Shawna Karrasch

Shawna Karrasch of On Target Training has been a favorite of Glenn the Geek’s for over 10 years.  Shawna shares with us tips that she has learned through the years training horses and many other creatures great and small.


Shawna Karrasch spent nearly ten years working to perfect her training skills not with horses, but in the pools at Sea World of California with killer whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. Her infectious enthusiasm, sense of humor, and rapport with an audience, put her center-stage in the Sea World show. She also worked backstage with show producers, facilitating the writing, blocking, and staging of performances.

In 1992, Shawna was invited to attend her first grand prix show jumping event in Del Mar, California. As an animal trainer, Shawna was curious to learn more about how horses were trained, and was fascinated by the possibility of applying Sea World’s tried and true system to horses.

Two years later, Shawna took her first horseback-riding lesson at the Rancho Riding Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California. There she met Vinton Karrasch, a veteran of the grand prix circuit, who became her husband and business partner.

After being introduced by a mutual friend at Sea World, Vinton and Shawna talked and decided the training method Shawna mastered with marine mammals might produce similar breakthroughs with horses. The idea was too exciting to ignore.

Convinced that they could actually accelerate a horse’s learning curve and encourage the horse to want to perform, Vinton persuaded close friend and top trainer John Madden to look at their system. John was so impressed he invited Shawna and Vinton to work out of his world-renowned training facility with his wife, Beezie Patton-Madden, an international show jumping team member.

Founded in 1995, the Madden farm became the testing facility for adapting the training process for horses through On Target Training. Beezie found her horses “began to have an idea of when they were doing something right, and then they clearly had the desire to do the right thing!”

Few visitors at Sea World ever get to see the remarkable training process that builds trust between animal and trainer, actually unlocking the animal’s desire to perform. Shawna now brings this remarkable process to the equine world, for horse enthusiasts and professionals alike to use. The On Target Training system is safe, highly effective, and easy to use.

Type of Tips:

Training and Behavioral tips.

Listen to all of Shawna Karrasch’s tips.