Private & Group Sessions
Through my riding career I have met some wonderful coaches and some not so wonderful coaches. I have suffered crisis’s of confidence on a regular basis and had to alter my whole way of riding to accommodate creaking joints, aching backs and lack of strength. Taylor has been trained to stand at the mounting block while I haul myself on and once on, I cannot get off again until we are finished riding – which these days is no more than forty-five minutes.
Through it all I have come to understand that riding horses is not just about sitting up straight with your heels down. It’s about adapting and working with what you’ve got. There is no one-size fits all. As long the horse and rider are safe and comfortable and they enjoy what they are doing then it works for me.
I’ve got a bit of reputation for using games and props when I coach. My riders all dread the words “Right then……” when they warm up for their lessons. I might hand them tubes of toothpaste, a ‘magic stick’ or a rubber band!
They might be asked to cross their reins over so the left hand holds the right rein and vice versa!! We have ‘pole trains’ and follow the leader in our group lessons and the tea and conversation before and after our sessions is often as valuable as the lesson itself.
I like to be creative when I’m coaching to try and enable the rider to really comprehend the manoeuvre or sensation in a way that works for them. If they don’t know what I’m asking them to do, I might show them on foot, I might have to physically touch them to change the positioning of their legs or ask them to hold onto a tube of toothpaste or magic stick to develop a soft but steady hand position.
My love of learning means that I never have to be coerced to do Continual Professional Development (CPD) to maintain my accreditations!! I am currently working on a Professional Doctorate in Sports Coaching, doing an online course on the use of Franklin balls and am Chairman of the Research Steering group at the BEF! The end result means that I can bring innovative and interesting ideas to my coaching sessions which are backed up by solid academic research.
At the heart of all my coaching sessions are you – the rider - and your horse. If you want to aim for a competition that’s great but if you just want to learn to ride your horse better or tackle a manoeuvre that really gets you excited, then we can work towards that.
"A good coach can change a game – a great coach can change a life." John Wooden
This sort of coaching is not learnt in a classroom or at a workshop – it is something organic that grows and develops through the years of experience, of trial and error, personal challenges and personal failures.