Pauline Keil is our first Horse Charming professional in Australia.
Pauline can be contacted by email on Paulinekeil1@gmail.com, by phone on 0425 793 246 and via Facebook, where she co-runs a specialist group called Equine +R Australia for people who are interested in training horses with positive reinforcement.
Here’s what Pauline has to say about herself:
I live on 10 lovely acres in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, with my husband and son and three horses, dogs, a cat, and chickens!
I was drawn to horses from around 10 years old and was lucky enough to have a couple of riding schools within walking distance.
So every spare moment was spent hanging out, helping out and eventually riding and then teaching in exchange for more riding.
The passion was ignited, and I lived, breathed and dreamt about horses.
Then (unfortunately), life got in the way for a little while, but it wasn’t long before I achieved my childhood dream of owning a horse.
In my twenties, late night dressage lessons and weekend trail riding was my life.
Soon there was another horse added to the family and my husband and I had many happy hours trail riding together.
Once we started a family, there was no time for riding or horses, so they were sold, because that’s what people did and that’s what we thought would be best for them.
As soon as my children were off to school, I was back riding.
Purely by accident, I met up with my old dressage instructor and we picked up where we left off, except this time I rode clients’ and school horses.
I had lessons and would train and school other people’s horses as well.
I learnt so much and yet I yearned for my own horse.
Finally, when we found our dream property, I bought my horse and then another, because you can never have just one on his own.
But things changed with having my own horse. Things were different, I was different and my horses were very precious to me.
So when I brought my special horse for her first lesson with my instructor, something happened that changed everything for me.
I had trouble mounting as she was nervous in strange surroundings and my instructor told me to hit her with the whip and jump on quick.
I couldn’t do it. I refused to do it and I decided I was never going to do that to her.
That was the beginning of my search. It led me to a Natural Horsemanship trainer and although I learnt a lot, there was nothing good for my horse about it and definitely not what I wanted.
It was just another way to make my horse do what I wanted, she was not happy and I wanted her to be happy.
Then I discovered barefoot and bitless riding, and I learned things about horses being herd animals and I started reading about equine behaviour …and things started to make sense.
Then at last, the final piece of the puzzle, was finding out about Positive Reinforcement (R+) training and from that, the wider subject of Learning Theory.
What I love about training with positive reinforcement, is that it is a science based, force free, humane way of training not only horses, but any animal.
There is choice and freedom for the horse, but there is also intrinsic motivation and pleasure within the learning.
With positive reinforcement training, our horses become curious, seeking, thinkers and doers.
They become decision makers and problem solvers.
We empower them in a way no other training can.
What I enjoy and take great pleasure from, is the way we can take a holistic approach to our training.
Before we can train, we address every aspect of our horses’ lives and attempt to make it the best life they can live, from a species-specific point of view.
I have spent many hours reading, studying and asking questions and have learnt so much in the last couple of years. The real science behind how and why horses behave the way they do, not the pseudo-science based on marketing and money-making.
I love the way the positive reinforcement community open their arms to anyone and everyone and will help them on their journey.
They have helped me and it has been invaluable to have the help and support of so many wonderful people. This is another reason why I want to return the favour and help someone else find the amazing and fulfilling experience with their horses, that I have experienced and still am enjoying every day.
I’m looking forward to helping horses and their people, with force-free positive reinforcement training approaches, to prevent and resolve issues, teach new behaviours and build a relationship which gives pleasure to both horse and human.
Being a part of the Horse Charming family, means that anyone I help will benefit from the collective wisdom, experience and knowledge of not just me as one individual but from a team of people with many years’ experience of science-based training. We’re ready! We hope you are too.