No matter what task we set them, it is of paramount importance that our horses are able to work for us (at any level), whilst maintaining their natural disposition. This is the fundamental principle I believe should be at the heart of all our interactions with horses. A well-trained horse should respond to a rider's communication rather than be forced into compliance by restriction and control.
I define the art of horsemanship in 3 ways:
It is not simply riding - it is a holistic approach to understanding and working with horses that takes into consideration all aspects of their being.
It is a language - rather than taking a restrictive direct control of our horses, via pressure and release we endeavour to slowly teach them there is meaning behind every interaction.
The horse must maintain it's natural disposition - If we make sure our horses are both mentally and physically comfortable in their work - this produces both a superior athlete, as well as a far more rewarding relationship.
As a child heavily involved in pony club life, I gained riding confidence, competitiveness and team-spirit in playing polo for Rutland, show jumping for Lincolnshire and participating in The Prince Phillip Cup Mounted Games Team. My dedication to my horses went with me to Germany and the USA, where I participated in equestrian pursuits in adulthood.
In 2007, I switched to western style riding and still train regularly with an International Reining Champion. Having travelled abroad and witnessed ‘the rodeo’, barrel racing gave me new aspirations. In 2016, I became a regional organiser for the UKBHA. In 2017, I competed at the NBHA Open World Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
As a UKCC level 3 Coach, I now dedicate many hours to providing training clinics and competitions to further the interests of the barrel racing community and sport in the East Midlands and N.E. Anglia.