As a horse person for the past 40 years, I have worked with MANY different training modalities and was THRILLED to finally find the tools to put in my toolbox that TRULY help the animal be a willing participant in our work together, from receiving medical care to simply playing games.
We have a mule named Agnes who came here nearly 2 years ago. She had been traumatized deeply in her life and is incredibly sensitive and highly reactive to human presence. We have struggled to help her enough to administer basic care, and each time we needed to handle her it resulted in month-long setbacks in trust. We had not been able to find a way to help her relax around people – until now. We held a Train with Trust clinic here, and in the course of a 3-hour positive reinforcement session with Agnes, I watched her begin her shift to finding comfort in humans – on her own terms. WOW!
During that training we were also given numerous tools to help the home herd and our fosters through constructing and providing enrichment, like food puzzles and fun toys. To watch our elder herd (median age 25) get giddy to solve problems and enjoy their play time is so exciting!
We are 2 months into our work with Agnes, and she is now an inquisitive and willing partner in her training and is VERY willing to work with us at liberty. We have also extended this work to the rest of the sanctuary herd, and are thrilled with the results of having willing partners in care.