Why Everything You Know about Horse Training is WRONG!

Natural horsemanship, horse whisperers, horse gentlers, these are all words used to describe  methods of horse training which an individual human being developed themselves, based on their own personal experiences working with horses. 

And they are all blatantly, scientifically, factually, incorrect. Period. 

One individual human who works with horses for many years and develops their own methods alone cannot compare to an entire team of dedicated, college educated, professional trainers working side by side with many other just as highly qualified trainers, to work together as a team every day to professionally train animals 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then not only do it, but also rigorously document all of their training methods, successes and failures. Then,  allow it to be scrutinized by others in the field for merit, then published in journals if it’s deemed worthy, and then shared with colleagues all over the world. And finally, those colleagues all connect at least yearly to present their findings, learn more from each other, and every day strive to find ways to do it easier, better, and more lovingly for the animals they train.

 And if you didn’t know, this is the world of Professional Animal Trainers, and they have been doing this over the past more than 100 years. They are so good at this, that although some of us can’t even get our dog to walk good on a leash, they can ask a 10,000 pound animal to come when called,  stay perfectly still in one place,  with it’s mouth open, while a veterinary dentist performs (even sometimes mildly painful) dental procedures, without flinching, fuss, or  injuring themselves or others. And most importantly, the animal is happy to do it! So who are these super heroes of animal trainers? Most of these high level animal trainers are marine mammal trainers, like the kind you see at SeaWorld and other accredited marine mammal parks. But Professional Animal Trainers also train zoo animals to help make medical procedures less frightening and more safe for all involved especially when working with very large or dangerous animals, in sanctuaries like in the jungle for previously abused elephants to help them learn how to let us help them when they develop foot problems or other issues, in scientific laboratories by researchers and psychologists to understand more about learning and how animals think using animals like crows, rats, dogs, apes, and many others to better understand such things as ways to communicate to those who think differently such as children or those with disabilities and mapping learning pathways in the brain.

So who am I and why should you listen to me? Because not only am I a veterinarian, ultimately a scientist grounded in facts, I am the only certified aquatic vet in this part of the United States, and that affiliation along with my deep interest in animal behavior is what led me to becoming a certified Professional Animal Trainer. Something that is not true for many well known trainers, such as Cesar Milan for dogs or Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli, and even my beloved John Lyons (who I have learned a lot for and deeply admire), among many others who I am deeply grateful for their work and nonetheless paving a better way for horses from what was done to them primarily in the century before.

So what do Professional Animal Trainers know that you don’t know? They know that science teaches us just as simply that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for your health, that positive reinforcement training is the best, fastest, simplest, safest method to train any animal to do anything, by anyone. Which is why that is the name of my Horse Training Masterclass.

But first, why does it matter? Who cares? You might have spent your whole life raised around horses, read many books, attended clinics,  competed competitively (and won), had mostly all good experiences, and you are familiar with every famous horse trainer out there and their methods, and you pretty much know it all already. They all have their little gimmicks or cute names for different things, but ultimately no one out there has got much to tell you didn’t already know about horses or maybe even dog training for that matter.  So why bother to understand the definition of Positive Reinforcement Training and how or why it’s different? You are doing just fine. Heck, you even win shows! You got this, you are an expert! You broke your own wild Mustang!

Except, if you don’t know what positive reinforcement is (and is not), and how to use it correctly, all your assumptions are, I am sorry to tell you, are incorrect. You may think you know, but you are wrong.  I don’t care how many ribbons or trophies you have to try to say otherwise, or even how many gold medals you have won at the Olympics. I see people every day in the highest level of all disciplines with horses, from World Championship Reining to Olympic dressage, all using incorrect training methods. They are missing a critical piece of training information, the how’s and why’s and positive reinforcement, and not even realizing that the entire relationship they have with their animals could be  so much smoother, better, faster, and with the animal much happier to do anything asked of it, if only the principles of positive reinforcement are used. You have no idea what you don’t know, until your eyes are opened.

And if there is one thing I would like to achieve in my time here on earth, besides raising two beautiful girls to live life better than me, it’s to see positive reinforcement horse training be the norm, in all disciplines, all around the world, and bring horse training up to the high level of what is the norm for Marine Mammal Trainers, and bring the entire humankind concept of horse training up into this century and no longer buried in the nostalgia of the (Wild West) past. We have the science to prove what I am saying is true. The vast majority of horse training in the world today, even at the highest levels, have very little if any understanding of positive reinforcement. When I share this with marine mammal trainers, they look at me as if I MUST be joking! They are honestly shocked, ashamed, and chuckle a bit at how backwards most ‘famous’ horse trainers are.  It’s like saying that we are still driving cars without power steering because it hasn’t been discovered yet over here in our part of the world. Why would you drive a car today without power steering? You would if you never heard of it and it wasn’t an option, but wow how your driving experience improves once you drive a car with an automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes, for the first time after going without,  what an improvement (well for most of us). The exception of course is the very old car you have for nostalgic purposes.  Otherwise, for most folks life is hard every day, anyway, so anything we can do to effortlessly and for-free dramatically improve our daily quality of life and safety, sounds like a no-brainer to me! And that is the power of positive reinforcement!

But first,  the most common question I get is, well isn’t natural horsemanship and horse whispering pretty much positive reinforcement anyway? As one of you who has spent my life reading every book, attending clinics, and has sat glued to the screen to absorb any bit of helpful information I could get from any horse expert out there for most of my life, I can tell you definitively and scientifically, absolutely not. No. 

Well then comes the million dollar question (except my class is much less than a million dollars, for now!), well then what is positive reinforcement? The definition is adding something the animal likes, after they do something you like,  to make it more likely the animal will do that something again.  That’s it.

Most horse training today involves adding something the horse doesn’t really naturally like, such as a whip, spur, crop, or flag, to try to push, forcefully or even whispering ‘ask’, or spook the horse into running away or going forward and accidentally doing what you want, whether that’s from the ground in a round pen, or from their back over fences.  This works, because the animal does try to do something, anything, to avoid your ‘ask’, and then we let them know when they have made the right choice because we stop applying discomfort (however mild, even a whisper). However, this is an inefficient two step process that leaves the animal out there to try to guess what you want.  However, if we reward the behavior we want after it happens, in one step it’s crystal clear to the animal what we are looking for, the first time, which is why positive reinforcement is faster. Second, since there is no chasing them into trying to offer up a behavior to get us to stop doing whatever it is, there is much less chance the animal will make a dangerous choice like plow you over or jump out of the round pen when it can’t think of what you might want it to do, so it’s the safest method known to humankind (scientifically irrefutable).  And because positive reinforcement is simple, and works much like  how an entire computer system works on just a series of on and off’s, with animals it’s just a simple yes or no, so you don’t have to be an ‘expert’ in reading body language of the animal, or mystically be able to read it’s soul through the eyes. In fact, the system sometimes works better the less emotional you are towards the animal, because then you are more clear in your yes and no’s. So you only have to be able to communicate two things to the animal, either yes I like that, or no thank you I don’t really like that, which is why it’s actually the easiest method of training, and so simple a kid can do it (or someone with disabilities, deep seated fears, elderly,  etc.).  

But it sounds intimidating, I don’t have 8 hours a day, 7 days a week to train my horse? No problem! The beauty of it is, YOU won’t have to, because of all the science that has ALREADY been put into it, by other Professional Animal Trainers, so they can show all of us the quickest, easiest, consistent, reliable methods they have used to quickly teach anything. And as if that’s not all, remember, this is the science of ANIMAL TRAINING, not just horse training. These same methods are used around the world, successfully, on all kinds of animals, from whales to reptiles, horses and almost everything in between. You can put into it as much time as you have, knowing that any time you don’t spend training, you are still going to be able to just pick up where you left off, without in any way damaging the relationship with the animal, so that even a sporadic training schedule, done with positive reinforcement, is better than other training methods. How far, and how quickly you progress in what you ‘think’ you have to achieve is not as important as the bond between you and your horse at the end of the day.

So if you are intrigued and want to learn more, then become a monthly donor to the ResqRanch.org because we need your help to spread this message, offer more classes, and rescue the wild mustangs so desperately in need, now more than ever. Sign up for our newsletter to learn when the next 3 hour online Horse Training Masterclass will be offered, that you can attend from anywhere in the world from the comfort of your living room, where you can learn everything you need to know in a easy, 3 hour, information PACKED course that will give you ALL the tools you need, and the COMPLETE framework to work within, to train any horse, to do anything, by anyone.  I condensed over 150 hours of college credit level course work on animal training and behavior into this easy to follow 3 hour course, because I am that passionate about changing the world one horse at a time. For folks with lot’s of horse experience, the course could be the only thing you need to dramatically alter the course of the relationship between you and your horse, today, for the rest of your lives. And if your just starting out, my course, along with weekly or monthly video coaching sessions, will do the same in less time than you think. If you are young, afraid, been hurt, or confused about how to create a magical bond with a horse, then this class is for you!

Until next time, I’m DrQ, and the rest is up to you, to revolutionize the world of horse training to help keep you safer, animals happier, and strengthen the bond between you to be more fulfilling than you ever dreamed possible!


A New Exercise Routine for the Rescue’s!

Well it’s been a very busy summer which is part of the delay in giving you all an update until now!

We started 2 year old Cesar the Wild Mustang, the first week of June. And using positive reinforcement, we had him fully saddle trained (or what you might call ‘green broke), in 25 training sessions. We even loaded him easily in a trailer and hauled him to a local trailhead for a safe, successful trail ride away from home on the 26th lesson! That is the beauty of what YOU too can do with positive reinforcement. You should see the looks on the faces of others when I effortlessly toss a saddle on and ride off into the wide open with this young little horse, reins just attached to his halter (no bit), and no stress, worry, anxiety, on his part or mine. In fact, check out the video of him pacing in anticipation for his riding lesson! He loves it! This is not an animal forced into subjugation to please me, this is a happy, well adjusted horse who has learned to enjoy being with me no matter what the adventure!

I offered my Horse Training MasterClass, How to Train Any Horse, to do Anything, by Anyone, twice so far this year. The best part for us is the students of the class who are now regular volunteers here, and helped us with speeding up the process of training Cesar and the others! So a big thank you to our volunteers! It’s a joy to work side by side with knowledgeable people who ‘get it’ when it comes to the concept of training the animals in a safe, respectful, and kind manner, while maximizing the safety of all in the process. This positive reinforcement training idea really works! Cesar’s eagerness to participate in training sessions is proof!

So now that Cesar for all practical purposes is trained, it’s time to refocus on all the animals in the rescue. And that means starting them all on a regular exercise program.  Since we don’t have enough volunteers to hand walk all of them at once, we have decided to try to implement a 20 minute regular workout session with them all, as their personal fitness trainers! 

The session starts with each animal being ‘properly’ haltered and led, check out the video on that. It is NOT ideal that each have to be haltered first in order to attend the work out session. That is a ‘safety first’ limitation of the current facility we are in, which is just one more reason why we hope to have our permanent home, soon, where they won’t have to be haltered first in order to be turned out. However, since that’s the way it is for now, if they don’t halter correctly, we stop, and do something else, and try again. We don’t practice what we don’t want, and practice what we do want, each and every time. 

Once haltered correctly, and then led correctly to the turn out space, we give them a few minutes to run/play/roll and socialize before class begins. We then set a timer and begin today’s workout.   Using mostly positive reinforcement methods, we train all of them at liberty to “free lunge” in both directions.  Our goal is for them to just maintain movement. If they want to walk, trot, gallop, or jump fences, the choice is theirs, as long as they keep moving. It’s a great way for them to get exercise, and for us to get exercise as well! This is not about chasing or whipping them around, this is just a simple walking exercise for fitness and health. Check out the video and please leave your comments, thoughts, and suggestions on YouTube. As you know we are pioneering positive reinforcement training in horses, so your input is appreciated, help us think of new ways to get it done, or better yet, take the Horse Training Masterclass and come volunteer to work with our rescue horses!

Thank you so much for your interest in our programs! Please subscribe to our newsletter, share our message with others,  subscribe to our YouTube channel, and most importantly become a monthly donor to the ResqRanch. God Bless you and the animals!

DrQ’s How To Train Any Horse To Do Anything By Anyone!

Hello all!

By popular demand I am pleased to announce I am offering my Horse Training Masterclass again.

Here are the details:

Are you madly in love with horses and wish more than anything to get them in your life?


Do you already know a lot about horses, yet your methods just aren’t working as well or as fast as you like?

 I have the solution for you both!

A Life Changing 3 Hour Horse Training Masterclass!

And the deadline to sign up is approaching quickly, register by 5pm MST Friday July 16th! Only 2 spots left! 

Please let me share with you how it came about that I am going to change your life forever.  

Growing up poor, I loved animals, But without funds to purchase purebreds or already trained horses, like some of you I ended up with ‘rescues’  with training problems. Which is why they were rescues in the first place. I spent  money on everything from books, and seminars from the most well known horse whispers in the world,  to even animal communicators. I was frustrated, felt lost, unsure who to listen to, embarrassed, at times had limited self confidence that I had much idea of what I was doing, and desperately wanted to figure out how to fix it. 

More than anything I wanted that magical, heart fulfilling relationship with my horse, just like the ones you see in every emotional teen horse movie, ever! 

I didn’t want to worry anymore about wondering if my horse was ready, if my timing was right, how I could avoid getting bucked off, kicked, or smashed in some way.  

I wanted to know with 100% certainty that my horse really loved me!   

I encountered lots of conflicting information and few real solutions. None of the suggestions felt ‘right’.  But I kept trying with what I knew, maybe like you, and eventually it got me laid up in bed for nearly a year with a badly broken leg for trying to ride a rescue Thoroughbred mare I bought at a kill auction using the horse whisperer techniques I had learned thus far.  

That is when, stuck in a wheelchair in terrible pain with nothing but time to consider what I did wrong, and what I could do better, l I happened upon a dolphin training manual. 

This book changed my life! 

 It changed how I handled my own animals, how I advised my clients, and opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of training any horse, to do, anything! 

And so easy too, just a few simple steps!  

Understanding the principles of this simple, scientifically proven,  system of animal training, and applying it to horses, was like discovering the Rosetta Stone of how to clearly communicate, and accurately understand, my horses.  I went from not knowing if my horse even loved me, to being able to run to the end of an arena, away from the exit door,  call my horse to me, and have her race over to me, quickly, and eagerly, every time, and with complete mutual trust!  I was finally living the magical dream! Imagine scrambling on confidently bareback and bitless, ready to set off for any adventure! This is the dream that I am offering to you today! 

And don’t forget, these training principles apply to training ALL animals! You will leave this course with a new set of tools you can use to train horses, dogs, cats, fish, or even people!

 I am looking to share this special pilot masterclass with the unusually motivated, the exceptional truth seekers, the horse-crazy explorers! 

You may already know a lot about horses, yet you know there is always more to learn (or maybe you just want to try to prove your current methods are fine and you’re already on the right track). 

You may be just starting out, and that’s even better because I am going to save you years of heartache, money, and maybe even save your life! 


In fact, we feel so strongly that this statement is true, that we require the completion of this course for anyone who wishes to volunteer and spend time with the horses in our sanctuary.  Your tuition goes directly towards the care of the animals, so it’s a win-win!

What I am offering to share with you today is my 3 hour pilot intensive training masterclass on understanding positive reinforcement training. 

What it is, what it’s not, and why it’s the scientifically proven best, fastest, easiest, and safest method of animal training. 

You will learn why it’s the only method you should use for the rest of your life, on all your animals, and how to get started with using it.  

It will help you fix any and all training issues, for horses of all ages, youngsters to crusty old-timers, and everything in between.  You will learn the basic methods to (re)train  any horse, with any problems,  under saddle or on the ground, from quietly standing tied, to trailer loading, to picking up feet, perfect haltering and leading, girthiness, spookiness,  separation anxiety (including barn sourness), shying, bucking, pushiness, hard to catch,  and even working up to jumping bareback and bitless in company! 

I am going to show you exactly what you need to know, to fix any training issue, improve your relationship with all horses, and give you the tools to know without a doubt that, yes, your horse loves you! 

We are going to meet online for 3 hours on Sunday July 18th from noon to 3 pm MST.  

Yet that’s not all. You will also receive a FREE half hour personal one-on-one consultation for you to ask specific questions and get personal coaching from me, a $120 value! 

AND admittance to a private Facebook group for further discussion in between! 

  • First we’ll briefly discuss basic safety around handling horses, and why it’s important. Which is why this masterclass is especially great for beginner’s. 

  • Then, we will discuss the standard of horse training in the world today, how it’s out of date, and why you should leave all this behind.

  • Next we’ll learn what positive reinforcement training is and why it works the best.

  • I will teach you how to replace the current training methods you’re using, with positive reinforcement ones, so that you too can train any horse to do, anything!

  • Finally, we will discuss in depth exactly how to correctly halter train and lead a horse. You will leave this class with the tools to dramatically further your horse training knowledge, as well as confidently know you have the ability to halter train and lead ANY horse. An excellent class to have for anyone who ever plans to work with yearlings, Mustangs, or just to have more confidence haltering and leading ANY horse. 

I’m going to distill down for you an entire textbook on animal training, in simple plain, easy to understand language, everything you need to know to get started training any horse, to do anything. 

Remember you also get access to a private FB group just for students, where you can post specific questions and how to use this type of  training. 

With even a basic understanding of positive reinforcement training,  you too can train any horse! Even if you have never really been around them before! 

When it comes to horses, are you (or someone you love):

  • Afraid?

  • Hurt (like me)?

  • New to horses?

  • Experienced but looking for quick problem solving?

  • Frustrated?

  • A kid?

  • Elderly yet still believe in the dream that is horses?

  • A teen?

  • Disabled and looking for a therapeutic horse program?

  • A veteran dreaming of peace with horses?

  • A Mental Health Professional seeking to start an Equine Therapy Program?

  • Struggling, seeking meaning in life, desperate for grounding, and to find your purpose through being with horses?

  • Have social anxiety?

  • Have a deep burning passion, love, and fascination with the near mythical living creature, THE HORSE?

Then join this pilot masterclass and let me 100% blow your mind with the safest, fastest, most effective way to make ALL your dreams with horses, possible!

How can I guarantee all this? 

Keep in mind this is a pilot course, the training portion only, of my full course. When the full course is available to the public it will cover horse health, behavior, training, housing, equipment, ethics of the horse industry, and your own personal mental health and safety around horses. It will sell for $5,959.   

It will be the best comprehensive MUST HAVE course for anyone wanting to own or just be around or work with horses. 

In order to ensure everything is properly in place, first, I am going to offer this smaller pilot class to a select few unusually motivated students who want to take their relationship with their horse to the next level, NOW! 

Your cost for the privilege of joining this elite, intensive, information packed small pilot group? ONLY $297! 

A total no brainer! 

Don’t forget you can’t put a price on:


2) Holding the key to GUARANTEED deep emotional bond with Your horse, OR any HORSE!

I have given this course multiple times over the past 10 years, and literally changed people’s lives. Not only am I a veterinarian with a special interest in how behavior affects health, I am also a certified Professional Animal Trainer, and animal rescuer operating the premiere positive reinforcement centered horse sanctuary the ResqRanch. 

Not only will this course help deepen the bond between you and horses, it will also save you hours of time and money,  by helping you avoid hiring the wrong trainers, the wrong courses,  purchasing unnecessary equipment, and stress induced illness and injuries to you or the horse. It’s hard to put a price on the value of having your eyes opened to what you don’t know.    

Love horses? This course is for YOU! 

So that’s how it works. You will get a three hour intensive course on the best animal training method known to science in this century. You will get a half hour personal consultation with me (a $120 value). You will get access to a private FB group for asking questions.  You will learn everything you need to know about why this method is the best, safest, and fastest, what to avoid, and where to go from here. 

My full behavior and health course of which this pilot is the beginning, will sell for $5959. The cost to join this pilot program is only $297, and the deadline to join is  Friday July 16th, 2021 at 5 pm MST. I am accepting 10 people in the course. There are only two spots left. Would you like one of the spots in this pilot? 

If you are brave enough to learn what you don’t know, then you can’t afford to miss this chance! Sign up today and take advantage of the most significant moment in your life.   

I am DrQ, the One and Only Life Coach For People with Pets, and the rest, is up to you!

Looking forward to revealing to you a magical world with horses!

Thanks for reading and God bless!

To sign up for the class, please click here


Solving Hoof Lift Problems

Summer is in full swing around here and that means lot’s more ‘horsing around’!

In case you missed the videos https://youtu.be/-Sw3kDsh-A8, we have been working on a 30 Day Hoof Lift Challenge with all the animals in our care. We are working on retraining them to pick up their feet with just a hand single (palm up near the fetlock) and the word ‘lift’. Some days are better than others, and some animals are better than others on different days. Sometimes the first ask is effortless on all 4 legs, and other days the ask turns into a threatening kick depending on the animal and its level of rehabilitation. The worst by far is our oldest resident, the beautiful Quarter Horse Palomino mare Sugar.  This is a result of years of rough handling coupled with arthritic joints which make standing on 3 legs difficult for her.  Calling it a 30 Day Hoof Lift Challenge is more for fun, as getting her fully rehabilitated may not happen in 30 days, or ever.  Just remember, no matter how long it takes, as long as you don’t lose your temper (and make the mistake of aggressing on the animal even when you are safe), or frighten/stress the animal so that it feels the need to flee from you, trust in the process and that you ARE making progress. That’s the positive reinforcement (R+) way and what I teach in my Horse Training Masterclass the Safest, Fastest, Easiest animal training method known to science. 

For example, at the last session with Sugar where that hoof lift did turn into a half hearted kick out at me, I responded by sternly telling her ‘NO!”, and promptly left. I followed this up by doing extra training with other horses right in front of her, but giving her no opportunity to participate or engage, and basically treated her as if she didn’t exist, even when she came to the fence and put her head through and begged for attention with her little lip game she plays to try to get our attention. Nope I am not falling for it. There was no reason for her to even pretend to kick at me when asking for her to pick up her feet.  I have done nothing to her ever that she would need to protect herself from me (the only justification for a kick). She will have a ‘time out’ now for a couple of days until she rethinks her opinion of me and why she would want to threaten me when all I do is bring her ample opportunity to earn treats and massages.  It gives me a chance to cool out too, towards her, to make sure the next time we try it I don’t carry with me fear (or anger) that she might try to kick me again. And more importantly, it gives me time to rethink the whole situation to ensure I am not missing something that I could be doing better for her. Additionally, it gives me the chance to spend time visualizing the process going more smoothly the next time.  I will continue to watch her closely from afar, and as long as she continues to show interest in me and wanting/hoping to get another chance, I will give it to her, when I feel safe and ready, too. 

Please leave your comments, thoughts, suggestions,  like and subscribe to us on social media, and if you find value in what we do please become a monthly donor to the ResqRanch, even $1.00 will go a long way to help the horses. We currently know of  three older horses right now that we cannot afford or have room to take on who need forever homes with specialized care, call us for more information 303-838-3771 if you or someone you know is interested.  Your donations also help us offer more educational classes, volunteer opportunities, and help us give our animals what they deserve, an ideal horse properity of  their own to call home. Do YOU have an unused ideal horse property in the Evergreen area? We want to make a deal with you! Until next time, thank you and God Bless! 

Sugar enjoying some free time running in the field with her pal Donkey, not looking like she has too much trouble picking up her feet now! :)Sugar enjoying some free time running in the field with her pal Donkey, not looking like she has too much trouble picking up her feet now! :)

Sugar enjoying some free time running in the field with her pal Donkey, not looking like she has too much trouble picking up her feet now! 🙂

Training 6 Rescue Horses at Once Blog: Thursday March 8th, 2021

Hello all you Happy Horse Trainers!

Thought is was about time we shared the details of our training sessions here at the ResqRanch. This will help any potential volunteers better understand what will be expected of them when they spend time with us and so you can be sure the experience is what is best for you. Seasoned trainers will also find our techniques useful to try out themselves on the various animals they may have in their charge. Notice the two highlighted areas where you will notice that our current facilities are holding us back. This is why we are raising money through Network For Good, so that we can expend on what we have, or buy/lease something else which will improve the health and safety of our animals, guests, and volunteers. Is this something YOU can help us with?

To donate money, please go here : https://resqranch-powered-by-the-prince-of-flame-fund.networkforgood.com/

To volunteer, please go here: https://mailchi.mp/drqandu/9i8ad65jg9

To contact us about offering to help us renovate the property (build fence), or if you know of a property that would more perfectly suite our needs, please contact us here info@resqranch.org.

Now for the Training Log: Training 6 Rescue Horses at Once Blog entry Thursday March 8th, 2021. 3 pm

First walk thru check in the horses. All are healthy and eager for interaction in their individual small pens (runs). They each last ate about 2 flakes of hay at around 9 am so they have eaten, had water, rested, and by now are bored and ready for some stimulation.

Since they are all well and ready (as evidenced by nickering at us and coming forward to us eagerly looking for attention), the next step is to feed them more. Horses should have grass hay available to them as close to 24 hours a day as possible for maximum mental and physical health. 

For the next 30-40 minutes they are left along to consume as much hay as they can and have access to water.  Being hungry does not lend itself well to learning. 

Once the animals have had their fill, it’s time for recess. Our positive reinforcement training program dictates that the best for the animal’s health and well being, is some free time, first, before training.  This also allows the trainers the opportunity to further evaluate each animal’s state of mind, which will help shape what training lesson is practiced on any given day. This is something which sets our training apart. Although we always have a rough idea what we will work on with each animal, everyone has good and bad days. We adjust each day’s lesson to meet the individual where they are on this day.

Only 4 of our 6 are able to be safely haltered and led to another area safely, with more room where they can run, buck, roll and play. We turn out these four, in strict respect of their ‘pecking’ order.  The two left, one the oldest needing the most retraining, and the other a youngster needing the most initial training, are left together with more hay yet close by the others so they can all see each other, and keep anxiety levels down. Horses are herd animals and can get anxiety when separated from their herd mates. To minimize any anxiety, they all are schooled  near each other in order to minimize this from occurring. 

While the 4 are out at recess, it’s time to begin the training session for the 2 still in their paddock. Since these two are neither one yet safe and reliable to halter and lead out in the open (which is unavoidable with this facility), and since safety first, we are not able to turn them out for recess and must proceed with the training session. The older mare today actively avoids us, even hiding behind a wall to eat more hay rather than approach us at the fence. The youngster, on the other hand, is too forward and is pushing at the fence and putting his head all the way through the fence actively trying to reach us. His behavior is too forward/aggressive (he is not calm in his own safety circle) so we must use caution to avoid being bitten by him as we work around the pen. Yes part of his strong attention seeking behavior is due to his lack of exercise. Yet we are not able to get him safely to an exercise area at this time (thus our need for an updated facility), since it’s safety first, so we choose to actively stimulate his mind instead which is a good form of exercise, as well for horses that can’t be turned out, such as those with injuries who need rest but still get bored and frustrated.  

For the reluctant mare, who is wary of freely approaching us in case we should choose to put her back to hard work like she did on a ranch for years, her only lesson today is clicker training. We spend the next 30 minutes randomly reinforcing her with grain (even tossing it onto her pile of hay since she is slow to approach) at the same time as giving a click and telling her she is a good girl. After about 30 minutes she is fairly full of hay, and begins to approach us near the fence in shy hopes of perhaps earning more small bites of grain. Once she displays this behavior, we can be assured she is now in the correct, safe, mindset for us to approach, halter and lead, and turn out with the original 4 who are happy to greet her.

As for the yearling, we worked on more advanced clicker training, alternating between each of his lessons and freely rewarding the mare for ‘no reason’. This includes teaching him to turn his head and stick out his tongue on cue, move his hand limbs left and right (disengage his hindquarters) just with a word and slight finger gesture from a distance, to back up and move forward (follow the trainer) via only hand signals, and to practice putting eye drops in his eyes, cleaning out his ears, looking at his teeth, lifting legs, inspecting underbelly thoroughly, lifting all 4 feet easily and without danger of kicking, and finally asking to carry a rider, bareback, and how to respond to rein signals via reins clipped to each side of the halter.  All of this was accomplished in less than 40 minutes, easily, happily, safely, and effectively. By the end he is standing patiently and attentively on his side of the pen, ready to respond to the next request, no longer pushing and ramming to reach us against the fence. Now we know, he too, is ready and safe to be haltered and led out to enjoy the other 5, who have been sniffing around and exploring but not straying too far, their ears betraying them they are closely paying attention to the clicker training session (so they are learning at the same time) occurring with their two friends and anticipating their own training sessions where they too can earn bits of grain rewards. They all run about happily together, rolling, running, bucking, and nuzzling each other in delight at getting to have free time with their friends. 

Only now, two and half hours in do we even begin getting the only horses suitable for riding, ready for a riding session.

By now the two ‘riding’ horses have gotten free time with friends,  a chance to run and play and blow off steam, and the option to get fully satisfied on hay all the while being nearby friends and getting entertained (and learning) while watching the first two horses training sessions. 

Now we halter them and the ‘lead’ horse and take them out of the big playtime area and off into three individual square paddocks slightly bigger than the average horse round pen with a 60 foot diameter, that are all right next to each other. The ‘lead’ horse is a rescue not really suitable for riding, but gets very upset, and creates anxiety in the others, if separated too far from them. When training animals it is very important to acknowledge the hierarchy of the animals, and respect it at all times. Remember they are horses first, and always will be. This is an issue which can be controlled in a different kind of facility (again why we need a change) we know from experience because it was not an issue at a previous facility where the lead horse was naturally housed slightly further away, and just that additional 150 feet of space allowed him to overcome his over addiction to being near the others (a condition also sometimes called barn sour) while still allowing him to see the others and feel like a part of the herd. 

Luckily at this facility it is relatively easy to overcome since there are three individual working, or classroom pens we can use for training which allows him to be physically close but still loose and not able to interfere with our training.

Again we put hay bags and water buckets in the pens, so all three have no anxiety about getting moved over into these new pens, and get right back to munching hay and loosely checking out where the others are (still loose with each other in the big arena where they all just came from). And speaking of those who are now loose, they too act like they are interested in sniffing and exploring but really mostly they gather at the end nearest to their friends who are now in the classroom pens so to speak, intently watching and learning from their training session. 

Once we now double check to ensure all animals are content and relaxed, we get on our helmets, and set’s of reins, and begin a little simple clicker training exercises with the riding horses. We use clicker training to help us easily attach the reins to their halters. We also use clicker training to encourage them to stand near the fence, and use more clicker training to reward them for allowing us to mount up.

Then, we just sit there, with them loose, while they eat hay. We talk, laugh, watch clouds go by. We feel the horses muscles beneath our own. We shift our weight to get the feel of what it would feel like should the horse suddenly move. We make up stories, tell jokes, and share dreams of one day galloping over fences and along beaches. 

If the horses lose interest in the hay, and begin to explore the enclosure, we simultaneously give seat, rein, and leg aides that correspond to what the horse is doing. We only interfere if there is a safety concern. Soon we are riding the horses from one hay net, to the next turning left and right easily. Next, we incorporate a halt just before the hay net. Soon the horses turn left, right, and halt with only the slightest of our body gestures.

We just sit there and talk some more, until the horses seem downright bored. Perfect. Time to get off and reward them for a job very well done. Today we accomplished mounting,  with them loose, and got them to comply to  basic commands, without any running off and no one falling off. HUGE success. 

Now all the horses are brought in for the night, to their own individual areas to eat their dinner on their own, not being bothered by their herdmates, and reflecting on an eventful day. 

This is what we call perfect progress. Perfect progress like this will have us riding these horses on the beach and over fences all with free choice methods, in 6 months to a year depending on no mistakes being made, the limitations of the facility, our own physical fitness,   and how often the exercises are repeated. 

Does this sound like something you want to be a part of? Come help us retrain these animals, the right way, for their emotional and physical health, and yours!

Cesar posing.jpgCesar posing.jpg

November 5, 2020


We are working hard today, collaborating with other organizations in order to rescue this mare. Please help if you can! Any amount appreciated! We need to secure funds in order to rescue Rosie the 22 year old paint broodmare before winter sets in! Thank you and God bless!

September 17, 2020


For those of you burning with curiosity, yes we did make it to the Meeker Mustang Makeover with Cesar, and what an adventure it was! We left a few days early with Cesar and Dominic the Donkey as yearling-sitter, for the event in the first winter storm of the year, not fun. We got lost on the way to our lodgings and a 5 hour trip took 8. The next day we went to the fairgrounds to practice, only to find the arena 12 inches deep in slick mud which Cesar did not appreciate. The day of the event was a whirlwind of new sights, sounds, smells (cows, sheep, overhead PA speakers, screaming kids, etc.), and a swirling mass of people and beautiful Mustangs doing amazing things, even jumping into the back of a flatbed truck! Every time we would take Cesar out of his stall at the fairgrounds for a practice run without Donkey, he would bray in exasperation, his calls thundering across the fairgrounds. So much so they actually had to once even briefly stop the national anthem! We thought he was there to baby sit Cesar, but it seemed to work the other way around. The girls completed the obstacle course with Cesar, and won college scholarship money. We then successfully won our bid at the auction on Cesar the baby wild Mustang, so now he is a permanent addition to the ResqRanch! It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, and a wonderful learning and growing experience for the girls, Cesar, and our beloved donkey. I learned a lot more, too, about the plight of the Mustang and how the herds double in size every 4 years with no good means of management so they don’t starve to death other than the necessary continual rounding up of the horses and putting them in holding pens, to the current tune of 50,000 animals.
I spoke at length to the announcer about the logistics of bringing an event similar to this one, closer to the Denver area. My only concern with it all was the lack of positive reinforcement training I noticed being used on the 15 Mustangs at the event. Perhaps my HORSES101 program, with the emphasis on positive reinforcement, could be combined with the local 4H to bring a Mustang training event to our area. I have already had volunteers step up to assist if we decide to put this together, even if it takes a year or two. If this sounds like something you would like to get some more information on how to help out with, please contact us at Aspen Park Vet Hospital in Conifer. Although the world seems to be upside down these days, one thing we can count on is that there are animals in need, now more than ever, who need our help. If we all do a little bit, we can end the need for shelters, rescues, and Mustang holding pens, in the first place. Please support us, and stay safe out there!

August 16, 2020


Hello I hope this message finds you well! Recall that on the first of June we brought to the ResqRanch, a barely year old wild Mustang that we named Cesar. This little gelding has been a joy for us to work with. He is a part of the Meeker Mustang Makeover (you can learn more about them on Facebook) kids division event, where my kids and I have less than 100 days to train him to perform at a September 11th commemorative event. The kids who placed highest will win a college scholarship. After the event, all the equine participants will be available for auction. We hope we will be able to win our bid on him so he can become a permanent resident and wild Mustang ambassador at the ResqRanch.
Did you know the Bureau of Land Management has over 10,000 wild Mustangs in holding pens? They are federally protected (for now) and rounded up and corralled when their numbers exceed what the open range in NW Colorado and Wyoming (among other places throughout the US) can handle. Did you know that this is such a problem that the federal government will actually pay you $500 to adopt these animals? We felt it was time to help spread awareness about the wild mustangs, our national heritage, by participating in this challenge.
And a fun challenge it has been!

The first few weeks, we simply spent time with him on the other side of a fence. Reaching through to pet and scratch him, to gauge his interest in us, and also to keep us safe in case he should decide to kick or bite. He sort of tried nibbling at our hands/clothes some, but never actually put teeth on and bit anyone, and never once acted like he might kick, even when we reached through and touched his lower legs. In fact, he quickly learned to seek us out for pets/scratching, and even trusted us enough to scratch around his tail head. He also showed no concerns about us touching/petting him around the face/eyes, mouth, and ears. He learned to also associate us with handfuls of fresh grass which he could not get to for himself. We also made sure he had toys (different kinds of balls) to play with in his enclosure, which he did and seemed to enjoy, further desensitizing him to new things, without stress.

The next step was to have him observe how it’s done. He watched us halter, lead, tie, groom and saddle many other horses right in front of/by him, which he observed with fascination. He got to observe how they enjoyed interacting with us, which went a long way towards convincing him that we must be alright!

By now we had been in the stall with him (for manure cleaning, feeding, and water refilling), where again he continued to show no fear of us or attempts to be aggressive to us in any way. We were just always very careful to make sure we reinforced our personal space so that he would stay back and not crowd, or accidentally injure us. Our next step was to use 2 trainers, one with handfuls of grass to keep him busy, while the other placed the halter on his head and buckled it. Once this was successful without incident, we went ahead with walking him around on the lead inside his enclosure. The second trainer used handfuls of grass to help direct his movements, from both inside and outside the enclosure for safety, as needed. We never forced him to follow us, and instead used other tools (like the grass) to make it easy for him to do the ‘right’ things, without pulling or yanking on him at any time. We always tried to have another horse or donkey on lead nearby, again, for security and so he could see how it was done.

Once he was leading with ease and having fun, we decided it was time to leave his enclosure. He was more than ready for this, as he had watched us saddle and lead the other horses out of the area, and he often whinnied, called, and looked for them when they would leave. He was ready to go see what the big horses were up to!

On the first day we decided to bring him out, we carefully evaluated the entire barn area, removed all possible obstacles or anything dangerous, closed all open doors, wound up the hoses, moved buckets and equipment out of the way, and made sure to sort of “baby proof” the entire inside of the barn as best we could. Then, knowing that the little guy was likely pent up from a few weeks inside only one 36 sq foot enclosure, we decided the first step was just to let him have some freedom on his own to run a bit and kick up his heels. And kick up his heels he did! He was so happy to have the chance to run free inside the barn, he didn’t even care about feeling slick concrete under his feet for the first time! He explored the new surfaces, the new sights and smells, the new horses around the corner that he has heard but not seen before, and kicked up his heels and pranced around. Once he seemed to have let off some steam and no longer was as explosive, and instead, began to get overly curious with biting at and pushing around the plastic trash cans, we decided to put his lead rope on and walk him around in the same space. He did great! And with that, we had the beginnings of a halter trained wild baby mustang!

There is so much more to share, about his first big hiking adventure, and how his clicker and target training are progressing. Looking forward to sharing those videos with you over on YouTube at The1DrQ. In the mean time please support us with a monthly recurring donation. And remember, my HORSES 101! program can be easily adjusted for any audience, and is always FREE, so let me know if that would be of helpful to have for your group or event. On that note, stay safe out there everyone, and thank you for your support!



June 16, 2020


I hope this update finds you well and happy! This is a good time for a ResqRanch update, as we have had a busy few months. Sugar the quarter horse mare we adopted last fall is the epitome of what can happen when you rescue an animal. She is so happy (and funny, one of the most comical horses I have ever been around) and devoted to me because she loves living with us so much! She knows what it’s like to be treated, for years, like a tool, instead of as the beautiful princess she is, so everyday she exudes kindness, gratefulness and fully appreciates the loving devotion we shower her with. That is the magic of the rescue, when they ‘get it’ that they are finally home, and loved, and trust they will never be treated mindlessly again. Unfortunately her years of dental neglect are a constant concern. Truly it’s a form of abuse because little can now be done to repair the damage. It’s heartbreaking to love her so much, and still see her health struggles no matter the care she gets. Regardless, we are lucky to have her. Please, for Sugar’s sake, make sure your horses teeth are floated at least once a year.
Next, in April we got Emblaze, the 8 year old retired racing mare, also a nearly magical addition to our program. Other than her creaky knees and occasional lameness we carefully manage after 5 years of hard racing, she too is thoroughly enjoying this new life where the most work we ask of her is to cart a kid gently around an arena for 45 minutes three times a week. She loves the attention, and she is so mellow and willing that she has completely changed what we can offer in our programs. We are so grateful for her.
Finally, we have our newest addition Cesar, a yearling wild mustang who as of this writing we have had for 10 days. He is a part of the Meeker Mustang Makeover (you can learn more about them on Facebook) kids division event, where my kids have less than 100 days to train him to perform at a 911 commemorative event. Did you know the Bureau of Land Management has over 10,000 wild Mustangs in holding pens? They are federally protected (for now) and rounded up and corralled when their numbers exceed what the open range in NW Colorado and Wyoming (among other places throughout the US) can handle. There is a very real risk that due to the pandemic funds to care for them could be in jeopardy. It’s been such a problem that now the federal government will actually pay you $500 to adopt these animals! We felt it was time to help spread awareness about the wild mustangs, our national heritage, by participating in this challenge. If you love horses, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, The1DrQ, and follow along on how little Julius Cesar is progressing. And if you decide adopting a mustang is for you, I am here to help if you need it. Please comment on any of the videos so we can bring you more of what you want to see. I hope those of you who participated in my free training video offer enjoyed it.
Finally, I have had several calls about when we would be offering HORSES101! again, as well as Hike with Horses. At this time I anticipate it will be mid July. Please like the ResqRanch on Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter at http://www.DrQandU.org to keep informed.
We are only doing our part, our passion that fulfills us, and hopefully helps others too along the way. What a wonderful world it could be if we all did more of the same. What fulfills you?
Please be careful, stay safe out there, and thank you for your support. Remember no one REALLY knows what to expect with this pandemic, so please be smart, stay safe, and follow your dreams. Thanks for reading, DrQ and the Crew from Aspen Park Vet Hospital and the ResqRanch.

May 14, 2020


Hello Pet Parents and Animal Loving Angels of the world! We hope this message funds you safe and healthy! We have updated our COVID19 Policy and have some updates on the Rescues page of the website which thought you might be interested in.

If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and comment on our YouTube channel The1DrQ. Here you can watch us train the ResqRanch animals LIVE and unedited! This our FREE gift to you during this worldwide pandemic! Please wear your masks out there, please stay safe, we need YOU to come help care for these animals, sometime hopefully in the very near future. #loveisall #science
And if our message touches your heart, PLEASE DONATE TODAY! Thank you and God Bless.