Violence begins where knowledge ends – Abraham Lincoln

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth but by washing away from it all that is not goldLeo Tolstoy

About Rebecca Thomas
A part-time horsey philanthropist, mystery shopper for the horse world and owner of an opinionated 16-year-old cob! 

Rebecca is the founder and editor of Love Horses Magazine, a regional magazine and national newsletter and website for the empowerment of ordinary horse lovers. As many horse owners do, she balances her horsey lifestyle with a full-time job, family, friends and other commitments.

Like lots of girls, Rebecca was obsessed with horses from around age 10, using her pocket money to go for half-hour rides at the local stables. When she was finally able to buy her own horse, she decided to hack to a yard five miles away for lessons with friends.

To this day, however, she remembers the emphasis on their unschooled horses “behaving” and the promise of a “sort out by the instructor” if they didn’t. A time when physical punishment was considered to be the norm in correcting unwanted behavior, she even remembers the whip marks her horse came home with. Looking back, Rebecca can reflect that the horses carried them safely and no doubt did their best in the lessons.

Her belief now is that horse lovers would make huge leaps in their horsemanship and avoid misunderstanding and conflict with the horse from understanding learning theory. “The most common way horses are trained in both traditional and alternative-training methods is by negative reinforcement but there’s confusion about what this is (it doesn’t mean hitting the horse!) and what actually comprises punishment for horses. Also we definitely need to learn how to include rewards in everyday training.”

Before publishing Love Horses Magazine, Rebecca worked in direct sales and marketing. She also spent many years in paid and unpaid roles in the not-for-profit/charitable sector, including seven years working with women and children fleeing abusive relationships. In this role, Rebecca coordinated courses for women to recognise and understand signs of abuse and learn how to change their mindset – impossible to do without examining values and often deeply held beliefs.

As a grassroots horse owner, it was at this point Rebecca started searching for the best advice – including alternative ways of interacting with horses to avoid force and inadvertent punishment.

That’s how Love Horses magazine came about. Love Horses Magazine brings you great articles by experts who are not afraid to think outside the box. Not only are they fantastic at what they do, they’re also people we can like and trust as we seek a more holistic approach to caring for our best friends.