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Category: General Blog

  1. Catching up with our sponsored rider Philippa.

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    Catching up with our sponsored rider Philippa.

    champs rosettes

    When Sharon asked me to write a blog, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I’ve never written one before, so this is a first. And it’s a theme of ‘firsts’ that I’m going to stick with.


    As you’ll know from the introductory post, Wiggins is the first ex-racehorse that I’ve owned. Through him I’ve had my first attempts at affiliated dressage, ridden at my first championships and had my first broken bones! But I’ve also had many firsts since working with Sharon – not just when I’m riding like when we tried our first flying changes – but unmounted as well, through our mindset sessions.


    As a typical Yorkshire lass, I’ve been very much brought up to have a ‘get on with it’ attitude – we’re very hardy us Yorkshire folk. Counselling, therapy, mindset and anything else in that sort of vein have never been something that’s been on my radar. When Sharon said a monthly mindset session was part of the sponsorship, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was sceptical. However, they are not like I expected. I have learned so much about what I can and can’t control, how to deal with the things I can’t control, how to turn a perceived negative into a positive, how to reduce tension when riding…the list goes on. The sessions really are helping me to reframe things and put a positive spin on them when they don’t go the way I wanted or hoped. And I’m not being paid to say this.


    Take the RoR regional championships as an example. Last year, they were an unmitigated disaster (and I know that’s not putting a positive spin on it, but they really were). Someone even told me I should have Wiggins put to sleep because he was ‘screwed in the head’. I was determined to qualify again this year but was incredibly anxious about them, hoping it wouldn’t be a repeat performance.


    I worry about everything – from the weather to the warm-up arena, to thinking I’ll forget the test halfway through to Wiggins being beside himself with fear. So dragging myself out to the champs again was a big ask. BUT! During the mindset sessions we worked on a plan for the warm-up, we worked on what to do if it was raining, we worked on what to do if the test went wrong, we worked on what to do if Wiggins was wound up. And as if someone knew all the things that we’d been working on, when the day came for the champs, we had all the above thrown at us!


    The weather was dire, I forgot a bit of the test (which I haven’t told Sharon) and lost 2 marks, the warm-up was packed, and Wiggins was shaking like a leaf as soon as I pulled the trailer ramp down. But do you know what? Despite all of that we came 3rd – just missing out on our qualifying ticket for the nationals at Aintree. And do you know why? Because I stuck to the plan. When I saw Wiggins was shaking, I knew I had to be calm for him so I focused on my breathing and stayed calm. When it was absolutely pouring down, I just thought, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? We’ll get wet.’ When the warm-up arena was packed, I stuck to my guns and did the warm-up I wanted to do. When the judge rang the bell to say I’d gone wrong, I just re-rode the movement correctly without panicking. And doing all that paid off. And it was everything we’d talked about during our mindset sessions. 

     wiggins champs

    Sharon’s talking about hypnosis next…my next blog might have pictures of me dancing like a chicken – who knows?! (I don’t think that’s what she has in mind.)


  2. Holistic Training

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    An Entirely Holistic Approach to Your Training..

    Brown Aesthetic Photo Collage Instagram Story 

    Years ago, training was given to the rider while on a horse and that was the end of it. Your horse improved and all was well. Then there was an emphasis on how riders could help their horses more by being better balanced, and the elite riders could have nutritional and physical training to add another level to the training.

    Then later along came biomechanics, for both horse and rider. Great! We can now see the effects of our imbalance while on board, a great visual to make us more aware of our body positioning.

    These things seemed to be used by “ELITE” level riders, but not much was available for the “everyday” rider.

    Further along the road we were introduced to the above biomechanics and rider physio, meaning the crookedness we saw can now be corrected. Lovely, now we can all benefit.

    As humans we are naturally wonky! It is no secret. We are also – mostly – not ambidextrous, which means we favour one side against the other. So, what came next, Pilates (and the likes) for riders. Excellent.

    We are now fully aware of our bodies, imbalances and our horses are saying “thank you” to us for starting to sort this out, making their jobs easier.

    As the years go by, further investments are being made into how we can further make our horses lives even easier. Not just for the elite either, it is now available to everyone who wants to make the difference.

    Having watched this side of our riding develop it occurred to me that I wanted to be able to offer all these things to my clients, and those who are investigating it. So back in the later 2000’s I undertook the length process of becoming a Professional Nutritionist, closely followed by studying for the Level 3 in Fitness Training and became a Personal Trainer which when combined meant I could offer further levels of training. I continued with this for many years and saw rider reap the rewards of it, both on and off the horse.

    The physical and nutritional side of the training was then joined by “Mind setting”, which created the ULTIMATE rider. By feeding yourself right, being fit and supple AND having a correct mind set combine to make a very powerful package indeed, the results of these alongside the ridden coaching has taken riders from Good to EXCELLENT, the horses are boosted, and competition tension has been dramatically reduced in the horse. What a mixture this holistic approach has created! I then studied and passed the Centre10 Course and went further to become an NLP Master Practitioner, which involves a deep understanding of HOW the mind works and helping rewire it to work WITH us rather than against.

    I haven’t really advertised the Holistic side previously as I tend to add it in as a general coaching addition but feel there is now a market which is largely missing out on these parts of their riding.

    It isn’t about turning a couch potato into an Olympic athlete; it is about taking YOU as YOU ARE NOW and “tweaking” things to take your riding to a whole new level over a period which is suitable for YOU.

    I am offering sessions in person, remotely (Zoom etc) or in groups.

    Don’t panic, I am not going to tell you to start eating only vegetables or salads! Or start running 10k a week, this is a programme tailored to YOU.

    Training Package Offered: Fitness – Nutrition – Mind Setting – Biomechanics. Oh, and clearly, riding!