Bex has been involved with horses since she was a child, having grown up in pony club, with a particular passion for show jumping. In her early twenties, however, her world was changed when an encounter with a positive reinforcement dog trainer ignited a spark.
Intrigued by the concept and impressed by the incredible results she was seeing, she became obsessed with learning everything she could on this innovative training system. She has been fortunate to learn in person from some of the world’s best trainers, including Dr Susan Friedman, Shawna Karrasch and Bob Bailey, among others.
After several years training drug-detector dogs for NZ Customs she turned her attention back to horses and her fascination with positive reinforcement (sometimes referred to as clicker or marker training). As Bex worked on ways to adapt these principles to horses she noticed a significant improvement not only in the effectiveness of the training, but in the horses’ motivation levels and positive emotional state. Shut down or nervous horses blossomed in confidence and calmness, and distracted or easily frustrated horses learned to focus and find mental balance. The way the horses became such eager, active participants in the training process was heart-warming and addictive.
As international dressage rider Jane Savoie says, “I love clicker training because it’s based on reward. You use it to increase your horse’s motivation to work with and for you”. Clicker training is based on behavioural science and enables very clear communication with incredible precision. Bex has found that horses trained this way are confident, focused and eager to learn.
Bex has now spent the last 12 years training a wide variety of horses, from foals and young stock, wild Kaimanawas to sport horses, all utilising clicker training. Through her business ‘Positively Together’ she delivers sought-after clinics and workshops nationwide and has helped countless horse owners improve relationships, solve behaviour problems and enhance performance by incorporating positive reinforcement into their horsemanship.
She constantly seeks new knowledge, updates her ideas and develops her techniques, and strongly believes that everyone has something to teach us. Teaching people is as much a passion for Bex as teaching horses. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for ethical, reward-based training with the rapidly increasing numbers of open-minded horse owners.