2020 Portugal Workshop
Do you want to spend your summer holiday in sunny Portugal, surrounded by beautiful horses and like-minded people? This affordable workshop hosted by Country Quest in Alcoutim, Portugal may be exactly what you are looking for. For 4 days, you will benefit from the tuition of one of the world-leading equine positive reinforcement trainers, Alizé Veillard-Muckensturm, best known for writing the first equine clicker training book that did not suggest the use of any aversive stimulation back in 2017. She is also the writer behind the equine courses distributed by the Centre of Excellence Online which have brought attention to humane, science-based training techniques to hundreds of mainstream equestrians. Have I picked your interest yet? Keep reading for more details.
Dates: Tuesday 9th of June 2020 to Friday 12th of June 2020.
Location: Country Quest, Alcoutim, Algarve Portugal. For directions: click here. The nearest airports are Faro and Sevilla. Country Quest can arrange airport transfers for students at an extra fee. (50 euros from Faro or 90 euros from Sevilla)
Workshop price: £170 (200 Euros). This includes the non-refundable £50 required to secure your spot. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 10 participants. This fee may only be refunded if the workshop is cancelled. The remaining £120 can be paid any time before Tuesday 9th of June 2020.
Accommodation: On-site accommodation is available in shared rooms for 55 Euros a night but you may also attend as a non-resident. Accommodation includes 3 meals a day and tea/coffee/water and fruits throughout. Non-resident may join us for 7 Euros per meal. Please note the farm is home to two large dogs, therefore on-site accommodation may not be suitable for individuals with dog phobias or allergy. For more info, email or call +351 281010861 (Landline) +351 934972737 (Whatsapp) to book.
Requirements: You must be 16 or over. Underage participants cannot stay on-site without a parent or legal guardian present. No previous experience is needed, just a positive attitude to learning. All scientific concepts you see in the syllabus will be fully explained and practical exercises will be broken down in manageable chunks and tailored to the participant experience level.
Please bring: Pen and note pad, sun protection, closed shoes for when interacting with horses, clicker and bumbag/treat bag if you own one if not these items will be provided to you for the duration of the workshop.
On the first day you will have the opportunity to choose a horse to work with throughout the workshop, our host Pia Saari will help you to get to know the horses so we can get the best match. You can learn about some of the horses on our host website. Please, note all horses may want or can participate to the 4th day practical so you may have to work with another horse on the last day. During the workshop you will have the opportunity to work on an individual task which consist of selecting a behaviour you want to teach your horse during the week, write a training plan and teach the behaviour.
Each day start at 9:00am and finish at 4:00pm. There will be 1hour long lunch break and 2 15minutes coffee break. Please note some days may last longer than other so plan accordingly. This syllabus is a rough itinerary and may be subject to change to accommodate both the horses and the participants.
1st day – Introduction to positive reinforcement training
Theory: Intro to associative learning and LIMA.
Practice: Mechanics of food delivery, target presentation and bridge signal.
Individual task goal: Select a horse and a behaviour you wish to work on during the workshop. The behaviour will have to be approved by our host.
2nd day – Obtaining desired behaviours using positive reinforcement.
Theory: Overview of the techniques to obtain wanted behaviours in horses and shaping plans.
Practice: Lunging and its use in positive reinforcement-based training, targeting and shaping exercises.
Individual task goal: Write a shaping plan for the behaviour you wish to train. Shaping plan examples and support will be provided. Your shaping plan will need to be reviewed before being implemented.
3rd day- Dealing with unwanted behaviours without punishment.
Theory: Classical conditioning, counterconditioning, systematic desensitisation, emotions and trigger stacking.
Practice: Assessment of a horse emotional state and counter-conditioning exercise.
Individual task goal: Implement the start of your shaping plan.
4th day - Riding with positive reinforcement.
Theory: Ethics of horse riding, consent training and transferring cues.
Practice: Applied consent training and cue transfer.
Individual task goal: Present what you have achieved and reflect on potential improvements.