Don Shaw

Horse Trainer & Behaviourist

Horsemanship Course and Lectures

BildetekstMy foundation horsemanship course and clinics teach students the importance of clear communication whilst working safely with their horse. A non-violent pressure and reward method is applied in a way which the horse clearly understands as it is designed to work in harmony with its own basic instincts.



1.  Ground Work Course.


Problem solving is about finding workable solutions to achieving a partnership with your horses.   The learning content of this type of course are normally dictated by the horses and their owners.   It is often more rewarding for both parties in this ‘partnership’ to work on real life communication problems and find the solutions together.



BildetekstDuring this 4 hour course you will learn about the most common reasons for your horse’s unwanted behaviour. There will be some short presentations and discussion but the majority of the learning will be hands-on.



Through working with your own horse and observing other owners at work you will soon develop a good range of training methods to successfully overcome problems such as:

  • LeBildetekstading,
  • Catching,
  • Loading,
  • Crossing Water & 0ther obstacles,
  • Head shy,
  • Standing to mount,
  • Preparation for the farrier & vet,
  • De-sensitization,
  • Pulling back.


2.  Two-day 3 K’s workshop.

Day One

The first day starts with introductions and a lecture/discussion on the nature of the horse. We will then start working in a round pen.  The reason I like to use a round pen is that it makes it possible to establish yourself as the leader and both the horse and student learn much quicker. This is because the pen provides a controlled environment where you can develop the horse's attitude and at the same time establish your dominance in terms which the horse understands and naturally accepts... and more importantly, that the horse naturally wants to follow.   This is what I call making ‘KONTAKT’.  


Horses respect assertiveness, confidence and athletic prowess. The leaders in the herds possess these attributes which are key to herd survival in hostile environments, so it naturally goes that if we can project these attributes we can get more from the horse than we can through traditional "control and punishment." Basically we set it up so the horse wants to learn!  Which in turn leads to second phase of the communication process, making the ‘KONTRAKT’.  This is the environment where you are stronger, faster and more agile than that 600kg horse... at least in the mind of the horse.  The round pen is not some place where you simply run your horse around in mindless circles.


All the techniques taught in the round pen are equally applicable to working with the horse in an open field or school but the key thing to remember is that the round pen is a useful tool for speeding up the learning process.


There is a lot of information presented in the two-day programme.  But don’t worry, Don provides printed notes covering both day's material, This allows the participants to focus on the work rather than taking notes.


One by one each horse and its owner go into the 20 meter round pen and learn a process that will get the horse to be attentive, submissive and begin to relax. All three are important!


Day Two

On the second day after every horse has been through the liberty work in the round pen, there is another short lecture/discussion that deals with what Don calls ‘KONTINUITET’.


This is all about maintaining the respectful attitude you gained from the horse whilst working in the pen and transferring that into your everyday routine with your horse. It will also help you become much more effective when leading a horse. The combination of a few, simple, effective techniques, along with understanding and communication beyond the normal will help you achieve more from your partnership.  The second day also looks at those topics covered in the problem solving clinic


3.  Trailer Loading Course.


BildetekstThe large proportion of the behavioral work I have done here in Norway has been in relation to horses that are difficult or impossible to load in a trailer.   Unfortunately too many of my clients ring me the night before or on the morning of a show asking for help with loading their horse.



The loading course is about giving you and your horse every opportunity to succeed and overcome a very common problem.   On this 4 hour course you will learn how to prepare a safe environment for training and the correct use of equipment. 




The day will begin with ground work.  This will include teaching your horse to come off pressure together with some useful exercises to teach your horse to become more relaxed and confident in the loading situation.  Our aim is to teach the horse to want to load himself.


4.  Ground Driving Course.

Ground driving or long lining as it is also known is a very useful skill to learn. 

I have found this technique invaluable when preparing young horses prior to being ridden for the first time.  From a safe position on the ground you are able to teach him the different paces as well as direction.  The horse can also be introduced to the concept of leg aids.


Through the use of long lining you are able to teach the horse inner balance which is difficult to achieve by conventional ‘single line lunging’.  It can also be used for exercising the more experienced horse and develop rhythm and balance together with the development of muscle tone.  This is a 4 hour course.


5. One to One Instruction.



My one to one training sessions are tailored to meet the needs of the horse and its owner.  The half day session will mostly be hands on although information and advice will be given with regard to the continuing care of the horse in respect of natural horse psychology and behavior.This training session will focus on ground work and if required the horse can be trained whilst at liberty in the safety of a round pen.  Here the student will learn about natural communication and developing a strong bond of trust.


 6.  Reiki Energy Healing.

BildetekstReiki is a Japanese form of healing that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. What makes Reiki unique is that it incorporates elements of just about every other alternative healing practice such as spiritual healing, auras, crystals, chakra balancing, meditation, and aromatherapy.  Reiki involves the transfer of energy from practitioner to patient to enhance the body's natural ability to heal itself through the balancing of energy. It is a holistic, natural, hands-on energy healing system that touches on all levels: body, mind, and spirit.


Animals are very open to the healing energy of Reiki. Using Reiki with them can accelerate their healing process, ease pain, improve or help to continue their quality of life. Using Reiki on your horse is also a wonderful way to further strengthen the bond between the two of you. It is a way to communicate with them at another level.


BildetekstTwo day courses are available for anyone wishing to practice reiki on animals or humans and include fully comprehensive training books and a certificate of initiation.  My commitment to you as your teacher is to attune you to Reiki, explain the principles, answer any questions you may have and offer ongoing guidance and support.  I currently offer training in First & Second Degree Reiki.


The course training manual covers everything I teach on the day, and more besides, so there is no need to take notes. The course instruction and accompanying training manuals are in English. On my courses you can relax, safe in the knowledge that everything we do is there in the manual for you to take home with you.

7.  Guest Lectures and Demonstrations.

Don’s guest lectures and demonstrations are very popular and a great way of learning how to develop a partnership between horse and owner.  Why not book a demonstration as a special event for your club or stall.


By using a portable round pen Don can demonstrate his techniques in a safe environment where the guests are ‘up close and personal’ with what is happening.


The lectures are aimed at giving people the opportunity to observe horse behaviour and how our knowledge of this natural behaviour will help to solve problems in a way that the horse understands and recognises.   A simple approach to training is used which is effective and understandable. 



Please note that I am not authorised to teach Monty Robert's 'Join Up' to any of my students.

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