Solving Problems - In South Africa, the UK, NZ, Kenya ...
Problem solving is a major aspect of Equitation Science Training, but ES is also hugely effective for simply improving your horse's way of going, improving your dressage scores or making jumping safer and more successful.
There may be one main issue, or a multitude, but all of the issues are retrainable, usually in just a few sessions that can be held over a few days, a course of days or a few weeks. Closely spaced lesson appointments are the most effective.
The issues might seem confusing and insurmountable to you, but they are nearly always rapidly retrainable, and the new behaviour lasts for as long as your new cues do! If you are consistent, the new responses will last forever.
Retraining multiple and severe behaviour issues is all in a day's work for Julie. What seems like a complex riddle is actually quite easy to understand and resolve once students understand how horses learn new responses. Resolving one issue often leads to the spontaneous resolution of other issues that might not seem related to you, but they are. Julie calls this 'the decontamination effect'.
Riders often say that their horse doesn't have any issues, but then we go on to discover that it's hard to catch, looks away for bridling, walks away for mounting, is girthy, hard to steer, stop, and so on. Riders are so used to putting up with this behaviour they think it's 'just how he is', but it's actually a training issue and is easily resolved. These are behaviour issues (incorrect learned responses), not personality problems! So, start to notice all the ways your horse isn't ideal for you. Jot it down. Then get it retrained. Just about every unwanted equine behaviour is retrainable for every equine, from leisure hacks up to Grand Prix.
Julie creates bespoke training sessions, educational days, talks and courses that meet your needs.
Click here to find out what clients have to say about having their horses retrained with me.
To organise a group for private lessons, a specialist training day (eg, trailer loading, farrier, vet, foundation training ('breaking in'), a course, educational day, biomechanical skills (timing the cues with the horse's movements) day or lecture, simply email Julie and we can take it from there.
If you host/organise a clinic, etc you earn a reduced/free session. Email Julie to discuss details. email@example.com
Absolutely ALL behaviour problems retrained, sooner than you think. Here's what Julie's students say about the changes in their horses after just a few sessions:
"Julie has spent the last two days working with a number of horses at our yard in Brookby, south-east Auckland. Julie ..... assisted horse and pony owners with a variety of equine issues such as rearing, napping, fear of wormers, difficulty picking up hooves, being lead, being sprayed, or ridden issues such as being too strong or llama-like. Within 2 days (in fact usually within a single session) we saw a vast improvement in all of these areas. But wait, there's more! Our horses and ponies now work in a far more relaxed frame and are much more responsive to aids. The behaviour and manageability of our equine friends has within 48 hours undergone something of a transformation. How cool is that? Julie is attentive, personable and encouraging. She also has a great sense of humour which makes her sessions immensely enjoyable. She's left us with the skills and knowledge to carry on our training, and we owe her a huge thanks. I can't recommend Julie enough, we can't wait to have her back next time she's in the country."
"Fantastic, disciplined approach to horse training and we saw immediate results. Dealt with bridling, pulling on the lead, spraying, rearing and standing still. Using pressure/release and clicker training (Alicia is a pro). Wish we could have more! Thanks Julie. Hope we can get you back next year."
"I can't thank you enough Julie. This is the turning point for us in a very long journey and it is down to you and Equitation Science, I can't wait to see what else we can achieve!!"
"You are a star - thank you, thank you, thank you."
"It's now a week since I had the privilege of Julie being at our place to help me with my horses. My 2 horses are ex-racehorses with limited general riding experience and had developed a lot of behaviours difficult for me to handle. 3-4 sessions with Julie they became as light as a feather to cues and no hint of previous issues. Despite no further practice through the week due to my work & weather I have been able to ride and handle them and the lessons learned from training remain. I am so thrilled and fortunate to have been introduced to this training system and look forward to learning more. Thanks so much Julie."
"Took Glenda for best ride ever - thanks!!" N, Borana Lodge, Kenya.
"Dramatic change". T, Mafigeni Lodge, South Africa.
"Oh you are just amazing – can’t wait for tomorrow"
"I got the chance this morning to use over shadowing on my horse that likes to run to the point of exhaustion at the sound and sight of helicopters. After about 20 minutes I had her standing still, head down when I asked, and listening to me not the heli-monster. Thank God for ES! I am so relieved I have the knowledge to train my horse out of her panic attacks. The technique worked and we're on the road to 'recovery'! It was so cool. Knowing how to tackle the issue is such a relief after watching her dripping with sweat every other time there's been one working in the area and hoping like mad she wouldn't go through a fence or fall over! Thank you, Julie!"
"We both thoroughly enjoyed our lessons on Sunday. I really appreciate your teaching style, you are very patient when needed but tell me where I am going wrong while suggesting better and more effective ways of training my horse. I love your sense of humour, it kept the lessons light and we certainly had a few giggles, even though there was so much to learn.
It was really interesting and helped a lot with my learning to watch you riding and training D, and it has certainly accelerated his learning. I have never seen him offer a lowered head and lengthened stride before and was surprised that you achieved it!
I did an in-hand session with him today and his go is much slower and controlled as a result, and his yielding has improved too. I'm looking forward to our first riding session, to continue with the exercises you showed us.
I can't wait for another lesson when you return to NZ, I know it won't be soon enough!"
"You are a super star with the horses and it works." Ali, Kenya.
"Thank you Julie, you have showed us a new, effective and totally fascinating way of working with my horse!!"
"Thanks Julie, since coming to see you on Sunday M is no longer scared of being bitten by Aladdin, we have tacked him up a few times since with no sign of biting. We are also using the techniques you showed us with the other horses so soon we will have the best behaved horses! Thank you look forward to your next visit to the Bay. T & M."
"Had a fantastic session with Julie during the week with T, a hard to catch very frightened pony. After only one session he was coming up to me and letting me touch him, by the end of the second session I was able to halter and lead him without any hassles. What a breakthrough for me as I had been trying to do this for a year with mixed results. Now each time I'm with him he responds very positively towards me. Thank you Julie!" K
(I can see) “how totally absorbed you are in your work and how much pleasure you get from it. I do get it though because you are effectively giving each horse a better life which is pretty cool and remarkable!
I have looked at your links and your article on lowering the Friesian head carriage and it’s all amazing. Having watched you work at Borana Lodge that morning (for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart!) I am transfixed by equitation science!
Can I squeeze in another session and bring up my super-keen niece who arrives from England tomorrow? She would give her eye teeth to see you work, Julie.” B, Borana Lodge, Kenya
"You have certainly helped M and I more than I could have dreamed possible. He just keeps improving!! Looking forward to learning more next week." P
"I have been noticing big improvements when out riding her. She is much more relaxed and her head carriage is way better. I'm really enjoying how she has been. Can't wait to have my lesson with you" R
"She was such a good girl, her shying at things is way better ..... didn't even bat an eyelid. Before this training she would have gone flying across the paddock. Thanks again for showing me how to train my horse." R
"An unrecognisable horse at points!! I can't thank you enough! I will keep up the hard work, I promise! I feel very motivated and full of enthusiasm to get back to the yard and go it alone for the first time with my new tools (hopefully without the rain!!). Thanks for fitting me in (it can't have been easy!!), from me and S!! Have a wonderful holiday, look forward to seeing you and showing you our progress when you get back!"
Student feedback after two sessions with a horse described as 'Walks all over us, no ground manners': "When I walked him back to the paddock he tried to eat, I then vibrated the rope and he didn't try again and he walked nicely beside me and stopped when I opened gate and didn't move until I asked him! We certainly learned a lot. Thanks again."
"You and H look fantastic. I rode him for first time since the intensive with you. He was fantastic! Great long and short walk, trot, and we even cantered!! I can't wait until you are back in the spring. Thank you for all that you have taught me and H. Cheers, K".
"Everything we learnt today was great. We had a lovely walk back to the paddock practising park for the 4 gates we had to travel through."
"Thanks again, I'm so happy to have found this training system and I'm really excited for the future with her. I'm enjoying her so much and it's wonderful to have such clear exercises to practice at home."
"Got back from holiday yesterday and hopped on E for the the first time in over 2 weeks. I went through the groundwork exercises first and I was AMAZED how well she went. The difference in her after just one session with you is very noticeable and I am so positive and excited about our future now."
"3 sessions with Julie. B's taking it all in. Julie rode which was really great as what I thought was light, was most definitely not! Nice to watch Julie show what is needed and to see my horse responding positively."
"H and I learned some great techniques today. When we got home, we practised lowering his head and relaxing. He did this really well and didn't even lift his head above his withers despite his aunty running around neighing. Thanks, Julie. We will practise our homework ready for our next lesson." K
"I'm really impressed with this way of helping my "sensitive" horse. Now the challenge is to train me to use it correctly........! "
"Such a good lesson tonight on S with Julie. S finished the lesson light and responsive, head down with correct bend. The plan is for me to practice again tomorrow while still fresh in my mind."
"Thanks for the lesson last Saturday. The turns in a small square are paying off ..... he responded to the aid really well after Sunday's session. He is now going much straighter and is starting to turn on a dime. Love it!"
"I must tell you how much S and I gained from your sessions. The most helpful learning of all has been being so much more aware of my hands while riding, from having realized how significant my hands are with her on the ground. I never thought about or knew what I was doing to her or what I was "saying" negatively to her when walking her on the ground. It used to be a pull-pull game, but now she takes that step and goes with me with only the slightest hand, and halts with the same, while remaining aware yet relaxed.
Perhaps the most rewarding thing of all is that I am beginning to canter with her for the first time in two years! It's largely in part to feeling confident that she does slow down when I give a "tug-tug" on the reins when not pushing with my legs. Your training has helped me to put into practice what I've heard so often, but never connected with physically with my hands, until learning how important the very basics of the ground work are - and that is, "giving/releasing is as important, if not more important, than taking."
"You have turned her life into a better and fun filled one not a bitter, grumpy one. You should be proud, your training is great and more people need to learn it so all horses are happy in what they do." R
"Well, Julie, I just had to tell you that B was brill ..... put on saddle 6 times with no fuss not even tied up, then clipped her - usually have a fuss about that and she was fine and she let us clip her like a lamb. Also bumped into the girl with the Arab from last week's training and she said she has been great at standing for getting on and off. I have been really delighted with the results from your training, so many thanks." D.
"..... thank you, I'm glad I went to see you and how you turned those horses around, it was inspiring to watch and see the difference."
".... it works a treat - he's a little monkey and that is the best result I've had in a long time. Thank you x" M.
"I got out on E finally and she behaved herself. She's had forward going issues and Julie came to do the training. It's worked on D too. I was so surprised to get home at lunch time as I've sat for hours refusing to get off and E backing up! " J.
"Thanks for for your time with G and me. I couldn't get to sleep last Thursday night thinking about what you'd taught me. I went and saw Georgie last night for the first time since your visit. The turns were excellent .... very slow walk, so that was good. Excellent park for grooming."
"..... horses have benefitted greatly." J.
"..... well done, the results were clearly visible and I enjoyed watching you x" L.
"I rode out yesterday and she led T's horse through a stream! Wow! She was forward going in walk. Thank you for training my horses and hope to see you next spring."
"So impressed with J's behaviour."
"Last night just had the best training session with L ever ..... I released faster and used lots more praise - not a grind in ear-shot and, unusually for L, a foamy mouth. I got ..... the loosest trot I have ever had and she did lots of nose blowing and stretching. Delighted ..... made the biggest progress ever."
"His behaviour at the vet hospital was excellent. He has never been there before so it was a new experience for him. There was heaps of distractions but I used the ES overshadowing when he came off the float and he remained settled. He did his trot ups and lunging perfectly and then Parked while the vet examined him. I am sure he would not have been so grounded and well behaved if he had not had the lessons with you over the weekend. So, not only does ES improve riding and ground behaviour but it also makes the vet and other treatment visits safe for everyone. Thanks!" K
"My horses and I are forever grateful for your passing our way Julie. X"
"Oh you’re a star. Thanks so much, Julie ..... for giving us a bit of hope and direction for our beloved horse."
"Thanks for your email, and for a intense 2 hours!! Thanks also for the follow up and further info, it's really helpful."
"Just thought I'd let you know that I've just got back from an hour with R, and think it was pretty successful! I trained him in his snaffle bridle, and think I got most things right. I say I think as most of it seemed pretty easy, so not sure if you worked wonders yesterday or whether I was doing it right!! He did really well with the Step back, Stop and Go. Head down was AMAZING! He dropped his head straight away, and had no issues with the timing of the release etc, he was just brilliant. He did start to slightly lift head so I corrected and he dropped again. Park was pretty good too - mostly I was able to dance around at the end of the lead rope (not literally!!) on all sides and in the arc without him moving at all. I also did work with the fly mask - he was brilliant. First attempt he didn't like, but not on the scale of yesterday! Then was fine, did a few go's without him flinching at all in head down, then had a 'moment' but did a couple more after that that were good too and finished on a good one! Also work in and out of the field. All good with control, slow walking, backing up through the gate etc. Did Park on the grass he normally eats - had a couple of attempts to eat but after the first attempt and my reaction he was very half hearted! So all in all, I think very positive. Thank you once again, I can see the improvement already and came away feeling very positive and loved working with him, so improving that bond is working already!! Best wishes, K