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UK Debut For "Clicker Training" Expert

Innovator teaching a 'guide horse for the blind' will explain new technique

Alexandra Kurland, world leader in the development of "clicker training" for horses and currently teaching a miniature horse to replace a blind friend's guide dog, is to make a flying visit to the UK in October to demonstrate her techniques

She will hold one clinic at the Osbaldeston Equestrian Centre, Lancashire, on October 21, and using "volunteer" horses and ponies, demonstrate how the sounds from her clicker device can be used in their training. And for those interested, she will show photographs and talk about teaching the "guide horse" to look after her owner.

Her visit is being arranged by 31-year-old horse behavourist Linda Pearson from Water Rossendale, Lancashire. "I have been using the clicker technique to train my own horses for about five years, and recently began giving demonstrations," she said.

"I have been trying for some time to persuade Alex to come over. October will be a flying visit, but I hope next year she will visit the UK for longer and we can do a series of clinics. I have already had inquiries from the south east and south west."

During her evening at Osbaldeston, Alex will also talk about training the "guide horse", Panda. The miniature has already mastered some aspects of training, can get in and out of cars, negotiate obstacles in busy New York centre and navigate around shops - and go to the toilet on cue!

Advance ticket bookings will be heavily discounted. "Admission will be by ticket only because I am expecting a lot of interest," Linda explains. "Alex has got a lot to give to the horse world in this country. Clicker training will appeal to the caring owner and rider who want to encourage and not force their animals into obedience."

Linda is also working to set up a website which will offer advice to people wanting help with this revolutionary form of animal training.


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