Webinar with Dr Helen Spence – Thursday 25th February 2016

Posted in: Academy Webinars & Q&A's, Announcements, Equine Training, Positive Reinforcement Training, The Academy of Positive Horsemanship

Helen WebinarI am very excited to announce that Dr Helen Spence will be doing a webinar for The Academy on Thursday 25th February titled “Horse Sense: Feeling Pressured?”

Helen will be examining the myriad of ways that physical contact can be utilised in horse training.

We’ll discuss the perception of stimuli, and how that perception changes over time, in terms of emotions, classical and operant conditioning.

We’ll also take a look at traditional training approaches and what happens when we put a rider on a horse’s back, including the weight aids.

About Dr Helen Spence – Equine Behaviour & Training Consultant

Dr Helen Spence has a degree in Psychology and a doctorate on ‘The Influence of Owner Personality and Attitudes on the Behaviour and Temperament of the Domestic Horse’.

She runs her own consultancy business offering advice on horse behaviour and on training and rehabilitation issues faced by horse owners, including riding lessons. She also designs and delivers regular educational talks, workshops, clinics and demonstrations for horse owners and riders and for all types of equine professionals, including other pet behaviour therapists, and offers mentoring and training support for professional equine behaviourists and trainers. She travels all across the UK and Ireland to teach and has even been as far afield as Finland.

She has taught Psychology at undergraduate level and was a tutor on the MSc in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling at Southampton University, delivering the Equine Case Studies and Equine Welfare/ Ethology lectures. She has recently been invited to teach similar content on the MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour for Waikato University, New Zealand. She lectures on Equine Behaviour and Practical Handling as part of the Optional Behaviour Weekend at University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science run by highly respected veterinary behaviourist, Sarah Heath.

On a personal level, she has an interest in classical riding and is passionate about teaching riders the correct classical seat, heavily influenced by Alexander teacher and classical instructor Gloria Pullan who herself trained with two former pupils of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Charles Harris and Daniel Pevsner.

She has been described as a ‘rare breed’, someone who works day in and out handling and training horses and teaching training in an applied way, yet with academic qualifications and a thorough understanding of the theory of training and teaching.

For more information about Helen and her work please visit or her read her blog at

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