Solve your horse’s behavioral issues, ride, work and play together, feel empowered to train for any skill imaginablewithout using those forceful methods that “break” the horse, and just don’t sit right with you.

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…your horse came running to you when you called, and loved every training session with you


…you could train your horse to do anything imaginable (like riding without tack, teaching her to lay down…) and had a deep, trusting connection


…you knew how to read your horse’s emotions, so that you totally avoided dangerous fear reactions (like bucking, bolting, rearing, charging…) & stayed safe


…you understood exactly what your horse was thinking & what is truly causing her behaviors


…you no longer needed that elusive “magic pill,” new bit, fancy tool, or trainer to constantly prescribe you training tactics, because you know precisely how to create your own unique training plan


…your communication with your horse was crystal clear, avoiding frustration & confusion


…you had science backed training methods that kept you safe so that you can actually work with your horse yourself, instead of hiring a trainer with methods that don’t align with you


…you had a way to interact with your horse that aligns with your compassionate spirit & doesn’t “break” the horse






If you also want to have a better relationship with your horse, and smile during training, know that you have support, and know that you have a wealth of knowledge that is science-based, real, true and tested, then I recommend joining the Mustang Maddy Academy!


Hi! I’m Maddy (aka Mustang Maddy from my work with wild horses) and I founded the Horse – Human Connection Academy because I know how it feels to lack a connection with horses. All my life, my desire has been for my horses to WANT to be with me, just as much as I want to be with them.


But my journey with horses began with getting bucked off, charged at, kicked, bitten… I was told to use bigger bits when my horses ran off with me, use more pressure, dominate the horse…But this just didn’t sit quite right with me. My mom finally had enough of watching me in these dangerous situations, and we were on the market for a new, family safe horse. I quickly turned that horse into a run-off… And the cycle repeated itself with the one after that.

Finally, I faced the hard truth–The problem wasn’t with the horses. Rather, the problem was with me. Once I came to this realization, I knew the course of action I needed to take to keep my dream alive!

In my search to master the horse – human connection, I was able to successfully rehabilitate “untrainable” horses, train never-before-saddled colts to ride at a walk, trot and canter in 3.5 hour colt starting competitions, and start a completely wild mustang to ride at a walk, trot and canter in a big arena — without ropes or tack, in 7 days. I am a 3x Extreme Mustang Makeover Freestyle Champion and 2017 Mustang Magic Champion (where trainers have 100 days to train a completely wild horse). I have performed with my team of mustangs at liberty all over the country, and have been asked to speak, judge & teach all over the world. My work has been featured on Animal Planet, COWGIRL magazine and Horse & Rider Magazine.

I reached the peak of my career using “Natural Horsemanship,” (pressure and release) until I came across a previously untrainable mustang and a feisty zebra who stopped me in my tracks. To train them with pressure & release, I would have to use a LOT more pressure than I was comfortable with… and that just didn’t align with me.

So I was back to the drawing board, and I dove head first into the wondrous world of positive reinforcement training, specifically clicker training. This completely turned my world upside down. I looked to world-renown experts in the realm of positive reinforcement training with equines and other species, and even spent time working with marine mammals and other exotics to learn their secrets and bring this knowledge back to the horse-training industry.

Using pressure and release in an ethical way, my horses were impartial about our training sessions—Fine if we trained, fine if we didn’t. They felt safe and relaxed… But they were missing that sparkle in their eye that I longed for them to have.

After trying clicker training, I could never go back! I have cured a reactive mustang’s issue with haltering out in a huge field (no round pen necessary), retrained an off-the-track thoroughbred to ride at liberty, successfully gentled 4 more mustangs using positive reinforcement, and witnessed a joy and enthusiasm in my team of well-behaved mustangs that I had never seen before.

Most importantly, my horses WANT to be with me! And everyone who saw this started asking how they could replicate the same results with THEIR horses, too.

So, I put together a program to teach my signature blueprint that has allowed me to train & connect with any horse, using methods that honor the horse in the process. That is how the “Horse – Human Connection Academy” was born.





Prior to finding Maddy’s Academy, I didn’t really have a direction of what to do with my horses. Since joining her Academy, my relationship with both these guys has gone from not really understanding them to… Being on another level. Highly, highly recommend the Academy and 5 Golden Rules.


The Horse-Human Connection Academy (HCA) is an online 120 day course & education system that helps you truly connect with your horse, solve behavioral issues, and train any behavior imaginable using compassionate, science-based methods.



Clear, detailed lessons in which Maddy reveals the key training principles behind her methods. These modules are the foundation of HCA curriculum, and are yours to keep forever when you enroll.


Maddy guides you step-by-step through the 10 foundation behaviors that will be the base for any new skill.


Step-by-step training plans, quick reference guides to take to the barn, and workbook review sessions to implement your knowledge.


Ask all your questions about the curriculum in our forums, and get direct answers weekly from an HCA coach. Plus, submit training videos on time, and get individualized feedback on your work!


Connect with supportive, like-minded students & leverage accountability partners & checkpoints to maximize results.


Detailed and in-depth dives into specific training issues such as fear and aggression.

Regardless of your past experience in horse training… HCA is here to give you the blueprint you need to train your horse from the ground up, and create that fairytale bond you’ve been longing for… while remaining safe in the process.



When you join HCA, you will gain immediate access to the course forums. In these forums, you will have the opportunity to ask all your questions about the learning material, so that you never have to worry about being lost or confused. We will get back to you with a thorough response every week!


In addition to receiving feedback on all of your pressing questions in our course forums… 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 herd 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 herd. The kindness of the herd 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 herd.


Accountability is the key to applying what you learn in HCA. Simply knowing information will not lead to the transformation of your dreams! This is why you’ll be supported with assignments & training tasks to keep you motivated along your journey.


When you participate in HCA following the 120 day timeline, you will get the opportunity to submit YOUR training videos, and get direct feedback from an HCA coach! The benefits of the personalized feedback are twofold:

Not only will you receive evaluation and advice based on your unique situation, you’ll also have a HUGE motivator to keep you on track with your goals! In order to get feedback, you’ll need to submit your video on time. This challenge has proven to be the exact push that our students need to succeed.


Cassie Miller is our highly qualified, in-house coach who will be providing feedback on YOUR training videos! Using instruction developed by Maddy, Cassie will expertly deliver guidance with personalization to your unique needs.

Cassie is a long-time student of Maddy’s, and an extraordinary trainer in her own right. She graduated Maddy’s original 5 Golden Rules Course with flying colors, and holds 6 titles from “Horse Tricks Titles.” She has succeeded at the highest available level, “Ultimate Trick Horse,” for which she beautifully demonstrated over 30 liberty maneuvers; including bridleless riding, identifying and discriminating colors, painting (yes, her horses can paint!), come to a whistle, fetch with a frisbee, and the spanish walk. Cassie is a 2x guest trainer for the Horse Tricks Academy, where she delivered step-by-step guidance on her signature work.

Most recently, Cassie has been training her previously wild mustang over the past year. She’s developed a trusting, relaxed, enthusiastic participant in farrier/vet procedures, has started her to ride (both at liberty and with tack), and of course, has taught her several dozen fun tricks and endless advanced, functional behaviors.

…All using positive reinforcement; the foundations of which you will learn step-by-step in HCA.

On top of her training prowess, Cassie has a bachelor’s degree in biology, two graduate degrees in educational technology, and 20 years of experience as a high school biology & zoology teacher.

We are proud to have Cassie’s expertise and passion on board to offer you top-notch support in HCA <3




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. They are interested in easing into learning positive reinforcement techniques for the first time.


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… They want to truly connect with their horses, not simply achieve submission from them. They are interested in diving into learning positive reinforcement techniques for the first time.

I would like to highlight that if you are in an underrepresented community in the horse industry such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, low income, etc… You are more than welcome here. We aim to increase our diversity with every enrollment period through scholarship initiatives. Please join the waitlist to learn more about scholarship opportunities!

Honesty & authenticity is important to us at HCA, and we want to be totally transparent with you. We only want you to join if you’re a good fit for this course!


  • You’re uninterested in diving into positive reinforcement methods using clicker training & food rewards
  • You value results & performance over your horse’s emotions
  • You prefer to use escalating pressure with your horse
  • You have strict deadlines with your horse and want to move through training at a rapid pace
  • A relationship with your horse is not your primary goal

If this is you, we recommend that you find a different program to learn from that aligns with your goals <3



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. HCA is completely based in the science of Learning Theory, and follows the “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive” (LIMA) humane treatment policy of behavior modification (training) with horses. The research for HCA curriculum has been pulled from Applied Behavioral Analysis experts who work with every species… From butterflies, to reindeer, children, children with learning disabilities, and trauma research. The methods you will learn here at HCA are not only groundbreaking & wildly effective— they are also incredibly compassionate toward the horse as well.


You may have been disillusioned by professionals in the equine industry to believe that your horse must “respect” you, that you need to dominate the horse to attain a relationship, safety, and control… But this has never felt right to you. All you’ve ever truly wanted is a relationship with your horse that’s meaningful. Well, instead of probing you to reject your compassionate spirit, be “tough” and bury your feelings… We invite you to use your empathy as your super power in HCA <3


HCA is a completely unique educational program in the equine industry because it acts as a bridge between the traditional training world and positive reinforcement techniques. If you join any other horsemanship program, you will most likely only learn about natural horsemanship (pressure & release) OR positive reinforcement… And it’s likely that you will be implicitly or explicitly discouraged from using the “opposing” tools. We primarily teach positive reinforcement exercises in the program, but you won’t be left on your own with natural horsemanship either. You’ll experience so much growth in both areas of your horsemanship! No other well-known program in the equine industry can embrace & support people who all want to practice compassion, but are empowered to choose natural horsemanship or positive reinforcement based on their needs & desires.


The Connection Course inside HCA truly gives you every tool that you’ll need to succeed with your horse, and independently create your own training exercises. There’s this huge dilemma in the horse industry right now: professionals don’t WANT you to know the principles of horse training, so you must rely on them to tell you what to do. You have to keep coming back to buy more DVD’s every time the horse does “X” instead of “Y”. Other programs are based on memorization & reliance on an external source to tell you what to do. Then, they’ll claim that it’s the only “correct” way. Here at HCA, we teach you how to think for yourself and select a process that feels good to you… And you’ll know it’s both effective & kind based on the principles you’ll learn here.


Embarking on a journey in compassionate horse training requires resilience, connectedness and patience with yourself and your horse. You’ll learn to love the journey over the outcome, and that your relationship with yourself is a direct reflection of how you respond or react to your horse… the real work is in yourself. And we know how challenging growth can be, which is why we are passionate about supporting your personal journey in HCA curriculum and community alongside your horse training.



When you enroll in HCA, you’ll dive into the Connection Course which contains 6 Pillars to guide you through your transformation:



An understanding of these ingredients (which I call the 5 Golden Rules) unlocks limitless potential in your horsemanship journey! The 5 Golden Rules are my life’s work (and key to my success in training) wrapped up & delivered to you in a digestible format. These guidelines are designed to empower you to create a training plan for any outcome & solve any problem using key principles—and understanding the scientific breakdown of why they work. The 5 Golden Rules basically take everything you will ever need to know about compassionate horse training, and boils it all down into just 5 rules to guide you. EVERYTHING we teach here in HCA comes back to these pivotal principles.



Here we guide you through crafting your very own training plan to solve or build ANY behavior of your choice. In this step, you will implement all that you’ve learned from the 5 Golden Rules to help you finally load your horse into a trailer, end spooking at the saddle, teach your horse to lay down or come when you call… That thing you’ve been longing to have with your horse? You can achieve it when you know & apply the 5 Golden Rules.



The main concern that just about everyone has with positive reinforcement training at first: food. You’ve probably been warned to never hand feed your horse or feed treats regularly, because of the behavior that often follows. In this pillar, we’ll help you assess your horse’s reaction to food rewards, then give you a system (based on your horse’s assessment results) to introduce food rewards in a safe, relaxed and pleasant way. This will set you up for success in all of your training sessions, so you never have to worry about your horse’s reaction to food!



In this pillar, you’ll learn how to train the 10 Key Foundation Behaviors for successful positive reinforcement training. Once mastered, the behaviors and concepts will set you up to train for any behavior of your choosing! Pillar 4 is all about unlocking new worlds of potential for you and your horse.



After completing Pillars 1-4, YOU have all the tools you need to create your own blueprint for training your horse from the ground, all the way up to your big, exciting goals. Not just one behavior, but every big step you need to take to reach your goals with your horse… We’ll help you build that plan, and make your dream a reality <3



We’ve compiled many of the most challenging training situations (which usually stem from trauma in the horse), and created this library for our students who have the most sensitive, wild, reactive, and fearful horses. This Pillar is for the students with horses who are usually written off as lost causes, turned away from trainers, seemingly impossible to help due to their chronic fear and aggression. You’re not alone, and we are here for you. These deep dives will show you exactly how to solve the problem that once seemed completely overwhelming. If you have a last chance horse, this Pillar is a MUST for you.

This pillar is also for my fellow “training nerds,” the students who want to dive deeper into the science and application of building two-way communication tools, and further investigate key training principles.

These deep dives are available at the end of your journey through the Connection Course to allow students without these challenging cases to avoid overwhelm, and keep moving forward with their horses. You can visit this library if the need arises in your future!


This membership is a special place just for HCA graduates. Once you’ve completed the Connection Course, you will be invited to join the HCA Membership in which you can pay annually to gain access to a library of hundreds of training videos that I have created over the years. The membership features:

  • In-depth case studies where you follow one horse’s progress from start to end
  • Step by step training series that are organized into “pathways” for you to follow
  • Videos on topics ranging from the very beginnings of gentling, all the way through advanced liberty work and riding!


The live program is 20 weeks long. However, you have lifetime access to the course and can complete it at your own pace.

Week 0– Orientation

Week 1 – Golden Rule #1 (Motivation)

Week 2 – Creating a Species Appropriate Lifestyle & Setting Up Your Horse’s Classroom

Week 3 – Golden Rule #2 (Motivation)

Week 4 – Introducing Food Rewards

Week 5 – Implementation Time

Week 6 – Holiday Break

Week 7 – Golden Rule #3 (Communication)

Week 8 – Foundation Behaviors (Phase I)

Week 9 – Implementation Time

Week 10 – Golden Rule #4 (Communication)

Week 11 – Foundation Behaviors (Phase II)

Week 12 – Implementation Time

Week 13 – Golden Rule #5 (Communication)

Week 14 – Foundation Behaviors Phase (Phase III)

Week 15 – Implementation Time

Week 16 – Training Plans & Problem Solving & Graduation Assignment Details

Week 17 – Implementation Time

Week 18 – Creating Your Connection Pathway Blueprint

Week 19 – Creating Your Connection Pathway Blueprint Cont.

Week 20 – Graduation Submission

Deep Dive Bonus trainings will be released upon graduation.

Your curriculum will be dripped out to you week by week according to the timeline. Once it has been released, the entire course is yours forever! You can revisit & review as often as you'd like.




Before I joined Maddy’s Academy, my horsemanship journey was pretty much at a standstill. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was trying really really hard to get connection, but not getting there. After joining Maddy’s Academy… I don’t feel stuck anymore. I highly, highly recommend joining Mustang Maddy’s Academy if you want to connect with your horse, if you want to make your journey easier, if you want a community that’s there for you whenever you need it.




We recommend that you work with just one horse at a time to get the very best results in HCA! You also don’t have to have a horse to join. You can use HCA to prepare for future horses in your life <3

The foundation behaviors taught in HCA are designed for horses that accept a halter and human touch. The goal is to get you fully accustomed to the concepts within HCA with a gentled horse, and then you can utilize the skills you’ve learned on a wild horse! After you’ve nailed the fundamentals, you can join the HCA Membership where Maddy guides you through her gentling protocol, step by step.


You will NOT need a round pen, indoor, or fancy arena when you participate in HCA. The beauty of positive reinforcement is that it’s safe to train in mud, snow, and pastures. Since your horse will WANT to be with you, and you won’t be asking for hard work in order to get results, you won’t need perfect footing or a small enclosed space like a round pen. All you need is a fence between your training area and the rest of the herd, so you can focus on one horse at a time.


A smartphone does work, but we highly recommend a computer or laptop. You will also want a strong WIFI connection for best results. Average/poor connection is functional but not ideal.


Plan to dedicate 3-6 hours per week for coursework & horse training time if you are aiming to stick to the timeline! The added bonus of participating in the 120 day “sprint” is that you’ll get direct feedback on your training from an HCA coach. However, you’ll have lifetime access to the course, so feel free to go at your own pace.



Ultimately, HCA empowers you to achieve any training goal you’re after, while maintaining a “credit in the relationship bank account” with your horse. This means that your horse feels good about being with you & engaging in training sessions.

Now, results vary between horses, students, students’ goals, etc…. But this credit in the relationship bank account most often manifests as:

  • A horse who WANTS to be with you, just as much as you want to be with her
  • A horse who comes to you when you call
  • A horse who greets you at the gate for training sessions, and just and doesn’t want the sessions to end!
  • A horse-human relationship that feels mutual, real, full of exploration, understanding, fun, and love <3
  • A horse with that extra “sparkle” in their eye… That enthusiasm, relaxation, excitement for life & training that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you feel it when it’s there (and it’s the BEST feeling)

If you’re longing for that relationship with your horse, and you also want to…

  • Know exactly how to solve behavioral issues that used to baffle you, like spooking, bolting, kicking, refusing to load, aggression, fear of objects, 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 (HCA 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
  • 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 herd 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
  • Have a developed “trainer’s eye” so you can read your horse’s fear thresholds and respond to them, keeping you safe during training
  • Know exactly how to evaluate your own training sessions to see where you can improve, using proven tools that are handed to you
  • Be able to work with your horse totally at liberty on the ground… No ropes, halters, tack, etc.





Before I joined Maddy’s Academy I was experiencing a lot of frustration, I wanted my horses to be willing partners who enjoyed working with me. I was stuck using my old methods. My horses were dull. While they would usually do what I asked, it was without enthusiasm. We were not making much progress. I realized that there wasn’t any congruency between who we were and the methods we were using.

Since I joined Maddy’s Academy my horses have a much clearer idea of what I am asking them to do. They come to the gate and seem eager for our sessions together.
I have learned from Maddy’s Academy how to recognize when I am pushing them too fast and when I am not pushing fast enough. We are all feeling much safer and more confident together. And it is so much fun.

If you want a better relationship with your horse, to build trust and have better communication, I recommend Maddy’s Academy! You will have access to an amazing amount of information and belong to a most supportive Facebook group.



Since joining Maddy’s Academy, my horsemanship journey has completely transformed! Now, my untouchable mustang comes running when called and puts his forehead in my hands! I am able to lead him and back him at liberty or with a lead using no physical or negative reinforcement pressure. He is completely engaged in our training sessions!


Hi, my name is Whitney, and I have been involved in equine for 25 years. At a young age I competed in local horse shows, omoksees, and the county fair. By the time I was in the 7th grade I was competing in halter on a national level and winning. In 2010 I was local royalty queen and in 2012 I was top FFA horse judged in my county and number 6 in the state of Washington. Fast forward, I’m a rancher, mom, spouse, and horse trainer.

Before joining Maddy’s Academy, I was experiencing trouble not only feeling the “whole, completely a team” feeling with my horses, and some of my older straight out of the wild mustangs did not take well to traditional and natural horsemanship methods. I had the mustang that no one could touch, he held his head up high and snorted every time someone came near him. I tried just about every well known trainers methods with him but really felt like we were not connecting or making the progress I desired. I did not see the desire to have a relationship with me in him that I was seeking.

I was down to my last straw sitting on YouTube looking for answers when I came across Maddy and her famous liberty ride with Amira. I knew I needed that connection! I found her website and never looked back!

Since joining Maddy’s Academy, my horsemanship journey has completely transformed! Now, my untouchable mustang comes running when called and puts his forehead in my hands! I am able to lead him and back him at liberty or with a lead using no physical or negative reinforcement pressure. He is completely engaged in our training sessions! Our very first time he became so relaxed he kept his head down and never snorted. You could see how much he enjoyed learning! It was his free choice to take part, and that was the most rewarding part to me. We finally found a way to two way communicate effectively with each other.

If you want to achieve a higher and better relationship with your horse, see them engaged and willing, empower them with choice, and achieve results, then I would highly recommend Maddy’s Academy!


Hello I’m Tomohiro Kurosawa, from Australia/Japan. I begun my horsemanship journey little over a year ago with my 5yo thoroughbred Nirvana. I had been riding at the school for two years before that but had little knowledge about horse. My first horse, Nirvana was a green OTTB when I adopted. He was a typical ex-racehorse, extremely hot and nervous. As a green horseperson, I started to follow NH, hoping I could earn “Respect” from my horse. However, my gut feeling was telling me “show who is the boss” type approach did not quite work between us…

I haven’t had a chance to own Mustang but I started to think that Maddy is the one I want to learn from. Ever since I completed the 5GR course I know how horse think and learn. I know why horse acts that way. Now I have much clearer idea of how to train/communicate with horses.

I and Nirvana have created a beautiful connection through Maddy’s academy. What we have achieved as a first/second-year horseperson with a green OTTB is… INCREDIBLE!



I would like everybody to know there is a better way. And Maddy is teaching a better way and is teaching it well. I recommend and already have recommended to people to learn from Mustang Maddy how to treat their horses and train their horses and overcome their problems. I recommend her highly. May God bless you, your day and your horses. Please consider joining the academy and learning about positive reinforcement from Mustang Maddy. It is so beautiful and so fulfilling to train horse in this manner.


As a young person I loved horses and read books like” The Black Stallion.” I dreamed of having a horse that would love me and would do anything for me and that I had a special bond with like I had read about in this and other stories. I was born in the city but took every chance I could to ride and learn. I went to college for horses and then my family bought a farm and I worked there as a horseback riding instructor and trainer among other things. At college although I learned many good things some of the techniques were not so good –for instance ropes were used to put a horse down and sack it out. As a young person I had ridden a lot of bareback. At college it was recognized that I had training talent as the college actually hired me to train some horses for them and recommended me to train a horse for an outside client. I did some exploring of different techniques and gotten into some bridleless riding and helping horses to get over fears. I liked the gentler techniques better and was gradually converted to using treats with the horses for rewards. I helped people with their horses. But then my life took a different turn as I felt called to be a religious sister. I thought that my life was over with horses and I would never ride or even touch a horse again as I became a cloistered nun. (Cloistered community nuns don’t go out they stay inside the monastery and the grounds.)

I can’t explain it all here but my original call was to be in a community that didn’t exist yet. After years in the one monastery I felt the call to begin the new community and got permission to leave the monastery to start it. I had last been with horses in the mid-1990s. One strong memory I had was of attending a clinic of a famous natural horseman. I was so disappointed because he was supposed to be so gentle and he was using the lead rope, swinging it to get the horse to turn. This is how the horse was taught to ride bridleless and listen to the cues. The consequence for the horse if it didn’t turn his head was that it would get hit by the lead rope if it did not turn. This was supposed to be a preparation for bridleless riding! This was not at all I hoped for. I loaded up the horses and left. This experience and some others got me to the point where I had very little trust of any trainers as they would talk as if they were gentle and humane and were not. I had had to deal with horses that were supposed to be trained and yet were explosive when they spooked. At that time I thought it was a problem caused by the horse and I had not been able to cope with it. Now through Maddy’s teachings I realize that poor horses had been flooded when they were trained and forced to do things through fear and so that was why when they came out of the freeze type mode of riding that they were so explosive.

Getting back now to 3 years ago, I left the monastery to try to begin the new religious community. As part of this community’s work I felt lead to have the sisters do horse assisted therapy. In searching out people to learn from I found Maddy. I saw her riding bridleless with the horses in incredible control. I was never as good as she is. I also had felt called to get Mustang horses for our therapy horses -some people say that Mustangs are better therapy horses then domestic horses. In the past I had done tricks with horses too and loved what I saw Maddy doing. I found that Maddy was a good teacher- an excellent teacher and I was so happy to see how she used positive reinforcement because that really wasn’t around much in my time with the horses earlier in life. Training a horse at liberty and leaving the horse a choice whether it wants to be trained or to leave is so beautiful. It’s also amazing when you use Target training how you can get a horse to do so many things without even touching them. I find now I have the chance to have the type of relationship with horses that I had dreamed of as a child. And I hope to be able to share this with many other people because I think this is very healing. We think we need to try to control others and we so often try to take away their free choice or use force. Maddy’s methods teach us that there is a better way and that these gentle ways work. As a child I experienced a lot of fear and I was forced to do things even though I was afraid eventually my spirit was pretty much broken. I would like everybody to know there is a better way. And Maddy is teaching a better way and is teaching it well. I recommend and already have recommended to people to learn from Mustang Maddy how to treat their horses and train their horses and overcome their problems. I recommend her highly. May God bless you, your day and your horses. Please consider joining the academy and learning about positive reinforcement from Mustang Maddy. It is so beautiful and so fulfilling to train horse in this manner.




Email Maddy’s assistant trainer, Baylee, to help you discover if HCA is a perfect fit for you.


What do I need to have to get the most out of HCA?

Horse: If you have access to a horse/horses (recommended but not required), we recommend that you work with just one horse at a time.

The horse you are working with needs to be comfortable with haltering & touch. While the curriculum will be incredibly beneficial in understanding how to work with a feral/un-gentled horse, the step-by-step training exercises are intended for horses that you can halter and touch.

Once you have graduated HCA, you can utilize the concepts you learned and create a gentling training plan of your own. For even more support, you may also join the Pathway Laboratory, where Maddy will be sharing her Gentling Pathway as she creates it.

A smartphone is okay, but we highly recommend a computer/laptop. You will also want a strong wifi connection for best results. Average/poor connection is functional but not ideal and will add to load time.

Time: Plan to dedicate 3-6 hours per week for coursework & horse training time if you are aiming to stick to the timeline! However, after your investment you have lifetime access to the course, so you may choose to go at your own pace.

I can't afford the enrollment fee. What do I do?

First, we encourage you to consider the cost of NOT joining. How long can you continue enduring the struggle you’re experiencing with your horse, the lack of connection, and harsh traditional methods that just don’t sit right with you? What would it be worth to have the connection of your dreams with your horse? Also consider this: HCA is equal to the cost of a handful of riding lessons, and just a fraction of the cost of sending your horse to a trainer… But you’ll get to keep the material for a LIFETIME, and enjoy lasting results with your horse.

It’s a serious investment. And I honor that responsibility. That’s also why I’ve taken a strong stand to offer lifetime access to HCA curriculum, which means that you can retake the course for as long as it’s in existence — for free!

And—ready for a mindset tip? Are you afraid you don’t have the money… or is there another fear behind the belief you cannot afford the enrollment fee? Perhaps that you don’t feel worthy of having the connection of your dreams? Or, why try if you already believe it won’t work for you? These are all some deep questions to reflect on.

If it is money that’s the issue and you’re sure about that—instead of saying “i can’t afford it,” try affirming “I am open to receiving abundance.” I know, this might seem woo-woo at first… But you would be AMAZED how this can open your brain up to new neural pathways and to finding solutions And, not to mention, the synchronicities that can appear out of nowhere sometimes!

We know how hard it is to come up with the money to invest in your education, and never want to invalidate that very real challenge! But I hope it will be encouraging to mention that we have had students sell items they don’t need, borrow from friends/family, ask for early Christmas/birthday gifts, take out a loan, etc. to join Mustang Maddy programs… And the ones who go all in & make sacrifices to make their dreams come true often get much better results with their horses than the people who have the funds readily available, because they are so committed to making the program worthwhile. Often, our biggest challenges are actually our greatest assets for personal growth and expansion <3

Again, we know this is not easy! But just want you to know that we fully believe in your ability to create abundance in your life in order to join HCA if it feels like it’s right for you.

Now, all that being said, we understand that some people truly do not have the resources for the enrollment fee for HCA right now (especially considering current world events). And I really don’t want money to be the reason this material isn’t made available to you. This is why we have created some options:

  1. Payment Plan – We offer a four-month payment plan option if you’re unable to pay the full enrollment fee up front!
  2. Scholarship – We have a limited number of full scholarships available to those in need of financial aid, or people in the BIPOC community (black, indigenous & people of color). Please keep an eye out for an email with scholarship application forms!

Is it possible to go through HCA without riding?

Yes! While HCA will absolutely improve your training in your riding sessions, you will not need to ride to train the foundational behaviors you’ll be guided through in this program.

Should I wait to join HCA?

HCA opens for enrollment a maximum of just two times per year. If not now, then when? It’s never too soon to transform your horsemanship journey <3 Even if the timing isn’t perfect for you… You’ll have lifetime access to the HCA curriculum..

Plus, here’s a helpful mindset tip I learned from a mentor myself, which is—You’ll never feel ready if you listen to your fear-based mind. Ever since then, I’ve personally employed the “start before you’re ready strategy” and it’s transformed the entire course of my life <3

The problem is that most people are addicted to putting things off and saying things like maybe next time, or next month or next year — to the VERY things that matter most — their biggest dreams!

I invite you to challenge that “I’m not ready yet” strategy. Because a year from now, you’ll either still be treading water… Or you’ll be on higher ground, living the connection of your dreams and inspiring others to change the way they look at horsemanship as well—spreading compassionate methods of training horses just by doing this work yourself.

Remember this: you’ll never feel ready to make the impact you were put on this earth to make. The real secret to living up to your highest potential is to always start before you’re ready. And horses everywhere can’t wait for you to get started!

It’s time to say “YES!” to fully using your gift of sensitivity and empathy…and reaching the goals you’ve been dreaming about for so many years with your horse.

I’ve been where you are. From my heart, I cannot wait to show you what’s waiting for you on the other side <3

Do I have to own a horse to join HCA?

You do not have to own a horse to join HCA! The first portion of the curriculum is building your understanding of core training principles and developing your observational skills and trainer’s eye. The second portion of the curriculum is where students will work with a horse hands-on. You may find a horse to work with for this portion of the course such as a horse at a rescue, a friend’s horse, or leased horse. You can also revisit that portion of the course when you do have a horse to work with, since you have lifetime access to the Connection Course material!

Can I go through HCA with a wild or un-gentled horse?

No, not at this time. The foundation behaviors taught in HCA are designed for horses that accept a halter and human touch. The goal is to get you fully accustomed to the concepts within HCA with a gentled horse, and then you can utilize the skills you’ve learned on a wild horse. Plus, when you complete the Connection Course within HCA, you can join the HCA Laboratory membership, where Maddy guides you through her gentling protocol, step by step.

I do not live in the US. Can I join HCA?

Yes! Since HCA is all online, you can join from anywhere in the world. All you need is a credit card to make your payments.

I want to join HCA, but my schedule conflicts with the modules. What should I do?

No worries! You’ll get lifetime access to the HCA curriculum. Even if you can’t work on the material as soon as it drops, you can always dive in at a later date <3

I want to join HCA, but I’m afraid I don’t have the time. What should I do?

If you plan to work through the live program in real time, we recommend between 4-6 hours per week (3 if you’re reallllly speedy), to watch the video lessons, complete your homework assignments and —if you’d like— engage with our community. Many students will likely move through the program as best they can; pause and return to it as their schedule allows.

So, if you’re not able to carve out that much time at first, don’t worry! You get lifetime access to the training and can easily work at your own pace, on your own schedule. This experience is designed to stretch you, but it can also be customized to your life.

The more focus and dedication you put into HCA, the more you’ll get out of it. To be clear, there are no fast or guaranteed results. Building a connection with your horse is not a 120 day, linear event. This program mirrors the reality of horsemanship— it’s intense, time consuming, demanding and something you’ll work on for the rest of your life!

Aaaand mindset tip: We live in a fast paced world… You’ll probably never feel like you have time for the things you love, unless you schedule them in. If you’ve been longing to have a connected relationship with your horse, you’ll only get there by prioritizing your horsemanship <3 A mentor once taught me, there is no such thing as a lack of time, just a lack of priorities. I’m going to give you some of these scheduling tips inside HCA to help you out—chances are, there’s quite a few ways to clear a few hours a week in your schedule. You’ve got this <3

What if HCA doesn’t work for me? (Refund Policy)

We understand this fear completely. It’s scary to jump into something new, feeling unsure if the product will deliver, or that you’ll be able to implement it!

The curriculum you will learn inside HCA is proven by Maddy’s success, the success of her students, and scientific studies and research in learning theory and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Plus, the program was designed to guide you to a transformation with support and accountability, so we know you’ll be able to implement what you learn. This is how HCA supports hundreds of students succeeding inside the program every day, and how we know it will work for you.

However, we do back HCA with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re unhappy with your results after you have graduated from HCA (by completing every module & submitting each homework assignment), simply email us within 1 year of your enrollment date and we will issue a full refund.

We ask for completed coursework before issuing refunds because we want to ensure that we only work with students who are committed to their own transformation in their horsemanship journey <3

Online doesn’t give me enough support. I need to be there in person. How can HCA help me?

When you attend a clinic or workshop, you have to “drink in” everything you learn in just a few hours or days, then take it home and hope you remember all of it. When you go through HCA online, you have the opportunity to revisit any lesson when issues arise. Plus, you have LIFETIME access to our student forums, where you can ask your questions about the curriculum any time. At live events, your support ends when the event ends. But here at HCA, you’ll get ongoing support any time you need it.

I learn by doing, not by watching. Is HCA right for me?

Yes! There is a special portion in HCA dedicated to guiding you through hands-on training with your horse. Additionally, you’ll get opportunities to practice & test your knowledge, understanding and skills inside the HCA curriculum. You won’t be sitting back, passively consuming information. HCA is designed to be a course you’ll actively participate in, ultimately guiding you to the transformation you’re dreaming of.

My situation is very unique. I’ve tried ___ already with my horse, and it doesn’t work. Why is HCA any different?

If you’ve tried positive reinforcement or other compassionate training methods and didn’t find success… Don’t worry. HCA is built on science, proven to create results. If you’ve tried something like this before and didn’t enjoy the results, you likely did not have the proper guidance to get you where you wish to go. HCA teaches exactly what you need to create a true connection with your horse.

HCA is designed to work for every horse; it gives you many ways to creatively tailor your training to your specific horse, based on a handful of proven, fundamental principles. HCA has guided hundreds of unique students & horses to a connected relationship, so we know it will work if compassionate horsemanship aligns with you.

Mindset tip: We have recognized a pattern in those asking this question. We say this with love: affirming that your situation is too unique to find answers may be a limiting belief preventing you from leveling up and taking action. Do you believe you are worthy of the connection you desire? If you’re looking for all the reasons why HCA won’t work for you… It won’t work. And nothing else will, either. There’s a mindset block holding you back from achieving your dreams. We reprogram your mindset in this course, so if you’re ready to abandon all excuses and finally create the relationship you long for with your horse… Enroll in HCA.

Will HCA work for me if I show my horse, run cattle, barrel race, etc.?

Yes! HCA teaches the principles of ALL compassionate horse training, improving every aspect of your horsemanship. The hands-on portion of our curriculum is focused on foundational positive reinforcement behaviors, which you can train outside of your normal riding routine (careful, you’ll probably get addicted to positive reinforcement once you try it!). Then, in the last module, we will cover how you can integrate positive reinforcement into your previous training using 3 tracks, unique to your horse and individual goals.

I’m not a trainer, can’t I connect with my horse without investing in training education?

Nope 🙂 Your horse is ALWAYS learning. Every interaction you have with her is training her in some way. If you want a true connection with your horse, understanding the fundamentals of how your horse operates is absolutely necessary. Learning how to train your horse effectively and with compassion will be the cornerstone of all your interactions with her if you’re longing for a connected relationship. This is exactly what we offer in HCA!

My horse is ___, so she’ll always be that way. How can HCA change that?

By labeling our horses as abused, a rescue horse, bratty, naughty, reactive, stubborn, etc… We avoid taking responsibility for our horse’s (learned) behaviors, ultimately blocking out any change that can be made. A victim mindset is believing that the horse is at fault, and you have no hope of ever helping/changing her behavior.

Let’s change that to the warrior mindset! Your horse is never too far gone. There is always an opportunity to create the connection of your dreams, and change your horse’s life for the better by taking up responsibility to help her. This is why we created HCA! We give you all the tools that you need to train and connect with your horse. All you need to do is take up responsibility and jump in!

©2024 Mustang Maddy | A Division of Madison Shambaugh Horsemanship, LLC.