Local horse trainer to host author talk in Del Mar

Alessandra Derrinck's interest in horses dates back to her childhood in Milan, Italy.

San Marcos resident Alessandra Deerinck will host a local author talk about her recently published book, “Human Horse Sensing Horsemanship,” at the Del Mar Library on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.

Deerinck, a native of Milan, Italy, has been interested in horses since her childhood. Worried about the dangers, her father told her she had to wait until age 11 to start riding. She began working at a racetrack in Italy at 16, received a license to race as an amateur at 18, then studied veterinary medicine at the University of Milan.

Her racing career ended abruptly more than 20 years ago when she fell and broke her back while riding.

“It happened because I rode an unknown horse with bad habits and training issues of which I was not made aware before the race,” Deerinck recounted in her book.

The incident helped inform her current approach to horse training and communication, which she said can help the rider determine whether a horse is receptive to being ridden. Communicating with a horse using hand gestures and body language can be like trying to communicate with a human who speaks a different language and is deaf. Beckoning a horse to begin walking toward you with an arm motion, for example, is how her teachings resemble interpersonal communication between people. The book describes it as “an interaction that works through body language instead of words.”

Her method is in contrast to many of the commonly accepted, disciplinary-based strategies for training animals.

“The language is not spoken,” said Deerinck, who works with horses on a ranch in Poway. “It’s movement.”

The 140-page book guides the reader through 11 chapters that cover behavior as communication, instincts and leadership. The book explains that training involves “conditioning the horse to respond predictably to certain given cues.”

“It’s like a dance,” said Deerinck, who also leads two- to three-day training sessions for anyone who wants to learn her horse communication methods.

She and her husband have been married for 25 years after meeting in Del Mar during her first trip to the U.S. in the early 1990s. They have three children.

The author talk at the library, she said, will be geared toward anyone who already has experience with horses or wants to learn.

“I found it and started to apply it to everything I did with horses,” she said.

The library is located at 1309 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar. For more information, visit hhsensing.com. Deerinck’s book is available on amazon.com.