Meet The Team

We have an expert team of tutors to help you along with your studies...

Alex Le Grand BSc (Hons). CHBC ABTC-AAB IASF-A

Managing Director and Tutor
Alex is registered with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council as a Registered Accredited Animal Behaviourist and is also a Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants. He is also approved by the Pet Professional Guild British Isles and is an endorsed trainer with the World Bitless Association. 
He also holds a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Alex is also an IASF Level 4 Saddle Fitter and tutors on their accredited courses. 


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Alex consults under veterinary referral for more than 15 practices around the South East, consulting on complex equine behavioural issues. He often deals with ridden behavioural issues, mixing his understanding of saddle fit and equine ergonomics with behaviour to resolve complex referred issues. 

Alex is also one of the founding directors at The Berkshire Animal Connection Centre, a registered charity, animal sanctuary and education centre based in the Berkshire countryside where they provide a home for over 20 horses as well as sheep, goats and small mammals. 

Alex started his behaviour journey with the Natural Animal Centre, gaining the NAC EBQ Stage 1 and 2 before moving on to undertaking two degrees and gaining CHBC and ABTC-AAB. The content delivered within Stage 1 and 2 was second-to-none and was on-par the degree level programmes in terms of the applied behavioural science and consulting knowledge and understanding covered. 

Alex also guest lectures ad-hoc for colleges and educational institutions, delivering sessions on animal training, learning and cognition.

Debbie Busby BSc (Hons) MSc MBPsS CHBC CCAB ABTC-CAB

Director of Behaviour and Tutor
Debbie is registered with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and works with referring vets to resolve complex behaviour problems in horses and dogs. She supervises masters students on university courses and mentors new behaviourists coming through professional routes.  She practices as a psychotherapist within a Transactional Analysis framework, using this modality to support her animal behaviour clients in implementing the changes that she recommends through her consultations.

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Debbie started her animal behaviour career in 2006 when she studied at the Natural Animal Centre with Heather and Ross and achieved the Equine Behaviour Qualification, which she still says was the best training she had in equine behaviour!  Debbie went on to gain a first class honours degree in Psychology and a Masters degree with Distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.  Her professional memberships include the British Psychological Society, The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (full member, ABTC-CAB), the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant, ABTC-AAB), the British Veterinary and Behaviour Association and the International Society for Equitation Science.

Debbie is in the second year of her Doctoral PhD research in horse-human relationships at Manchester Metropolitan University, exploring the sustainability of horse riding in the contexts of training methods, welfare and social licence to operate.  

Debbie writes articles and books on all aspects of behaviour and consulting, and presents talks and workshops internationally, both as an animal behaviour specialist and as a supporting expert in the Human Behaviour Change for Animals team, collaborating on psychology-themed projects.  She contributes to equestrian magazines and wrote the chapter on Equestrianism in the book Equine Behaviour in Mind.  Debbie co-authored the book The Horse, A Natural History, published by Princeton University Press.

Aliyah Woodland

Director of Training and Tutor
Aliyah has been working as a trainer and instructor in the equine industry for nearly 10 years, teaching both online and in person, having worked with over 200 rehabilitation and retraining cases during her work for HEROS and The RSPCA.

Aliyah holds diplomas in equestrian rehabilitation and therapy, management and a distinction in Equine Psychology (CoE), as well as having studied Equine Body Language courses (Understanding Horses) and Pain Science and Movement (Intrenzen), and takes regular ‘force free’ dressage lessons and courses with Reward Based Art of Riding (Angelica Hesselius).

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Aliyah was the veterinary supervisor at HEROS/North Farm Stud for just shy of 4 years, during which time she experienced a vast number rehabilitation cases and thus ways in which physical and mental ailments can manifest in a wide range of behavioural symptoms and how - alongside a team of vets and physical therapists - these physical and behavioural issues can be addressed in tandem to help the horses and owners continue on to lead comfortable and fulfilling lives.

Aliyah now continues sharing her work and experience as a behavioural trainer and a positive reinforcement coach (certified BHA Equine Coach) in her freelance coaching business Equine Thoughts, which won Runner Up in the Centre of Excellence ‘Best Business Award' 2020, as well as working at Witney Pony Partners (a riding school and horsemanship centre) as a senior coach where she is introducing the staff students and horses to a LIMA based approach and the application of positive reinforcement in a training environment. 

Ross Simpson

Tutor
Ross was the owner of the Natural Animal Centre alongside Heather Simpson since it's inception in 1997 until November 2021 when the ownership of the NAC passed to Alex Le Grand. 

Ross launched and delivered the Distance Learning Programme part of the NAC successfully for many years before retiring. One of the courses he ran with Heather was the Bach Flower Remedy Animal Counsellor Course. 

Given his knowledge and expertise in the area, Ross has kindly agreed to stay on board as a tutor for the Bach course as there will be no re-structure of this course and therefore he can carry on delivering this course in the same way he has before going forward into 2022. 
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