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  • Writer's picturePositive Roots Equine

Discovering the Power of Positive Reinforcement and Holistic Care: My Journey & Positive Roots Equine

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

Welcome to Positive Roots Equine!

I'm Nikki Nodland, and I'm excited to help bridge the gap between science and practical application, empowering others with the knowledge and skills to provide the best care for their equines.

My horse journey began young, and despite not being born into a particularly "horse-y" family, I was fortunate to have parents who supported my passion. Like many in the equine community, my initial experiences involved traditional training in riding and handling, and it wasn't until my first horse, Sequoia, that I began to experiment with positive reinforcement. This journey, though challenging at times, has been immensely rewarding, and I've been fortunate to have mentors guiding me. My goal is to help others on their own journeys, whatever their goals, and to help navigate through the overwhelming amount of information available.

About Me

My initiation into the equine world began with trail riding, evolving to embrace the intricacies of dressage and jumping during my college years. Simultaneously engaged in eventing lessons and occasional shows, I maintained a parallel exploration of positive reinforcement with Sequoia. These parallel explorations illuminated the stark contrast in both relationship and willingness between the two worlds, prompting me to seek guidance on bridging them. In 2018, I reached out to Adele Shaw/The Willing Equine, initiating a mentorship that included a 6-week internship in 2020 and completion of her Positive Equine Professionals course in 2023.

Influential mentors have played a pivotal role in shaping my horsemanship approach. The countless hours spent with Shirley Rensink and her positive reinforcement-trained mustangs, insights shared by Sharon Madere, CHBC, who raises Iberian horses with positive reinforcement, and guidance from my aunt Jennifer Schuck, a pre-Saint George rider and owner of a 16-horse farm in Ocala, Florida, have all significantly contributed to my journey.

Post-college, my trajectory deviated from my Engineering degree, leading me to teach children at a ski resort and work as a wrangler at a dude ranch. Riding extensively over varied terrains, 'wrangling' cattle and novice guests alike during cattle drives, and navigating limited resources, this experience imparted invaluable lessons about the profound impact of subtle adjustments. Despite constraints, we saddle-fitted to the best of our abilities, transitioned to gentler bits, and prioritized horses in need of bodywork. Observing poorly-shod horses struggle, especially after one horse's founder, underscored the importance of hoof care. A trusted coworker allowed me to assist him in pulling and re-shoeing the herd, mentioning he would prefer letting them all go barefoot if they had a few months to toughen up their feet. This stuck with me, leading to my completion of the Mackinaw Dells 2 Whole Horse Hoof care certification course in 2021, where I connected with my mentor, Shelly Black of Black Horse Hoof Care.

Sequoia's intermittent lameness led to a PSSM diagnosis, propelling me into an exploration of forage-based equine nutrition with NRC plus and Nutrition as Therapy courses by Dr. Kellon. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey in Texas, my diverse expertise and unwavering passion for horses stand as guiding pillars, ensuring a holistic and positive approach to equine care.

How can I help you?

Positive Reinforcement Lessons

Rewarding desired behaviors and encouraging positive actions, positive reinforcement fosters a willing and cooperative relationship, improving learning and reducing stress. This humane technique effectively addresses behavioral issues and aids in the rehabilitation of traumatized or rescued horses. Whether novice or experienced, I'm here to assist in refining skills, building a strong, positive relationship with your horse. Book a lesson for in-person guidance or virtual video reviews if you're not local!


Trim & Train

Addressing the common challenges many horses face with hoof care, my unique Trim & Train service merges the art of barefoot trimming with the principles of positive reinforcement training. If your horse experiences stress during trims, if you're looking for a practitioner who shares your approach, or if you envision your horse as a willing participant in the trimming process, I would love to collaborate with you!



Navigating the vast landscape of information on horse care can be overwhelming, especially for those new to horse ownership. I offer both new and seasoned horse caretakers trustworthy, science-based advice that is both practical and easily applicable. You can now schedule an hour-long call with me to delve into various topics, including nutrition, track systems, hoof health, herd management, and more.


Thank you!

Thank you for exploring Positive Roots Equine! Your interest is truly appreciated. My passion is driven by a deep commitment to enhancing the lives of both horses and their owners, and I invite you to join me on this rewarding journey. Feel free to reach out, whether for inquiries, bookings, or simply to share stories about your equine companions.

You can contact me via email at, visit my website, or connect through social media (@positiverootsequine on Instagram or Positive Roots Equine on Facebook). I would love to hear from you!

What area of horsemanship are you most intersted in exploring?

  • Nutrition

  • Hoof Care & Benefits of Barefoot Trimming

  • Applying Positive Reinforcement to Hoof Care

  • Herd Dynamics and Management

You can vote for more than one answer.

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