Gallery 5

Marie's Story

Marie Riding Confidence Marie Riding Confidence

Marie didn't ride for a year after nerves forced her to give up the riding she loved. Marie was so miserable without a horse in her life that she decided to do something about her fears and had an Enjoy Riding one-to-one with Caroline. After spending the day learning and putting into practice Enjoy Riding confidence skills, Marie went to Poplar Park EC to hack out with Caroline in the forest and heath. As you can see from these pictures, despite the rain she had the time of her life! She cantered out in the open and survived a spook with no problems. Marie used to lean forward in the saddle but, having worked on this with a changing behaviour exercise earlier in the day, she sat up beautifully straight!

Marie Riding Confidence Marie Riding Confidence

An update from Marie: "Just a little note to let you know I had a good riding lesson on a lovely 15.3hh cob yesterday. Even rode past a great big bright orange tarpaulin with no wobbles! I even got told I was leaning back a little too far, a massive achievement for someone who has spent years riding in jockey position!!!"

Marie's Fantastic News!
Marie wants to share her wonderful news: she has bought her very own horse! And she's winning rosettes! Marie says: "I bought Orchide last July and we're still going strong. I couldn't have done it without the help you gave me in getting my confidence back. So thank you!" Well done, Marie, you and the lovely Orchide are truly an inspiration to nervous riders everywhere.

Marie Riding Confidence Marie Riding Confidence Marie Riding Confidence

Michelle's Story

As a teenager I was "jumping mad" and had no fear of big and technical fences and would practically jump anything in my path though as I got older and turned my hand to pure dressage, the jumping almost became a distant memory and I rarely thought about. Nearly ten years later I decided that it would be great to start jumping again just for fun so one day I set up a few small cross poles in the outdoor school at home, trotting towards the first fence I froze in complete terror, I just couldn't do it, everything in me was screaming "what you doing Michelle, its just a little cross pole, you have jumped thousands of these in your time, don't be so silly!" But to my dismay I just could not bring myself to do it. I took the fences down and decided to do some trotting poles instead, even trotting towards these I struggled, still feeling fearful for my life but managed to get over them. After this fiasco I decided that maybe jumping was not for me any more, maybe it's just not meant to be so I put it to the back of my mind and just carried on what I thought I did best "dressage".

I work as an online sales rep for and stumbled across Caroline's website and saw her as a potential client for advertising so I picked up the phone and gave her a call. I just dropped in conversation that I was petrified of jumping and even going over trotting poles, within minutes Caroline understood exactly how I felt, at last someone understood my dilemma! Caroline thought I would certainly benefit from one of her Confidence Masterclass sessions so without further ado I booked my self in and even persuaded my friend Stephanie to come along for the journey!

We arrived at Caroline's Saturday 6th February 2010 at 9.30am. If I'm honest I was still rather sceptical about the whole situation as I never thought it would be possible to get me over a few trotting poles, let alone a fence. The day was spent running through a wide range of techniques and skills which can be used to change the way you think feel and behave in problem situations. I could not believe how simple the exercises were yet so effective. 5pm however was crunch time: Caroline had booked a private jumping lesson for me at the local riding school called Poplar Park with a very experienced instructor called Jonjo. Using the techniques I had learnt during the day I did not even feel that nervous. "Odd", I thought! So on Bert I jumped, feet in stirrups and off we went, within ten minutes of me being on board I was already happily trotting over trotting poles without a care in the world, then came the dreaded cross poles, we stopped for a brief second while Caroline and I ran through some of the exercises, then it was time. I picked up my reins and off I went heading straight for the cross pole! Where had the fear gone? I did it, I actually did it!!! Round again, and again, then there was a double, a treble, there was no stopping me, I was again a jumping machine!!

I never thought in a million years that I would jump again and cannot thank Caroline enough; she has literally changed my life! I have not just conquered my fear of jumping but have also started to enjoy riding at home again and my whole outlook on life is so much more positive. Caroline you are amazing and I could never thank you enough!!!!!

Biggest of smiles!!!


Kate contacted me through a web forum. She'd just got a pony on loan but things weren't going well: "He broncs and rears and gallops off and there are certain places in the school he likes to do it and I cannot take him on hacks because of it. A few weeks ago we were jumping in the outdoor and he was going really well and as usual in the top corner of the school he started to bronc so I stopped and calmed him for a while. Then we set off up to a jump and I was still a bit nervous. Before the jump he stopped and spun round trying to rear and I fell onto the pole. Now I have fear that every time we jump he will do it again. I don't think this is helping with my confidence and I don't have high belief in myself anyway so can you help ???"

Kate is a very clever young lady and obviously has the makings of a great horsewoman! She put the advice I gave her into practice and updated me with this: "THANK YOU! I tried your tips and did some joining up work with him and he has calmed down so much to the point were other inexperienced riders can have a go on him. He still has his moments here and there but they are getting not as often each time i ride. I took him on his first hack the other day he was a bit scared of the cars but better behaved than my friends horse who all of a sudden decided to run off with her! I am really now looking forward to my first competition tommorow as I now know that there is nothing to worry about as his behaviour will not happen in the arena, he has gotten so good I can now actually ride bareback. Thank you so much this couldn't have happened without you. loads of love Kate. PS The video is on how far we have come."

Three weeks later, Kate posted this video. What more needs to be said? What an achievement! Kate has achieved all this by changing what she was thinking and how she was doing things. Enjoy Riding can teach you how to do it too.

Jess is another young lady who made changes and got great results. Jess had been nervous for a long time and hadn't cantered out on a hack for years. After a one to one day with me, Jess hacked out in the dusk, through the autumn forest, with Poplar Park cob Fergus. She trotted and cantered - downhill in places - and smiled like a Cheshire Cat all the way! Well done, Jess. What a fantastic base to build on with your own horse, Woody.


Jess gives us an update on how things are going with her lovely horse Woody: "Just thought I would send you a few pictures of Woody and I working together last night, in the bottom school which I previously have been too nervous to go in ever since he spooked and took off with me down the bottom end because of the trees! I think the pictures speak for themselves :)

He threw in a big spook last night at some children running down the lane behind the trees screaming, and although I started to panic, I managed to stop him, take some deep breaths and remind myself why I wanted to ride him and why I enjoy it. Although we are not cantering or jumping yet, you eat an elephant piece by piece and I think the difference is that I can see us doing it in the future!

He is a lot better at the mounting block and doesn't always do his usual backup and spin round trick, last night he let me get on him and stood still after I was on - he is also getting a lot better at halting under saddle too. Thank you!" Jess is now starting to canter Woody. Brilliant progress!

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