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Northumberland College (Kirkley Hall Campus)
24th & 25th June

The world renowned equine ethologist and horse trainer Lucy Rees is coming to Northumberland College!

As Lucy rarely visits to the UK this two day workshop will be a very special opportunity.

Lucy has devoted a lifetime to studying wild and feral living horses across the world. Through this work she has become one of the leading experts on horse behaviour and will be sharing her insightful and comprehensive findings during the course of the day.

She has travelled and worked in many countries and equestrian disciplines discovering the easiest, most universally applicable and successful ways of understanding and working with horses.


Her ethos is: “The study of feral horse behaviour is the basis for understanding why domestic horses behave as they do and whether we are treating them appropriately. We have a lot to learn, not just about them but from them. Inside every domestic horse is a feral one with the same certainty about how life should be lived.”

“To understand an animal's nature you have
to see it in its natural state"

Raised among horses and fascinated by animal behaviour from an early age, Lucy studied zoology at University College London, specialising in ethology and neuroscience, before doing postgraduate research in Sussex University, working with a variety of trainers. Returning to her native Wales, she had a rather atypical riding centre in Snowdonia, where she began training wild Welsh ponies, became known for her success with “problem” horses, edited a climbing magazine and wrote her first books. Her insight and teaching led to the publication of The Horse ́s Mind (1984), a book that pre-dated modern trends and has had enormous influence for its combination of an ethological approach with wide experience gained working in Britain, Ireland, the USA and Portugal.

Apart from writing books and articles and teaching equine ethology in universities in Wales, England, Spain and many Latin American countries, Lucy has been the protagonist of three documentaries: To Ride a Wild Horse (HTV 1984) in which she caught and rode a wild mustang stallion in Arizona; Chamana de Caballos (The Horse Shaman, Catalonia 2002) and Salvajes (Wild Pottokas, Alucina 2017).

Lucy is very much guided by scientific principles: above all, the observation of feral horses.

"To understand horses and their difficulties in our hands, we need to watch them as they really are, without anthropomorphic interpretations and expectations."

To this end, she has studied many populations of feral horses in the Americas and Australia, above all in Venezuela, where for years she ran residential ethology courses. These studies led to Horses In Company (2017), a book whose evolutionary perspective revolutionizes our view of horse society.

To give people the opportunity to observe them in truly natural circumstances she started the Pottoka Project, in which she released a herd of feral Basque ponies in the mountains of north Extremadura, where she lives.


    Day 1
     Theory Based Lecture day


    Day 2

     Practical and demo with spectator places only. 



Tea and coffee provided, bring your own lunch.
You can book for both days OR theory day one only.

The college is in Kirkley, Ponteland, Northumberland (NE20 0AQ) around
25 miles north of the end of the A1. The coast is spectacular.
If you’ve never been to this area, spare a day or so to visit.

We are looking for horses to be involved in the practical second day. Any behavioural challenges considered, please get in touch with Bonny for more information -

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