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NZ Lessons & Clinics

Jody teaches extensively throughout New Zealand. Lessons are also given at her home arena.

Currently clinics are held in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin but Jody is willing to travel to different venues around New Zealand. A minimum of ten riders (Maximum of 12) are needed and clinics are normally two to three days in duration.

Jody has been teaching dressage and jumping for over 15 years. She has an enthusiastic and engaging teaching style, paying attention to detail and aiming for perfection and understanding from both horse and rider. She teaches horses and riders of all levels, ages, and stages of ability.

Over the past seven years Jody has become a practitioner of Equitation Science and Learning Theory – the study of how horses learn and the science behind horse training. Basic learning principles such as operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement and shaping are taught to riders so that they learn not only WHAT to do, but WHY it works.

Jody’s methodologies are taken from the system she has studied that has been developed by Dr Andrew McLean and his wife Manuela of the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre (see Dr McLean is the world’s leading equine clinical ethologist and is the author of the books “The Truth About Horses” and “Academic Horse Training”. He has also been a guest presenter on two occasions at the Global Dressage Forum.

Jody’s specialities include the training of:

  • Young horses - handling / breaking in
  • Difficult Loaders
  • “Problem Horses” that buck, rear, shy etc
  • Horses that are dull / heavy to the reins and leg aids
  • Tense horses

What makes a lesson with Jody so different?

The system she teaches is both ethically sound and progressive. A lesson may start with ground work to gain control and relaxation of the horse, where basic signals can be pre-programmed before riding. Then under saddle the GO, STOP, TURN and YIELD responses are assessed and trained using an equine-specific shaping scale that firstly involves the horse giving a basic attempt at the response. This is then made obedient (on a light cue) and then rhythm and line control are trained in till the horse is in self carriage (holding your speed and line without any constant pressures from the rider. Then and only then is contact (frame and shape) of the horse taken into account. Once the horse holds itself in self carriage he is free from constant signalling from the rider and is light and obedient. He is then ready to blend the signals into movements such as shoulder-in, half-passes and flying changes.

The emphasis is always on the LEGS of the horse – not his frame and devices such as draw reins will NEVER be used to cover up basic training faults in the stop, go, turn and yield responses. The result is light, obedient and relaxed horses. The system is very EMPOWERING to the rider who takes home the knowledge of just HOW these improvements have taken place and now has the skill to be able to keep on improving the horse’s responses after the lesson.

Jody is happy to ride your horse during the lesson to demonstrate the system to you. Spectators are welcome at all the lessons with the approval of the rider, and riders are encouraged to watch other lessons.