EXCELLENCE IN HORSE TRAINING
Alexandra Kurland • Washington, DC (in-person)
At one point in Alexandra Kurland’s lifetime of riding she “would get on any horse someone offered me. It didn’t really occur to me to be afraid; I naively believed that I knew how to ride. And I certainly knew how to stay on.”
And then everything changed. It wasn’t the usual story, the story she heard all too often at clinics. She says, “I didn’t fall off. I wasn’t injured. I didn’t take on an aggressive horse who was beyond my skill level. What changed was a devastating diagnosis from my vet.”
Alex’s beloved thoroughbred had spinal cord damage. The condition was likely to be progressive. It left the horse without normal feeling in her hind legs so she wobbled from side-to-side and frequently fell. “I was warned,” recalls Alex. “I must never ride my horse because she could fall with me on her and crush me.”
For Alex, fear takes many forms. “There is fear for someone you love. There is fear of someone who can hurt you. Fear can paralyze. It can cripple. Fear can stop you in your tracks. It can send you into despair. Or, it can turn you into a better trainer.”
How? “Fear can reveal steps that are missing. Fear can motivate us to fill in those steps. Filling in the steps meant riding my horse. She taught me about balance and the deep union that is possible between horse and rider. She put me solidly on the path that led to clicker training.”
In this Session, Alex shares her discoveries about personal fear: how to listen to it, transform it, and, ultimately, use it to be a better trainer. For Alex, "my key to excellence in training is learning to listen; my transformative moment was listening to my fear and learning how to use it constructively.”
Join Alex for this Session about fear–not how to get rid of it, but how to harness it to unlock excellence.
From dogs to penguins to rhinos to alligators, behavior analysis has universal relevance across species, settings, and behaviors! At ClickerExpo LIVE, you’ll get the opportunity to observe a live behavior consultation between Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D. and the team at The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, as they teach a rhino and a “congregation” of alligators to participate in husbandry and medical care in real-time.
Until then, enjoy this short clip from their 2021 live consult, which focused on giraffes and penguins!