Equestrian Background

Sunny trying School halt

I’ve always been passionate about horses, – ever since I was a small child, despite parental anxieties.  I was brought up in a musical and artistic household, but horses were always my passion. I drew them obsessively and begged riding lessons, so I started riding when I was very young.

I was always very determined to learn more and read many books on equine behaviour, ethology,  nutrition,  massage therapies, biomechanics, classical dressage training and many of the classical old masters writings.

I trained with dressage trainer, Tricia Douglas – taking my chestnut mare Adams Little Gem for lessons with her, but at first only riding her Grand Prix  horse on lunge twice weekly  – working on my position for many months before I was allowed to ride him off lunge and then bring my own horse to her for lessons.

I spent time learning from Heather Moffett in Devon about the riders seat and use of the aids, and found her simulator weekend very helpful. I went on to became a Level 3 EE Teacher.

I was interested with Straightness Training at first, right at the start of the online courses beginning and passed many evaluations within the system in a short time, but it evolved in a direction I did not wish to follow, so I decided to concentrate on learning from the Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderup – which was the original source of Straightness Training.  I remain both fulfilled and fascinated by The Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderup.

Ylvie Fros has been a superbly helpful accredited and certified AAoR by Bent Branderup trainer for me since meeting her in Holland at her home in Lunteren. Her consistently good insights and detailed lessons have been immensely helpful to me over the years and I am truly grateful to her for her support.

Kathrin Branderup -Tannous has remained a repeatedly huge source of deeper insights for me particularly concerning refinements of AAoR seat training.

Kathryn Wallbergs’ lessons had incredible detail and accuracy which I still refer to and found really helpful.

Monika Sanders lessons help me to find ever more softness, yet retaining precision. The Military approach being balanced with the Hippy brain approach.

Christofer Dahlgrens’ sense of fun was a refreshing series of lessons.

Bent Branderups own lessons with me have been straight to the point and super accurate in defining issues and helping to find the solutions. Each one is a detailed revelation.

Shawna Karrasch and Ben Hart have both gently helped make good progressions from thought provoking analysis.

Peggy Hogan has been a wonderful teacher and even online lessons in her courses have given much food for thought each time.

Karolina Westmuch Frimans excellent courses have been truly brilliantly put together and add yet more layers to understanding equine behaviours and emotions.

I learned to use the The Equine Touch in 2017 and I am delighted to have taken this to Level 3 ET.  I find it very much compliments and helps horses in their training.

“Who am I in my horses eyes” is a phrase I have heard Bent say many times and this is constantly in my thoughts as I train.

I love to ride but I also really enjoy working with horses from the ground as I find that the Work in Hand, AAoR lunging, Long Reining and Groundwork, is wonderful for developing trust and connection and their education is almost a by product.

Every time we are with our horses, we are educating them, whether we mean to or not.

I use work from the ground of varying kinds to help horses in the following:

Correcting asymmetries

Gymnastic exercises the horse without the burden of a rider

Helping horse to overcome stiffness

Refining the aids

Introducing lateral movements

Developing collection

Developing a more forwards posture

Preparation for ridden movements

Helping horse to become a “yes sayer”

Overcoming anxiety and tension

Improving the gymnastic biomechanics and posture

Improving hind quarters ability to flex and bend in all joints

Maintaining and improving older horses suppleness

Teaching the horse the language of the aids for ridden work

Training small ponies without needing to ride

Providing variety within the training schedules

Relaxing the horses back muscles

Rehabilitation of the horses body

Rehabilitation of the horses mind

Long reining Uralita

Sunny Piaffe

Fox in hand