A method based on understanding
Doro’s unique method, which she calls “Mindful Learning”, gets spectacular results. It is firmly grounded in an understanding of the horse’s mental experience of life, and for that reason, it is effective even in cases where traditional methods have failed.
Mindful: attentive, aware, or careful.
Learning: a relatively permanent change in, or acquisition of, knowledge, understanding, or behavior.
Doro’s unique technique is firmly based on the horse’s way of understanding our world. Traditionally, humans have used fear and dominance in order to ‘work’ with the horse, ignoring the very nature of how learning takes place within the animal’s mind.
It is, however, impossible to build a bond that way. We, as humans, don’t force our friends to be our friends. Trust and kinship must be earned.
Historically we have spent immense time and money creating devices that give us "control" over the horse's body. When we begin to validate the horse's emotional mind, the result is a sensible connection where we can ask the horse to move his body in any way possible for him. When his fear of punishment is replaced with trust, he is eager to learn and eager to work with us.
It is simple when we start looking at the world from the horse's perception of it.
A foundation is something we stand on, we build on, we rise from... When young horses are started under saddle, most traditional methods resemble more of a "sink or swim" situation where the horse is left trying to physically and emotionally figure out how to deal with these new demands placed on him.
We provide a physical, mental and emotional foundation consisting of individualized ground work, extensive core strength training and a solid positive bond with humans.
Anything placed on a horse's back is instinctively perceived as a predator.
This is why our first ride happens bareback, with a trusted human "helping" the young horse understand this strange activity; away from fear and in a supportive environment.
When horses have been started without that foundation, their future starts to unravel in a way that leaves many of them and their humans frustrated with more and more behavioral challenges developing over time. When we leave out essential parts in our horse’s development, we find ourselves trying to "fill in the gaps" for years to come.
We are all familiar with the exhausting trail ride on a nervous horse whose only focus is on how to get home. That horse is not "barn sour". He simply doesn't trust, and therefore doesn't enjoy the company of the human on his back. When we are partners, any ride becomes like spending time with a good friend.
Any horse at any age can be taken back to the starting point and re-write history! As a matter of fact, those horses are most desperate to bond and trust, trying to escape their day to day fear and confusion about their existence.
It is beautiful to see a horse regain his peace and confidence through learning how to trust and connect the way he was meant to. It has been beautiful for me to see horse and owner receive this kind of healing after many years of battle and frustration.
Doro is available for outcall training in the Wood River Valley and clinics beyond.
THE "WILD AT HEART" SCHOOL
There, wild horses learn as a group while living together as a herd.
Training becomes play and learning becomes interesting!
Curiosity is born to replace fear!
The class room (round pen) is set up inside the herd's pasture where individual learning always starts at liberty. Trust and confidence is built without separation anxiety and worry. Horses in that environment look forward to their classroom time and create a deep and trusting bond to humans. A bond very hard to break from that time forward.
It is the most perfect environment for our adopted or adoptable wild horses who have lost their heritage and a way of life engrained into their being.
Not understanding this new solitary world they find themselves in, after being adopted and sent off to training, most will be frightened, confused and difficult to work with.
The results with our horses are remarkable simply because their natural and hardwired desire to live in a family structure is validated and used to support their journey into a new life among humans.
After the young horse "graduates" with a solid foundation, the owner is required to learn the communication skills necessary to ensure a continuing and mutually trusting relationship that will only grow stronger over time.
Please contact us for more information about training levels and details.
“Doro’s training methods include time, patience, and an understanding of the equine’s mind, body, and most importantly, spirit. She uses a training system based on rewards, free from resistance, equipment, and pain.” (Martine McGuinness, certified AEBQ (Advanced Equine Massage Therapy)
“Horses under Doro’s care develop trust and a relationship with their human companion. Doro has the eye to see the potential in a horse and the knowledge to bring that potential to the forefront.” (Wendy Albrecht and Cindy Krout (North Coast Equine Physical Therapy)
“I have found Doro to be an extremely astute observer of the mental and physical state of each and every horse in her care. Along with a very high standard of integrity, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to any undertaking in the horse world.” (Kerry J. Ridgway, DVM)
“Our rescue horse Mojo was found to be ‘crippled’ at the age of four with no realistic hope for rehabilitating him. Doro worked with him for a month and a half, teaching him to trust his body again. His physique improved immensely and he became more confident. Her groundwork, riding and equine bodywork turned him into a completely different horse. The change in such a short period of time was truly remarkable.” (Idaho State Senator Michelle Stennett)
“Doro understands the mental conditions of a horse. She is able to see the underlying reasons for many of a horse’s fears… whether he acts them out on the ground or under saddle. Through her ground work and riding, she is able to help a horse regain his sense of wellbeing and freedom from fear.” (Wendy Collins, Program Director for SETCH, handicapped riding program)
“Doro has succeeded in taking “horse whispering” to an entirely new level.” (Sharlyn Sawyer, fellow horse trainer)