Pet Professional Guild Australia

The Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals

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Myth-busting Force Free Horse Training

  • Monday, July 09, 2018
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (UTC+10:00)
  • live webinar



Presented by Josephine Atkins Darcy & Kate Shaw

Myth-busting Force Free Horse Training

After a life time of horses, where Jo was always questioning "how" to train a horse and mostly coming away from every lesson feeling like it wasn't quite "right" she finally found, through her work as a Force Free dog trainer, that the same principles can effectively be applied to working with horses. Not only did she feel more at peace with my horses, but finally I found they trusted me more than ever. 

Previously she'd been involved in jumping, hunting to hounds, endurance, eventing, showing, and natural horsemanship. Now she's busy experimenting with what can be done with a horse’s cooperation and best interests at heart through the power of Positive Reinforcement

Learning Objectives

  • To help experienced and novice horse people discern between force free and pressure based horse training so they can make educated decisions about the training techniques they employ. 
  • To explore common misconceptions about using positive reinforcement with horses 

      About The Presenters

      Jo Atkins Darcy

      Jo is a multi-faceted animal carer & trainer. She lives on a small family cattle & sheep farm in Tasmania with her husband, two children aged 9 & 7, four dogs, five horses and numerous other pets. She is passionate about harm-free dog and horse training, stress free dog grooming and stress free animal farming. Jo has been a dog groomer for 25 years, has a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Management from the Delta Society, is a Certificate IV vet nurse and has a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts. She runs adult dog and puppy classes and does private consultations. Jo says that what she is passionate about is "harm free dog & horse training, stress free farming of animals and stress free dog grooming.  

      Kate Shaw

      Kate’s force-free training journey began in 2004, with a couple of horses who responded to all the usual "solutions" with increasing aggression. Searching for something different - and kinder – she discovered that trainers were working with dogs and other species without any aversive pressure or punishment, and it soon became clear that positive reinforcement and counterconditioning were every bit as effective with horses, too.

      While she loves every aspect of training, my particular interests are aggression, separation anxiety, and helping people cross over from traditional to force free training & riding. She can be found online at and


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