The Willing Equine
HEAR FROM OTHERS
I first reached out to Adele when I bought my horse, Remi. I noticed that he was very stressed to stand on cross-ties and I was searching for a way to calm him down without using too much force. After being horrified by the suggestions I found online to stop a horse from pawing (people suggested to shoot the leg with a BB gun), I knew there had to be someone that actually cares about horses and luckily I found The willing equine.
I am so thankful for the help that Adele has been giving me the past couple of months. She is beyond thorough and there are so many integrative aspects of being involved with her training. Being her student does mean having homework every now and then but the fascinating resources that she finds for me to read have all been incorporated into my training with Remi. She wants to make sure you are fully equipped with the knowledge to involve your horse in positive reinforcement training. She provides lots of examples of different horse behaviors that I have been learning to recognize in my own experience. I’d like to say I’m learning a new language and I feel closer to my horse because of it.
I really appreciate how she looks at the horse as a whole, not just the behavioral aspect. Right now she is helping me adjust Remi’s diet to lead to an overall happier and calmer horse and therefore, a happier me. Her passion is so evident by the time and thought she puts into her training advice. She always provides several different options for training and she really tries to get to know you and your horse by asking questions to get the full picture.
I respect her transparency to admit her faults and I truly believe it helps me take more responsibility for my own actions. I am more aware of my frustration when Remi tells me “no” and knowing that I’m not the only one that experiences it makes it easier to take “no” as an answer.
Adele will go at whatever pace works best for you and your horse. By taking lessons with Adele, Remi and I have basically started from scratch in order to establish a healthy relationship by training with positive reinforcement. I can already see how much calmer he is when he is given a choice. He absolutely loves targeting cones and it’s so rewarding when I go to catch him from the field and he walks up to me and meets me at the gate. While I have taken a break from riding, I am teaching Remi how it doesn’t have to be stressful to be tacked up and I hope to start riding with positive reinforcement soon! With Adele’s help, Remi now takes the bit willing. Whereas previously, Remi would protest being bridled.
Every horse is different and Adele makes sure to meticulously analyze your situation in order to personalize you and your horse’s training. I am excited to continue working with her and progressing with my training and I think Remi is happier for her help too!“
Adele at The Willing Equine is that rare combination: a real natural experienced 'horsewoman' with a very wide theoretical background, ranging from learning theory to classical dressage. Using this knowledge base, Adele is able to incorporate a large number of strategies to improve horse welfare and really produce a truly willing equine partner. From foals to those "end of the road" horses, she is able to bring out the best in them and allow them to shine. Truly inspirational training.
The Willing Equine was a life changer for me with regards to my relationship with my horses and donkeys. Used natural horsemanship for the past 15 years, and wanted to expand my training knowledge. I came across TWE on YouTube by accident, I became very intrigued and then started following the FB page. I was definitely “skeptical” of clicker training at first, but soon learned it’s more than just a clicker and treats, it’s learning about how horses learn. Using positive reinforcement and CT has given me a whole different outlook on Equine training and has absolutely strengthened my relationship with my horses and gives me the confidence to feel like I can do anything with Adele’s guidance through video lessons. Her lessons are so personalized and chock full of information and expertise! I don’t recommend trying to start CT on your own, as you can develop habits that are hard to break. Adele has been amazing and I would recommend her to anyone who’s serious about using positive reinforcement
Let me just say that Adele Shaw has completely changed my life. My horse, Ryan, and I used to compete in eventing, but when he started having a lot of "behavioral" problems we took him to the vet and found out he had kissing spine, and injured check ligament, and minor front hoof problems. He had to be off of riding for at least 5 months to recover. I knew that when he was going to be able to be ridden, it was going to be a journey getting him back into work and at the same level of performance. I started searching the web and unexpectedly found The Willing Equine. After hours and hours of reading all of Adele's blogs, website, and doing some further research on positive reinforcement and clicker training, my mind was blown and my heart immediately did a 180. My whole mindset about training horses was completely swapped and I knew right then that this was what I wanted to do.
I did it with Ryan by myself for 2 months and developed all of the basics. Then, in January I joined her lesson program and it was so amazing. I couldn't believe how connected Adele becomes with her students individually. You can really feel her love, compassion, and dedication to her students and their horses even over online. She takes so much time reviewing my video and helps Ryan and me continue to progress in our training by providing a visual of our homework along with a voice over. Her online video coaching has helped Ryan and me so much and we wouldn't be where we are today without her help and training expertise! She is truly a blessing! Right now she is helping me prepare Ryan for a rider again (along with so many other things) and we are getting very close by mentally and physically preparing him for a rider. Ryan is a COMPLETELY different horse and our relationship is indescribable.
Definitely the best R+ trainer you will ever find out there! From answering a simple question to dedicating so much time in truly helping Ryan and me through a difficult situation (and SO much more), Adele Shaw at The Willing Equine has ALWAYS been there for me! I am so thankful for her. She creates such a one-on-one connection with her students that is so special and very rare. I recommend Adele to ANYONE who wants to build a loving relationship with their horse and wants the best for their best friend!
Adele has helped me and many others so greatly. Even though I live across the states from her, for the past couple of years she has been helping me to improve my ability to train willing, intelligent, and happy horses. She got me hooked on positive reinforcement, gave me resources to use and has been so supportive as I fell to the 'dark side' I would highly recommend Adele to anyone feeling like their horse just isn't happy, or willing or even just anyone wanting their horse to view them as 'the good guy' Training horses used to be frustrating, unfulfilling and made my horses unhappy. I had inconsistent cues, asked too much too fast and the horses I worked with, weren't happy before getting help from Adele. She is one of the nicest mentors I have ever had the opportunity to work with.
I’d always been a proponent of natural horsemanship and a pretty big skeptic of using R+ with horses, despite always using it to train my dogs. I always thought R+ was really only good for teaching tricks and other novelties, while ‘real riding’ required a foundation of pressure/release. So when I saw the way Adele used clicker training to teach more conventionally ‘useful’ behaviors (tying, picking up feet, standing at the mounting block, etc.), I was intrigued! I’d felt there was something missing in my training program for a while, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I’m now working on transitioning from more ‘traditional’ training techniques to exclusively positive reinforcement. It’s been a humbling but very rewarding journey thus far, in large part because of TWE! Adele is very active and great at responding to comments and messages, and the website and YouTube channel are excellent resources for learning how to correctly approach R+. If there’s ever a clinic in my area I’d 100% be there.
"When my mare was on stall rest due to colic surgery, I still wanted to work with her in some way. I thought trick training could be fun and not too taxing on her. That's when I found Adele's page. I immediately fell down a rabbit hole, reading every post & soaking in as much as I could. Then I reached out to her & realized I was in for far more than I bargained for. I was so overwhelmed at all the new information, but she pointed me in the direction of so many incredible books & resources that starting +R was easier than I could've imagined.
Now, proudly a student of Adele's, we are working to prepare a gelding for the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover 2019! He's been restarted with +R and is more trusting & enthusiastic about training than ever before. My mare is making leaps and bounds in her training as well. It probably would've been a long time, if ever, that I found +R were it not for Adele. My horses are brilliant & love that they are recognized as such through the ethical and fun training we engage in these days. I've never seen two horses so excited to learn and play with me! It's truly amazing and I owe it all to Adele who ignited that passion for knowledge and actualized my compassion for horses in a way I never thought possible."
My horse Charlie and I have been training remotely with Adele for the past 6 months and it’s been a transformative experience for the both of us! Charlie came into my life as a very shut down, malnourished, anxiety ridden horse. After spending a year rehabilitating him and going down the traditional training path, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was constantly pushing him out of his comfort zone and damaging his trust in me. I made the decision to look for alternate training methods. As luck would have it, right about the same time that I started reading into Clicker Training I discovered Adele online and began taking lessons with her remotely!
Professional horse trainers, as I’ve learned, spend a lot of their time actually training humans. Adele is no exception. She’s been there for all of my questions, confusions, concerns and frustrations along the way while I’ve been learning how to communicate with my horse using positive reinforcement methods. Her approach is with compassion and patience and yields amazing results for both human and horse.
Together we are working to create new associations for my horse around being ridden, building confidence, and teaching him that basic interactions with people don’t have to be negative experiences. Thanks to Adele’s guidance, my horse now runs to me when he sees me! His anxiety levels are dramatically reduced in almost all areas. He is excited for our training sessions and he loves to play with his human! Our bond is deep and we’ve built a trust together that I doubt my horse has ever experienced in his life prior to this.
Our journey ahead is still long with lots to learn but with a fantastic trainer on our side I have no doubt that we’ll have a great time together on our road to success.
We are new to the horse world and really did not have any knowledge of training when we adopted our first mare almost 2 years ago. The place we were boarding her are big fans of Parelli and introduced us to R-. I knew that was not going to be a good fit for us, our mare is very soft and kind and after our first clinic with them I cried and felt horrible for hitting her with the "carrot stick". We moved boarding places soon after that and realized she was pregnant. The next place had a trainer that followed Clinton Anderson's method. Again this was not a good fit for us.
A very kind woman I worked with told me about The Willing Equine so I started researching and watching as many videos as I could. We had Adele come out to see our girls, at this point we have our mare, her filly and we adopted an orphan filly. The change in training was immediately noticeable, they were relaxed and engaged. My goal is to have my horses want to be around me, and in working with The Willing Equine we are accomplishing that. My horses now come running, they want to learn. I have learned so much about their body language and now I really feel like we are able to communicate better. There are of course some small set backs, but I have come to notice that it is when I am not being consistent. I love that my horses now have the power to chose when they want to learn and I am not having to hound them or force them to do anything. I look forward to working with each of our horses and they are usually waiting and eager to work with me. Because of this the bond between us continues to get stronger.
“When we found out our horse Bubba had EPM we were scared and didn’t know where to turn. Adele was a huge blessing for us! She took our sweet Bubba boy in like he was one of her own and gave him the best care until he was well again and able to go home. She goes above and beyond to make sure the horses not only get the best treatment for any health issues they may have, but she also works diligently with them to overcome any behavior issues they may be dealing with.
Our Bubba is doing great today and we can’t thank her enough!”
As someone relatively new to owning and training horses, Adele has made a world of difference in my relationship with my horses. She’s helping me go from having a forced “working” relationship with them to having a true bond and partnership with them.
My rescue mare, who wouldn’t let anyone get anywhere near her back feet, can now easily have her back feet handled and trimmed. My other mare, who used to only have contact with people if she was forced to, is learning that interacting with people can actually be fun and that she no longer has to do anything that she doesn’t feel safe or comfortable doing.
I’m so blessed to be one of Adele’s students.
Tessa is my first horse and has been the best teacher I’ve known. Her sensitive spirit and intelligent mind have challenged me to become a better owner, trainer, and rider. That said, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my training journey had I not started taking online lessons with Adele. I had integrated clicker training into my work with Tessa the year before, but I was unaware of how deeply she was affected by food rewards. She started getting frustrated and acting out in aggressive ways. Through Adele’s guidance, I was able to devalue food rewards by allowing access to another food source. This also gave me the first glimpse of what it meant to have an autonomous horse.
On top of this all, Adele’s blogs and resources have encouraged me to educate myself about the theories behind all of horse training. Reading the books she recommended awakened a thirst for further knowledge and a need to understand the cause of every horse behavior. Tessa is a much happier, calmer, and more willing horse. It warms my heart to see her engaging in classical dressage and learning new movements through creative ways. I feel that for the first time there is two-way communication. I have even brought the same training concepts to a rescue mare I’ve started working with. She is now so much more confident and trusting! These horses bring so much joy into my life…don’t we owe it to them to return the favor?”
I am completely blown away!
My mare Tonic and I had come a long way together using a natural horsemanship method, but I couldn't help feeling like something was lacking. During our training sessions she would tend to get worked up and become quite antsy, and then I would in turn become frustrated at not being able to get through my planned exercises, it would usually turn into me dragging out our lesson trying to get one last perfect movement or response from her. Until finally, when it came time to release her back into the pasture, she could barely wait for me to get the halter off, and as soon as it was she would hightail it back to the herd. That to me was a pretty clear sign that she was definitely not enjoying the time we were spending together, which bothered me a lot.
Eventually, after a bit of searching I found an article about clicker training, and at first I was a little skeptical, mostly because it was so foreign to me. There was so much about it that I didn't understand, but I still found myself drawn to it. After seeing the connection, the free will, and not to mention the joyfulness in the videos, how could I not? So finally after humming and hawing about it (and a whole lot more reading), I officially decided to change things up.
This is when I finally reached out to Adele at The Willing Equine, she had a post on her Facebook page about offering training long distance via exchanging videos online, and I got so excited! I sent off an e-mail to get more information about the process, and she has been exceeding my expectations ever since.
And even though I have only been able to send in one video so far, the amount of information I got back from her is above and beyond anything I could have imagined! She supplied me with feedback on the video I sent her as well as some example videos of what she wanted me to work on next with very clear detailed instructions. I was then added into a Facebook group specifically for her students, which has been so unbelievably helpful and motivating. Adele really does make this whole thing as easy as it can be.
I already knew I had found the right place to be, but just recently my girl Tonic solidified my decision even more for me. We had wrapped up our 6th or 7th clicker session together and I went to let her go back into the pasture with the herd, I took the halter off and where I am used to her bolting off towards the other horses, this time she stood quietly with me! I seriously could not believe it, I took the opportunity to give her some more love and scratches, and then I walked her into the pasture a little further so she could see where the other horses were, and she STILL choose to stand there with me! I was so elated that my eyes welled up with tears. So I gave her a huge hug and a final goodnight and I turned to walk back to the gate, she stood watching me for a little while before she too turned and calmly walked back to the herd.
That is the connection I have been dreaming to form with her since the day I got her, and now we are finally getting there, and this is only just the beginning.