Andrew McLean

PhD (Equine cognition and learning), BSc (Zoology), Dip Ed

Winner of the highest Australian Science award, the Eureka Prize for Science, Andrew McLean developed and manages the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, the most internationally recognised horse training and behaviour modification centre in Australia.

Andrew McLean holds a PhD in equine cognition and learning, has been an accredited horse riding coach for over 30 years and has written 5 books (including an International Best Seller) and authored 35 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Andrew has lectured at The University of Tasmania for 11 years in Animal Behaviour, Cell biology, Genetics, Anatomy, Ecology and Tasmanian fauna. In 1977 he wrote 5 distance-education books on Cell biology and Genetics.   

A past winner of the Advanced section of the famous Gawler Three-Day-Event, he has also represented Australia in Horse Trials, been short-listed for World Championships and competed at State and National events in FEI level dressage and eventing, has show-jumped to Grand Prix level and held a Racehorse owner-trainer's licence and raced bareback in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970 and 80's.

In great demand as a trainer, coach and speaker, Andrew currently conducts lecture demonstrations at Universities and conferences around the world. He teaches throughout Australia, Europe, South Africa, USA, Canada and New Zealand. Andrew continues to coach riders and National Federations on the optimal use of learning theory for improved welfare of the trained horse as well as improved performance.  

Career Highlights

Current Senior Vice President of the International Society for Equitation Science. He was instrumental in hosting the 1st International Equitation Science Symposium which was held at the AEBC in 2005. Annual symposia and conferences throughout the world have followed.

Guest and Keynote speaker at the 2006 FEI convention on Hyperflexion; numerous ISES conferences; Veterinary and Vet Nursing conferences; The British Columbia Horse Council. 

Guest coach for Equestrian Australia's coaching convention, 2012.

Lectures and demonstrations at all Australian Equitana events since its inception (except 2012).

Lecture/demonstration at the Global Dressage Forum in October 2006 for which he was voted best new presenter (Topic: "Training principles that arise from learning theory") and subsequently asked to return in 2008 (Topic: "Learned helplessness in the competition horse"). He returned again in 2011 showing how higher dressage has it origins in the basic responses with Imke Bartels and Warwick McLean.

Presentation in the Netherlands for elite dressage coaches under the auspices of the Dutch Dressage Federation on the application of learning theory to dressage for improved welfare and performance with Anky van Grunsven and Imke Bartels as demonstration riders.

2011's Guest coach with his son Warwick at the British Horse Society's Spring horse convention.

Invited to train the Belgian Federal (mounted) Police in 2011 in a 5-day clinic to embed equitation science in their training after some convincing demonstrations with aggressive and fearful horses in May, 2011. The Belgian Federal Police horses face the greatest of challenges of all European Police horses as Belgium is the home of NATO and the EU - they arguably now have the most reliable Police horses in the world.

Began training elephants in Nepal in 2007 and subsequently formed the not-for-profit company 'The HELP Foundation' (Human Elephant Learning Programs) for which he is now Senior Vice President.  This cooperative project is focussed on the optimal management, welfare and training of working elephants in Asia and includes the development and implementation of innovative training techniques based on learning theory and the elimination of punishment. Read more...


Above: Andrew and his youngster Lego

Andrew McLean Top to Bottom: Andrew competing on Mr Biggles at Gawler 3DE; The Hanoverian Stallion Tintagel Magic, who he trained to, and competed at FEI level dressage; With Anky Van Grunsven at the Global Dressage Forum in 2006 Andrew McLean Image Five Image Six