I first encountered Connection Training when I was looking on YouTube for videos showing how to teach a horse to target objects with their nose. I had read somewhere about a GP dressage rider using targeting with her spooky horse with success and I thought it might be useful. And down the rabbit hole I fell. Yes, you can use targeting to help with spookiness but the clicker training used to teach targeting has so many uses that it’s impossible to go into them all in detail. Let’s just say I started with the free content available on YouTube and at Connection Training and was hooked.
After teaching my horses what I could from the free YouTube channel, the Connection Training website, and the CT blog I decided to join the Connection Training Club. It is a monthly subscription of $35 or so that has 11 different courses with 80+ hours of video content. A few things make the CT club different from other online equine learning programs. First off ALL content is included for your monthly fee, nothing is behind another paywall. Second, each course is divided into modules that are further divided into units that can be checked off when completed making it very easy to track where you are in the course. Each unit might have more than one video, but most videos are under 20 minutes so it is very easy to dip in and out when you have time. Third, the basis of all the training is science and learning theory. There is a lot of practical, this is how it is done content like a lot of subscription equine stuff, but the video lectures on theory are superb and really explain the why of what you are doing. Another interesting thing is that HW is an equine body worker, so she can really explain the why and how of correct gymnastic development even for the non-dressage bred horse.
Overall, I have learned so much from the CT Club. I’m really enjoying the science based equine behavior and learning theory. The Gymnastic Groundwork and Riding in Connection course are so informative about how the horse develops physically as well as mentally. The mix of practical step by step videos, troubleshooting videos, and theory is super effective. It’s interesting because there is a lot of overlap with natural horsemanship, but the explanations being based in the science of behavior and learning make things a lot more concrete for me, if that makes sense. Some training concepts that have eluded me have become much clearer and I understand positive and negative reinforcement so much more clearly. And don’t even get me started on the power of withholding the click. Or even withholding the cue until the right moment. I don’t have enough good things to say about Connection Training and the CT Club. I have learned so much, all three of my horses are so much more focused on me, are doing all sorts of groundwork at liberty, and I have so many more tools in my tool box. Check it out-you won’t regret it!