Dr Rosie Jones-McVey
Dr Rosie Jones-McVey
(Mostly Focusing on current research work – occasionally available for appointments)
Dr Rosie Jones McVey has a natural talent for horse training. She has trained horses professionally since she was a teenager. At 21, she became the youngest ever Recommended Associate of Intelligent Horsemanship. She has ridden in demos for Kelly Marks and Monty Roberts over the years. Her passion for finding the best solution to horse-training problems is infectious, and she never loses the perspective of a student, keen to learn from any direction and willing to share her experiences. She remains refreshingly open to new ideas and honest about her own internal debates surrounding horse-training choices.
She completed her PhD in horse/human interaction at Cambridge University where she now teaches Social Anthropology. Rosie is also teaches some of our psychology based course here at IH including: Loading the Less Easy Horse and occasionally on the 5-day Foundation.
Rosie’s has written a fantastic book ‘Globetrotting‘ about her and her wife’s adventures exploring and experiencing horse training in different cultures around the world, which can be found in the IH Shop. As well as contributing some fantastic blog content here at IH: ‘What is it With Woman and Horses?’ and ‘Horses as Healers: How, Why, When?‘
A Q&A with IH Trainer DR Rosie Jones-McVey
(The Intelligent Horsemanship Magazine – 2019)
Why did you decide to qualify as a Recommended Trainer?
This is an interesting question, because it is something that I considered very carefully, and turned out to be one of the most positive decisions of my life. I knew I wanted to be a horse trainer; but I had decided early on that I didn’t want to affiliate to any system or particular trainer. I was too keen on ‘pick and mixing’ and I felt that any system had the danger of being too prescriptive about what I could do. Initially, I wanted to learn as much as I could from IH, just as I learned also from other sources. The more I got to know Kelly, the more I trusted IH as a whole system; because it is more a way of thinking than a prescriptive set of things you must do. It is all about positivity, creative problem solving, and respect – for horses and humans alike. Within that frame of mind, all sorts of new ideas can be tested out without fear of being humiliated by those around you; which I recognise is a luxury as far as working environments go!
What is a typical day for you?
In my time as an RT I have alternated between spending more time doing hands on training and more time invested in research and learning. At the moment, I have a job teaching anthropology at Cambridge University, specialising (of course!) in human-animal relations and ethics. I squeeze horse training into the university holidays, and I always prioritise teaching on IH courses when organising my calendar. This means there isn’t really a typical day, it depends on whether it is term time, an IH course, or a ‘home visit’ day! Variety is the spice of life!
What has been the proudest moment/biggest achievement in your career?
Hannah (my wife) and I went on an epic adventure exploring horse training in different cultures around the world and wrote up our stories in a book, “Globetrotting”, I was immensely proud of that! Recently, I have completed an anthropology PhD at Cambridge University investigating British horse/human relationships. This was incredibly hard work, and I am so proud of myself for finishing it that I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe that I have not just made it up!
What do you love about teaching on the courses?
I love the camaraderie and feeling of support that the courses generate on every level – staff, students and horses are treated with respect. This makes it a peaceful and positive place that everybody finds hard to leave on a Friday evening! My favourite course is the leading and loading course, because there is the added element of meeting new horses each time with their owners. Students do the vast majority of the hands on training, coached by Sandra, Kelly and I. There is sometimes a slight feeling on the end of the first day of ‘GOSH how on earth are we going to get these horses loading happily in time to go home tomorrow?!’ and then it all comes together and it is lovely to wave the horses and owners off with a sense of achievement with my team.
IH Trainer Dr Rosie Jones McVey is based in Cambridgeshire.