THE WAY OF THE HORSE TRAINER
Georgia Kolovos – Australia
Georgia began training horses professionally at age 18, in 2010 when she took on her first Brumby, a recently gelded 6 year old stallion, with the intention of training him to sell for fun, but a business quickly developed as clients started asking for training, lessons and clinics! Georgia’s passion for wild horses is what led to the creation of G.C. Natural Horsemanship and Georgia has trained over 30 Brumbies and also some Mustangs in America and Canada. Georgia is passionate about sharing good horsemanship with others and strives to produce horses who are calm, willing and safe partners, regardless of discipline. Georgia has competed in the Australian Brumby Challenge twice (2014 & 2018) and also competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Fort Worth, Texas in 2016. Georgia is the only trainer in Australia who has competed in both of these wild horse training competitions and her horses from these events always attract great buyers at auction. Georgia has also shared her passion for Brumbies as an educator at EQUITANA Sydney 2013, and as part of the Breed Village at EQUITANA Melbourne 2014.
The Journey to TWOTH
Georgia has developed her training process by learning from many great horsemen, including Warwick Schiller, Dan Steers, Ken Faulkner and Steve Burke, as well as learning about clicker training from Georgia Bruce. This has seen her learn to work with horses in a way that focuses on relaxation, understanding and communication, by combining negative reinforcement (pressure and release) with positive reinforcement (clicker training and food rewards). Georgia is not a ‘clicker trainer’ but understands how to successfully use these methods together to help the horse to find relaxation and willingness in its training. This establishes a solid foundation for which discipline specific training can continue from.
Georgia runs a busy training facility with her husband Jimmy from their family home in Meredith, Victoria, whilst also raising their active toddler Piper. Georgia and Jimmy have built a substantial obstacle course which offers clients training for Mountain Trail and Extreme Cowboy Racing events, and also offer lots of trail riding training for horses and clients. Georgia enjoys competing in these obstacle events and has also started competed in Cowboy Dressage, but she most enjoys competing in training competitions such as the wild horse events and colt starting events. Georgia also enjoys liberty work and trick training, and offers clinics for this as well as recently having begun to do performances showing her liberty and trick training with her Brumby Smokey.
Georgia’s top 5 training tips . . .
1. The horse is never wrong!
2. Pressure is not bad, use it well and with a smile.
3. Be as gentle as possible but as firm as necessary to get a response.
4. Food rewards used correctly are a very helpful and powerful motivator for horses.
5. Take negative thoughts and emotions out of your training. Even if a horse is behaving in a way you don’t like, don’t get mad, instead say “good idea” and do something productive to counteract the undesirable behaviour.