Claire has loved horses and ridden all her life, her early horse years included County Shows and One Day Eventing as well as helping and teaching at her local riding school.
She has an HND in Equine Mangement & Technology, which included a year out at Leahurst’s Equine Hospital running the Equine Practice and teaching vet students about general horse handling. Claire was fortunate to work with Dr Derek Knottenbelt, who inspired her to write her dissertation on sarcoid treatment and management.
In 2006 Claire and her family moved to Granada, Spain and it was then that her dreams of having her own horse at home came true.
Her first horse in Spain was Segura, a rescue mare with behavioural and emotional issues with people, after very harsh treatment. To help her understand her new equine partner better Claire gained a Certificate in Applied Equine Behaviour and went on to complete a Centre of Excellence Equine Psychology Diploma.
Finding Connection Training
However,Segura's behaviour continued to be very challenging for Claire. Even with 30 years' experience with horses she realised that she needed some specialist help. She joined Connection Training 's Elite Coaching Program in 2014 and began to learn all she could about Positive Reinforcement Training. The results were amazing. Segura regained her confidence and she and Claire developed a very special relationship. Their lives were changed forever.
The results were so dramatic, Claire decided to train to become a Connection Training Qualified Instructor. She took on 2 foster ponies from a Rescue Centre in Malaga, who had had a very bad start in life. Hope was almost completely blind and Valiente was unhandleable and acted aggressively towards people. She also trained horses at a local trekking centre in order to increase her experience of training many different horses using positive reinforcement.
Claire becomes the world's first Connection Training Qualified Instructor
Claire was a guest speaker at the 2016 Connection Training Conference in the UK. The theme was "Riding with Connection" and she shared her story about working with Segura and training her to become a confident riding horse. During that Conference, Claire also achieved her goal of becoming the first Connection Training Instructor in the world. In the same amazing month, she and Rachel decided to join forces to create Cortijo de Segura and make it the home of the Connection Training Centre.
She taught her first Connection Training Clinic out in the Azores, Portugal in April 2017. She is happy to travel throughout Spain, Portugal and the Azores if you would like to host a clinic.
Cortijo de Segura is now Claire's family home which she shares with her husband Jamie, and their children Sean and Eva.
what people say:
She demonstrates “ Connection Training” very clearly and with contagious enthusiasm.
Ollie aged 80 years young!
Seeing Claire approach and work with our horse was truly a wonderful and impressing experience!
Claire is able to express her ideas and goals in a very clear and understandable way, at the same time being very gentle and undemanding in her handling of the horse. The result was obvious and immediate; our normally shy and anxious horse seemed to enjoy the kind interest given to her by Claire and willingly took her part in the experience.
The workshop with Claire has been very helpful in handling and understanding our horse. We would truly enjoy working with Claire again anytime."
Christina Rey, Azores
THANK YOU! We really enjoyed - and got a lot out of your clinic! Even I (Kim) might practise! I really felt like you looked at each horse/human individually and worked from there!
Kim Howard - Ninovan Rescue, Faial
Claire's visit came just 6 months after Shawna's clinic, which was fantastic for my horses as we got a good follow up. Cassie had been coming along nicely since then, so we worked on yet more calmness by learning about the "breath connection". Nina responded well to this also, giving some lovely upwards and downwards transitions.
We worked with Maya Rose, also using the breath connection and encouraging her to be happy doing nothing! She definitely softened and the first session on my own afterwards was much calmer - she actually allowed me into and out of the arena nicely.
Claire was always patient and calm and explained everything well, giving us all ideas on how to be going forward.
Lesley Woodward, Azores