Start Buttons, Choice, Consent

With Katie Bartlett, Jane Jackson, and Cindy Martin

July 19-21 at Bookends Farm in Sheffield, VT


Start buttons, choice, consent in training- these are just some of the buzz phrases floating around the R+ training world these days. What do they mean, how do you do it, is it important, what are some of the pitfalls? These are the discussions we’ll have this year. As always, the Practical aspect of the weekend will include hands on training.

Working in teams of trainers, every participant will be paired with a Bookends Farm pony to explore Cooperative Care under the tutelage of the coaches. With three coaches for the duration of the clinic, you will have access to guidance like no other opportunity (for more information on the coaches, please see the next page).  

The event begins on Friday evening with pizza and introductions, followed by some introductory  practice on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday are a balance of brief presentations as well as plenty of time for hands-on training. The opportunity to work with Bookends Farm ponies who are comfortable in their home environment and have varying experiences with these lessons is included in the entry. Weather and skills permitting, we’ll work inside and outside of the barn.

Fee of $275 for the weekend covers the educational experience, Friday night pizza, light breakfast and casual lunch both days. Non-refundable deposit of $75 is due with entry.  Payment can be made via check (mailed to Jane Jackson, 2908 Square Rd, Glover, VT 05839), Pay Pal (Bookends Farm) or credit card (please contact Jane). Remaining $200 is due on June 15. Refunds after that will only be if your place can be filled by someone on the waiting list.  If not, your entry will be put toward next year’s clinic. 

You will be free to enjoy local fare for Saturday dinner.

Clinic is limited to 12 participants, first come, first served. We will maintain a waiting list for anyone who doesn’t make it in. To fill out an entry form, go to 

Participants are responsible for their own lodging. The very rural Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is a popular summer tourist destination for hiking, mountain biking, lake activities, antiquing etc. Bring your families and make a week of it! Lodging varies: economy motels; a Comfort Inn; Bed and Breakfasts; lakeside cabins for rent. Anyone interested in sharing with another participant will be added to a list of contact info so you can communicate directly. Due to the tourist demand for lodging, I highly recommend you make reservations now. Googling lodging near Glover, VT will help locate possibilities. Burke Mt Resort and the town of St Johnsbury VT are also possibilities. For mapping purposes, Bookends Farm physical location is 

2908 Square Rd, Sheffield, VT 05866

Please contact Jane Jackson at [email protected] or 802-279-2505 with any questions.  We are very much looking forward to this weekend!


Katie Bartlett- I grew up in Carlisle/Concord Massachusetts in a non-horsey family. I started riding when I was about 6 and when I was 9 my parents asked if I would like to continue taking riding lessons or get a pony. Ah….tough choice…. I have had horses and been riding ever since. Over the years I have done some local hunter/jumper shows, low-level eventing, and dressage. We moved to our current farm in 1995 and started acquiring more horses.

I started clicker training in November of 1999 when I read Alex’s first book and went out and tried to see if it would work with my horses. Yes, it did!  I was particularly interested in trying it with my young horse (Rosie) who was very aggressive towards people, including me. I went to my first clinic with Alexandra Kurland in 2001 and was a regular at the Groton clinics (3x year) for about 10 years.  During that time I acquired a few more horses.. We currently have 7, all clicker trained. A few of them are ones I started from babies and trained to be riding horses.  


For the first few years that I worked with Rosie, I spent a lot of time using clicker training to build a relationship with her that was based on understanding and accepting each other.  As she got older, my focus shifted to riding and performance work.  For the last few years we have spent our time working toward upper level dressage, which has included figuring out how to take a clicker trained horse and ride her in lessons with non-clicker trainers.


Some of my other horse interests are barefoot trimming (and teaching safe hoof handling) and bodywork.  In 2015 I became a certified Masterson Method practitioner. In addition to working with Alex, I have also worked extensively with Kay Laurence and had a lot of fun doing her dog course with my horse.  I do a little bit of local teaching and on-line coaching. 

Katie’s website:

Jane Jackson- I was a very lucky girl born into a horsey family. I was fortunate to be able to try different equestrian sports and training methods, coming to love eventing best. In addition to trying different sports, I worked at a race stable, a breeding farm, for an Olympic eventer, a vet, etc. 

But I believe it all comes back to the relationship with the horse, regardless of the style of riding. The basic skills of horsemanship, equitation and communication are the same for all of us. I have taught people of all ages as well as those who ride western, and those who aren’t interested in competing. As an instructor for the United States Pony Club, I love to share Positive Reinforcement methods with upcoming generations.

I first held a clicker 13 years ago when I took a puppy to obedience classes. I chose the class after reading about Clicker Training on the Clickryder yahoo group. Having had horses all my life and been through the traditional routes, it was a long and bumpy transition into being a clicker trainer (as opposed to training with a clicker). I had a lot to shed a lot and I sympathize with others who are on this journey.

I have had three homebred foals, and with the first, decided that the foals would be clicker trained- no more crossover. In 2007, we bred my daughter’s TB event mare to a German Riding Pony. In July of 2008, Perseus, aka Percy, was born. Originally a sale prospect, I fell for him hard and decided early on he was MINE. Oh, what a learning opportunity he has been. His mummy is “hot”, but I thought with clicker training I could turn this smart, athletic and sensitive creature into a quiet little riding horse. He keeps me on my toes, reminding me that this isn’t a formulaic, one-size fits all approach. Observation of the individual we start with is key.

I am also a Level 3 TAGteacher and a Certified Training Partner with Karen Pryor Academy. 

Jane’s website:  

Cindy Martin- I fell off a horse when I was five years old, suffered a concussion, and was forbidden to be near horses.  That ban lasted until I  was eleven years old. Then I became a “barn rat,” at a hunter/jumper stable near Seattle, WA , grooming and saddling lesson horses, and riding anything made available to me.

Later, I became involved in the sport of foxhunting, which fulfilled my love of horses, dogs, nature and non-competitive riding, but I’ve always been a Dressage Queen at heart. The notion of working “in harmony” with a horse, of riding a horse in a physically beneficial way, has always appealed to me.

I first learned about clicker training from an Equus magazine article, probably in 1999. I purchased “Clicker Training for Your Horse” and  was inspired. I have never liked the confrontational aspect of working with horses. “Make him do it! Show her who’s boss!” I failed completely using that approach, and sometimes, the horse or I got hurt. It never felt good.

Having dabbled with clicker training periodically for years, I finally embraced it fully, thanks to a grey Thoroughbred gelding named Porter. We had a terrible relationship; he was spooky, reactive, and worrisome to ride. “Get rid of that horse!” everyone said. For sentimental and welfare reasons, I kept him. We started over at square one and have worked our way forward with the clicker. Our progress is glacial, but he is a willing participant in our sessions, calmer, more focused and safer than before.

I am a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and a Primary level TAGteacher. Clicker training permeates my life and I use it with our five horses, one donkey and two dogs.

Call 802-626-0479 or email [email protected]