What do we do?
We are available to help people and horses to improve all or any aspect of management and training including handling, husbandry, healthcare / veterinary procedures, starting / restarting and developing horses of any age to be ridden or driven, developing the horse for performance in any discipline (jumping, dressage, endurance, eventing, TREC, horse agility, driving, long distance riding, hacking), loading and travelling and for therapeutic purposes (physiotherapy, straightness training).
We will always seek to eliminate physical issues and evaluate and advise on changes in management practices (how much turnout a horse has, the extent to which the horse is able to socialise with others, stability of the herd, feeding, exercise and so on) should these be potentially contributing to behaviour issues, as a pre-requisite to, and to complement any retraining advice given.
Having ensured that veterinary input has been sought to eliminate pain or disease as a cause or contributory factor, we can help with problem behaviours such as aggression towards other animals and towards people, leading, loading and travelling, bolting, barging, biting, kicking, rearing, bucking, napping, separation anxiety, saddling, bridling, grooming, rugging, clipping, hosing / bathing, handling feet / farriery / hoof trimming, horses on box rest, door kicking, weaving, pawing, foot waving, head shaking, breaking away when tied, spooking, phobias, feed-time issues and generalised anxiety and chronic stress-related behaviours.
Personal lessons and consultations at your horse’s home
We provide education and training in how to care for and manage and train horses, ponies, donkeys and mules on a personalised basis at your horse’s home.
Before we come out to help you with your animal(s) we ask you to complete a pre-visit questionnaire that enables us to gather some history of your horse and yourself and to get an idea of what you hope to get out of a lesson, and what you intend for your animal as an overall goal.
We may sometimes suggest a phone or Skype call in advance so that we can get more information or explain what will be involved.
In some cases we may ask to see video or suggest doing some video lessons before we come out in person.
A typical first face to face lesson would involve reviewing your questionnaire and making a plan for the lesson and arranging a suitable training environment if necessary. We would intersperse short periods of practical training (which might involve simulations, demonstrations and hands on training) with some teaching of theory. We begin with the basics of how horses learn and then focus on the principles of any specific technique or exercise to be done that day.
Each lesson will end with a recap of what you have learned, and questions you have and advice on how to proceed before the next lesson.
Subsequent lessons usually begin with an update on progress, and with making a plan to make progress on a previous lesson or to get started on training something new.
Every lesson will involve a mix of theory and practical learning.
Between personal lessons we always recommend people continue to seek support by Skype or email, messenger or phone.
Private / small group rates for consultations and face to face teaching
With UK based instructors:
1 student – 2 hours £70, 3 hours £100
2 students – 2 hours £40 per person, 3 hours £55 per person
3 students – 2 hours £30 per person, 3 hours £45 per person
In the USA:
1 student – 2 hours 85 USD, 3 hours 125 USD
2 students – 2 hours 50 USD per person, 3 hours 65 USD per person
3 students – 2 hours 40 USD per person, 3 hours 55 USD per person
1 student – 2 hours 120 AUD, 3 hours 170 AUD
2 students – 2 hours 70 AUD per person, 3 hours 95 AUD per person
3 students – 2 hours 50 AUD per person, 3 hours 80 AUD per person
These rates apply both to students taking part with a horse in a lesson or consultation, and those spectating / observing. So please note that if you wish to have a friend watch your lesson this is chargeable since a lot of what we teach will be applicable to and implementable with their own horse or pony, donkey or mule.
Please ask about rates for family lessons (one or both parents with one or more children) and for options for groups greater than 3 people.
For students within 10 miles / 16 kilometres of their instructor, 1 hour lessons may be available. For all others, a minimum lesson is 2 hours and a consultation on a problem behaviour may require a 3 hour session initially. Please contact us to discuss, so we can jointly agree what you need.
The first 40 miles of travel of a round trip from any instructor’s home base to a private client is free and travel is charged at £0.40 per mile in the UK thereafter for a return journey.
That’s 65km free if you are in the USA or Australia where travel is charged thereafter at 0.31 USD per km and 0.41 AUD per km respectively.
If we can arrange to see other people when visiting an area, we will share travel costs between different groups.
Travel costs for commercial work (training for film or TV productions or for equestrian businesses) is charged at £0.40 per mile / 0.31 USD per km / 0.41 AUD per km from the instructor’s home base.
Coaching calls by Skype or phone
We are always available to provide help and advice or to answer questions between lessons by Skype or phone. A call can be useful for trouble-shooting and for advice on how to deal with a particular issue or for something you want to improve on between lessons.
We ask that you book a specific time to have a coaching call, you will call us if you have a call by phone, and coaching calls are charged for at an hourly rate.
With a UK instructor that is £30 per hour. With those talking to our US instructors it’s 40 USD and in Australia that’s 50 AUD.
We also do standard and bespoke video coaching lessons.
Click here to find out more about video coaching.
Short courses on How Animals Learn with Maxine Easey
In addition to private teaching, Max personally runs short (1, 2 or 3 day) standard theory and practical courses on How Animals Learn, with a focus on horses.
The basic (and recommended introductory) course is a 2 day intensive course into the science behind how horses learn and the practical application of this to teaching horses using positive reinforcement.
The course covers how all animals learn by association (classical / respondent conditioning) by consequences (operant conditioning) and the characteristics of habituation (non-associative learning – learning to ignore insignificant stimuli and events) in animals.
We explain and demonstrate how to create desirable behaviour using the six different ways we have to form behaviour so that it can be reinforced and we discuss the pros and cons of each of these.
We both explain and demonstrate how to combine classical, operant and non-associative learning protocols to help animals overcome fears and phobias – including fear of novel or startling things or stressful events.
This is a mixed theory / practical course.
For the 2 day course the base fee is £120 per person plus an additional amount to cover travel costs and time if appropriate – which depends on distance from Max.
It is possible to extend this course to 3 days, with day 3 being spent on working through attendees’ specific horse behaviour requirements or problems and working on potential solutions to these which can be applied at home. Some of those would be demonstrated with the host’s horses.
Max will teach that course anywhere a host can organise a room with a table, chairs, heat and electricity, and horses nearby. We are always looking for people to host these courses so if that is something you would like to do, please get in touch with Max.
As a host or organiser of the How Animals / How Horses Learn course, you may be entitled to a free place depending on number you can enlist to attend.
Discounts may be available for those in full time, relevant undergraduate level education (e.g. people studying Animal Welfare or Animal Training courses with a recognised institution).
Considerable discounts (at our discretion!) on courses are offered to those who have introduced others to training with positive reinforcement after attending a course with, or training privately with any of our instructors
Max is also always available for international travel too – especially to warm climates!
Horse loan or purchase
We can also provide a service to help assess horses for purchase or loan, helping the prospective owner or loaner to choose the right horse for them. That involves assessing the extent to which the horse has been trained in ground handling and riding and is suitable for the desired purpose for which it is being acquired, be that for companionship, leisure riding or performance. We can also advise on the effort and investment that might be required to bring a horse to the level where the horse and owner / loaner can both enjoy the activities chosen and to keep a horse on an ongoing basis.
We do not do physical assessments or examinations.
Those wishing to purchase a horse in the UK are recommended to enlist a vet to perform a pre-purchase examination as described here.
Costs for horse purchase or loan searches, discussions with the seller or current owner and personal visits to view and assess horses are charged on a time basis as for coaching calls.
With a UK instructor that is £30 per hour. With those using our US instructors it’s 40 USD and in Australia that’s 50 AUD.