I first discovered Kate Fenner after searching the net for a John Lyons trainer. Kate, the owner of Kandoo Equine, has to be one of the most down to earth, honest and straight forward people I have ever meet.
Kate has the ability to build confidence and encourage you to have-a-go, maybe get it wrong, but more importantly guides you to get it right. Kate does not take over and constantly tell you what to do, her approach is more subtle. As a result I have developed a greater understanding of my horse. Kate educates you to educate your horse.
A group of riders from our Adult Riding Club, including myself, now travel up to Kandoo Equine regularly. One lady has, in one year, gone from a very nervous Prepartory rider who did not dare to canter, to winning at Preliminary level, plus winning most improved rider at the Dressage Association in 2012. Another and myself are now riding at Novice level with much calmer, softer and happier horses and many a dressage judge has commented on our horses overall manners and obedience.
Kate not only educates the rider to educate their own horse, but inspires the individual to be a more self-assured and confident individual.Sandra
.....your simplified and practical approach and your willingness to pass on your knowledge.
.....gentle, no fuss training techniques....
Read the entire testimonial by clicking here.Dr S
Fantastically innovative training methods, I felt like I really established a connection with my horse on the ground so that meant we were talking the same language when we moved to ridden exercises. My horse felt genuinely happy and comfortable it was like he said..."oh, is THAT what you want me to do, easy!" In comparison to traditional dressage training that always felt so difficult and forced, this method feels like you're learning to communicate with one another. It was such a relief and effortless in comparison. Loved it!Sally
My beautiful pony, Cracker and I were extremely lucky to of participated in a week of in-house training at Kandoo Equine with Kate Fenner. Kate Fenner is a calm, gentle, honest and extremely knowledgeable horsewoman. I feel honoured to have met and been involved in her extensive training program. Her methods are highly effective, kind, non-threatening and most of all easy to understand. During my time at Kandoo Equine, Kate showed me that I should trust my judgement, be confident and give everything a go. But most of all she gave my horse and I a common language in which we both understood and respected. Over the week I witnessed Kate interact with my horse, as well as other horses, in a manner in which they clearly understood and respected. I knew from this moment forward that this would be my goal. I noticed a change in Cracker immediately. He became more responsive, attentive and was eager to please. It was like someone has removed a barrier from between us and we were able to speak clearly to each other. This was the ultimate high!! It would also lay the foundations for what was yet to come. When I returned home from Kandoo Equine with my new found friend, my friends and even my instructor noticed a remarkable improvement in our relationship. At first they thought that I had a new horse. That's exactly what it felt like. At Kandoo, Kate equipped me with the tools and skills needed to educate my new found friend, because we had a long way to go. Since then, we have worked on the purpose of the bridle and saddle, how to teach/use our aids correctly, shoulder control and patterns. This was with the assistance of Kate's comprehensive DVDs and her full ongoing support. I would like to thank Kate for building my confidence, sharing her unbelievable skills and knowledge as well as removing the barrier between us, thus igniting a great relationship. I know that there is a long way to go but with dedication, support, ongoing training (with Kate) and time this will occur. I would recommend that anyone who has an equine pal to come and spend some time with Kate; she is a truly inspirational coach.Martene
This clinic is probably the best horse training investment I’ve ever made. This course is brilliant (as is Kate). This is a systematic practical course that not only trains the horse, but allows you to carry over what you have learned to other horses. This course uses gentle methods to produce happy, confident, soft and responsive horses that understand their job, and riders/handlers that understand why they are doing what they are doing and whether or not it will work.Helen
I have just completed a four day clinic with Kate using two of my horses.Helen M
I can honestly say it was brilliant.
I came to the clinic confused, with Western methods I had learnt 20 years ago, Natural Methods I had learnt today and English Methods from books and DVDS all swirling round in my head. What I found is that Kates approach fits all styles of riding. We first discussed my reasons for attending and what I wanted to achieve. I got all that and more.
Kate has a consistent methodical approach that puts back confidence and knowledge in the handler and the horse receives clear signals from the handler or rider. Every single question was answered by Kate for all the participants no matter what it was about (competitive Dressage to training the young the horse). The endless practical is brilliant, from working with your horses and other horses (to get the feel) on the ground and in the saddle.
After riding two of Kates horses, one being a 5 year old stallion, I was able to see what I could aim for and how successful her method is. Lightness in the mouth and feel of the horse, soft slow canters to passage with pizazz. I would want Kate to train any of my horses from scratch but the best part is , she can train you to do all that.
I had opportunities to work with her horses from 2 years old and onwards, and saw how each horse learnt the lesson we gave it. A great learning curve. This progressive approach went from the ground to in the saddle on older horses. It made a lot of sense and I got the results I came for. That being a horse working in a frame, light in the mouth, great head carriage, side passes and a horse that works in a relaxed focused manner. Others had other goals and reached them too.
The clinic advanced my 13 year old horse in his education and showed up all the gaps in the education of my 6 year old mare.
Kate has a consistent approach to teaching that incorporates positive reinforcement in so many ways. I left the clinic with techniques I had fully mastered as Kate shows you as many times as you need to get it right. The best part of all is that she has a great sense of humour.
We had owned Red for 1 year prior to visiting Kate. My daughter was 11 and a beginner rider attending Pony Club. She was starting to become frustrated with riding as Red had some annoying habits. She was struggling with control as Red would throw his head up and look around at everything else going on instead of listening to her. We thought at 18 years of age it may be too late to change Red's behaviour. What a difference Kate has made. Red spent a week with Kate long-reining and learning give to the bit. My daughter had a follow up riding lesson with Kate and I was given a lesson in long-reining which we continue to use with Red to maintain his lightness. My daughter attended a Pony Club rally day the week after Red returned from Kate's. The change was so remarkable people thought she had a new horse. Her riding and confidence continues to improve and she is enjoying riding so much more. She can now participate in riding events safely. I would recommend Kate's training methods to anyone, especially for beginners where safety should be the priority.JP
I bred a small riding pony specifically for my young son to ride. When it came time to have Hunter broken in to "make safe" for my son James to ride, I knew I was about to embark on a journey to find a special person to "make safe" our very special horse that we had been treating as one of the family since he was born. I didn’t want his gorgeous personality, temperament or trust he had with us broken. Then I found Kate – Hunter embarked on a journey of his own with Kate-myself and James. Kate knew exactly how to work with Hunters personality –teaching him another side to life; he had to start doing things that were asked of him other than just being James’ pantry entering-cookie eating accomplice. We have been having weekly lessons since January and Kate has been magic with Hunter, my sister and I have been showing horses for 30yrs and have never come across anyone like Kate that works alongside the horse to educate not just break in. Hunter has been to his first show with a 9year old girl riding him and came home with a Reserve champion. His training from Kate was evident when taken out in public as he didn’t shy or worry about anything at the show – this makes for a very safe child’s mount.KB
James was started just before he turned 3. He has always been a pushy, dominant type of horse, with biting and the odd rear in hand his favourite way of showing that he knows his size and strength. He did have times where he would work beautifully, but this was also coupled with a constant niggling dislike for having his feet handled, pulling in hand, and constantly wanting something in his mouth. His history since being started was very up and down, as he seems to be an injury-prone horse that manages to render himself unable to work quite often. His most recent injury was a torn ligament that saw him ordered to have at least 5 months out of work, and now at age 5 and 17hh he had no idea how to concentrate and learn. So it was at this point that I decided to take him on a holiday with me to bring him back into work and treat him as a total re-start. I knew myself to be too inexperienced with young/difficult horses to tackle this alone, so I emailed around trying to find the right person to help me and James. I’d had a fair bit of negative feedback about the horse, but was determined not to give up on him. I knew that I just had to find the right person. When I first emailed Kate, I could not have imagined what a wonderful gift discovering her would be. In the 3 weeks that Kate worked with my horse, she accomplished more with him than had been done in the 3 previous years. But more importantly, Kate was calm, firm, kind and positive, and James was finally learning how to learn and concentrate for more than 5 seconds. Kate made it fun and rewarding enough that my nutty, bitey, immature horse finally found a motivator to want to work and listen, whilst never being hurt or frightened - 2 motivators that sadly are still far too widely used by many others in the horse industry. I cannot recommend Kate highly enough. She taught me a great deal through her successful dealings with my horse, and gave me clear goals and lessons/exercises to help me progress with him in small blocks that the he could deal with. Kate has given me a new confidence and positive outlook to deal with a horse that others told me was too difficult and “nasty”. Thank you so very much, Kate. I will certainly be back to Kandoo Equine for clinics to help me and James continue to progress together.AC
Thank you. Thank you for putting the unexpected into our time with you; for sharing your knowledge freely and leaving us feeling empowered and capable. We found our lessons to be delivered in sequence making each step in the learning process blend into the next easily. We were blessed with a wide variety of horses on which to test our lessons yet never felt we were out of our depth, pushed, or wanted to move faster. As a teacher you are brilliant. We felt you understood our purpose for being with you well and there was always time for questions and clarifications. Our opinions were valued and our current skills recognised and utilised.R and J
Jaye in particular left Kandoo Equine feeling she had not only obtained new skills but had been able to identify and build on skills she already had, but had perhaps not been brave enough to use. Since returning home she has been confident, and has not as she would say, been scared. She has ridden through some tricky moments on two horses and has found herself doing things that prior to her time with you, simply would not have happened.
Rod’s new skill package has taken over where frustration would have crept in. He was shown ways of preventing and / or dealing with situations which had been out of his grasp. Your direct yet empathetic manner always left him feeling he could do, rather than might do.
Our thanks for involving us in the show with Nugget. The experience of observing how showing classes operate in your area was a delightful education. Being given the opportunity to jump judge at Lynton as well was a wonderful bonus. Our thanks also to the generous trusting folk who kindly lent us horses to train. It was appreciated.
We looked for years to find a trainer who trained people to train horses and found you. We are fortunate.
I was first introduced to Kate and her training methods at the 2010 EquineX expo in Canberra. Kate did a demonstration of her training methods using two of her horses, one experienced and one young horse, that I found most interesting. I was surprised to see the increase of people stopping to watch Kate's demonstration and noticed the way she held her audience as very few people floated away from the presentation.
With a young Royal Hit WB coming up I was looking for a female breaker I thought would suit my more gentle style of riding. When I saw Kate's demonstration, I was instantly drawn to her relaxed and happy horses in a highly stressful setting. These horses where the perfect example of Kate's successful training methods and her skill at working with horses. Kate was very approachable after her demonstration and happily answered all my questions.
When the time came for my young horse to be broken in (September 2012), Kate's busy schedule and the huge distance between our locations made it extremely difficult. With Kate's reassurance and offers of on-line support, I bought a few of her early training DVD's and went through the process of breaking my WB gelding in myself. The DVD's were logical, easy to follow and pleasantly realistic! Kate's ability to use technology and maintain support over the huge physical distance was reassuring.
In April this year I attended a weeks training clinic with Kate. The first time Kate actually got to meet my young horse! I also took my current competition WB who is 6 years old and competing Novice dressage. I was amazed how much I got out of the clinic for both horses and my own riding. With the 3 year old, Kate and I revisited every stage of the breaking-in process and checked that each level was learnt and consolidated. We discussed where his weaknesses were and came up with a plan as to what to continue working on and towards. With my 6 year old, we were able to put into practise some of the training fundamentals and see excellent results almost instantly. I found it incredibly satisfying and very encouraging. Overall I was amazed at how happily my horses were working and how much more I was getting out of both horses.
Kate is a fantastic instructor. As a teacher myself, I can professionally attest to her outstanding teaching qualities. Her instructions are always clear and concise. She gauges her audience extremely well and is able to adapt her content to her audience. She is able to think on her feet and answer questions well. She is approachable, friendly and supportive to riders of all levels.
Kate's training methods appeal to a wide range of people. From the inexperienced horse lovers who are looking for a happy and harmonious way to enjoy their horses, to the competitive riders looking to improve their skills with a more classical dressage style.
To see Kate in action with horses is to see for yourself how harmoniously horse and human can work together.Josie
I don't want to think about how much money I've spent on lessons! And still I always seemed to come away feeling like I was missing out on something, or I just wasn't understanding what my instructor was trying to convey - the "mystery" of dressage eluded me and progress was frustratingly slow - it was hard to stay motivated. After spending two days with Kate, I finally came away feeling like a light had been turned on. Kate explains things in such a way that the mystery is stripped away. Her priority is always to the welfare of the horse, and watching her working with a very sensitive brumby was a real privilege. Seeing the progress in my own pony in the space of only two days has been so exciting, and the first time in a long time, I've been shown a way that makes sense to me and my pony - no more mystery just a very happy rider and pony. Which is the way it should be.
Thank you Kate!
I want to tell you how much I appreciated the outstanding performance you gave us all last Sunday week at your Equine Centre demonstration. Your relationship with and control of all the horses was breathtakingly impressive. You had your whole audience of some forty people totally captivated from the introduction of the first horse to the very end at lunch some two hours later.
Two expert horsemen of great experience who were present told me it was easily the most impressive display they had seen.
I talked to many people during the day, all of whom were equally impressed.
One can readily understand why you were so successful in both the UK and the USA.
This is an absolutely fantastic website I have always had green horses however have never started a horse from scratch I have a 18 month old stock horse cross who I intended on doing the majority of work with and this has given me a fantastic base. Thank you, really appreciate it!
Just wanted to thank you for all the time and effort which you put into the wonderful day at Marulan today. It was most appreciated by myself and I'm sure everyone who was there. For me, it was a delight to see horses handled correctly and with considerable empathy with the horse which was amply demonstrated by the willing compliance of the animal. It is the first time I have ever seen that type of thing and I was so impressed. Beautifully done!
I'm so happy happy happy with my horse. She is going great; it just makes me smile when I see her. I know that might sound strange, I love it when she see's me and comes running up the paddock to see me! Thank you.
Thank you so much for a fabulous weekend. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. You were so generous with your time and I feel like I've absorbed half a lifetime's worth of information. Being with you for the 2 days really allowed me time to understand and practice the lessons. I think reflecting on things overnight and then riding again the next day is such a great way to learn. And, of course, being in such a beautiful environment and jumping into the pool at the end of the day just puts the icing on the cake. I also learnt a great deal from watching you handle the other horses, and the different approaches to individual horse needs. It has given me a depth of understanding that I wouldn't have if I was just there alone with my horses. After 2 very full days I thought my 2 boys would be exhausted but when I went to see them yesterday morning they were so happy to see me and waited around for me to grab them for a ride (so I think I can speak on their behalf and say they enjoyed it just as much as I did). I'm looking forward to coming for another weekend in a couple of months.
Thanks again, so very much for a truly enjoyable and relaxing educational experience at Kandoo Equine.
From the moment of our arrival I felt totally at ease despite my clumsy ignorance. In no time at all you had me following your practical, calm, 'hands on' teaching methods and then applying them with great results, for both me and my horse. After a sound sleep in the well appointed 'Kandoo Cottage' (and secure stable for my mare and tack), we were ready to consolidate the foundations the next day, and I feel totally confident to continue to practise our lessons at home with the assistance of your demonstrations via DVD.
Overall, the experience has far surpassed my expectations, and I am very much looking forward to my next clinic at Kandoo Equine.