Although I would LOVE to help EVERY horse, I am only one person and limited in time, money, and resources to be able to do so. If you need help with your horse, I recommend first reaching out to a local Mustang T.I.P. trainer through the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Although I do not personally endorse any other trainer’s program at this time, T.I.P. trainers are experienced in handling wild horses and can be a good resource for gentling horses or working through difficult training issues.
It is also an option to attempt rehabilitation on your own or seek out a local trainer who is willing to learn my program through my online resources. If you would like access to expert videos and advice, I recommend joining the Horse-Human Connection Academy. There are several types of learning opportunities inside the academy that will allow you to deepen your connection with any equine.
If you have a training question, the best way to learn my approach is by joining The Horse-Human Connection Academy. The HCA is a step-by-step online program that helps you truly connect with your horse, solve behavioral issues, and train any behavior imaginable using compassionate, science-based methods. In this membership style program, you can pay yearly (for a discounted rate) or monthly, each granting you access to comprehensive Learning Pathways and a Private Student Community.
Liberty is not a discipline like Western or English; rather, it is a way of communicating with horses on such a refined level that a physical connection is not necessary. Therefore, you will often see me working with horses without any halters, lead ropes, or bridles. When horses are in this state, they are working with a human by their own free will, “at liberty;”. There is nothing keeping the horses from leaving the situation, but they are choosing to work and respond to my cues. I still teach the horses to respond to physical pressure (like halters and bridles) in order for them to be able to successfully navigate the world we are asking them to live in. My goal is always to be able to develop a relationship that goes beyond the ropes.
Working with horses at liberty is incredibly rewarding. I first began exploring liberty because I wanted my horses to be with me as much as she wanted to be with them! But it also has implications for performance and safety because it builds clearer communication between my horses and I. When using this process, I become more aware of what motivates my horses and zebras. Therefore, building a relationship at liberty with your horse can help build other areas of your relationship as well. It can allow you to be safer on the trails, score higher on a dressage test, run a faster barrel pattern, or anything else you dream of!
I prefer to feed my horses a natural diet whenever possible, My feed of choice is Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed. Crypto Aero is a feed with no GMOs, chemicals, corn, soy, wheat, or molasses. It consists of a mix of oats, timothy hay pellets, alfalfa hay pellets, sunflower seeds, green peas, yellow peas, rice bran oil, ground flax, rose hips, green cabbage, papaya, algae (spirulina), organic yeast, anise, and fenugreek. Crypto Aero’s quality ingredients allow for a reduced grain load; My horses typically get 2 lbs of Crypto Aero daily. Through Chewy.com you can order Crypto Aero and have it delivered right to your door.
I also feed Chaffhaye, non-GMO bagged alfalfa which is rich in yeast and enzymes like natural growing pasture would be. It is also low in sugars and starches.
Yes, I’m a big fan of using alternative medicine for horses (and myself!) whenever possible.
How often I get my horses’ teeth floated depends on the horse and his mouth as well as what his job is. However, it usually ends up being every 6-12 months. I recommend consulting your veterinarian and/or a reputable equine dentist to create a plan that’s best for your horse.
No, my horses do not have shoes; mustangs, in particular, are known for their strong, healthy feet! I am an advocate of keeping horses barefoot unless shoes seem to be absolutely necessary for that individual given his use or unique health needs. To learn more please read The Benefits of Going Barefoot.
GENERAL TACK QUESTIONS
What kind of bridle I use depends on the horse and his level of training. I prefer to start horses in a halter or loping hackamore. I then advance them depending on their career path. If they will be ridden with a high level of refinement, I will introduce them to a bit.
I prefer to do so with a soft rubber bit; good ones are hard to come by. I prefer the Herm Sprenger Duo D-Ring Bit. From there I may advance the horse to different bits depending again on his career path; however this bridle set up would be sufficient for the majority of hobbyists who take the time to develop softness and refine their communication with their horse.
I use a CSI saddle pad. Every feature of the CSI Saddle Pad system is designed with my horse’s comfort and performance in mind. The system works with all types of saddles including traditional, flex panel and treeless saddles. At the heart of the CSI system is the revolutionary CSI Flex-Plate. First and foremost, this in-pad plate increases the contact area of the bars. This spreads the pressure of the saddle and the rider’s weight out over a larger surface area which in turn reduces or eliminates pinch and pressure points. To find a CSI saddle pad, visit www.csisaddlepads.com.
What kind of reins I use depends on the discipline I am riding and what level the horse is at in her training; however I do love buckaroo style mecate reins! They allow me to ride with accurate feel and make my releases very obvious to the horse so that my rewards are instantaneous, speeding learning. Also, do to their adjustable nature they fit on a variety of stangs 🙂
I use a neck rope to teach refined communication with the head to prepare for bridleless riding. The neck rope is made from horse hair and ranges from 3-5 ft. in diameter.
I almost always use boots when I’m riding or working on the ground to help support the cannon bone, tendons, soft tissue, and to absorb energy from hoof impact. Boots also help if you are working on maneuvers and lateral work in case the horses legs come into contact with one another.
My hackamore is a handmade vaquero, buckaroo style bosal. You should be able to do a simple internet search to find a quality handmade hackamore that meets your needs.
If you have ever looked closely at a video where Maddy is riding, you’ll notice Maddy almost never needs to cue with her spurs, as proper, ethical use (and release!!) of pressure during training and riding means she can cue with just a “whisper” (no pressure at all or the lightest touch) and her horses respond.
But in the event that something comes up where a greater, more accurate amount of pressure is required (ex here: if the cattle had spooked and began stampeding), the hardly used spurs are still available if needed.
When she does use them, she does so in a way that is predictable and painless. Watch for the future video where Maddy talks about all of this more in-depth!
What kind of saddle I use depends on the discipline I’m riding! The one you see in a lot of my photos and videos is a handmade wade ranch saddle.
QUESTIONS FOR MADDY
My schedule fills up quickly and I would love to host an immersion program in your area. However, at this time Immersion Programs are being held in Phoenix, Arizona allowing students to see firsthand how I train and connect with my horses.
Thank you so much for your interest in sharing my story! The best way to get started is to take a look review Meet Maddy which includes my bio, links to previous interviews and articles, and special cover/television appearances. If you wish to set up a personal interview with me, please send requests with subject line “Interview Request” to email@example.com.
Thank you for your interest in being a Sponsor or Ambassador, at this time I am not actively seeking out sponsorships as I focus on the Horse-Human Connection Academy.
We will be here to support you every step of the way. Inside of our private student community, you’ll have the opportunity to post questions & videos of your training at any time. You will receive feedback from Maddy herself, along with our experienced & successful tribe mentors, who will help get you “unstuck” or clear up any confusion. You will NEVER be alone on your journey!
In addition to receiving feedback on all of your pressing questions in our one-of-a-kind private student community, you’ll also gain access to our Facebook group just for students, which is filled with like-minded individuals that operate from a place of love & compassion. You will not find a more kind, informative, or incredibly supportive group of people anywhere else in this industry. Our tribe will celebrate your wins, mourn your losses, encourage you when you’re feeling low, and everything else in between. You will find accountability partners and friends for LIFE in this tribe. The kindness of the tribe has blown us away every day — and we can’t wait to welcome you into it with open arms. You enter HCA as a student, but you soon become an irreplaceable member of the TRIBE.
There are many reasons to join the HCA. So if you are longing to…
- Have a horse who WANTS to be with you, just as much as you want to be with her
- Have an engaged, enthusiastic, yet relaxed horse during training sessions
- Have a horse who comes to you when you call
- Feel confident with your horse’s ability to load in a trailer, accept veterinary and farrier care, and interact with strangers
- Have friends in the tribe who support you, encourage you, celebrate your wins and help you through your lows
- Understand horses on levels you never knew possible, based in equine behavior, psychology & ethology
- Be able to read your horse’s fear thresholds and respond to them, keeping you safe during training
- Be able to work with your horse totally at liberty on the ground… No ropes, halters, tack, etc.
- Know exactly how to solve behavioral issues that used to baffle you, like spooking, bolting, kicking, refusing to load, aggression, fear of objects, etc. etc.
- Feel safe interacting with your horse on the ground, and on her back
- No longer need to have a trainer come and “fix” your horse because you feel inadequate or too green. The Academy will totally empower you!
- Understand exactly what stops you from the connection of your dreams, and be able to remove those roadblocks
- Know how to give your horse choice in training and empower her, all while staying safe & reaching your goals
then the HCA is your key to unlocking potential in you and your horse.
We utilize proven, science-based methods meaning no more following exercises based on the old Dominance Theory, continued on through tradition or the “this is how it’s always been done” mentality. Our blueprint is backed by rock-solid evidence. The Horse-Human Connection Academy is completely based on the science of Learning Theory and follows the “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive” (LIMA) humane treatment policy of behavior modification (training) with horses. These strategies are not only wildly effective — but they are also incredibly compassionate toward the horse.
When you join HCA, you’ll gain access to all available Learning Pathways, which guide you through Maddy’s signature methodology step-by-step, in detail. No more wondering what to do to solve an issue, how to start from ground zero, or how to advance. We take you through each step authentically. No more watching a trainer “demonstrate” with an already trained horse without a mistake to be found by horse or human. You’ll see the entire process with zero methods hidden & used off-camera.
I have found that the HCA works best for these two groups of people:
- Compassionate horsewomen & men looking to solve behavioral issues while remaining safe, without using conventional forceful methods. They have fears around training on their own, due to inexperience or bad experiences yet they long to do so. They really need to remain safe physically due to past injuries, fears, age and other methods feel too fast-paced and dangerous for them.
- Accomplished horsewomen & men who are looking to take their relationship with their horse to the next level, connect anywhere (even without ropes or tack) and deeply understand their horse’s reactions, emotions & what lights them up inside. They need to know the “why” behind the methods they’re using, not just the “how.” They’ve been exposed to many methods in the industry, but the tactics don’t sit right with them and they want to truly connect with their horses, not simply achieve submission from them.
I understand that the HCA may not be for everyone. If you would like to cancel your membership you can do so via your member account page or by contacting us inside the membership help section on your account dashboard.