Lake Erie College presents “Positive Reinforcement Training for Horses”


On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Lake Erie College School of Equine Studies will offer "Positive Reinforcement Training for Horses,” a presentation by Tara Gifford of Ohio Animal Training, LLC. This special presentation will teach equine students how to train horses for basic handling, ground manners and preparation for medical care, though all individuals are encouraged to attend.

With over a decade of experience working with everything from horses and dolphins to orangutans, snow leopards, giraffes and all types of zoo animals, Gifford’s expertise in animal training is wide-ranging. She has been a zoo professional since 1985 and spent nine years training marine mammals. Currently, she consults with zoos and horse owners on training and behavioral issues. She is known for her use of classical positive behavioral training methods and clicker training, which can be useful skills for students and faculty members in the fields of biology, psychology and education, as well as those in equestrian studies.

"Anyone who has ever been interested in zoo training and how to train their own dogs or horses would be delighted and enlightened by hearing about Tara’s experiences and training methods,” said Pam Hess, D.V.M., dean of the School of Equine Studies and associate professor of equine studies. "Her presentation will offer individuals a glimpse into the world of successful professional positive training as well as some out-of-the-box training tips that they could use in their own careers.”

The presentation is free and open to the public. It will take place from 3:15-4:45 p.m. in the Coe Conference Room in the Arthur S. Holden Center on the Lake Erie College campus. Immediately afterward, attendees are invited to travel to the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center for an open demonstration of the presentation’s techniques from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Transportation is not provided. For more information, contact Dr. Hess at or 440-375-8005.

Ohio Animal Training works with horses for better cooperation with the farrier, needle aversion, difficulty catching or haltering, deworming, loading and more. The group teaches positive reinforcement techniques using learning theory to mark desired behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with something the animal values. To learn more, visit

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