Trainers

Horse School

Animal and Equine Body-worker and Communicator. Horse Development Specialist.

Horseman’s Log

I’m not usually a big fan of introductions. I’d rather skip straight to the part where my blogs are already well established and maybe even with a readership…(!), where the only greeting needed is like one you’d give an old friend.

My name is Lucy Churches. I have been riding since I was 10 years old, and I started in the riding school. I was an average student. Solid enough that the instructors could put me on most of the working ponies without having to worry about who they’d paired me with, but I was never deemed good enough to ride the “special” horses that some of my friends could; the ex eventers, hunters and the few snazzy working liveries that were occasionally used in lessons.

In fairness, the instructors probably had it right. I was a good rider, but a fall early on had knocked my confidence, my stability in the saddle had suffered and I never really had the drive to compete in any of the available English disciplines at a young age anyway. But I was passionate, I turned up every week for my pony club lessons, and later on, you could find me at the yard every evening of the week and almost all weekend.

When I was 13, I met my first horse. He had been brought to the yard by a livery client who already had a horse stabled there; a gorgeous hunter/eventer type big chestnut boy called Claude. She was loaning this second horse from a lady who no longer had time for him. He was 16hh, a bay Thoroughbred with a white star, called Tayo. With a history on the racetrack and in stunt work, he was 16 years old, underweight and blind in one eye. Hardly the “snazziest” looking horse on the yard. I couldn’t have cared tuppence. That one eye had the depth of a hundred. I was in love.

I came to see him every day. Feeding him carrots over the stable door and stroking his nose like every besotted horse girl from every book. The lady who owned him must have noticed my affection for him and asked if I would like to help bring him back into work. I jumped at the opportunity, and started walking him out in hand in the woods behind the yard, and free schooling him in the round pen. Without a clue what I was doing of course. But bless his old soul, he ran round in circles for me and patiently waited for someone to come along and point me in a better direction.

That someone was a young Sean Coleman (now a 3* Parelli Professional), who had already introduced some of the other riders to Parelli Natural Horsemanship. I had heard whispers on the yard about this newfangled program, and I was eager to learn.

Pretty soon, I was hooked. Parelli opened the door for me to start the journey towards what I’d always wanted; to be able to communicate with a horse on their level. That moment of partnership and harmony when you feel that you and this furry four legged animal understand each other, and can be whatever you are together. To be able to build a relationship like that felt like living in a real life fantasy. I loved it.

Tayo was an incredible partner. Kind, forgiving, and patient as I fumbled and struggled and dealt with the frustrations of being a beginner. He is, I think, the oldest soul I have ever met, and when he died 2 years later – the result of a lifetime of physical stress and chronic stomach ulcers – I was utterly heartbroken.

I’d experienced my fair share of loss in life, but even so, there was something very profound for me in losing that first love, and my first equine best friend. There are so many amazing stories that can be told about him and our time together; now that this blog exists I am sure that they will be written, but for now I must stay on track.

My light at the end of the tunnel came from the lovely Jo Bates, who very generously asked if I would like to play with her rather brilliant Tillie, and to help keep her fit; she had a penchant for good grass and was a little eensy weensy smidgen overweight…!

Well, this was a very different kind of horse! Smart as a button, quick-witted, and clocked me from right across the yard. She knew more than me and boy did she know it too! When I got it right it was like magic. She had lightness, skill and style, and we could pull off moves that made me feel like a pro! But when I got it wrong she made no allowances. She had a look she would give me, the kind of look I didn’t know horses could give. Some of you have horses like this I bet. You know this look. From pro to no in less than 10 seconds, and my magic would grind to a halt.

She was an excellent teacher. Firm but fair, she never let me get away with anything but my best, and only when my best was good enough did I get my reward.

I have been very blessed with opportunities in my life with horses, but in the midst of my school career I was too busy, and I had to take a break for a few months to keep my head from exploding!

I re emerged from these months with a voice ringing in my ear. It was my mother’s. For as long as I could remember, my parents had told me I could get a horse when I had the money to buy one myself.

At 16, you can legally own your own horse. And I had a bit of money in the bank, enough to pay for the horse and the essentials with a Saturday job and a bit of careful saving. Being young and foolish, I decided I was ready. Of course I smile fondly looking back on my naivety. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, for at 16 years old, I bought the horse that would bring me here, to this life, and to this blog. For £425 from a preloved.com listing, I found Valentia Island, better known as Lawrence. Back then he was as damaged as I was under qualified for the task ahead, but the story of our first years together is for another day

At 17, some excellent fortune and good friends brought me into the path of Larisa Tasker, and the rest, as they say, is history…!

I have been so fortunate to have ridden with or studied the work of horsemen including Mikey Wanzenried, Wally Gegenshatz, Frederic Pignon, Magali Delgado, Matthias Geysen, Ben Atkinson, Pat and Linda Parelli, Jean Luc Cornille, Elsa Sinclair, Tik Maynard and more, so many through the incredible work of Organised Equestrian. In September 2018 I began work on my BSc Equine Science, which will be completed in 2024, and my interest in horse health deepened, along with my desire to share my journey, and talk through the struggles of the student of the horse!

I am incredibly privileged to have studied up close the work of horsemen (and women) who are masters in their fields; my life has led me to this pathway in horsemanship and I wouldn’t change a thing.

These blogs is designed both for me and for you. I’m very excited to document my journey, to be able to write down my reflections, look back at them and see my own journey from a different perspective as a result. I am also learning so many things that I never knew and was too scared to ask, and I’m also so pleased to be able to share it all with you, the reader. To be able to display my thoughts, learning curves, breakthroughs and struggles as a student is a privilege, and I will dare to hope to motivate, inspire or maybe even be some easy reading for us horse lovers out there. My blogs are a mix of horse health, horsemanship and personal reflection, and I hope that there is something in there for everyone!

So on that note, peace out and pony love!

Lucy
Horseman’s Log

Follow me at: horsemanslog.wordpress.com

Like for all the updates at: facebook.com/horsemanslogs

Horse School

Animal and Equine Body-worker and Communicator. Horse Development Specialist.

I can’t have been the only one who sat in the classroom at school, daydreaming out the window thinking about how cool it would be if all my lessons were about horses. Learning about feet, and feed, and forging connections… I could have filled every lesson with my questions! 

I loved riding, but I was often a little intimidated to ask about everything I didn’t know – everyone else seemed to know so much, and I didn’t want to look silly at that age! Luckily, I grew up a bit, and five years on, I started my BSc Equine Science, and finally made it to horse school! I’m nowhere near finished yet, but I’ve learnt so much cool stuff along the way I’d like to start sharing it.

I want to get deep into topics like nutrition, disease and management styles, and hopefully bring some of the latest research in, because there are fascinating studies being carried out every day, that are super useful if applied right!

But I’m going to start with the basics. What better place to start?

Horses are quadriped (four legged) mammals (live young bearing milk feeders), who were first domesticated over 6000 years ago, as far as we can tell!

Throughout time, they have served purposes including pulling carts and carriages, transportation over long distances and war.

As the world has evolved, they have increasingly become used for sporting, and now there are over 20 different types of sports on horseback, with even more variations of each!

I believe we are drawn to the horse for reasons that mirror in many ways the connection famously between “a man and his dog”. Horses are creatures of complex intelligence, who have many valuable skills to offer us, and we in turn can offer them safety, comfort and food. This is a partnership that is millennia old, and will continue for millennia to come.

But what is a horse actually made of?

Horses are prey animals, and their bodies are built to help defend themselves against predators. They are fast-moving, agile and have excellent stamina for their size. Their lungs take up a far larger volume of their chest cavity than I realised, and when fully inflated, can fill the length and breadth of their entire ribcage and take in almost 50 litres of air every single minute! Next time you groom your horse, have a feel of how far back their ribs go. Pretty huge right!

Humans usually have a resting heart rate of around 60-90 bpm (beats per minute), which is around 1 per second. Horses are slightly larger than humans (!), so it’s unsurprising that their resting heart rate is around 36-42 bpm.

The maximum heart rate for a middle-aged human is just under 200 bpm. But a horse? The horse can max out at up to 240 bpm if necessary. For an animal so large this is a huge range, and goes some way to explaining why anxiety attacks can be so difficult for horses to manage. Can you imagine your heart rate increasing by 600%? How difficult would it be to come down from that kind of physical high? Even if it’s over something as small as a plastic bag? Now imagine someone is shouting at you in a different language whilst you’re freaking out…..triiiiiickyyyyy!

Horses have a forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, have been shown to have excellent memory, and an ability to learn complex patterns and communication pathways.

Their digestive system, although monogastric (one stomach), requires hind gut fermentation to break down much of the plant matter that they feed on.

There is much we don’t know yet about horses, but there is also much being discovered, and I’m excited to be able to explore the new horizons. Hopefully some of you will want to come on this journey too, and if you have any requests for topics, please do let me know, I’d love to know what people want to read about!

I’m going to include an informal reference list at the bottom of each of these posts, places where you can go to get stuck in and learn a bit more. I will endeavour to favour sources that can be accessed by everyone, if anyone would ever like any more information, just let me know and I can find some!

For now,
Peace out and pony love!

Lucy
Horseman’s Log

Follow me at: horsemanslog.wordpress.com

Like for all the updates at: facebook.com/horsemanslog

References:

Brega, J. (2005). Essential Equine Studies – Book 1 Anatomy and Physiology. London: J.A. Allen.

Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Tracing The History Of Horse Evolution And Domestication – Origin Of Horse Domestication.. [online] Available at: <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tracing-the-History-of-Horse-Evolution-and-Domestication-1900351/Origin-of-Horse-Domestication> [Accessed 21 August 2020].

Woods, R., 2016. Sports Involving Horses. [online] Topend Sports website. Available at: <https://www.topendsports.com/sport/horse-sports.htm> [Accessed 21 August 2020].

Harmony Equitation

Online Courses

Created by Jennie Blakehill, Harmony Equitation combines horse behaviour and natural biomechanics into a horse friendly, ethical training methodology that treats all horses as individuals and allows everyone to develop a deeper understanding of their horse and training practices that prepare the horse thoroughly whilst keeping them sound.

We are excited to be able to bring the Harmony Equitation online course to Horsemanship Hub! This course is an excellent foundation in horsemanship, setting you up to be able to progress your horse into any discipline you choose.

The course is divided into three parts, with no obligation, so you can do one piece at a time, or enroll in all three together for a great discount, if you know that this is what you’re looking for!

"I am super excited to be working with Jennie! I met her some time ago whilst at a horsemanship event and I thought then what a kind and friendly person. You can tell that she is 100% dedicated to the horses well being and wants to show others how to achieve optimal success both in horsemanship skills with their horse and horse training for that horse whilst maintaining a great bond between horse and human and ensuring the welfare is at its highest. She teaches you about the whole horse and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas meaning she doesn’t just fix one problem, but enhances your horses life overall.

I had a couple of lessons with Jennie when she was passing through, as she is not local to me, I was hooked and wanted more but being so far away this was tricky. So Jennie supported me online and I would ask her questions and send small video clips where needed. Then she launched her online course and video/live lessons and I can’t express how pleased I am! This works great for me. It means I can manage my time with the online learning and progress at the speed I want and my horses need. When ready, I just book a lesson slot and with someone filming I have direct access to Jennie, she coaches me through my wireless ear phones. It’s perfect! I love the online course as it is easy to follow and interactive. You are set mini assignments and there are small quizzes to ensure that you have retained the knowledge in each section. She also holds weekly webinar sessions for all to join where she clearly explains how the horse functions and the science behind why we do what we do. I love the way that she breaks all the information down into manageable bite size pieces and the way she explains it in layman’s terms so we can all understand. Jennie is an amazing teacher and her best skill is that she adapts to the horse and rider that she is presented with at the time. I look forward to more learning with her and watching my horses and I progress."
Laura Cartwright

Frederic Pignon & Magali Delgado

Equestrian performance artists, Liberty and Dressage at its finest!

Known as the co-founders of Cavalia and EQI, Frederic and Magali have performed in front of more than two million spectators! They are exceptional equestrian artists and visionaries. Their horses are their inspiration and their teachers.

Love and respect is the core of their relationship and philosophy. Therefore, when you see them on stage, you can only be touched by such authentic heart, connection and creativity.

Cooming soon in 2022!

Book a video or on-site lesson with Arran Parker

“Escape the complexity, find the true nature and make time to simply Enjoy Horses!”

In search of learning and studying many of the horsemanship programs, Arran has worked for many top trainers in different equestrian sports and finally found his own truth and enjoyment in the academic art of horsemanship. Arran has built his life and family around horses and enjoys sharing it passionately with his students all over the world. He has found horses (and children) to be the most amazing teachers of how to really thrive and succeed by being fully present.

In the same way a child can engage with a marble or cardboard box for hours on end, Arran has learned to engage fully and presently with the systematic, academic education of horses and humans, coaching many courses on how to “Stay Engaged in the Moment” creatively and allowing you and your horse time to enjoy, be curious, explore the moment fully and through this process achieve deeper learning and from that your personal best. To place our knowledge in soft focus and see as though through the eyes of a child, opens up the door to infinite possibilities for learning, creativity and enjoyment.

As children, or indeed horses, we enter into education wholly through inspiration and exploration. As a child, Arran assumed that Dressage, meaning “The dressed horse”, would be an educated horse in the whole sense. From childhood, Arran’s journey has been about that understanding of “The Dressed Horse” or indeed “The Dressed Human”, borne of awareness and therefore in complete freedom.

Through coaching Arran has observed that if we can sustain our “Student Status” then the “Mastery” takes care of itself.

Book a lesson with Arran to improve your Dressage, Liberty and general horsemanship through gentle thought, understanding, engagement and connection in the moment.

Book a video lesson

One to one online video lessons with Arran are also available in person at his facility, Dudmaston Stud, Tuck Hill, Six Ashes, Bridgnorth, WV15 6EW.

Lessons last 30 minutes and we recommend that you book two slots with at least an hour in between, so that you can have a groundwork and ridden session with time for the horse to rest. Please make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of your lesson, to give you time to settle your horse and tack up and warm up if necessary.

Book an on-site lesson at Dudmaston Stud

One to one lessons with Arran are also available in person at his facility, Dudmaston Stud, Tuck Hill, Six Ashes, Bridgnorth, WV15 6EW.

Lessons last 30 minutes and we recommend that you book two slots with at least an hour in between, so that you can have a groundwork and ridden session with time for the horse to rest. Please make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of your lesson, to give you time to settle your horse and tack up and warm up if necessary.

Debbie Sneddon

Bringing you the latest gymnastic training techniques.

Debbie has been an equitation instructor all her working life, specialising in Showjumping and Dressage, and is a long term student of Jean Luc Cornille (Science of Motion). She will teach you to have a better understanding of the biomechanics of the horse’s vertebral column, which is the basis of all it’s body movements and how to correctly develop and coordinate the horses’ physique so he can perform and move soundly. Through correct training you can improve the physical and mental health of your horse, solving many problems such as asymmetry, straightness and loss of balance in both horse and rider.

Learn how to change the way you sit, change the way you think and adopt a positive mental attitude. Whether you are a novice or advanced rider, you will evolve from teaching obedience to learning your horse’s language, all whilst keeping your horse sound, happy and confident.

Book a video lesson with Debbie Sneddon

Debbie Sneddon Training Videos

Check out the first in a new FREE video series from Debbie about bringing your horse back into work safely…

Kat Pickering

Professional stunt rider and riding instructor

Kat is a professional Stunt Rider and Riding Instructor from the UK. Having performed for several teams around the world, including the Hasta Luego team at Equila and Team Z7 in Dubai, Kat has also performed at Horse of the Year Show, The Royal Welsh Show and Olympia, to name a few! Her filming credits include Victoria, The Spanish Princess, Gentleman Jack, Emmerdale, All Creatures Great and Small, and Wonder Woman 1984.

With an aptitude for hanging upside down on horses, Kat’s real passion is for Classical Dressage and Liberty. She studied Sports Science with Coaching at University and combines her understanding of coaching and psychology with her experience training horses. With a holistic approach to horse riding, Kat will help you develop your skills in the saddle and on the ground, and help you understand how to link the two. She will also aim to help you and your horse develop a deeper relationship at any level.  

So if you have always wanted to try Classical Dressage but didn’t know where to start, you want to know the best way to start a young horse under saddle, or you are interested in improving your general riding and learning the beginnings of Liberty then this is the place for you!

For more information about Kat, please visit her website here

Book a video lesson with Kat Pickering

Jean Luc Cornille

Analysis of lameness or movement and progress plan from Jean Luc Cornille, Science of Motion

Jean Luc is an FEI level trainer, instructor and international competitor and has medal winning expertise in dressage, show-jumping, three-day eventing, steeplechase and also work in hand.

Through years of research and experience, Jean Luc developed the Science of Motion, a new approach to lameness therapy, which, instead of treating the damage caused, begins by addressing the abnormalities in the characteristics of the horse’s motion that cause the pathological changes which lead to lameness in the first place. The approach has been used to successfully prevent and rehabilitate lameness, where other therapies have been ineffective, underlining the capacity of the horse’s physique to heal efficiently, so long as the source of the abnormal stress has been corrected.

Jean Luc Cornille has gained worldwide recognition by applying practical science to the training of the equine athlete and deeply understands how equine training can be enhanced by contemporary scientific research. A unique combination of riding skill, training experience and extensive knowledge of equine physiology enables Jean Luc to translate scientific insights into a language comprehensible to both horse and rider. This approach has been the trademark of his training.

The Science of Motion approach works based on the scientifically proven fact that the abnormality is there first and it is the repetition of abnormal kinematics that causes injury. By correcting the abnormality early enough, it is possible to prevent pathological changes. Likewise, once the damage has already altered the integrity of the muscle, ligament or bone structure, correcting the kinematic abnormality is imperative for recovery and soundness.

The Science of Motion approach has been successfully utilised to rehabilitate many different chronic disabilities including severe cases of navicular disease and kissing spines.

Book a video lesson with Jean Luc Cornille

Examples

Two short examples of what your report and progress plan will look like…

Example 1

We have published on the Kissing Spine Forum 3 a video that explains your horse’s problems. He is kind and protests gently. The canter is difficult for him, especially on the left rein. He travels bent to the left with a transversal rotation shifting the dorsal spines to the right. This is an inverted rotation. It is referred to as left rotation because the scientific world names the rotation by the direction faced by the lower part of the vertebral bodies. When the ventral part faces left, the the dorsal spine shifts right. This is probably the reason for the short stride of the left hind leg. As the spine is bent left, the left hind leg should be more forward, but due to the transversal rotation lifting the left hip, the hind leg impacts earlier. It would be good if you have x-rays of the thoracolumbar spine, to forward them to me.

The reaction at the canter suggests a problem in the caudal thoracic or lumbar area but the horse could be protecting the cranial thoracic and still react the same way. The horse carries too much weight on his front limbs and there are several adaptations that can create intermittent contact of the dorsal spine. Probably due to the rotation and consequently increased load on the left front leg, there is a small jerking of the right knee before the push off. The forelegs impact too far back and they vault the body from one foreleg over the other without propelling the body upward as it should be. There is probably a combination of problems that cause contact with the dorsal spines and pain reactions. The combination of inverted rotation and opposition of forces, with the forelegs braking more than pushing, would be the two points that I would place in priority for the rehabilitation.

In order to improve the horse’s balance you need to place your body in neutral balance. As on the video, your body weight is pushing the horse on the forehand. Our DVD, ‘The New Seat’ explains neutral balance in detail. You need to advance the axis of your pelvis forwards, between the forearms. In order to do that without arching the lumbar vertebrae, you need to limit the arching with your back and abdominal muscles and open your chest. There is too much contact on the lower part of your thigh, above the knees. This will hamper the proper placement of the pelvis. Try to transfer the contact to the upper thighs. The best way to learn is by teaching your horse to improve his balance, slowing the walk in response to the slight increase in muscle tone of your body achieved by opening the chest and advancing the pelvis forward. This demands practice as too much or too little tone, or changing the tone too fast will not work. When the horse slows down without using your hands you are doing it right. While you teach him proper coordination of his back muscles allowing him to slow down without pushing on the bit, you will probably have better success correcting the inverted rotation through the right shoulder in. You will have to find the angle where the where the horse will consider bending the thoracic vertebrae. He will resist at first because in order to bend he will have to change the rotation of his dorsal spines due to the inverted rotation as they are too far to the right. He will have to reduce the rotation. Proper rotation coupled with right lateral bending is a very little shift of the dorsal spines to the right. 

Practice at the walk. and when he feels soft and round, ask for the trot. He should gradually gain some spring in the trot. It is not going to be easy and will demand diligent practice. This is also only the beginning. When you start to feel some lift of the horse’s back, you will need to send another video for the continuation of his rehabilitation. Don’t be afraid of all the details that I explain at the beginning. It is through these precise observations that it is possible to isolate the root cause. All the problems can be resolved with proper education. Take your time and don’t be afraid to go very slowly. This is necessary at first. Once he understands how to properly coordinate his thoracolumbar spine you will be able to increase the forward motion. He is a horse protesting kindly and you will help him to become comfortable.

 

Example 2

Riding the collection improved after the first half pass. The intensity and frequency of the movements that you did yesterday need to be the norm. She reacts well when you challenge her. She started a little passive and you used adequate pressure, asking for better half passes and pirouettes. Then for example at 15.20 after the right half pass, she resists more balance but you can insist on dialogue in the tone of your body. Good back coordination at 17.20, but then she tries to push on the bit. The right pirouette is the right move. She still tries to put weight on the bit afterwards but with an intensity that you can control with your body. Then she tries a lot of lateral motion through the shoulders and croup and you recreate the corridor in a few strides. This is a good ride. She still is a little bit in escape mode but without yesterday’s intensity. The trot needed more balance but your decision to ask for the canter must have been because you felt it would create a better situation for the following trot. The canter was was good but the trot after still didn’t have enough balance and was big at the transition. 

The collection at the walk was good but she became tense at the trot departure. Then you did well as she gained balance and suspension. The trot was still a little fast, but you used half pass and it worked to regain suspension. With the movement that you have around 29.20, the search for more balance and slower motion can continue to improve. After the canter at 30.27 the trot improves in balance and suspension. The next canter was a rush and on the wrong lead. It took several strides at the trot to come back but is good at 31.42 and after. The left half pass starts well, but then got heavy before finishing well. The last half pass to the right is a good conversation about balance and variations of contact on the bit. This is a positive conversation. The balance improves with more power. The spring of the forelegs is coming back. It will be different than before the stiffening as it is now with more power. The slowing down of your lumbar vertebrae is going to be a great way to channel the power. The slower cadence is going to result from more suspension in the trot. Nice work. Very different from yesterday, but you adapted to the horse you had today very well. Bravo.

Sean Coleman

Foundation and development specialist

For the last decade Sean has dedicated himself to developing his horsemanship skills. First and foremost Sean is an equine behaviourist and helps people to understand not only why horses do what they do but how to affect it. Sean is a 3* Parelli Professional and has spent extensive time learning directly from Pat Parelli as one of his apprentices.

Sean has 3 main interests:
– Natural Horsemanship
– California Bridle horses
– Classical Dressage

Helping all manner of riders, from recreational to Olympic level, Sean has worked with people in the Western, Show-jumping, Dressage, Polo, Eventing and Showing worlds. His mission is to share knowledge, understanding and compassion for the horse whilst still getting great results. Sean’s focus is to help people become better for their horses so their horses can become better for them, no matter what their discipline or goals.

Whatever you are having problems with, or if you are simply looking to refine your skills and be the best you can be, Sean will be able to help you!

Book a video lesson with Sean Coleman

Ben Atkinson

Professional stunt rider, horse trainer and liberty artist

Ben is a professional stunt rider, horse trainer and rider from East Yorkshire. He is well known for his appearances in film, TV and live events, with an enviable list of projects including Victoria, Peaky Blinders and Poldark! The family business, Atkinson Action Horses, is one of the most respected equestrian services companies to the film and television industries, supplying highly trained horses, riders and trainers for a variety of disciplines and stunts.

As you would expect with such a career, Ben’s horsemanship is spellbinding. He will wow you with fearless stunt riding, classical dressage and the art of Liberty! And now he can teach you to do the same…

And if you haven’t seen it yet, you can rent or download Organised Equestrian’s debut film ‘At home with Ben Atkinson’, a one-off special feature documentary on how to train a horse for Liberty, bridle-less riding and maybe even the movies! See the trailer below and download details below…

Ben has enviable horsemanship knowledge in so many areas, there is not much that he couldn’t help with! Maybe some ground skills, Liberty of course, Classical Dressage… the choice is yours!

"We all know Ben is excellent at communicating with horses but he is also excellent at communicating with humans. This means that even a video call lesson is extremely effective. In my first lesson we worked on establishing liberty work, 7 years of failing to crack it and in the first practise using the exercises Ben had given us and we made progress! In my second lesson we focused on ridden work - despite riding western, possibly the one discipline Ben has not specific expertise in - he has such a wealth of knowledge and ideas along with a desire to tailor exercises to the individual needs of the horse and rider it did not matter (I knew it wouldn’t). The aim of having a horse to work mentally and physically with you is universal and Ben is very good at explaining how to do this."
Alison Cheetham