The owner of an equine training centre in Highland Perthshire – who spent 20 years leading mountain expeditions across the world – says her enterprise is starting to kick on after she bought the land for her business just days before the first Covid pandemic lockdown.
Humane Dunkeld horse trainer Karen Inkster started up Equine Unlimited to help owners train horses without the need for physical disciplining techniques.
Karen uses positive reinforcement methods, such as clicker training and promotes barefoot and bitless riding.
Equine Unlimited also teaches courses utilising verbal cues, riding without the use of whips or spurs and walking the mammals with no bridle or saddle.
After 20 years of experience as a globe-trotting expedition leader – in places such as Madagascar, Peru and the Sahara Desert – Karen returned to her Highland Perthshire birthplace.
Her sanctuary, which is 100 per cent self-sustaining using just solar power and water for energy, is now home to nearly 30 rescue animals including geese, ducks and cats.
Speaking to the PA, Karen said: “I bought the land just 10 days before the first Covid lockdown.
“It was a big field and a barn so it did take me that first year to get things ready to go.
“Last year there were glamping pods for people to stay while the horses were here but that got cancelled when COVID came back again.
“I started the business to try and raise awareness of equine welfare.
“It is different from a riding school in that it is positive reinforcement – so it is like clicker training but for horses.
“Force free is what they call it and working with the horse more than getting it frightened into doing something. Some of the traditional ways they train horses is terrible.
“It has been accepted to hit