People ask me all the time about my work so I thought I would explain just how in-depth my work goes.
Everyone knows I train horses but it is way more than that one statement. For 32 years, I have been based in this lovely village playing with horses. However, you may be interested to know just how far this goes.
My reputation precedes me now within the horse industry because everyone knows that I pick up the pieces mainly. Most horses which come my way are damaged emotionally due to bad past experiences, whether it be accident, injury, harsh training, abuse or by being in an inappropriate environment. They display dangerous and extreme behaviours which need changing into happy and calm behaviours.
I retrain race horses with all the complex conditioned behaviours which that entails.
I start young horses in a positive way where I concentrate on having them happy out on roads and in traffic. I don’t do what most trainers do which is perform all their training inside an arena. Our first proper ride is always out through the village. I rarely ride them in the arena.
I will train any horse, regardless of its problems, breed, size etc. It’s what I do. I will help any owner.
Human training is a huge part of my job. Understanding how fragile they feel and being empathetic always. Unless I can help the owner, I cannot help that horse with its future.
I do behaviour consultancy over the phone to assess what is happening and why. This is very thorough and I knit pick re information so that the advice I give is as perfect as possible.
I go where the problem is. I travel the UK extensively to assess situations and environmental impacts/triggers and find a way forward for both horse and owner. Behavioural assessments, environmental assessments and functional assessments are always so interesting and essential that the owner understands what is happening and why. I will implement changes where possible and train the owners in new skills/ knowledge needed. I further support them by phone afterward Not every horse suits every owner and not every environment is a good one. The yard experience for horses and owners is not always a good one so finding a yard where a horse and its owner can be relaxed together is often harder than you think and can have a massively negative impact. Fear of loading into wagons and trailers is always a classic reason for away work.
I run courses here at Skidby as well as in yards all over the UK. We talk through the science of behaviour in reasonable depth and explore the differences which are made through learning to use positive reinforcement techniques with horses. Breaking the mould is the hardest thing ever and teaching owners that using proven science and ethical, force free alternatives which allow horses the choice in participation is an amazingly powerful training way forward.
I talk!……….bet you are not surprised at that! I love being invited to speak at events UK wide. I speak at charity events as well as Corporate events, AGM’s, Riding Club meetings, and do “An evening with Melanie Watson!” which is both amusing as well as informative. I
I teach anyone, anywhere! I invite people to come to my yard to learn about Clicker training horses and see it in practical application.
I act as Expert Witness in court cases where a behaviour expert is needed to explain horse behaviour. This is never untaken lightly. My reports must cross very “T” and dot every “I” because my statements
must withstand cross examination. I work for miss-sale cases mostly but have supported personal injury cases and RTA cases. I have even supported cases where trainers have ruined horses by their training techniques……physical as well as emotional damage to the horses in their care.
I enjoy article writing as you well know. I write for a couple of Horse Magazines and online sites and blog away happily.
I support various Animal Charities both here in the UK as well as abroad. I support the Hull Branch of the RSPCA. They are an amazing team of staff and volunteers. I have helped with the development of the innovative Education Room, where local school children are actively taught about pet care and responsibilities, capturing their young minds into showing care to animals. Hopefully this will prevent future cruelty and neglect by investing in their young minds. I demonstrate there with my beautiful Toby pony (children and staff alike adore his basketball skills!) and teach animal training there whenever I am asked. I have taken on home visits for horse adoption and help fund raise. Hull has the worst cruelty rate of any city in the UK ….did you know that?
I have recently used Facebook to help a small Working Donkey and horse charity in the Holy land, with fantastic results. People have donated so much unwanted equipment and first aid products. It’s been amazing and I thank each one of them. The horse community was touched by the plight of these animals and the abject poverty of their owners and their generosity was fantastic. What a massive difference will be made to the lives of the receiving animals.
So, there you go. Just a little insight into some of my work with some its facets………..never a dull moment for sure.