Angelo Telatin


For the brave, here is the long version, as I believe we are the product of many random acts of life. To understand who I am, here are mine:


For the brave, here is the long version, as I believe we are the product of many random acts of life. To understand who I am, here are mine:

Early Imprinting

My first encounter with equids was with Pippo, my grandfather’s donkey. I was infant and drawn to him to the extent that my mother eventually allowed me to sit on him without any safety measures.

A Genetic Heritage

I grew up in northern Italy, where I didn’t have the opportunity to ride as a child. There were no barns near my town, and my family was not into horses. Only my grandmother, who was the daughter of a farmer in her youth, could drive the horse to drag the field out of 12 siblings. I believe that love for horses is linked to a gene selected through human history as society needed people to train them for work, transportation, or war. I know I inherited this trait from her.

Passion and Persistence

Since I wasn’t allowed to be with horses, I would ride my bike with reins, dreaming of running away with circus people who had horses. My mother, in particular, was against my passion and pushed me to graduate. In hindsight, this was the one random act of life that enabled the possibility to explore many skills that ultimately turned out important in my journey to crack the code to teach people how to communicate with horses.

Here are some:

  • Swim instructor: Teaching students with a swim cap that covers their ears and their face underwater is already difficult on its own. It could seem impossible if you injure your vocal cords from yelling instructions all the time.When that happened to me, I needed to find another way to teach as I needed the money to pay for school. I found other ways to communicate with them and focused on all the kinesthetic exercises I could use in and out of the water to make my kids feel the muscle memory I needed to teach.

    In no time, all my students were progressing fast, and I was barely talking. All my colleagues during breaks, exhausted from yelling, were astonished and asked me to teach them the secret. I transferred that skill to teaching riders.

    That’s why you will see me running alongside my student on the horse to make them feel how the correct contact works or have them sit on a chair to learn how to use the core properly.

  • I sang in an a cappella choir: Musicality is a great skill transferable to horses. You can literally hear the sound of their gaits. That is why I never listen to music when I ride; I am just immersed in their sound.I also learned to project my voice without stressing my vocal cords so now I can use both kinesthetic exercises and mark the correct movement with the word “there” (short for “there it is”) almost like a clicker to help my students isolate the correct one. I didn’t even realize it until I read some posts from graduates where they jokingly said they miss that word. In Italian, I use “bravo.”

  • As I mentioned, I was never allowed to ride horses as a kid: Finally, when I was 21, they opened a trail ride barn near my house that I could bike to. I would pretend to go to class, change into my riding clothes, and back to regular clothing in the evening.The key was passing the exams so nobody would suspect. I started riding Chico, a Criollo horse, on the buckle with one hand. I now know that riding bridleless and feeling comfortable having the neck free comes from that. Thank you, Chico; you’ll always be my first.

    Furthermore, learning to ride as an adult turned out to be an advantage. Adults learn differently than kids, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, the fact that I also had to learn to ride after childhood made me a better instructor because I could recreate the process I went through as I had learned to ride for my students.

How the Journey Began

For various reasons, I had to quit veterinary school and pick a major near my hometown so I could commute for economic reasons. But also, I could finally go to the barn and start my horse journey. I picked the shortest, Natural Science.

Natural science is not an animal-focused university. When it came to the final thesis, I was desperate as my options were Botany, Mineralogy, or Entomology. Luckily, the professor from botany was very empathetic to my situation and sent me out of my major to meet the famous professor in animal psychology, Dr. Mario Zanforlin.

At the time, he was doing studies on genetic inherited behaviors in chicks. I thought, “Chicks are better than bugs.” To my surprise, he asked me, “What do you do?” I said, “I ride horses.” He said, “Perfect, why don’t we do a thesis on the ‘Comparison between Equine Training Techniques and the Psychology of Learning’?” For years, I was growing knowledge both in the academic field and in the equine training sector, but it always felt that the two worlds were proceeding on two separate tracks.

The Eureka Moment

In 2023, I moved to America to teach Equine Science and Management at Delaware Valley University. The possibility of having a barn with 40 horses in the stable that I could “play” with and the manpower of the students eager to help me in my research was the key component to cracking the equine code. I remember one horse, Cameroon, I couldn’t figure out how to teach him to stand for the clipper. I tried everything for years. Until one day, a mix of things worked and very fast. That’s when I realized the speed at which horses learn and how much they retain from every single interaction we have with them. Reflecting on what I did, I later discovered I was applying DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF AN INCOMPATIBLE BEHAVIOR.

The Most Prestigious Teaching and Training Certificate in the World

In 2010, I decided to challenge my teaching and training equestrian knowledge and traveled to England seeking to pass one of the most rigorous exams to become a Fellow of the British Horse Society. It was two days of constant evaluation, teaching flat and jumping lessons to private and group instructors, briefing and debriefing teachers, teaching the teachers, lunging jumping, training young horses, theory on nutrition, husbandry, and many more. It was hard, and I was the only one to pass that year. Thank you BHS for creating and delivering such a high standard equitation sistem.

The International Experience

Armed with this knowledge, I decided to share it with a group focused on bridging the gap between science and practice in horse behavior and training: The International Society for Equitation Science. Here, I met many like-minded people that helped me grow even more. Since 2013, I have been a board of directors member of the society.

Present Days

I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with my university students and with people around the world who follow my clinic seminars and webinars

Teach Your Horse to be a Confident, Safe Jumper

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