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When training a horse, it is important to look at the big picture. There are many factors that influence behavior and in many cases, the resolution of a problem may require more than just “training”.

This is where an equine behavior consultant can play an important role.

I sat down with behavior consultant Sharon Madera at her farm in Ocala, Florida, to discuss several of her most difficult cases.

In this interview, we talked about food aggression, head shy horses, the benefits of positive reinforcement and working at liberty, and the role of a behavior consultant.

Here’s the “at a glance” list of what we cover in this interview:

5:15 What is the role of an Equine Behavior Consultant?

10:32 Changing the behavior of an aggressive horse

13:13 Helping a rescue horse who was head and ear shy

15:10 Benefits of working at liberty

16:50 The beauty of Iberian horses

Learn More about Sharon’s work here:

See examples of horses in training at CRK Training here:


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14 Responses

    1. Hi Elizabeth – glad you enjoyed the interview. You can reach me via email at EquiLightenment … at … gmail . If you are in the Ocala area, would love to have you come for a visit. – Sharon Madere

  1. Loved that interview. Wish i new you were in Florida. I’m not too far from Ocala would have loved to meet you and you visit my horse n I for training session!

  2. Great interview about a very important topic! I’ve been using positive reinforcement training with my horses for many years. I currently have a previously-abused horse who has benefited tremendously from positive reinforcement training. He went from a horse that was very spooky and labeled “stubborn and belligerent” to a horse who is enthusiastic and loves human interaction. I’m on a mission to spread positive reinforcement training throughout the horse world. It’s humane, creative and fun for both horse and human. I hope more people are encouraged to learn how to use it with their horses. There are several programs available online where you can learn it. Thanks again for the great interview!

    1. Hi Mary, it is amazing what positive reinforcement can do for horses! We use it and share tutorials in our online courses because we feel it is an unused training technique!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    1. Sharon is so interesting! Glad we could share this interview with all of you 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  3. Excellent and informative interview! This has been such an overlooked area in the horse world — it’s time we caught up.

    Sharon’s examples of problem solving reminded me of an issue with my new horse. He was sold to me with the caveat that he would not work in an arena. He would become tense and could literally freeze in place — but that he loved the trail. I found both to be true, but when I turned him loose in the indoor arena to see if liberty appealed to him I discovered that he was not afraid of arenas–he was afraid of being restrained in an arena… so now we have a starting point.

    Thanks again for this interview — more like this please,

  4. Great information!!! Sharon answered some of my questions on why the target training has been a successful method to work for my sensitive mare Grace. I first learned of the method of positive reinforcement through CRK balanced riding course. I proceeded with the positive reinforcement training and have had great progress. Thanks for sharing Sharon’s work!

    1. Awesome! Really glad to hear you enjoyed the interview Christa 🙂 I think that positive reinforcement can definitely be utilized more in the horse industry!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

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