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I started having lessons with Sharon about 6 weeks ago now, I had got stuck as how to unlock my horses ability to improve her dressage.
Sharon took us back to basics, and made everything very clear for my horse to understand, and when she became stuck/confused approaching it a different way so she could manage how to do it, allowing her time to build muscle strength before we move onto the next stages.
The transformation in her is quite amazing, going from a giraffe like thoroughbred into a dressage diva!!
Sharon’s way of teaching is calm and put across in a way that is easy to understand.
Sharon is undoubtedly the best instructor I have had. She focuses completely on you and getting the best out of you and your horse. I love her training methods - after every lesson I come away feeling confident and with something to focus on. I can’t recommend her enough.
Having started riding later in my life, without the confidence of youth, I am very grateful to have fouind Sharon to help me learn. She has given me such confidence and I always come out of every lesson feeling I have learned/gained something - even when starting the lesson sometimes it seemed like it was my first time again! She has a way of turning it around every time and will always look at different ways to explain things if it isn't making sense to you. I was very worried when she moved away that my learning journey would end but due to the ability to teach remotely it certainly hasn't. She can still tell what muscles you have tensed from miles away! Me and my grumpy old mare are very grateful that we found you.
I’ve been having lessons with Sharon for several years now, and she is without a doubt the best instructor I’ve had! The change in both me and my horse has been amazing, and she has been so supportive and encouraging throughout our journey.
When Sharon told me she was moving away, I was gutted and hated the thought of having to find a new instructor, but then the idea of virtual lessons came up. During the last 12 months we’ve all become accustomed to the likes of Zoom and Facetime, but a horseriding lesson over a video call? Certainly not something I’d have thought of before, but if it meant I could continue lessons with Sharon I was more than willing to try it!
Despite a few technical difficulties at the beginning, the lessons have gone surprisingly well, so much so that some of our best ever sessions have been over Facetime! I don’t know if its because Murphy doesn’t have the distraction of someone on the ground, but it’s amazing how much we’ve come on over the past couple of months. It’s so easy to do too - I put my phone at C, pop in my wireless headphones and away we go!
I highly recommend Sharon to anyone looking for a new instructor, and to anyone who is missing her since she’s moved - please give the virtual lessons a try, I promise you won’t regret it!
I was absolutely gutted when Sharon said she was moving away as I immediately thought that would be the end of my lessons with her. However having settled into remote lessons using my phone and Bluetooth wireless earphones Sharon can still see what my outside leg is doing when I’m at the far end of the school in Hampshire and she’s in Yorkshire! Lessons are just as good if not better and supplemented with video analysis this has really helped as Sharon can see what I get up to when left to my own devices! And we then know what to focus on in my next lesson. So happy my lessons and work with such a brilliant coach can continue.
When I first started lessons with Sharon I was a very nervous rider - having lost my confidence following an accident and riding a pony that was not suitable.
Sharon has helped build my confidence back up slowly and safely, and spent time being empathetic and listening to my woes but at the same time cleverly encouraging and inspiring me to push myself further out of my comfort zone each week.
I cannot recommend Sharon’s teaching enough. She has helped me immensely and I am confident she will continue to do so in the future.
I’ve now been with Sharon for 4 years, I’ve met other trainers at various clinics during this time but none of them have made as much sense as Sharon. I’ve overcome my fears involving a new spooky horse who has now become a lovely ‘soft’ horse, I feel I’ve overcome lots of old bedded-in habits and my love and understanding of horses has grown even more. I’ve competed, I’ve gone out and about, and more importantly I’ve got the confidence to try new things. Sharons understanding of the rider and the horse is second to none...
I’ve been having lessons with Sharon for just over 2 years now, and the change in my horse has been amazing! She has really helped remind me how enjoyable and rewarding schooling can be. I’m a much better rider now thanks to her, and my horse is in the best shape he’s ever been (despite being 19 years old!). I cannot recommend her enough
I was lucky enough to discover Sharon 3 years ago.. and to be honest I can’t imagine having not found her! Right from my first lesson (as a stubborn 12 year old on my ‘jumping pony’) the whole concept of dressage changed for me. I think it’s fair to say, I was firmly set against dressage and thought it was boring and pointless. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Now, 3 years down the line, I can say that I have been converted! I now have a constantly growing understanding of ‘dressage’. I love spending time schooling and working on my riding and my lovely horse, Podge! Which has certainly paid off as the difference in his way of going is awesome to see and the whole process is very rewarding!
I also do all of my showjumping and cross country training with Sharon (which of course she teaches at just as high a standard... definitely a talent!!) and Podge’s fast, flat jump is now powerful and springy!
The way Sharon understands not only the rider but every horse she teaches makes a huge difference to training - she works on the partnership as a whole. The time and enthusiasm she puts into her clients is pretty hard to compete with! Sharon is enthusiastic and confidence giving - when she says Podge and I can do something, it pretty much means we can and if not we will do it anyway and Sharon will say ‘I told you so’!!
I am now starting my (and Podge’s) first British Eventing season which in typical Sharon style she has completely thrown herself into!
Sharon is just brilliant and the progression I have made as a rider is thanks to her!Most importantly, I always come away from my lessons having learnt something new and with a smile on my face (even after working with no stirrups!!) and after all isn’t that what horse riding is about?!
I have only recently started lessons with Sharon and all I can say is wow! A little back story first, at the beginning of the year I took on an underweight, under muscled 12 year old ex racer mare due to my other mare (Big chunky Cob) being semi retired. After my first lesson Sharon was able to identify her weak points and give me guidance on how to rectify these. Since this we have worked on both myself (not had many lessons in my years of riding) and Lara and through this I feel we have both bonded and improved the not so steady relationship we had at the beginning of our journey.
Sharon is an incredible women and honestly just brings such a lovely atmosphere to an arena, I for the first time in a long time feel I can actually ride and I'm improving each session. She is encourage, compassionate and puts so much work into each horse and rider she teaches. I could not live without Sharon!!
I cant wait to see what the rest of the year brings and much both Lara and I can improve :)
I’m going back a good few years now but Sharon taught my daughter to ride from the age of seven on a very naughty pony! Beth was bucked off several times and if it wasn’t for Sharon’s skill and encouragement may not, on numerous occasions, have got back in the saddle. Beth, now 21, sadly lost her much loved pony last year but is still riding and has very fond memories of her lessons with Sharon. Can’t recommend this lady enough.
Having not had riding lessons since being a very young girl (35+ years ago!) entering into the school for the first time, I was full of in-trepidation. Sharon managed to improve my confidence from the first lesson and I left the school with a huge smile on my face.
Sharon is an extremely talented coach, she has a unique ability to impart her knowledge and help you learn and progress during every interaction. Both extremely green to start, my mare and I have progressed so much over the last 12 months she has taught us, and my understanding of the interaction between horse and rider has improved fourfold. She has enabled horse and rider to feel like one.
She is a simply brilliant instructor as well as an extremely knowledgable horsewoman and I would not hesitate to recommend Sharon to any rider of any ability.
My sister and I have been using Sharon for 2 years now, having both jump and flatwork lessons with her.
She has completely transformed us as riders and our horses as well. I used to dread flatwork with my boy, knowing that It would be a constant battle to keep his attention and to get him to listen to me. Sharon has taken the time to get to know Merv and myself, ensuring that we reach our full potential in lessons.
2 years down the line, not only does Merv now listen and respect me, we’ve gone from having very little control in a gag, to being able to jump round a course in a full cheek snaffle!! Something I most definitely wasn’t expecting to happen! Mervs overall physique has improved drastically, he’s no longer upside down and is really starting to look and move like a real dressage horse!
My sisters pony Summer was diagnosed with an SI injury a few years ago and before seeing Sharon, we were told she’d be lucky to come back as a hacking pony. Sharon has completely changed the way Summer moves, going from a pony who would walk very wide legged behind due to not being able to step under herself, to a pony who looks like she’s never had an issue! Sharon really focused on ensuring Summer was holding herself correctly, to ensure the correct muscles were developing to support her SI joint. 2 years on, summer has exceeded all expectations and is now back jumping and competing! I’ll be forever grateful to Sharon for helping us with both horses and can’t imagine using anyone else now! She really is one of a kind and instructors like her are incredibly hard to come by! ☺️
I started riding with Sharon about two and a half years ago when I decided to turn my upside down mare into a dressage pony and my years of happy hacking into something with foundation. Little did I know how lucky I was when the first trainer I encountered was Sharon. The pony bent the right way, I learnt how it feels when their back goes up, when the outline is not just pretty but actually 'true' and although I still find it frustratingly difficult sometimes with a new and very opinionated part bred silly Arab, I have come on leaps and bounds since Sharon came into my life. I bought the Arab Cross without even riding her (probably not recommended) and she can be a naughty so and so but my initial fear has been converted into humour and I now ride that horse the way she should be ridden instead of being slightly in awe of her. All thanks to the amazing, funny, reliable (and a bit bossy sometimes!) Sharon Johnson. I am now competing in dressage and have won a rosette in Dressage Anywhere.
I started having lessons with Sharon 3 years ago when my confidence was at an all time low. From that very first lesson my confidence grew and she has helped me build a strong bond with my horse. She is very patient and explains things in a way that you can understand. I'm always learning something new, about myself and my ability aswell as my horse's potential. I had never done any dressage before and we are now working towards Novice. I really can't recommend Sharon enough. She truly is one in a million!
Sharon has been teaching my daughter amazing flatwork, showjumping and cross country for the last three years. We would not change a thing about her. Sharon has a natural talent to read a horse and rider combination and understand where changes are needed. She has developed our horse’s balance and build so now people comment on how strong and well moving he is. My daughter has learnt how good dressage develops the ability to jump a course effectively. Sharon’s eye for perfection in both horse and rider is due to her getting to know them inside out. I cannot sing her praises enough, without her we would have second best.
Sharon has been giving our 10 year old daughter lesson's at home on her first pony. After the pony being a bit naughty in the early days we contacted Sharon and ask her to help our daughters confidence which had been seriously dented! she has slowly helped her regain her confidence and taught in a kind and friendly way that my daughter understands and responds well too. She is now back out there cantering and jumping!
Sharon has been a fantastic instructor to me. I had my first lesson when after a bad fall my confidence was at rock bottom. That didn't phase Sharon. I wasn't told to just get on with it. We started very slowly and carefully and gradually lesson by lesson my confidence has returned and we are now cantering around the school. Sharon gradually pushes the boundaries so you are making progress but not too quickly so that new found confidence is at risk of being lost!
Sharon is a rare breed in the horse world; she is on time and if she is going to be late (very rare) she texts to tell you!
Every lesson finishes on a high point and with a wide grin on my face.
I decided to have some lessons with Sharon when my horse came home after eventing for a few years. She is an extremely kind mare and is an easy ride as long as she is doing things her way, but obviously her way is not always the right way although she would have you believe differently. Sharon’s way of teaching suites both of us very well and her method of teaching and ability to change things depending on how opinionated my mare is on any particular day has enabled us to get some really good work from her. Over the last 18 months my mare has relaxed more of the time and is much more accepting of instructions and being asked to do things. She can be an excitable ride when she's being asked to done something she does not want to do but Sharon's persistence and different methods of achieving the same outcome always manages to calm things down. She always instills confidence and belief in yourself and strikes the right balance between encouragement and correction. I think now even my mare looks forward to her lessons - sometimes!
I have been having lessons with Sharon for just under a year and I can highly recommend her. We both had individual issues...Casper being very reluctant to go forward while schooling and was known to have a total paddy in the school. Sharon thought outside the box and used unique ideas and a calm and encouraging manner, not only is he more forward going but he is a much happier horse. Sharon is very motivated and it is contagious and I always finish my lessons feeling I have achieved something, sometimes just a simple oh I see and sometimes it's an eureka moment. Casper and I have still have quite a journey to go, but we are enjoying the experience thanks to Sharon.
I started having lessons with Sharon 3 months ago, with my 7 year old cob, Flash. At that time I was almost at giving up point, as I had had a catalogue of disasters with various horses, since the loss of my long term mare (I had her 14 years) in 2012.
Sharon has helped build my confidence beyond imagination during this short time, with patience, humour, sensitivity and endless positivity. Also, she has been regularly 'having a little sit' on Flash after I have run out of steam in my lessons, pushing him way beyond what I was asking of him and teaching him all sorts of tricks, showing me what is possible with him, and giving me the confidence to try it myself! On top of that, Flash goes to Sharon for boot camp when we are on holiday, where everything he and I are learning is reinforced!
I feel so lucky to have come across Sharon and would thoroughly recommend her, without her I'm not sure I would still be riding....
Sharon is the best trainer I have ever had.
This is why I like her training so much:-
- Her ability to teach (ie get the message across) is incredible.
- She inspires you to get to the next stage (I am now working at Elementary level at home with first Elementary test planned for this Autumn)
- She is a miracle worker (in the 2.5 months that I have been having lessons with her, the speed with which we have progressed has been unbelievable!)
She is funny, kind, flexible, inspirational, talented and all-round AMAZING!
I am so so glad I found Sharon!
I have been struggling for some time to be able to articulate how much of an impact training with Sharon has had for me.
Over the years I had got into bad habits which had left me with a riding position which was unbalanced and ineffective. This coupled with frequent bouts of loss of confidence for no reason, where any positivity went AWOL, meant I was a passenger and a bad one at that.
Sharon has the patience of a saint putting up with my tears and arguments, she has the mind powers of a Jedi who has continually got me to achieve what I think is impossible and a wicked sense of humour which makes the pain worth it.
Neither I or Smartie are going to be dressage superstars, my goal is to get both of us working together correctly, with the help of Sharon I know we will do this. I won’t say I love every minute of it as it Sharon pushes me physically and mentally but the feeling of utter happiness when it comes together means I am absolutely loving the journey.
I have been having flat work lessons with Sharon for quite a few months now and have been really impressed by both her professionalism and confidence giving skills. I knew that my horse (Jack) had something in him but didn't quite know how to get it out! With Sharon's help both my riding and Jack's way of going has improved dramatically. I have a dressage horse and boy can he do lateral work lol! Sharon has taken her time to get to know both myself and Jack and each lesson is always a follow on from the last. Today was the icing on the cake as I competed in dressage at a local venue and did 2 tests. I got 1st for one with an amazing 72% and a 4th for the other. One very proud mummy and one very spoilt Jack! This would not have been achieved without Sharon's guidance so a huge thank you goes out to her.
I've been having lessons with Sharon for just over a year now, and the improvement in Fina and I is almost unbelieveable! I used to hate flatwork, but Sharon may turn me into a dressage rider yet! After many years with numerous instructors, I feel I have finally found one that not only understands the way my horse and I think, but also one that is committed to helping me achieve my goals and ambitions, whilst having a good laugh along the way. I am very grateful to Sharon, and look forward to many more lessons.
I started lessons with Sharon and my new pony in March this year after losing confidence with a past pony - she is great at explaining why something needs to be done the way it is and how it affects the horse which i love as it makes sense. I have along way to go but have hopes that i can achieve a decent standard of riding and benefit my pony too. Money well spent - and a fabulous source of information and advice too.
Herb and I have been training with Sharon for about 6 months and our progress has been fantastic! Herb always looks pretty but i struggled to get him working across his back and to keep him focused so we never achieved great dressage scores. Now that sharon has dealt with that little issue, we're doing lateral work and herb has a cadence to his stride. Sharon must have a degree in psychology cos she gets inside your head and makes you believe!
I used to find schooling rather tedious and would much rather hack out but since having lessons with Sharon Kilminster I now really enjoy it. I have always struggled to get my pony in an outline and working from behind, she used to put in minimal effort but now she works hard and I have learnt how to get the best out of her. Although our lessons are mainly flatwork, our jumping has really improved as well. I would highly recommend Kilminster Equestrian to anyone :)
I have only been riding for just under 4 years and I found out about Sharon after having a few unsuccessful lessons with other instructors, unfortunately they did not seem to grasp what my aims/goals were. From my first lesson with Sharon it was a huge success, she instantly understood what my problems were and how to resolve them and she has turned around my riding style. I have gone from strength to strength and that is from Sharon’s training style/plan and hard work in getting me to understand things more clearly (we now have plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments). Sharon has had a few challenges with me along the way as I suffered injuries from a car accident in Oct 2010 and when I finally got back to riding in 2011, she has really worked on areas to help me overcome my injuries and getting back to basics helped a great deal. I am now a much more confident rider and have achieved so much more since having lessons with Sharon and there is still plenty more to achieve in 2012. I really couldn’t ask for a better instructor she is an absolute star, always available on the end of the phone/email to answer your questions/concerns and has become a good friend. I am very proud to be a part of ‘Team Kilminster’.
I would like to say what a fabulous, inspiring trainer Sharon is. When i first went to her 18 months ago i was an empty shell after losing all my confidence from 3 horrible accidents.
After one assessment i was grinning like a cheshire cat and when i purchased my current horse - Sisko - Sharon helped to iron out a few problems we were having.
She has helped me overcome most of my fears (jumping not started yet) and with her help i've turned my horse from a "Giraffe" into a novice level Dressage Horse - not an easy task i can tell you. I am honoured and privileged to be a Team Kilminster Rider and without Sharons help i wouldn't have come this far.
She has become one of my closest and dearest friends and is an inspiration to all of us and i can't praise her highly enough.
Just a quick thank you for all your help with my new horse Charlie - a green, just backed, gawky, geeky looking 5 year old who didn't even know how to walk up or down a hill!
Although he has an amazing temperment he was a little like an overgrown puppy but with Sharon's patience and expert help he is now transforming into a well mannered, confident riding horse aswell as maturing into the most handsome chap! I cannot thank Sharon enough - she is an excellent horsewoman, superb business woman, a genuinely lovely person and now a great friend - I am so pleased Charlie and I joined Team K.
Such a sad day for Sharon today after the sudden loss of her beloved Pepsy. Recently re-united only to be so cruelly separated again. Such a brave lady.
R.I.P 'Mr P' - run free in Rainbow Bridge with King Eric until you can all be together again. xx
My heart goes out to this very kind, caring lady who's just lost the greatest, kindest horse and my favourite Gentle Giant.
R.I.P King Eric - run free in Rainbow Bridge until you can be together again. xx
I only met Sharon a short while ago but i soon discovered that she's probably the most genuine, kindhearted, nicest & honest instructor i've ever had. She has a fab horse in "Eric" and he's absolutely amazing to ride. xx
I started having lessons with Sharon about a year ago. I can honestly say that I found her at exactly the right time. I had been involved in an accident with my horse and had completely lost my way, ending up a nervous rider with a horse with issues! With Sharon\'s clear instruction, patience, and gentle persuasson! And the support of many horsey friends we are back on track, Thank You! Ali and Smiley
I started having lessons with Sharon about 6 months ago. I would highly recommend Sharon - in fact the majority of people at my yard now have lessons with her too! She gets the best out of me and my horse and inspires my confidence massively; Im very glad I found her!
Gina (and Porridge)
Stuart Fields (Daddy)
All the best with you new venture, website looks good.