Would you like your horse to be motivated to go?
To engage with you?
To explore the world?
To be willing and eager to respond to your aids?
Yet with calmness and to be patient when required?
Would you like training to be fun, not work?

Targeting is a tool that no horse person should be without. Traditional artificial aids include the whip and spurs. These rely on the horse’s motivation to move away from things and avoid discomfort. The target is also an artificial aid or tool. Targeting is trained using reward based methods and relies on the horse’s motivation to seek out a pleasant experience. Targeting creates positive enthusiasm and effort in even the most ‘lazy’ of horses, while at the same time calming the fearful horse.

The target as a tool can be used to teach anything you wish, from lateral work to trailer loading. It has been used perhaps most famously by Shawna Karrasch and Beezie Madden (Olympic medal winning showjumper for the USA) to work with showjumpers. I use it routinely when dealing with behaviour problems and when starting young horses. It’s also a great way to introduce fun and games into your horse’s life.

In this one day introduction to targeting, we will look at the theory behind why the target works. We will do practical exercises to help us understand it’s applications. We will learn how to introduce the horse to the target for the first time and how to build on this introduction. Then we will discuss moving forwards and how each of you might be able to usefully integrate the target into your training.

The course runs from 10.30am to 4pm. Cost for the day is £25 per person. There are four horse places available, at a cost of £10 per horse. Places are limited so book soon to avoid disappointment! Course is near Desertmartin, Northern Ireland, on Saturday 18th June 2016.

Contact me (Dr Helen Spence) on 07773 157428 in order to book your place or for further information. Email

Looking forward to seeing you there!