Clinic in Cambridgeshire with Dr Helen Spence

Posted in: Classical Equitation, Clicker Training

Learn all about rewarding horse training with Dr Helen Spence!

A clinic at West Wratting Park Stud, Cambridgeshire on Sunday 25th September 2011.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then this is the clinic for you & your horse!!!

Equi-libre Horses is organising a one day clinic with Dr Helen Spence of Places are limited to ensure everyone gets as much learning time as possible from the day. There are approx. 5 horse places as well as spectator places.

We are lucky to be able to have a really nice small group and so everyone, including the spectators, will be very much actively involved in the day in terms of the demonstrations, practical exercises, theory discussions and question and answer sessions.

The morning will focus on an introduction to Helen’s philosophy and background, theory and practical exercises with everyone getting involved and will most likely include some short demos with the horses and their owners.

Helen will then follow on to the lessons with each horse and owner, we should have enough time to have 2 of these each throughout the day.

Dr Helen Spence

Helen Spence has a PhD in horse behaviour & a degree in psychology. She teaches riding & lectures in horse behaviour to postgraduate level, runs clinics for horse owners & equine professionals & offers advice on behaviour problems. Helen also has a deep understanding of classical riding and makes use of clicker training as well as her in-depth scientific knowledge in equine behaviour.

Helen’s way of working is a gentle, positive approach to horsemanship which improves the relationship & understanding between horse & rider through application of psychological theories, understanding of horse behaviour & ethology, natural horsemanship & classical riding principles. Helen specialises in training using positive reinforcement and the clicker.

This approach will be of use to everyone from novice to expert, but is particularly useful for young horses, the more nervous horse & rider or horses that are lacking motivation & enjoyment in their work. It is also incredibly valuable for those working with horses for a living, in particular those working with youngsters.

Using the clicker as an aid to training horses has exploded in popularity in recent years. Rightly so, since it is a fantastic way of working. However, just like any other training tool, it is not a magic wand, and is only as effective as the hand that holds it. In order to become a good trainer using the clicker you should be prepared to take the time to learn the science of the clicker (in other words the theory and the practical skills), which you can then marry with the art and understanding of correct and safe biomechanics within the training of the horse. You often hear people refer to ‘clicker training’ as a method in it’s own right. Helen prefers not to take that approach. To Helen, there is good, bad and mediocre training, regardless of the method taught, and she prefers to educate people to improve their overall training skills, so that they can then understand all the different methods out there, and choose to work in a way that they feel is ethical and effective. Almost more important is the posture, the movement and the positioning of the spine which we reinforce the horse for. This requires experience and understanding of the principles of classical equitation in order that the horse is rewarded for correct posture and movement.

If this clinic would be of interest to you, please do get in touch on

Jo Hughes