Horse Psychology – 20th-21st June 2022


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Please note – you will need to be a member of Intelligent Horsemanship to attend this course

A Horse Psychology classroom based course suitable for Equine Vets and Equine Professionals as well as anyone with a keen interest in understanding  how to get the best relationship and therefore performance and behaviour from a horse.

From Dr Veronica Fowler

‘In the equine world it is common to find two types of courses, those that largely teach theory, and those that are heavily practically based. The problem with this siloed style of learning is that you might know all the theory, but not know how to “apply” this knowledge, or you might know certain training actions, but not fully understand why they are (or not) working. Intelligent Horsemanship’s Horse Psychology course is cleverly tailored to fill the unique gap between theory and practice. Kelly’s due diligence and connections with world leading experts ensures that the theory is current and on topic, whilst her involvement and connection to the horse training world means she really does know a practical solution for every situation. Whether you forgot to finish school, or you have a PhD I can guarantee that you will come home thinking WOW and energised with inspiration.’

In common with other Intelligent Horsemanship courses, these two days have a fun and friendly atmosphere that assists in stress free learning.  One could say this course has its roots in equine behaviourism, ethology, years of practical experience and common sense – but it’s actually so much more!

Day 1 Subjects include;


The good, the bad and the ugly.  You will be amazed what you can learn on this subject in just one morning.  Shaping plans, conditioned fear, schedules of reinforcement, flooding, displacement, learned helplessness and so much more.  Most of the lessons apply to humans and other animals.  However, behaviourism has its dark side of which many modern day practitioners seem unaware.

The Senses of the Horse

The horse’s brain, his eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, sense of touch, sense of taste – all make up how the horse perceives his world.  Remind yourself of the essentials to help us understand them.

From Krystyna Rogers

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Horse Psychology weekend. This was my first IH course and I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. A complex subject but I think the course was pitched at the right level and has given me encouragement to read more. I was also thrilled to meet such a variety of people too, who all share the same quest to put ‘intelligence into horsemanship’.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Food in Training

Being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ food in training is either naïve or means you’re missing a useful tool.  Learn the full facts to help you make your decision when training

Stay a little later if you’d like to talk about the pathway to the Intelligent Horsemanship Diploma which includes the Monty Roberts Introductory Course Certificate.

From Becky Walker

 This is the most enjoyable course I have ever attended. Thank you Kelly and your organisation.’

Day 2  Subjects Include

The Problem Solving Procedures

You have a horse to help with fear based behaviour or is the victim of bad or insufficient training.  Where do you start?  You’ll learn skills for working with clients, where to start with your vet and other practitioners to check for physical issues.  We’ll take an overview of equipment, breeds and present day handling to get us closer to helping the horse become happier and less confused in his in day to day life.

How people cause (and maybe we can cure) some of the Equine Unwanted Behaviours

You’ve heard them all:  My horse bucks.  My horse rears. My horse is nappy and won’t leave other horses. My horse runs away with me.  My horse barges over me.  My horse refuses to load in a trailer.  My horse crib bites/wind sucks/ box walks/ weaves  – you name it.  We’ll run through them all to look at possible specific solutions.

From Dr S Randell

‘Dear Kelly
I feel that I must write to you following the weekend horse psychology course to thank you. It has to be one of the most enjoyable weekends I have had the pleasure of spending. The course material was not only fascinating but pitched at the right level and much of the material tangibly demonstrated within the breakout groups. No one was made to feel in any way awkward in the positive and negative reinforcement demonstrations and it was an admirable illustration not only of the techniques but of the timing too.‘

Student Groups are given real written horse problems to work on themselves.  With all their knowledge gained, of course, they’ll find it a piece of cake!  Students love this part of the course, but I tell them ‘you have to learn your scales before you can play the piano!’

Students gain a certificate that goes towards qualifying to take their Intelligent Horsemanship Diploma and Monty Roberts Preliminary Course in Horsemanship.

Kelly Marks has lectured at University and Colleges around the world and has a vast experience of horses including experiencing the feral horses of Namibia – Whispering the Wild

From: Alison Schwabe  MA BSc (retired Lecturer in Animal Husbandry) including teaching horse handling at Cambridge University Dept Veterinary Medicine

‘Kelly Marks’ lecturing and demonstrations to the veterinary students at Cambridge University Department of Veterinary Medicine proved both accessible and engaging. The students varied from those who had had little or no experience in horse handling to some who were advanced riders.  Her wealth of experience in horse psychology and behaviour showed through as Kelly and  Dr Rosie Jones from Intelligent Horsemanship  identified the most useful handling techniques for veterinary surgeons in the field which puts safety first for horse, vet and handler.  Kelly showed how to deal with both frightened and unhandled horses and provided training methods for the owner to prepare or improve the behaviour for future occasions.’