From The Horse's Mouth
A discussion on the importance of objectivity as well as expertise.
Over the last twenty odd years I have had the pleasure and the privilege of being invited to observe many people’s time with their horses, in order to explore what could be missing. What is it that we should be able to communicate to our horse in three words that could take their work to the next level? In any initial theory session I attempt to establish the personal goals of the... (read more)
And how do I know when enough is enough!?
This is a question that I’ve been asked repeatedly in my many years as a horse trainer and as winter slowly recedes I thought it an opportune time to address it. It’s especially relevant as over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working solely with my own horses and I have experienced the joy that comes from their enthusiasm to learn and play with the work. Of... (read more)
I have been asked many times about my journey into the Academic Art of Riding so thought I would share mine and my horses adventures below....
I have been a horseman my whole life; listening to horses, observing their behaviour and educating them, all from my little wooden cabin in Shropshire. I’ve been endlessly mesmerised by horses at liberty and intrigued by the possibility that they may one day achieve dressage in freedom. The term dressage comes from the French term, the dressed horse. As humans we dress to free ourselves, however,... (read more)
Having spent the last year diligently working through a systematic training program (GHDC,) it’s time to look at the Liberty training component.
Having spent the last year diligently working through a systematic training program (GHDC,) it’s time to look at the Liberty training component to find out what our horses have not just physically, but whole heartedly taken on board. When the reins come off, we are able to see what the horse has learnt academically (in his mind and body,) as opposed to just his physical understanding generated... (read more)
Feeling like I had reached a developmental plateau with my horses, I finally decided to do something proactive about it.
Feeling like I had reached a developmental plateau with my horses, I finally decided to do something proactive about it. That 'something' was signing up for the six month Genuine Horse Development Course with Student of the Horse in Bridgnorth. It is proving to be one of the wisest decisions I've made. The course consists of six modules and teaching is held over a weekend on a monthly basis. The... (read more)
There is no ceiling!
I first took part on the Genuine Horse Development Course in 2017, and it was year of many break throughs, new understandings and greater awareness, in addition to a few struggles...there is always a struggle! I think the latter is what really keeps us in the game! The quest for just that little bit more knowledge and the quest to be just that little bit better, lighter and more in sync with the... (read more)
The Genuine Horse Development Course
Following on from my private mentoring day with Mark and Arran, when we focused on my personal work with Ari, I spent a great weekend as a support coach for the Genuine Horse Development Course. It was an awesome weekend full of very genuine people, genuine horses and genuine development. It was a great opportunity to be part of the Student of the Horse coaching team once again and a very... (read more)
Through watching others, sometimes your own difficulties can be overcome.
Over the course of a few schooling sessions, I’ve become increasingly aware of an issue concerning my dialogue with Harper. Having observed Mark and Arran with their own horses, I’ve come to realize that throughout Harper’s training, I’ve been doing most of the talking – and when you always talk, you are unable to listen. Furthermore, what I thought were clear, precise aids, was actually a... (read more)
There's a great saying that goes...
...it's not about the destination it's about the journey, but it's the destination that determines the journey. I felt this today as I took part in my third Private Mentoring day at Student of the Horse, from Theory to Practical, I was reminded how hugely beneficial it is to think about what it is we are aiming for. A Clear Picture! This then gives more structure and meaning to our journey.... (read more)
Winter is a time of year for sitting in front of cosy fires, reading long books and hibernating!
The last thing your body wants to do on a freezing January morning is get down to the yard before it’s even light for a morning training session – particularly when there are ominous clouds above threatening sleet every two minutes, as was the case last Wednesday. But, the beginning of the New Year is EXACTLY the time for getting out on to the yard early (or whenever you can,) sneaking in a... (read more)
My first Private Mentoring day with Arran and Mark took place on one of the windiest and wintery days this year. I was quite anxious of the drive, but boy was it worth the trip.
When I arrived, I was very thankful for the cosy Theory Hut, cake and coffee at the ready and the warmth of the fiery hot log burner, whilst Ari took comfort munching away at hay in the barn. It was one of those days when my own 'Basic Horsemanship Skills' were put to the test from the very start. I was grateful I had developed my ability to pull a trailer over the last 2 years, attaining my... (read more)
It’s like I’ve just found the translation book for riding with your seat, now I just need to learn the language!
Yesterday I re-discovered my riding seat! I haven’t suddenly, or miraculously developed the perfect riding seat – indeed, there’s still a lot of practice I need to do first in order to refine my seat (it would seem that habits may take a long time to develop but they take an even longer time to break!) That said, following my private mentoring session at Student of the Horse yesterday, I was... (read more)
Wow... what a start to our 12 month private mentoring programme with Student of the Horse!
Taking part in the Live event this weekend was a fantastic experience and the first step towards being part of the Student of the Horse team. The sun was shining, people were smiling and the horse's got to sparkle up! Ari enjoyed a hot bath and solarium before the big day!! Not only did it stretch mine and Ari's comfort zone but it also gave me more awareness of where we are at in our training. ... (read more)
So much "Gratitude" for everyone that attended the Live Event this weekend at Dudmaston Stud.
It was so great to work with so many wonderful Students of the Horse, catch up with friends from the past and the future, Collaborative, Creative, Awesomness Also thank you to all of the 2018 advancing course delegates and liveries that supported the event, your careful, thoughtful, openness to observe and listen to horses, really shows in you work Also, a big welcome and congratulations... (read more)
Liberty clinic adds amazing layer of learning for Fliss and Ari.
Fliss and her horse Ari trained with Student of the Horse last week, and you can see how they got on below: “Ari and I had an awesome time training with Arran Parker at ‘Student of the Horse’ last week, returning home Friday night with the biggest smile on my face. We worked on counter canter to flying lead changes on the straight and his passage at liberty. It was amazing to feel how ready... (read more)
Thanks to the ever popular and increasing demand for our Foundation Clinics, we are now offering additional clinics which will be taking place on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July 2016. Make the most of this fantastic opportunity for both you and your horse and book your place now.
Thanks to the ever popular and increasing demand for our Foundation Clinics, we are now offering additional clinics which will be taking place on 1st, 2nd and 3rd July 2016. Make the most of this fantastic opportunity for both you and your horse and book your place now. Helen and her horse Fi attended our clinic last year and you can see how they got on below: “Fi & I met Arran about 18 months... (read more)