We just finished our final R+ Weekend Clinic and Intensive Workshop of the year, and we are blown away by all the wonderful feedback we have received from our participants. With their permission, I will share some of their comments with you here. The first is from Connie Kuusisto, a first-time attendee:

Where to begin?

I just spent a week amongst compassionate equine enthusiasts of varying backgrounds gathered together to absorb all we could from the world-renowned positive reinforcement (R+) trainer, Shawna Corrin Karrasch. What an AMAZING week this was!

I have been studying Shawna (www.terranovatrainingcenter.com/our-trainers) via her online presence for almost a year now. I’m no expert but the changes I am seeing in my horses as a result of this method of training are as rewarding as they are reinforcing. The calming influence of R+ training on both my boys is starting to reveal itself in the most interesting ways, both subtle and profound. Their mutual enthusiasm for the quality time we spend together in this way brings me great joy. Their “me first” eagerness to work with me is delightful and sometimes even comical.

R+ training has not yet taken hold in my neck of the woods. To be a lone practitioner amongst so many people who believe they “know better” is in itself an interesting journey. They have no idea what they are missing.

To spend a week in beautiful Santa Fe, NM with like-minded enthusiastic horse trainers* is an experience I hope to enjoy again. It was as invigorating as it was informative. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people who made this last week possible.

To my dear friend Susan who convinced me a year ago to give this a try (’cause yes, I had the same misconceptions about R+ training many others are so quick to share.)

To my husband, Steve, for your unwavering support since forever.

To Amanda Jaylikethebird for your generous hospitality and the privilege of spending a week on your property at Terra Nova Training Center. The vision you and Shawna share (www.terranovatrainingcenter.com/philosophy) is most admirable and you’re changing lives, both equine and human. The diverse backgrounds of your supportive barn family are fascinating, each in their own way. Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom: Gilly Slayter, Mary Richards, Marsh Graves, Robyn Strong, Meredith Ritter…it was a pleasure to meet Dave as well. Amanda, congrats again on your two year anniversary!

To my fellow workshop participants who may be reading this…it was a pleasure to meet and spend time with you.

To Shawna Corrin Karrasch, I may have slightly embarrassed myself when I blurted “I’ve watched and listened to so much of your training I feel like I know you…” but it’s true. Your sense of humor and your enthusiasm for everything you do is infectious, even more so in person. Your knowledge regarding animal behavior is bottomless. To have the opportunity to spend quality time with you in person is priceless. Thank you❣️

(*Note: while I am not a professional horse trainer by any stretch of the imagination, we know anyone handling a horse is training it one way or another. So yes, I, too, am a horse trainer.)”

  • Connie Kuusisto, September Workshop Participant

Thank you, Connie, for the kind words. It was lovely to spend the week getting to know you, and we hope you take all that you learned and apply it at home with Luigi and Turner. Oh, and yes, you most certainly ARE a horse trainer- an R+ trainer!