THE HORSE-HUMAN
CONNECTION ACADEMY

DO YOU LONG FOR HORSES TO WANT TO BE WITH YOU...AND HAVE A DEEP, TRUSTING CONNECTION WITH YOU?

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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IMAGINE IF...

…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…) & staying safe

AND...

…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 THIS IS THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP YOU'VE ALWAYS LONGED TO HAVE WITH YOUR HORSE...

HCA IS A PERFECT FIT FOR YOU

There are limited spots available, and enrollment only opens a few times a year!
Join the waitlist to enroll before doors open to the public on
June 18th.

WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HCA

WHAT VERENA
HAS TO SAY

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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.

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.

MY JOURNEY TO THE HORSE-HUMAN CONNECTION ACADEMY

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.

IF YOU'RE READY TO
FINALLY CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE...

There are limited spots available, and enrollment only opens a few times a year!
Join the waitlist to enroll before doors open to the public on
June 18th.

WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HCA

WHAT ANGELA
HAS TO SAY

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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.

WHAT IS THE HORSE-HUMAN CONNECTION ACADEMY?

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

OUR FOUNDATIONAL CURRICULUM CONSISTS OF:

12 LEARNING MODULES WITH STEP-BY-STEP VIDEOS

Clear, detailed video lessons in which Maddy reveals the key training principles behind her methods.

15 TRAINING EXERCISES TO TRY WITH YOUR HORSE

We’ll help you implement the exercises that will transform the relationship you have with your horse.

WORKBOOKS AND DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES

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

FORUM

Ask all your questions about the curriculum and get direct answers from Maddy.

COMMUNITY

Connect with supportive, like-minded students.

7 BONUS VIDEO SERIES

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.

WE'LL BE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU

FORUM

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!

COMMUNITY

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 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.

ACCOUNTABILITY CHECKPOINTS

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.

WHO WE HELP

I HAVE FOUND THAT MY SYSTEM WORKS BEST FOR THESE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE:

01

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.

02

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.

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!

HCA IS NOT FOR YOU IF...

  • 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

WHAT SETS HCA APART?

01 | PROVEN, SCIENCE-BASED METHODS

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.

02 | TRAINING YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT

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

03 | INTEGRATION YOU WON'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE

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.

04 | WE EMPOWER YOU

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.

05 | YOU'LL GROW IN WAYS YOU'D NEVER EXPECT

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.

WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HCA

There are limited spots available, and enrollment only opens a few times a year.
Join the waitlist to enroll before doors open to the public on
June 18th.

HCA'S PROVEN PROCESS

THE CONNECTION COURSE

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

PILLAR 01:

LEARN THE 5 INGREDIENTS OF THE HORSE-HUMAN CONNECTION

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.

PILLAR 2:

CREATE YOUR OWN UNIQUE TRAINING RECIPE

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.

PILLAR 3:

SUCCESSFULLY INTRODUCE YOUR HORSE TO FOOD REWARDS

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!

PILLAR 4:

IMPLEMENT THE 10 KEY FOUNDATION BEHAVIORS

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.

PILLAR 5:

CREATE YOUR OWN CONNECTION PATHWAY BLUEPRINT

Over the next several years, I’ll be building out my signature “Connection Pathway Blueprint” which will be my official step-by-step method to train horses from the ground up. Now, I’ll be sharing this incredible research process in the Laboratory within HCA, and I’m excited to share it with you! But… 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

PILLAR 6:

DEEP DIVES REFERENCE LIBRARY

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!

THE LABORATORY MEMBERSHIP

Once you’ve completed the 6 Pillars of the Connection Course and all implementation assignments… I’ll invite you to join the HCA Laboratory, so you can come along with me as I share my latest research & breakthroughs! I will be sharing videos on topics ranging from the very beginnings of gentling, all the way through advanced liberty work and riding! The Lab is a special place just for HCA graduates. You have the choice to subscribe to the monthly or annual membership, where you will receive weekly video trainings and access to exclusive Lab forums.

WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HCA

WHAT LAURIE HAS
TO SAY ABOUT HCA

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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.

YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A DEEP CONNECTION WITH YOUR HORSE ON EVERY LEVEL. ON THE GROUND, ON HER BACK (THE PHYSICAL), BUT ALSO MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY AS A RESULT OF THE HORSE-HUMAN CONNECTION ACADEMY.

There are limited spots available, and enrollment only opens a few times a year!
Join the waitlist to enroll before doors open to the public on
June 18th.

SO...ARE YOU READY?

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 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
  • 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.

THE HCA TIMELINE

Registration for our 2020 class is open June 18th-July 2nd.

The live program is 16 weeks long and runs from July 6th-October 25th.

Week 0: Module 1, Orientation

Week 1: Module 2 Motivation, Golden Rule #1

Week 2: Module 3 Motivation, Golden Rule #2

Week 3: Module 4 Communication, Golden Rule #3

Week 4: Module 5 Communication, Golden Rule #4

Week 5: Module 6 Communication, Golden Rule #5

Week 6: Module 7 Training Plans & Problem Solving Behavior

Week 7: Module 8 Creating a Species Appropriate Lifestyle

Week 8: Module 9 Set-up Your Horse’s Training Environment

Week 9: Module 10 Introducing Food Rewards

Week 10: Implementation Time for Module 10

Week 11: Module 11 Foundation Behaviors #1-3

Week 12: Module 12 Foundation Behaviors #4-6

Week 13: Module 13 Foundation Behaviors #7-10

Week 14: Implementation Time for Foundation Behaviors

Week 15: Implementation Time for Foundation Behaviors

Week 16: Module 14 Creating Your Own Connection Pathway Blueprint + Graduation!

Deep Dive Bonus trainings will be released in Oct & Nov.

Once the initial 16 weeks of curriculum has been released, you'll have access to the entire course forever and can revisit and review as often as you'd like.

HCA IS YOUR KEY TO UNLOCKING THIS POTENTIAL IN YOU & YOUR HORSE

There are limited spots available, and enrollment only opens a few times a year.
Join the waitlist to enroll before doors open to the public on
June 18th.

WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HCA

OUR STUDENT
SUCCESS STORIES

CASSIE MILLER

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I am so thankful for Mustang Maddy, the membership tribe, and the 5 Golden Rules Course to Horse-Human Connection. I discovered Maddy on a search to improve my relationship with my (then) hard-to-catch horse, Cash. I tell everyone who will listen that Cash is the reason I found Maddy, and she is the reason that I have such an incredible bond with him now.

Since the beginning of my 5GR journey, Cash has learned to: come to me when called, follow at liberty, back up to my voice, and perform a number of tricks (including the Spanish Walk, my training focus for the course). This course also exposed me to stationary and mobile target training as well as the “start button” technique, which have been game-changers for cash and the rest of my herd.

BARBARA HADLEY

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.

WHITNEY BENSELY

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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!

READ WHITNEY'S FULL STORY

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!

TOMOHIRO KUROSAWA

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!

SISTER MARY VERONICA

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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.

READ SISTER MARY VERONICA'S FULL STORY

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.

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