Sweet Tank

A long time ago…

I grew up volunteering at a horse rescue and dreaming of a way to work with and rehab horses with kindness, gentle compassion, and clear communication. I wanted our horses to enjoy being with us as much as I enjoyed being with them.

As a young adult I got my first horse, and she set out to teach me everything I had wish I knew, of course I had to learn the hard way. She taught me that all the traditional and natural horsemanship methods I had been studying and obsessing over were all based in the same concept, make the horse uncomfortable until they do what we want, then stop. And she told me, “NO”, she wasn’t going to put up with that, if I wanted to use those methods I would need to escalate the aversive to a level I would never be ok with. So I needed to find a new way.

This is when I made a special friend who saw my situation and genuinely cared enough to reach out and tell me what my horse was trying to show me. @ShawnaCorrinKarrasch taught me about Positive Reinforcement. Within weeks my relationship with my horse evolved into everything I’d ever dreamed of. Of course there were many bumps along the way. I had many times of sliding back into old habits, old mentalities, and dealing with Tank’s firm standards that she will NOT be bullied.

Soon I started working with all the rescue horses at the farm I grew up at. I learned alot, fast, and taught the young volunteers at the rescue the basics. Soon all the kids and horses at the rescue were having fun with this new type of communication and training. It opened a world of doors for our horses and volunteers. One of those volunteers ( @AlyShoemaker ) now runs the rescue we grew up at and is starting to teach other people about Positive Reinforcement too!! And several of those special rescue horses have made it home with me. 🙂

I continued on this path with my own rescue program, we started to focus on hospice care for draft horses, but have a number of special case horses. Each horse who has come into our rescue has taught me so much more about this world of positive training and compassionate care. Some helped me really comprehend behaviorism, some pushed me to learn more about enrichment and ethology, while others encouraged me to study neuroscience and understand social attachments in horses.

I decided to share this that the horses had taught me in my book, Equine Empowerment: A Guide to Positive Reinforcement ( https://www.amazon.com/Equine…/dp/0692181717/ref=sr_1_2… ) as well as on our website (www.EmpoweredEquines.com) with lots of free videos and fun clicker challenges (you can follow the steps and submit videos for grading, feedback, and prizes!!)

Now our program continues to grow. Our rescue program is actively teaching all our volunteers R+ training, with daily work with the rescues. We’re also opening up to public lessons for Positive Reinforcement training and regular clinics and classes on Behavioral science, ethology, neuroscience (of equine emotions), and enrichment!

I can’t believe how my life has evolved, with so many ups and downs, but all trending in this incredible direction. I’ve made so many friends along the way, all people eager to change the world for horses for the better. Mary Richards, Michelle Martiya, Sal Cosmedy, Hannah Christine, Naomi Smith, Christina Marie Perry, Janneke Koekhoven, Dorothy Heffernan, Jackie Broder, and so many more ❤ Love to you all! And it all started with 1 special horse ❤ who has also made it her mission to train the next generation of young people how awesome positive horse training can be 😃 Sweet Tank

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