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Positive Reinforcement Horse Training  Certification

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 meals, 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 towards supporting 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 14 equines on the property consists of nine horses, three donkeys, and two ponies. Our off-site, sister-facility at Haven Horsemanship, provides access to 17 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.

About Your Stay


Residents of our Whole Horse - Whole Human R+ training certification retreats have private bedrooms in either the Chalet, Bunkhouse or Container Cottage on our 30 - acre equestrian facility. Our facility has four arenas, a 10-stall horse barn, a workshop room, Gathering Grounds, and 30 acres of pasture with multiple obstacle courses for walking and riding. 


We offer nutritious meals, hands-on training, optional field trips, and ancillary activities for integration. 

Sample Weekday Schedule

7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - 9:30 Holistic healing modality

9:30 -10:30 Workshop room learning

10:30 - 12:30 Hands-on training with the horses

12:30 -1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 4:30 Guest facilitator content

4:30 - 5:30 Free time

5:30 - 6:30 Integration circle

6:30 - 7:30 Dinner

7:30 - 9:30 Movie night

Sample Weekend Schedule

7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - 9:30 Holistic healing modality

9:30 -12:30 Field trip

12:30 -1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 5:30 Free time with horses

5:30 - 6:30 Dinner

7:30 - 9:30 Sweat lodge

"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.

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