Welcome to my website. I hope my training principles will be of
interest to you. I have been training, teaching and working with
horses for many years and never stop learning.
I have been very fortunate to meet and train with many
brilliant teachers and trainers. I was inspired to learn more
about body awareness and the Alexander Technique by Mary
Wanless over 25 years ago. I have found this knowledge has
given me an ability to really understand what riders need to
learn, but is often not taught. The rider has to be in good
balance and develop a seat that allows the horse to move. Often
not enough attention is placed on the rider and the horse then
struggles to understand what is wanted. When I teach, I work on
both the horse and rider together. Riders must be prepared to
work on improving themselves and then the horse can progress
Living very near the 'Training the Teachers of Tomorrow
Trust', has meant I have been able to train with and watch
Stephen Clarke - FEI International Dressage Judge, Arthur
Kottas - Former Chief Rider of Spanish Riding School of
Vienna, Charles de Kunffy - FEI Dressage Judge and more
recently Herwig Radnetter - Senior Rider of the Spanish Riding
School very regularly over the
past 25 years ! Having access to
these trainers regularly has been a real privilige and given me
much knowledge to pass on to others.
I have also been fortunate to attend annual training seminars
with Gerd Heuschmann, an expert on equine biomechanics. These
seminars are always very interesting and Gerd is always bringing
new research to his presentations.
I did compete regularly with my mare up to advanced level and
had a fun and successful time. Since losing her I have found
myself working with horses that needed remedial training to
recover from injury or bad training. Competition has not been
my priority and I have not had the opportunity to compete for
some years. It is more important to me to show a happy,
comfortable horse in training than to win a competition.
Classical dressage training is the progressive development of
the riding horse, using a proven system that has been passed on
through generations. The combination of this training and also
the knowledge I have gained from having a horse that needed much
remedial help to recover from a serious injury, has given me a
very holistic approach to my work.
Dressage is referred to as an 'art' because, when well
done, the horse is transformed by the rider. It looks more
beautiful and moves more gracefully and the horse and rider
move together in harmony. Most people will be riding as a hobby,
sport, recreation, but, however you look at it, we should all
try and learn to ride in a way that enables the horse to move
comfortably and without detriment to its body.
It is important to me to train the horse to use its muscles in a
way that enables it to carry a rider and develop gymnastically
without force or gadgets.
When a horse is comfortable in its body, you can see and feel a
softer and more supple movement in its back and limbs, it
appears 'oiled'. A horse moving with a stiff back and joints is
not just uncomfortable to ride, but is 'breaking down'.
The rider has to develop a quiet, supple, harmonious seat. They must
have good self awareness before they can hope to train a horse and
feel what it needs. The rider must 'hear' the horse through their seat.
When I teach I work on helping the rider develop these skills.
Discomfort, soreness and pain in a horse is often misinterpreted
as 'bad behaviour'. People have described their horses as naughty,
stubborn, fresh etc, when I have found it is just saying Help!
Riders with position problems or badly fitting tack will have great
difficulty in getting their horse to work well, or, sometimes the
horse is suffering from an unsoundness that has not yet been detected.
I aim to teach riders how to 'listen' to their horse and understand
how to train them in a way that they can both enjoy being together.
I teach people who do dressage to compete, but, also many more who event,
show jump, or just hack out. They all want the same thing - a horse
that is nice to ride, feels happy and has a better chance of staying sound