Sharon Madere

Jerez Spain Feb 15 013 croppedSHARON MADERE…   As Founder & CEO of Premier Pet Products (1989-2010), Sharon has been widely recognized in the animal behavior community for humane training products that improve the relationships between people and their pets.  She was perhaps best known as the provider of the revolutionary Gentle Leader® Headcollar for dogs.  Sharon was honored and privileged to be personally mentored by internationally renowned Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. R.K. Anderson.  For over 20 years she immersed herself in all aspects of animal behavior, working with leading professionals including Karen Pryor, Ken Ramirez, Suzanne Hetts, Terry Ryan, Ian Dunbar, Pia Silvani, Ken McCort, Julie Shaw, and many others.  She has attended countless conferences, completed numerous educational courses, traveled with scientists studying various wild species, and dubbed herself an “eternal student.” One of her greatest joys comes from introducing animals and their people to the power of scientifically proven positive reinforcement training.

Sharon’s passion for horses seems to have begun from birth.  As a child she read any and everything even remotely related to horses, and of course continuously begged her parents for a pony of her own.  In her teens she was remarkably fortunate to receive riding instruction in the historical French tradition, and her first experiences of the upper level movements (piaffe, passage, pirouette, etc.) were on School Masters finely trained to the subtlety of the aids.  Over the years she has enjoyed eventing and competitive dressage, as well as trail riding with gaited horses….but always longed to return to that magical experience of lightness, balance and high collection that she experienced in her youth.  Profoundly thankful to have the opportunity to renew her pursuit of the artistry of historic Classical riding, she now studies with Sr. Bruno Gonzales & Tina Cristiani Veder, and in 2013 she attended the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts in Jerez, Spain.

In recent years Sharon has gained a deeper realization that so much of the equestrian world seems unaware of the benefits of scientifically based positive reinforcement training.  Centuries of tradition, combined with the amazingly trusting and compliant nature of the horse, have resulted in the common place use of forceful restraints and strong aversive methods to deal with many common equine behavior problems.  Seeking to be a part of a paradigm shift in the horse world, Sharon has launched her new endeavor, EquiLightenment™.  Her mission is “Enhancing the mental, emotional and physical harmony between horses and humans through a balance of the positive principles of modern behavioral science and the timeless teachings of historic Classical horsemanship.”  Through lessons, seminars and workshops on positive reinforcement and “clicker training,” she teaches the underlying scientific principles, the technical skills and timing, and the practical application of the technique. She also helps riders understand the beginning principles of Classical horsemanship that yield better performance no matter what the chosen style of riding.

Sharon works with horses and their owners from all walks of life – from pleasure and trail riders, to back yard pets, to the serious competitor in any discipline.  Because of her intensive on-going study and her commitment to the historic Classical teachings, her techniques will never compromise the important principles that lead to balance, responsiveness and higher collection.   Through her direct training services, she specializes in helping problem horses overcome their issues, rebuild trust, and learn new behaviors both on the ground and under saddle.  Whether teaching a horse to lower his head for bridling, to stand still on the trail for mounting, to quietly give his hoof for the farrier, to improve ground manners or simply increase relaxation during riding, Sharon will help you and your horse achieve a more positive and mutually enjoyable relationship.

“Sharon’s soft handling skills, impeccable timing, and abilities with multiple species can be traced back to her extensive experience and deep understanding of horses. She possesses a boundless passion, an incredibly bright mind, and unquestionable integrity.  She has a keen understanding of behavioral science, the talent to assess and problem-solve specific issues, and the insight and humility to know when to refer to a specialist.  She is a highly effective teacher of people and trainer of animals.” 

Dr. R.K. Anderson, DVM, Dipl. ACVB (1922- 2012)