About

About Megan

I am passionate about building a trusting human-equine relationship, avoiding unnecessary stress and fear in daily handling and training, and empowering animals to choose to participate in their own care.

I have loved equines (well, all animals) from a young age and started my journey into animal training and behaviour through dogs, 20 years ago.

Although I was unable to have a horse of my own, I was fortunate to be able to attend regular riding lessons and camps. I was taught by SANEF instructors for 10 years in South Africa, where I had the opportunity to experience and compete in a variety of equestrian disciplines including vaulting, gymkhana, dressage, show jumping and cross country.

I took a break from horses to attend University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree and spending the following five years in the Fine Arts industry, eventually sourcing and selecting Contemporary South African fine art for National and International private clients. Do you want to include that bit? Although I loved it, I realised it was not my passion, so… upon moving to Ireland I took the opportunity to change career paths to follow my dream of working with horses. I was interested in ‘natural horsemanship’ for some time and then began to explore the science behind equine training, emotions and behaviour. Ultimately I realised that the reward-based training I had been using with dogs and other species for many years was just as relevant and effective with equines, and provided a more ethical method of communication. I began working with a number of equine rescues in the rehabilitation and remedial training of equines from 2016, leading to me being awarded the Connection Training Coaching Scholarship to support me in this role.

I am now a certified Connection Training coach, trained by the team of Shawna Karrash, Hannah Weston and Rachel Bedingfield, and I provide bespoke training plans and coaching to compliment the Connection Training video resources.

 I now specialise in helping leisure horse owners and those with fearful or rescued equines. I take an approach that builds trust, aims for pleasant outcomes for the equine so they feel safe, teaches them what to do and goes at their pace. No chasing or moving their feet, a non-confrontational approach.

I have been fortunate to be able to further my education with some well-known names in the arena of equine behaviour, clicker training and behaviour modification including Dr Helen Spence, Dr Susan Friedman, Peggy Hogan, Dr Karolina Westlund, and Ken Ramirez and Maxine Easey.

I continue to further my professional development in the areas of equine behaviour and training, through practical experience and study from internationally recognised equine/mixed species positive reinforcement trainers and behaviourists.

I love it when my equines want to hang out with me. Nothing can beat that feeling when your horse enjoys the things you do together as much as you do. From the mundane everyday of hoof care or applying fly cream, to in-hand agility or going out on a hack; everything is easy and such a pleasure.

Megan

Education & Practical Experience

2020

‘Living & Learning with Animals: The Fundamental Principles and Procedures of Teaching and Learning’

Dr Susan Friedman, Utah State University psychology professor who pioneered the application of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals.

The LLA Professional Course is designed to provide the foundation for a comprehensive and coherent understanding of behaviour analysis as it relates to facilitating the lives of captive and companion animals.

Clicker training Horses: ‘Cues 2’

Peggy Hogan, Founder: ‘Clicker Training Horses’, pioneer in ‘Start Buttons’ for equines

Monty Gwynne, Founder: ‘Equispeak’, The Click That Teaches coach

2019 Horse Sport Ireland: Introduction to Coaching Certificate
2018-19 Assistant Manager & Head Trainer: Private equine rescue farm, rehabilitation & remedial training
2018

Connection Training: ‘Connection Training Coach’ Certification

IAABC: ‘Resolving Fear Issues in Horses’

Lauren Fraser, MSc, Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Dr Robin Foster, Certified Applied Animal Behaviourist & Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant

Clicker Training Horses: ‘Working with Multiples’

Peggy Hogan, Founder: ‘Clicker Training Horses’, pioneer in ‘Start Buttons’ for equines

Began coaching private clients in-person & online

2017-18

Connection Training Coaching Course: Equine & Coaching Case Studies, In-person & Online

Shawna Karrasch, pioneer in using positive reinforcement with equines, Founder: On Target Training, Co-founder: Connection Training

Hannah Weston, Co-founder: Connection Training

Rachel Bedingfield, Co-founder: Connection Training & Positive Horse Training Spain

2017

Ken Ramirez, Karen Prior Academy: ‘A Weekend with Ken Ramirez – Core Training Principles’. Positive Dog training, Dublin

40year+ Internationally recognised animal training veteran and Executive Vice-President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training.

2016

Part-time rehabilitation & remedial training with equine rescues in Ireland

Began coaching equine rescue volunteers in equine handling as Training Coordinator

2000-10

Riding under SANEF instruction

2000

The arrival of my first dog.

In my first ever experiment in using a mechanical bridge (click pen) during training, I taught my dog to sit politely instead of jumping up within the space of 5 minutes.

MLHR Redser & FHI Ruby

I currently have 2 rescued equines in my care.

Redser is an Irish Cob pony who came into rescue traumatised, reactive and dangerous.

I started rehabilitation work with him in early 2017 and I adopted him roughly a year later. He has come on in leaps and bounds from being wary and fearful of people and is now you wouldn’t know it to look at him: he is a curious, friendly, outgoing pony. We are working towards overcoming previous trauma triggers and when he is ready he will be started under saddle using positive reinforcement. We do most things at liberty and when we are not hanging out and enjoying each other’s company, we enjoy walking and equine agility.

Red’s companion, Ruby, is a sweet 13hh mule who loves cuddles and scratches. We are using positive reinforcement to build her confidence with people and novel items.

Ruby arrived just before lockdown, so while she is now very friendly with my husband and I, I still need to invite friends around in the future so she can generalise that confidence to more people. When I first met her, I found her wary of being caught, she disliked having her head touched and would try to avoid/fight through foot handling.

She now happily comes over, puts her head into the headcollar and will gently offer her feet to be handled at liberty.