I'm Amy and I have been around horses for what feels like my whole life. After receiving 3 riding lessons as a 7th birthday present I was immediately hooked and have never looked back!
I rode at a riding school until I was 14, then managed to persuade my non-horsey parents to let me have a pony on loan and moved to a small livery yard. It was here that I met my amazing second family and have been so lucky to ride their beautiful horses since I was 15. I started with Ferdi, a very cheeky 13.2hh pony. He taught me alot!
Our highlight has to be winning a Show Cross competition despite parting ways halfway round the XC course!! It wasn't counted in the final score as I fell off after the fence!
It turns out Ferdi knew the course better than me!
In 2002 Isaac was introduced into my life. He was the most stunning 17.2hh Irish Draught X and the best horse that I ever could have wished for. We were members of the riding club and did a handful of local competitions but our greatest love was hacking out. I spent countless hours in his saddle and when I rescued my Border Collie, Dexter in 2010 he tagged along on our rides and the 3 of us would head out for miles across the countryside.
Next came along my little Murphy Moo (not that there's much little about him!) We were happy hacking out but discovered that we quite liked jumping, and began riding to local events travelling up to an hour and a half each way to take part! Total dedication!
We competed in dressage, show jumping and one day events and were super fit! Most of the time my parents met me at the competitions but there were times when I had to go it alone and carried a rucksack with my competition wear, a bottle of water, and an apple for Murphy for the ride home!
He was a superstar and always came home with a rosette. I used all of my annual leave from work to allow us to compete and we loved it! He unfortunately went lame (just after I passed my trailer test!) and had to have some time off but thankfully he is all good now and we hope to be back out competing soon.
In 2015 I travelled to South Africa on a horseback riding safari. Ever since seeing an article as a child in Horse & Pony it had always been something that I'd wanted to do. I was waiting for someone to go with me but decided that if I didn't just do it, I'd probably be waiting a long time so I headed off alone! I mean who wouldn't jump at the chance to ride with lions and elephants?!
This "once in a lifetime" holiday literally changed my life.
I fell in love with Africa and realised that I wanted to somehow follow my passion for horses.
Unsure of what the future held but sure that I wanted to take the chance, I quit my job as a police officer and travelled back to South Africa, volunteering on horse safaris in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique throughout 2017 and 2018.
In 2018 whilst in South Africa, I met an instructor of Equitation Science. At the time I was training two young horses, one with bucking problems and the other with issues relating to tension and spookiness.
I worked with this instructor for only 4 hours, but 4 hours was enough for me to see that the methods she trained and the theory behind them made total sense. The training focused on how horses learn and produced phenomenal results.
It was a revelation for me and I realised that so many, if not all "behavioural issues" arise from confusions between horse and handler/rider. Taking what I had learnt, I worked with both of these horses and made progress that I never thought possible in only a few weeks.
I had to learn more and asked for some work experience with this instructor who is based in England. When she invited me to study with her in New Zealand (of all places!) I had to take the opportunity, so at the beginning of 2019 I left everything and flew to the other side of the world to learn more.
I spent 3 intensive months training with her and a huge selection of horses with varying behavioural problems and ridden issues. I also worked with a selection of young horses starting out with their education.
Whilst on that side of the world I spent time in Melbourne, Australia at the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, training with the founders of Equitation Science, Dr Andrew McLean and Manuela McLean.
I have since worked independently covering various aspects relating to the education of the horse.
These include foundation training; from the initial handling of young foals to the backing and bringing on of young horses; re-schooling and re-training of horses, for example
ex-racehorses for eventing and dressage. I also have experience in dealing with a wide variety of behavioural problems.
Using the skills and knowledge that I have learnt over my many years with horses, but in particular over the more recent years, my aim is to assist and educate people and horses using clear, methodical training techniques to help produce calm, obedient horses and happy owners!