Andrea Beess und Chrostin, Royalla, Australia
I started following Anna Blake’s blogs a couple of years ago, and was lucky enough to audit one of her first clinics in Australia last October, I was looking forward to auditing her next clinic which had to be canceled due to Covid 19. So when she started to set up all these online short courses I jumped at the opportunity to join the Back In The Saddle course, I had been struggling for at least 4 years to find a constructive way with my very sensitive Lipizzaner gelding Leo, whatever I tried, online and in person, just caused him to quietly shut down more and more, we were both very sad. I was getting more and more anxious and desperate for him to respond to me and was very close to giving up. Within the first 2 weeks of the course, we both started to relax and he started to open up, I still can’t believe it. Learning to read and respond to his calming signals, paying him the respect he deserves, learning to be truly patient, it doesn’t get any better than seeing those results. Anna is so knowledgeable, confident and 100% affirmative with you and the horse, a relentlessly passionate advocate for every horse and a very clever instructor, she sees everything, life has changed for the better for Leo and me without a doubt. I love how the course is set up with weekly zoom meetings, private zoom lessons and our own group where we can post videos and discuss whatever issues arise, we have all become friends all over the world now, and the best part is, I don’t have to leave home to go to a clinic or instructor, those live zoom lessons are awesome, you are less stressed in your own environment, Leo just loves Anna’s “Good boy !” from my IPad. I can only recommend Anna’s courses and clinics, wherever you are, your horse will be so thankful, you won’t look back.
Melissa Wolf Wimberley, Tx
Working in class with Anna has opened up a whole new world of understanding with my horses. In that world, there's now two-way communication, which has opened the way for mutual confidence and genuine relationship. I've worked with others who use all the right words, but the crucial difference shows in the beautiful relaxed moments in connection with my horses. Anna is gifted with the knack for seeing the best in our horses and she helps each of us learn how to build on that. It's been a very gratifying journey watching the horses and humans grow in remarkable ways in such a short time.
Geraldine Barker Cardiff, United Kingdom
I've recently done the "Calming Signal' course with Anna. It was a 4-week online course with a small group of about eight people and it worked really well. I learned so much from it and was a lot of fun meeting up with classmates from all different parts of the world every week. Â We were given "homework" to send in a video each week of our horses on a set topic which we would then discuss in our meeting. It was great to meet everyone s horses and see so many calming signals in real-life situations. I thoroughly recommend anyone thinking of doing one of Anna's courses to do it. They are full of learning, fun and laughter! The changes I am seeing in my horse and our relationship is truly wonderful.
Sarah Jackson Driftwood, Tx
BiTS class with Anna Blake is extraordinarily beneficial in how it has helped me understand my horses, physically & mentally, and I have been able to get back in the saddle recently after a 2-year hiatus.
I recommend BiTS to anyone who would like to have a deeper understanding of their horse and to how to engage in meaningful "conversations" with him. After years of working with various trainers and studying the nature of the horse, I thought I understood their instinctual behaviors, but working with Anna has taken my understanding to a different level entirely and that has made it possible for me to have interactions with my horses that are rich in a way I thought was impossible.
The observations of a horse friend who visited yesterday perhaps says what is most important about the results of my working with Anna Blake in BiTS course over the past few months. She remarked that I seemed way more positive and confident and more importantly, that my horses both seemed more relaxed and comfortable with me. I had primarily been working with my horse Zen Bear in the BiTS course, and my companion-only horse is something of a reactive, worried horse. The effects of becoming a better listener to my horses and interacting in a way that honors them, has resulted in BOTH horses becoming calmer. I suppose we could call that a "trickle down" effect and astonishing to me.
I am not a tech-savvy person, yet I have worked with Anna Blake, online, in the BitS course and this has led to my understanding my horses at a level previously unknown to me, despite many years of studying and working with various trainers. One of the many benefits of this course has been learning that I do have the ability to work with complicated horses in a peaceful, affirming way.
If you feel you lack the connection you want with your horse, I would recommend this BiiTS course with Anna Blake. Or perhaps you feel you have a connection but there is some mystery you can't quite figure out in helping your horse to relax and be peaceful with you. By listening in the affirmative way that Anna teaches, you can become a brilliant conversationalist with your horse and if you're lucky, more interesting than grass!
Hunt Oliver, Tennessee
Over the years I have sought the best trainers I could find. Denny Emerson, Mark Russell, Jillian Kreinbring, Patrick King, Manolo Mendez. In the last 12 years, I learned about lightness and softness and those became my goal.
I learned a lot from those trainers above but no one I have found is teaching what Anna knows. Anna’s approach is, simply, the most essential information every horse person needs.
Mary Ramsden, Warrenville, IL USA
I have been following Anna Blake through her books and posts for several years now. They have helped me heal from a badly shattered leg and multiple surgeries - but more importantly they have helped me heal a totally upside-down notion of what horse training is all about.
My heart and my gut told me one thing but the larger horse world told me another. Fortunately, Anna Blake’s books and postings came along and gave me a reason to trust my heart and gut. Her wisdom, humor and positive approach to all of life is a breath of fresh air replete with science and solid research to counter or confirm some of the long held opinions/methods offered by others.
Since COVID-19 has wrapped its tentacles around the world - Anna has not let that stop her from reaching out in new ways! Ever the optimist, she has turned a hard NO into a YES! She has launched an entire e-learning school that brings her wisdom right into your home virtually. Students interact with her in real time and reap the rewards of interacting with other students from all over the world. How’s that for making lemonade from life’s lemons?
Please, for the sake of your horse and yourself, check out all she has to offer. Your horse will thank you in ways you can’t even imagine yet-and you will grow your own heart and brain a lot bigger in the process.
Kirsty Petersen Napier, New Zealand
In finding Anna and the courses she runs, I have found something I have been searching for for a long time. A better way to be with my horses, donkeys and mules, a way to understand what is going on with them, and a way to work with them to make their life, and mine, more relaxed and happy. Not only does Anna teach affirmative training, she is a very affirmative trainer, happily answering any question you come up with, in a way that points you in the right direction and makes you feel good and motivated at the same time. I have done the calming signals course so far and am now doing the affirmative training course, and cannot wait till summer so I can progress to either the back in the saddle course or some lessons.
Jinnie Draper, Nova Scotia
Spending time with Anna in either course or consultation is slowly chipping away at many of my ingrained habits of mind and body. In all that she teaches there is an intriguing mix of vulnerability and respect both in her words and most importantly by her example. For those of us committed to living in the present, given moment and yet finding ourselves faltering in the face of the unexpected, Anna reminds us to be compassionate with ourselves, to laugh and to affirm joy in ourselves and in our horses. She is steady in the face of my squirmingly uncomfortable recognition of where I could have done better, so that honest acceptance replaces either indulging in self-recrimination or making light of failure.
I am incredibly grateful for Anna’s willingness to guide students thousands of miles away, to study videos of our equine endeavours, and to encourage us patiently as we absorb new ways of thinking and being with our horses.
I was a student of Anna’s on-line Affirmative Training Course. I loved this course. I loved that the class size was small, so even though we were not in the same physical space with one another I felt very connected to my fellow students and to the teacher.
Everyone had their own goals and we worked on them together. Some students had a goal of haItering with consent, some students worked on riding their horse relaxed and forward. I learned so much from watching the videos that my fellow students shared each week and the discussions that followed.
It was such a supportive environment and I loved meeting friends who live near and far who all put their horse first.
Anna is awesome, she is an international horse trainer and author! Anna shares her experience and knowledge to tell you what your horse wants you to know. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to further their relationship and training with their horse.
Toni Clark Hillsboro, OR
Just wanted to say the ReBits class I took at the beginning of this year was one of the best conversations between my retired jumper and I. We are still reaping the benefits. Such a great supportive group of classmates and the thoughtfulness of Anna never ceases to amaze me.
I recently finished the affirmative training class and it was so fun seeing how well the horses respond to this type of work. I was amazed to be working with folks from around the globe, learning new perspectives on how to be better for our horses. The technology, while it can be challenging at times, is a new way to get the ongoing opportunity for training instead of having to wait for a local clinic.
The virtual clinic was a treat, I enjoyed getting to watch folks on their own turf. It was much less stressful for my horse and I to be home and it was still different enough for both of us to notice. I enjoyed the auditors input and perspective during the conversations between sessions, I always learn so much more.
Patty Fair, Austin, TX
In my past 30 years of horse ownership, I've learned and unlearned a million things. I've bounced around (literally!) from trainers to methods to disciplines to equipment and back. Something, sometimes big, sometimes small, always seemed not-quite-right to me.
I have finally found a home. Where horses come first.
Anna's online classes are game changers. For you and your horse. Not always easy—all previous assumptions are up for questioning but always enlightening. With the added, very special bonus of an amazing supportive like-minded community. It reminds me of sitting around the barn after a good ride with my best barn buddies discussing what could have been better, but most importantly, what was great.
And now Anna has mastered personal coaching sessions via zoom. She understands the possible limitations of equipment, bandwidth and operator error and magically finds work-arounds. I have learned more in a 30 minute session than any three day clinic.
Take a class. You will learn, laugh, and fall even more in love with your horse.
Shelley Carr, Wiltshire, UK
I’ve worked online with Anna as part of a course, in private lessons and auditing a clinic. It’s amazing how much learning and support is possible via zoom. I’ve had Anna with me in my field in Wiltshire UK from her desk in Colorado and I love that she’s got to know my horses and me in our home setting. Anna’s affirmative style of training is really an approach to living and being as well as horse training. It is modeled by Anna who holds the groups, horses and people with kindness, noticing and affirming the ways we say ‘yes’ to our horses and ourselves.
My relationship with all my horses has improved since I’ve been working with Anna and a member of the Barn. They know I listen and they have more to say.
We are a work in progress, we are vulnerable, compassionate, and imperfect- and we are a revolution!
Linda Doughty Kneifel
As a brilliant advocate for the horse, Anna's approach to horse training has been the absolute best relationship therapy for me and my horses. The classes I've taken always illuminate aspects of horse/human interaction that I've been curious about. Anna brings understanding and clarity, and she is accessible and thoughtful and supportive.
The wonderful thing about the online classes is that the horses also participate via video and this works wonderfully well since we humans can review our interactions and discussions multiple times. I've taken the first three classes and will take more when I can.
Another voice here strongly encouraging you to do it!