FOUNDER, OWNER STEPH K EQUESTRIAN, LLC
Steph is a lifelong student of the horse. She is passionate about elevating industry standards - including improving how we care for our equine partners, as well as how we treat and handle them during training, performance, and any other interactions we might have.
Steph's equine background started like many - little girl meets horse! Her childhood was filled with lessons and camps. She began to notice things that upset her - no little girl wants to learn about using whips, spurs, and shank bits. She hopped between coaches & disciplines, in hopes of finding an approach that didn't require her to use force, use harsh aversives, or endanger her equine partner. Unfortunately, she didn't have much success until she explored training options outside the equine industry.
Steph has always been involved with a variety of animal training industries. She has professional experience as a veterinary technologist and has worked professionally with dogs, large birds, and a variety of other species. She studied Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia while coaching their University Dressage Team. This experience allowed Steph to expand her understanding of animal behavior - including developing a deeper understanding of equine training.
Steph's traditional horsemanship background includes professional work in classical dressage and natural horsemanship techniques. Though highly successful as a mentor & competitive coach, she still wasn't satisfied with the ethical standard in the industry, nor the ethics of her own techniques and practice. She took the knowledge from her studies and professional non-equine work in Canada, moved to her hometown in Missouri, and began the work she still continues today.
Steph primarily focuses the majority of her time and efforts on directing the Steph K Equestrian, LLC programs. This includes equine rescue, local education programs, and virtual education programs.
Steph is also the founder and director of The Equine Clicker Show (TECS), the first and leading international competitive organization for equine trainers who utilize ethical, positive reinforcement methods.
In addition to her professional projects, Steph also focuses on personal growth. She aims to be a good role model to those around her by continuing on her own educational, learning, and healing journey.