way."
Barbara Dreyer | UK
"A huge thank you to Hannah for a Coaching call today. We discussed Orio’s claustrophobia with houses built close to the road and his reluctance and fear about walking by them. Well, true to Hannah, I got 10 different training plans and luckily for me training plan number 1 worked and we had the most wonderful ride this afternoon, calmly and confidently walking past the scary houses! I cannot recommend Connection Training enough!"
Jo Goliszek | UK
"I just want to say how relieved and hopeful I am to have found Connection Training and for the results I’m seeing with the “Backing your Horse” Course. At least so far, my Mustang is following along very nicely to what the videos are teaching. Seeing how smart she is, how hard she tries and how much she really enjoys her ‘work’ sessions really makes me happy too! It’s nice to see her pretty much saying “Let’s do stuff!” when I go out just to clean. Thank you Hannah and Shawna for being available and so willing to help!!"
Lisa Duntley | USA
"I have to say that all of my horses and horses in for training are benefiting from the deeper understanding about +R which I have gained from watching the various videos available on the Connection Training website and so I want to thank you all for your dedication producing these videos and for putting forwards some great scientific truths about horses and making more ethical methods become more readily and widely available to train horses. Maybe one day this will become a more mainstream training approach. Even though I have been using +R for 10 years before subscribing to Connection Training, I have found some very useful ideas to work with. I have recommended you to several students and friends and I also love the positive tone of the FB page too. Very refreshing . Thank you."
Jacquie Billington | UK
"Life with Walley has got so much better! Even the little things I learned so far made a huge difference. I used to get very very frustrated about him not moving willingly away from the barn, or just generally not walking fast enough on trail rides. I love that I now have tools to reward the good behavior, I always felt with horse training and riding before, it is so much just telling the horse that this is not what I want. So now when he starts to want to run home, and he falls back into walking, I can click and reward. And it made a huge difference. Also our connection in general increased dramatically!"
Simone Haerri | Canada
"I started the course backing your horse and it’s great, also the other courses I followed. Thanks Hannah, Shawna and Rachel for sharing knowledge. Your connection training classroom is exactly what I was looking for and what I need"
Carolien Hendrikson | Netherlands
"Connection training has transformed my life with horses after 30+ years of ownership. I had always been searching for a way to train and enjoy time with my horse that felt right. Most methods are too formulaic and I never felt confident that I could “go it alone”. Hannah’s methods are a breath of fresh air. The focus is on your connection with the horse and that is what I have been searching for all this time! Once you get that then trust builds and suddenly all things seem possible. I have had minimal help in backing my home bred gelding but with clicker training and Hannah’s guidance I have gained huge confidence in our abilities (mine and Beau’s) to work through things together. We go at our own pace and we listen to each other and react to feedback. This is so much healthier than blindly following a method set out in stone to apply to all horses. The pressure is off and we are enjoying our time together and that is the single most important factor for me. Thank you Hannah and Connection Training!"
Lynne Hockney | UK
"I definitely have a highlight of this year. I’ve been clicker training with my mare Joy for quite a few years. I always focused on her behaviour instead of her emotions. She did learn the behaviours that I trained but she wasn’t connected to me at all. This is such a big part of dog training but I never learnt it with horses before Connection Training. When I was training Joy I pictured Hannah, Shawna and Rachel on my shoulders and started reinforcing moments when she was relaxed and focused on me. Now everything has changed!"
Suzy Deurink | Netherlands
"I’ve got some good stuff to report. I’ve gone in to Connection Training head first now. I have two horses, one I’ve had for 26 years called Kitty. The other is Dut and she came 6 moths ago completely shut down. Now we’ve got to the stage where she is confident and she has a voice. "
Jackie Stagg | UK
"My highlight for this year was watching all of the videos on Connection Training. It’s so life changing. I can’t say enough good things about it. Rachel, your stuff is important and really adds a level of understanding that I don’t think would be there otherwise. My horse highlight was Eclipse being able to walk trot and canter happily with bags of cans dragging on the ground..over tarp!"
Melissa Deal | USA
" Getting help from Rachel via coaching calls has made a huge difference to my horses. The biggest thing has been a change in Muru’s mood, from being really over aroused to now where he is so much calmer about everything. The change in him has been amazing. My other horse Dazzle I’ve had for 23 years and this has been by far the best year for our relationship and the communication between us. All three of us are much more relaxed and having much more fun. "
Belinda Daws | Australia
" My biggest accomplishment this year has been the mounting block. I have had so many compliments from traditional riders on how awesome it is. It really is a testament to Connection Training. It's one of those things that when people see they get more interested in how this training works. Aslan and I started from nothing and now we are riding which is a huge accomplishment. Thank goodness I joined Connection Training or I wouldn't have known about the emotional issues and how to address them/ This has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. "
Kristen Vanderpool | Canada
"Wanted to share a success story. Here is my mare Nevada, who used to be VERY fussy about having her rear hooves trimmed. Two sessions of clicker training specifically on hooves, and this is the result. Woohoo! Thank, you guys--and my trimmer thanks you, too!"
Kay Tomlinson | USA
" 'Connection training methods have really helped me in preparing our police horses for work in the streets of Miami. Control calmness, confidence!'"
Ofc. David Patton | USA | Member of the Miami Police Mounted Patrol
"Rode my young WB today for the first time under saddle for a year. We have been doing lots of ground work with positive reinforcement - verbal cues for go and stop , to come to mounting block and leaning over his back and sitting on him bare back . Due to his previous training he disliked the saddle going on his back so we have been working on that too . He was so super . Didn't move when the saddle went on , stood at mounting block and on I hopped and off we went at a lovely relaxed walk and a responsive halt to my voice . Thank you Shawna Corrin Karrasch , Hannah Weston and Rachel Bedingfield. Love your online Connection Training course "
Donna Baker | Australia
"Just have to say that I'm so grateful for the existence of Connection Training and all the people who share inspiration, information, questions and stories. It makes me feel encouraged in a horse-world where positive reïnforcement still feels a bit off-road sometimes. A big Thankyou!!"
Frederieke van Nes | Netherlands
"Well, I’m pretty sure this won’t come as a big surprise to any of you who have been using +R for any length of time or for those of you who use it under saddle but – Oh. Em. Geeeee!!! Today was Phoenix’s first ride back since last fall and the first time I have ever used a clicker whilst riding and all I can say is I am totally blown away!!!!! In the past our training had consisted of the “make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult” philosophy (yes, sadly, I drank the kool-aid)… but I swear today she learned more in 20 minutes than I ever got accomplished all last season – and all without stress!! I mean, I had a feeling it was going to be good but I had NO idea how good! And to say she was delighted to be getting treats along the way would be an understatement haha 😀 I will be sointerested to see how she reacts tomorrow when it’s time to work, I bet for the first time ever she will look actually forward to it. Man, this just feels amazing!! Cheers 🙂"
Lisa Bird | Canada
"Hi to all,
Charmaine Cacciola | Australia
"I really don’t think I would’ve gotten as far as I have with my semi-feral miniature mule if I’d been trying to use anything but positive reinforcement. He’s crazy smart – in very brief, infrequent training sessions (I’ve been treating a melting corneal ulcer in one of my foals for almost 6 weeks, and it’s left almost no time for anything else) he already stands quietly for haltering, leads at a walk and trot, walks with me at liberty, stands without a halter for me to pick up his feet, turns his face away politely to ask for a cookie, steps onto a mat, and wears a fly mask. Amazing how easy it is to introduce something new, like the fly mask, velcro and all. It goes from “it’s going to eat me!” to “sure you can put that on my head and cover my eyes, what evs” remarkably quickly. Magic, I swear."
Kendra Gale | Canada
"Had to share! Rode Stormy for the first time without lunging first, in a very gusty southerly wind that started early this morning. He was so focused on the clicks and next cue he didn't even notice the wind at all. He forget he should have been on high alert due to fresh winds gusting by. So pleased with how our +R backing experience is going"
Sharon Louise Furlong | Australia
"I currently lecture H.E students at Duchy College in Cornwall, England. At the college we run a foundation degree in Equitation, Behaviour and Training, a BSc in Applied Equitation Science and an MSc in Equitation Science. As part of all the courses students learn about a wide range of different training methods, including clicker training. I use Connection Training material to support my teaching on clicker training. I think it is vital that our students have an in-depth understanding of ALL approaches to training horses, and the Connection Training material allows them to see first -hand how clicker training works and what can be achieved using clicker training. The materials are a valuable resource for both staff and students. "
Dr Sue Horseman | Duchy College