A Leg Up – The art and Science of Horsecraft
an entertaining and enlightening online course to help adult amateur horse lovers connect with and understand their equine partners.
We aim to educate adult amateur horse owners, confused by conflicting methodologies and lacking the clarity and connection they crave with their horses. We will introduce the concepts behind equine evolution, HeartMath, and sentient communication and encourage participants to purchase and practice with these tools alongside their horses.
We specialize in facilitating the ‘magic’ in the horse-human connection – sort of like an interspecies relationship coach for horses and their humans!
As the daughter of an equine veterinarian and a competitor on the Canadian Equestrian Team, I saw EVERY ilk of horse and human under the sun. I developed a thesis on what is at the root of all great horse craft and I have a passion for spreading it, to help horses be better understood by their humans. I am convinced that it is these 'soft skills', that are at the root of all great horsemanship, and that mastering them is what separates the Wizards from the Muggles in the magical world of horses.
I asked my Dad; "Dad, if you had 12 sessions to convey ALL of the most important things a conscientious horse owner should know, before throwing a leg over a horse, what would you cover? Give me the wish-list you think every horse has in its head; the things it wishes its handlers knew about them, before even taking the lead in hand."
‘A Leg Up – Th Art and Science of Horsecraft’ is what we have come up with, together!
Evolutionary science explaining Equine socialization, instincts and needs, combined with the requisite mindset, breathing and embodiment skills, to be who your horse needs you to be and connect like one of the God’s of the Horse world!
As an International Competitor in the sport of Three-Day Eventing - an old cavalry test that pushes the extremes of athleticism, bravery, speed and endurance - my horses far exceeded their DNA. Half-breeds and tiny traumatized mares, carried me to ridiculous heights, putting it all on the line for me, time and again.
Part of it, my Dad always argued, was just inherent – something you just couldn’t TEACH people! You were either a good horseman/woman … or you weren’t! This opinion was usually shared after a frustrating horse-human interaction we had witnessed – the human, all bad timing and working against what the horse so obviously needed. They weren’t noticing the little things, they were mechanical, with no connection.
“You can’t teach that, Paige!”, my Dad used to say, shaking his head ruefully.
It was something I came up against, all the time, with adult amateurs entering the horse industry, without the benefit of coming from generations of horse-people. It lead to a level of frustration for horses AND riders, as unrealistic expectations clashed alongside a lack of understanding the species. Unable to teach Magic to the average Muggle, I chose to leave the horse sport industry.
But now, I’m back and I beg to differ with my father! I KNOW that the magic can be taught and practised – a strength like building a muscle - because I have seen it happen!
We will leave at the gate any ideas of our individual deities (our ‘disciplines’, our tribal identification as Western, English, Eventer, Reiner, Dressage Rider, etc ...) and search out the common threads shared by ALL of the great horse craft practitioners of the past millennia.
We come together to learn and share, and become simply horse lovers - all of us equal! We are practitioners of science-backed, joy-fuelled Hose Craft; seeking deeper connection and mutual joy in all of our horse-human interactions.
I KNOW, because I LOST the magic. The very thing that defined me; the very thing I was known for; the only thing I wanted, more than anything! The thing I proposed to share with the world .. and yet it was frustratingly out of my own reach.
The stress and anxiety of bankruptcy, divorce, and cancer treatment during the covid 19 lockdown, stole the ‘magic’ I once took for granted; dogs barked at me, horses fled my presence. It was an awful place to be - on the other side of this chasm - a Muggle amongst Magicians.
And then I began a journey of learning that has seen me back to the other side; connecting again, like I used to! It was an exploration into the science of emotional regulation and our shared neuro-biology, that lead me to certification in Heart Math techniques. Now I am integrating new methods and technologies into classical horse craft. It gave me back what I lost and I am convinced it can help YOU, too!
I propose to take you through that same journey, so that you can build the skills and instincts you need, to connect like one of the God’s from your realm of the Horse Kingdom.
The learning combines traditional horsemanship, with science-backed exercises and stories of our own successes and failures over the years, to help you develop the instincts and environment your horse needs to thrive and connect with you.
A little about Chuck
My Dad, Chuck Lockton, was born and raised on a farm in Alberta. He spent much of his youth on horseback with his old dog Ring at side and livestock to care for. He attended school in Nanton and gained entry to the wider world through Olds School of Agriculture and Ontario
Veterinary College in Guelph (OVC ‘65).
His veterinary career includes equine practice in northern Ontario; work for the federal government as District Veterinarian; service aboard ship with horses sent overseas; work with the Inuit in the high Arctic; assisting in Wildlife relocation projects; and service on
the Foreign Animal Disease team. He also spent ten glorious summers as a cowboy in charge of a community pasture in the Alberta Rockies.