MY BACKGROUND & TRAINING
I was not lucky enough to have my own pony as a child and so I had lessons at my local riding school. I worked for a lot of my rides, often riding quirky young or new horses and ponies. I relished the challenge and it helped to me to develop my stickability. My interest in schooling and training had been sparked.
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be an instructor and took every opportunity to broaden my knowledge and experience of all things equine. I trained and eventually taught under the supervision of senior instructors whilst still at school.
I went on to college and completed a National Diploma in Equine Management. This enabled me to study in depth many areas of the equine industry. I particularly enjoyed the modules in equine science, where I was able to really get to grips with a horse’s physiological make up and relate this to the husbandry and equitation modules to form a more detailed and rounded view. Alongside my Diploma I achieved my:
- • BHS Stage 1 (riding and care)
- • BHS Stage 2 (riding and care)
- • Riding and road safety
- • BHS Stage 3 (groom’s certificate)
I was in fact the only student on my course to achieve this number of exams. After college I was lucky enough to be accepted by two of the top BHS “where to train” equitation centres. I enrolled at The Huntley School of Equitation as a senior working pupil (due to exams already achieved), for one year to intensively train for my BHSAI. I chose Huntley because of their renowned reputation for traditional training and high standards.
After achieving my BHSAI I worked at Summerhouse Equitation and Education Centre where I really honed my craft. Working at summerhouse also gave me the opportunity to continue to further my own personal development and training. In addition to regular in house instruction I received training from various trainers who included: dressage rider Pammy Hutton and show jumper Rolland Fernihough. I taught an amazing variety of people and there was often a waiting list for my lessons.
I also ran the centre’s pony club, fun days and dressage clinics. At this time I was still very interested in horses that were a little quirky and I often took on extra projects with horses that needed help to readjust to their new jobs or be schooled up to sell on. During this time I owned Bounty, a youngster I had brought on for my mum to progress with.
Whilst at Summerhouse Bounty and myself managed to squeeze in becoming Cotswold Novice Dressage Champions, Win the UK Chasers regionals and Come 9th at the Nationals. A very clever horse!
After Summerhouse I took on the running of the livery yard at Warren Sport Horses. I had great fun training with them all, going to competitions and eventing the awesome character that was Rusty Bad Pants!
Another achievement that really stands out was competing a livery horse that had developed a really bad habit for rearing. Getting him to the point where we were happily and successfully competing at BD was brilliant.
Tim & Toni Warren gave training sessions to their riders and pupils and I was lucky enough to train alongside them. Their no-nonsense and “to the point” approach, combined with riding some real quality horses really took my riding to another level, in particular my show jumping.
Being involved with Team Warren gave me a real insight into how the professionals do things. Watching Danni Evans pack her Union Jack-plastered trunks to set off for the Europeans was immensely exciting. It also helped to put my own first affiliated events into perspective!
I then managed a small livery & stud. I really enjoyed putting the knowledge I had gained about breeding to practical use! I handled and broke in youngsters including the stud’s 4-year-old stallion. I showed off foals and young stock at the BEF Futurity and rode in the stallion parades. I successfully retrained the pony stallion to event (he was previously pure dressage), once he got over the fear of leaving the ground and his friends! I competed him and another young mare that I had backed and brought on. These two very different horses started their B.E. careers with me, and having both been placed regularly were ready to move on.
During my time there I was exposed to more open-minded techniques such as riding and competing horses barefoot, treeless saddles, the use of acupuncture and occasionally physiotherapy. I was able to see first-hand the effects these systems & therapies had for different horses that were in my care.
I am now working freelance and have returned to my first love, of training both horses and their riders. I bring with me a wealth of knowledge and experience but I aim to continue learning and improving my whole life through.