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Episode 74: Anja Beran Part 1: What Is Classical Dressage and Why Use Bits?

This episode begins a very special series. In July I attended Anja Beran’s Annual International Workshop. I was accompanied by eight other clicker trainers. At the end of the week Anja sat down with us for an evening of questions. I began by asking Anja for her definition of classical dressage. From there the conversation ranged over a variety of questions, including one from Heather Binns on the use of bits, spurs, and whips. I know many in the clicker training community are unequivocally opposed to the use of these tools. But when you hear Anja’s explanation of how she uses these tools it, it may not change your mind for your own practice, but it may help you to understand why ot

Episode 73: Becky Chapman Pt 5: Key Components

We've been visiting with Becky Chapman, a classical dressage riding instructor, biomechanics coach, and clicker trainer. Last week Becky shared with you the story of Mack. We should have warned you in advance that tissues would be needed. From triumphs to tragedy our horses take us on quite the journey. But as Becky said so beautifully, better to feel the sorrow than never to have known our beloved horses. We also met Philly, her daughter’s pony, the horse Becky rode through classical dressage master, Philippe Karl’s teacher instructor program. And now in this final installment of our conversation with Becky we are meeting the newest addition to her equine family, Rosie, an off the

Episode 72: Becky Chapman Pt 4: The Best of Them

Becky Chapman is a biomechanics coach and classical dressage trainer. She runs a training facility in Suffolk, in the UK. All the horses in her yard are clicker trained. Last week you heard about Becky’s simulator. It’s a wonderful machine. I remember during one of my visits Becky and I spent a morning exploring the single-rein riding techniques that I teach. It was fascinating to see what the computer was telling us as we made small changes in the way the rider used the reins. It was so much fun to see the details of the single-rein riding confirmed by the simulator. The simulator veered us off into Becky’s current coaching. My next question brought us back to horses and the story o

Episode 71: Becky Chapman - Part 3: Teaching Tools

This is Part Three of our conversation with Becky Chapman. Becky is a classical dressage riding instructor and biomechanics coach. She is also a clicker trainer. Becky has been sharing the journey which brought her to clicker training. Last week you heard the story of Gazelle, a mare who introduced herself to Becky by rearing up and falling over sideways. Becky still bought her and tried to turn her into a riding horse. She had two major falls from her that resulted in serious injuries that required long recovery times. In an odd way these injuries turned out to be a good thing. The long recovery gave Becky time to study subjects that were outside the normal British Horse Society