top of page

Positive Reinforcement Horse Training  Certification

Do you want to start your career in the field of horse training? Or are you a current horse trainer looking for kinder methods? Maybe you are a horse owner and want to learn training techniques that align with your ethical values. There is a growing awareness in the equine world that there is a better way to train horses than the traditional protocol of using fear and pain. Our positive reinforcement (R+) horse training certification retreat combines the knowledge and application for honoring horses and healing humans into one program. This course dives into science-based, holistic horsemanship training with our Whole Horse, Whole Human program. Our program combines R+ training techniques and Horse-Human-Ship healing into a fully comprehensive certificate of graduation for a career in horse training. 

Honoring Horses, Healing Humans


Positive reinforcement training (R+) is a revolutionary approach to training horses that replaces the traditional methods of using fear and pain to get a horse to do what you want, with a reward-based approach that motivates the horse to want to do what you want.  


Our Whole Horse - Whole Human retreat is a comprehensive 30-day residential certification program designed to strengthen the relationship between horses and humans by healing the human and honoring the horse. Our program uses science-based teaching modalities including a multi-level curriculum, clinics, on-site and off-site learning, and hands-on practice with our herd of horses (teachers). We provide lodging, peer support, and holistic healing modalities for a comprehensive program that prepares the resident to graduate with all the tools necessary to become a higher consciousness R+ horse training and equine-assisted healing and education professional.

Positive Reinforcement at Starr Horse Retreats

About the Program

Whole Horse - Whole Human covers three areas of training:

1. Equine Enthusiasts (Owners)

2. Equine Education Experts (Professionals)

3. Equine-Assisted Education

Areas of Training


1. The Horse Care Course​​

  • On-site, hands-on practicum with rotating horse-teachers

  • Off-site observation

  • Equine bodywork

  • Saddle fitting

  • Hoof care

  • Veterinary overview

  • Science-based training methods

    • Shaping plans for foundational behaviors

    • Shaping plans for husbandry behaviors

    • Shaping plans for groundwork

    • Shaping plans for ridden work

2. Business Development Course

  • Creating a business plan​

  • Developing a website

  • Branding

  • Social media

  • Client relations

  • Consulting and mentoring others 

  • Creating training plans

  • Creating shaping plans

  • Executing your plans:

    • Tailoring your sessions 

    • Reading your horse 

    • Adjusting your plan as necessary

3. The Horse-Human-ship Course

  • A psychometric tool for humans and horses to better understand problem-solving and communication styles

  • Tailoring and leveraging thinking and communicating preferences

  • Mental and emotional skill building for self, clients, and horses

  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills​

  • Studying and applying learning theory

  • Holistic healing modalities

About Our Teachers

Arielle Krause


Arielle Krause is our Positive Reinforcement Horse Training Coordinator. Ari is passionate about healing the relationship between horses and humans by honoring horses, and healing humans —individually, and together. She takes a holistic approach to support this evolution by supporting the mental, emotional, and physical development of horses, but starting with humans first. 


Ari grew up in the traditional and often callous hunter/jumper world. She is proficient with traditional training methods and recognizes all the pros and cons of the competitive culture. But deep down it never quite sat with her conscious. She knew that honoring the sovereign being-ness of the soul of the horse was the ethically "correct" method that resonated with her values. So in 2012 she struck out on her own experimenting and expanding her knowledge with positive reinforcement training. Her methodologies encompass equine behavior and psychology, natural horse care, holistic horsemanship, and science-based horse training. As her experiences evolved she began to see tremendous results. Not only did the horses in her care eagerly participate in "school time", but they showed results with everything from bit-less riding to equine line dancing! Some of her horses even sit and fetch, just like a dog — all trained with R+ techniques. 

As a holistic practitioner, Ari integrates the various skills that she has developed to train horses with wellness healing for humans too. She understands that the symbiotic relationship between trainer and horse goes beyond showing tricks or modifying behavior; It starts with the healing of the human. During our certification program, Ari brings in a variety of holistic practitioners to prepare residents for the synergistic relationships between horses, clients, and peers.

The Horses

Our best teachers are the horses themselves. Our herd of 15 equines at Starr Horse Retreats in Minden, NV consists of 10 horses, three donkeys, and two ponies. Our off-site, sister-facility North of Reno, NV at Haven Horsemanship, provides access to 20 horses at various levels, sizes, ages, and behavioral and physical issues. All of our horse teachers are ready to empower you towards self-efficacy to launch your career into the R+ holistic horse training world.

Positive Reinforcement at Starr Horse Retreats

Residents learn equine therapy as a healing modality along with many other holistic healing methods. Our program is customized depending on individual interests for either a career in equine healing/holistic healing and/or positive reinforcement horse training.

"Friday" is a mustang that has learned to dance, sit and fetch, all through positive reinforcement clicker training. 

There are several reasons why a horse and rider pair may be working bitless… Turn on your captions :) Sometimes bitless is a necessity…

A little glimpse into Colonel's journey here so far... We achieved a big moment this past week, my first time sitting on his back.

It isn't the tack we use that allows us to achieve more advanced movements, it's the training we use.

bottom of page