Equine expos are a perfect fit for demos and presentations by equine behaviorist Shawna Karrasch. Her mission is to create calm connected horses and humans who understand how to support them! Shawna’s mission and skill set couldn’t have a better venue.
Shawna started as an animal behaviorist at Sea World and eventually began working with horses. Shawna is known for all kinds of equine behavior shaping, including problem solving on the ground and under saddle, creating relaxed happy horses and equines in a variety of circumstances, tricks and more.
One of her areas of expertise is training husbandry and veterinary behaviors using positive reinforcement, reward-based training. She is a master at helping horses learn to pick up and even hold their own feet up for trimming, shoeing, medical treatments and painful procedures. She also is superb at training horses to be comfortable with having all kinds of things inserted into their mouths and accepting injections, etc. while standing calmly and comfortably. The best part is that Shawna is simultaneously is able to teach the humans how to train horses to do these things as well.
She has written a book: You Can Train Your Horse to Do Anything (https://connectiontraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Shawna-Karrasch-Book-Extract.pdf) and is writing another one that will be completed in the near future.
Shawna is on a world clinic tour at this time and it has generated wildly successful feedback. In the past, she’s really enjoyed participating expos, but has had other professional commitments that have prevented her from presenting for several years. With her schedule becoming more flexible, Shawna feels as though the time is right to spread the word of Positive Reinforcement training via expo once again.
Shawna has grown her skills and learned so much more since the early 2000s, when she first began the expos, and the interest in positive reinforcement is increasing exponentially. People are really beginning to recognize the science behind it as well as the efficacy of this type of training and this has created an accelerated following for the both positive reinforcement and brought more compassion and fun to equine industry. Shawna loves making the principles user friendly and adapting it to practical, real life situations.
People all over the world are gaining a better understanding of the science behind the training. As I am sure that you know, there is a deepening interest in finding even more humane ways of handling and training horses and this training offers a solution. True Positive Reinforcement Training has basically taken over the dog world. While it is the same principles, applying the training to horses is very different. Years ago nearly everyone Shawna worked with lacked even the most basic understanding of the concepts involved. Now, Shawna finds people all over the place who are well versed in the principles. While she deals with a lot of educated "clicker trainers," her intent to teach the uninitiated is still strong. She addresses problem solving on the ground, under saddle, and husbandry behaviors. She simultaneously focuses on the horses’ emotional state, attitude, enthusiasm, impulse control and mental well-being. When this balance is right, both parties enjoy the learning process and look forward to the time they spend together. Give Shawna twenty minutes and even skeptics are intrigued and wanting to learn more.
During the past few years, Shawna has traveled the world. Each summer she has completed European tours. The change from year to year has been quite exciting as she has witnessed firsthand how quickly interest in positive reinforcement is growing. In addition to doing clinics, workshops, lectures, demos, magazine interviews, TV work and having an extensive social media presence, Shawna has also been answering “Ask Shawna” questions and posting them on her blog and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Op-wj0g5HZBGUvwhtXQcA). She has also started an online subscription site, training courses and instructor certification program with positive reinforcement trainers from the United Kingdom. These programs can be found at Connection Training (http://connectiontraining.com). The website also has some snippets from some of her recent demos and workshops as well as a list of some online courses and study groups that she has hosted.
Shawna has worked with a number of Olympians/World Champions/international competitors in show jumping, dressage, 3-day Eventing, endurance and driving. In fact, Shawna started her business with Olympic medalist Beezie Madden and her husband, John. She has also worked with a lot of backyard enthusiasts and pony club kids. Shawna has been a guest lecturer at vet schools and universities too. All of this to say that Shawna can cover a very wide variety of behavior topics depending on my audience and she never tires of demonstrating and educating folks about the power of positive reinforcement training and everyone seems to find her enthusiasm contagious.
Shawna has never been very comfortable sharing her accolades, but I hope that my doing so piques your interest in the upcoming 2018 Shawna Karrasch Expo tour!