I just wanted to write and thank you for your excellent Rider Confidence Course on Saturday. I thought it was unique, inspirational and brilliant, applicable to any level of rider and indeed much of he content to all walks of life, not just horses. I took my horse cross country schooling on Monday and have decided that I am best to go into every fence repeating "we can, we can, we can, we can" from 4 strides out, instead of my usual "can we, can we, can we?".
I would highly recommend this course to pretty much any level of rider and, in fact, I think I might even like to re-take it some day.
I hope your hand heals quickly. Your horses and beautiful yard are a credit to you. I also learnt some excellent tips for further training my own horse.
Sam Davis - August 2016
What can I say but "Amazing"
Thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge with us.
I attended the confidence course yesterday and this morning I hacked out my mare alone.
My reins were loose and we had the best time we've had, when she started to spook I didn't react or tense up so she calmed immediately :-)
Thank you for helping me to start enjoying my riding again Xx
Lydia August 2016
Dear Karl and Zana,
On Sunday, my horse reared. Thanks to the skills you shared on the rider confidence course I sat out the first rear. A short while after he reared again, only this time due to the boggy conditions underfoot in a ploughed field, he lost his balance and toppled backwards with me still mounted. The friends I was hacking out with were horrified and felt helpless as they watched. Somehow, the drills you taught became second nature - I managed to keep my seat until the last moment when I knew which way he was falling to slip my stirrups, let go of his mane and push clear. I ended up with him landing and rolling onto my lower leg and was able to scramble clear as he got up.
I can't say thank you enough. I didn't panic and it seems as if what you planted in my brain instinctively kicked in. I credit you guys for the reason why, other than a little bit of whiplash, I am fine and in one piece. Best of all, so is my horse, who patiently waited for me to get up and walked home with me looking so upset and rubbing his face against me as if to say sorry! Fortunately we have identified the reason for him behaving so out of character - which has been resolved - and I am back in the saddle with no loss of confidence!
Here's a photo of the saddle - as you can see we were fortunate to be on a track the side of a ploughed field at the time. I have no hesitation in recommending your course - I had never thought I would be in the position I was this weekend and firmly believe all riders should attend and benefit from your course.
Thank you so very much.
I came to your riding confidence course at the beginning of February and thought now was a good time to let you know how much I feel I’ve come on since then and what a difference your course made.
I loved the day! For me, it really put the fun back into riding where some bad experiences on the army horses had left me so nervous I just wasn't enjoying being around horses. I think the highlight of the day was rearing your gorgeous stunt horse and just walking away from a day around horses with a huge smile on my face. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the hypnosis as I’d never had experience of it before but I feel it made me relaxed and helped re-train my brain to see horses as fun rather than dangerous.
Since the course I've continued weekly jumping lessons and hacks on calmer horses in preparation for my riding holiday in June, I took my first tumble last night. I fell safely, didn’t hurt myself in the slightest, laughed it off, jumped back on and re-rode the entire course of course in a forward position.
Without a doubt if had took a fall before your course there’s no way I would have done all that.
Everyone who helped out on the day was friendly and professional and we were never made to feel embarrassed for our nerves, it was amazing to watch everyone progress throughout the day and how everyone was queuing up to throw themselves off Nelly by the end of the falling section!
I’m looking forward to coming back to try and trick or stunt day very soon!
Please do feel free to use my comments on your site or facebook as I think everyone who is held back in riding at all should come to you guys.
Thanks so much
I just wanted to let you know I had a great time on the confidence course last week, (19/01/14) , really enjoyed it. To be honest before I came I was a bit skeptical about the hypnosis section and how successful it would be, and having come away on the day I didn't think it had had much of an effect but I'd really enjoyed the strategy of the mind and application of that thinking onto riding.
The physical side of the course was really fun (I know it wasn't necessarily supposed to be), I have a very healthy sense of adventure but have been playing it a bit safe recently due to various riding experiences, but I really enjoyed the rearing and falling sections – and I'm now seriously tempted to sign up for the stunt riding day!
What was brilliant about this course was the practical way we learned to approach situations that happen when riding horses so that the thought of this coming about becomes familiar and not scary, at least for now I feel mentally able to deal with what comes my way.
Today I rode my dressage horse as I normally would, he's a safe ride in many ways, his bucking doesn't put you on the floor and if he bolts its through sheer excitement, rather than naughtiness. I'm not weary of him at all, but then he's become my comfort blanket of a ride. So, when I was offered a ride on a more complicated horse this afternoon, to my own surprise I found myself accepting without hesitation. He's known to be very spooky, will turn and bolt on a six pence, and not to be trusted jumping. For the first time in ages I felt confident to use my skill and ability to deal with a horse like this, I didn't feel anxious or nervous and we even completed a clear round of show jumps! I totally forgot to put my back protector on, another comfort blanket. I know that at some point I will fall off a horse, but now I feel better prepared to deal with it, and much more confident in my ability to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Everyone at the yard was interested to hear what I'd been up to last week, and the number of people who I've shared a laugh with about paying to fall off a horse, but my riding instructor today was amazed at the change in my attitude and impressed with the piece of riding I was able to demonstrate. Two weeks ago I was playing it safe, this week I made a complicated horse look like a novice ride – I've been told time and time again I have all the ability but none of the self belief and now that I'm writing this to you, I think the hypnosis that I was initially a bit skeptical about might just have paid off!!!! Thank you so much, to all the team – I'm thrilled to be enjoying the benefits of having taken the course!
For anyone who might be considering the course I would say it really isn't just for nervous riders, I'm not nervous but bad experiences had definitely clouded my perspective when riding. This course has lifted that cloud and is allowing me to focus on the positive and ride to my full potential again. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to shake off a bad experience regardless of their riding ability.
I hope I can come back and take the stunt riding day soon, this definitely whetted my appetite for a bit more adventure, and reminded me why I love playing with horses!!
Thanks again to the whole team.
Just wanted to say a big thankyou...the confidence day and “It’s normal just ride the horse” has made a huge difference to me and my Welsh cob mare Star. I can’t believe I am beginning to jump her and hack her out. She is totally different as I am not gripping and tightening. I can’t thank you enough!
Brilliant course on Thursday, well worth the trip over from Ireland. I will recommend it to all my friends. Thanks Karl & Zana, great fun
Hi Karl and Zana,
"I just wanted to say a big thank you for the Rider Confidence course, probably the best investment I have made in a long time. I went to riding camp the following week which I was a little bit nervous about as last year due to the excitement I came off my horse in the first 5 minutes.
This year there were over 90 horses and ponies, tents flapping in the wind, children, dogs etc and yes the horses were a bit excitable on the first day. Oscar my 16.3 warmblood spooked a few times and reared (which despite the odd bronc he has never done before) But I just calmly held on and gave the reins and can honestly say it didn't phase me in the slightest. The instructor even commented on how much more relaxed I was and the improvement in my riding position. The rest of the week passed by uneventfully which I believe was due to me not resuming my old vice like grip on the reins when he had previously made me feel insecure.
I can't recommend this course enough. Hoping to come back and try the archery next :-)"
I had read the testimonials about your Rider Confidence Course from other clients and took it all with a pinch of salt. However, after recently attending your course myself I felt compelled to write to you and thank you for the incredible effect it has had on my own confidence.
My horse had been with me for the past four years but after a couple of accidents I had lost my confidence completely to the point where everyone was riding my lovely boy except me. He is well behaved, well mannered and a complete school master who's never put a foot wrong with any rider and I hadn't been able to put my finger on what exactly I was scared of. I had tried different teachers, taking it really slowly, lessons on a mechanical horse and even watching other people ride him but eventually I was coming up with any excuse to not get on myself; "I'm not feeling well today", "I'm in too much of a rush today", "I'll wait until the weather's better at the weekend".
I finally realised that I was getting upset watching my sharer having fun with my horse whilst all I was doing was the work. I signed up to your confidence course as a last attempt to get over my issues. I had made my mind up that if this didn't work I would have to sell my best friend, which would have broken my heart.
The course was wonderful. With a small group of people of different ages and abilities there was no pressure to be brave but every activity was fun and we all supported each other from the start. I never thought I could do some of the things that we did, especially on horses I didn't know, but by the end of the day I was wanting to do it all again. I don't know if it was the hypnotherapy, the comeradery or the activities but whatever it was, it worked! This week I have been riding again and hacking out without any sign of nerves at all. This course has completely changed my attitude to riding and now I can't wait until the next time.
I want to thank you all and your wonderful horses for taking away the anxiety and giving back the sheer pleasure of being with my horse. I really hope you continue to share your gifts with more struggling riders for years to come."
I can't believe the difference this course has made to me. I rode the day after I did it and the horse I ride (usually the most docile lazy pony in the yard) had a little fizzy fit. Yes, I was scared BUT I stayed on, knew I COULD stay on and even agreed to go and trot him in the indoor school to calm him down. But the difference has not only been around horses. (Some private content omitted) After the hypnotherapy and working on positive thinking I feel able to cope. I cannot thank you enough. This course is absolutely totally and utterly BRILLIANT and you guys are life changers.
Just to say a big thank you for the fantastic lesson last week. It was brilliant and great for Sharon to see me doing scary things with a smile on my face and laughing. I will definitely be booking another time with you in the near future.
Alice and Sharon
Just wanted to say a big thankyou...the confidence day and “It’s normal just ride the horse” has made a huge difference to me and my Welsh cob mare Star. I can’t believe I am beginning to jump her and hack her out. She is totally different as I am not gripping and tightening. I can’t thank you enough!"
So last night I tested out the skills I learnt when I did the Rider Confidence Course with Zana and Karl!!
Yep I took a tumble at speed. But at no moment did I panic, I just somehow came off and rolled away from my pony just as we had been taught on the course. I then got back on and continued like nothing had happened, and would ride again tonight if I could.
I did the course to help me get over my previous accident and gain confidence, I knew it had helped me massively in that part. Until last night I didn't appreciate just how much more the course is than just for confidence. ALL riders would benefit from this course and I cannot recommend it enough.
So a big thank you to Zana & Feth
Did this course the end of may. Last weekend I did my first solo hack in 13 years thank you