Brief Riding History

I didn't start riding until I was 21, pursuing a childhood dream. At 25 I abandoned my career in insurance, where I worked as a systems analyst, and started full-time training as a working pupil. The BHSAI followed a year later and I started my own livery business in rented premises. Constant training and development over the following years led eventually to the BHSII, but it was a long road and the show-jumping for the BHS Stage IV exam was a huge hurdle to overcome... and yet a great achievement when complete. 

Far from being a natural, I have had to work extremely hard to master the skills required to ride and handle horses successfully. The benefit of this is apparent when teaching however, as I truly and firmly believe that all these skills can be learned, by anyone! For sure it takes some people longer, and some are limited by their level of fitness, or the amount of time available to them; the truth is though, that every horse and every rider can be improved.

Relevant Qualifications

British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor - (national level)
UKCC level 3 (UK Coaching Certificate, national Level)
British Eventing Development Coach, UKCC level 2
British Dressage database trainer
BHSAI (BHS Assistant Instructor - regional level)
Canadian Equestrian Federation Western Riding Certificate
City and Guilds qualified saddler and harness maker
NVQ A1 assessor
HGV licence
ABRS assessor
Current CRB, current HSW First Aid certificate
Winner of BHS Equitation award for being the instructor of qualifying junior competitors in both age categories: 2008, 2009.

My horses

Cathy on her riding school years:
"One of the unique features of my riding school was my belief that all the horses and ponies should be capable of going to a local show, and if not winning, certainly getting a rosette for their rider. This meant that in addition to starting some of the horses from scratch, I was also involved with schooling all sorts and sizes of horse, and training all levels and ages of rider for competition."


Here is Chaos, the backbone of the school and the safest horse for beginners!
She came to Pied Horse unbroken and with a foal at foot.
As well as being a keen jumper (when sufficiently motivated!) and a historical re-enactment star, she also turned her hoof to dressage and is shown here with me qualifying for the British Dressage Area Festivals.
She has now gone to a great home with an ex-pupil and we all wish them the best of luck in the future. 

In both 2008 and 2009 Pied Horse qualified pupils in both age sections of the British Horse Society's Equitation Competition. Cathy's Junior riders went to the National Championships in Warwickshire on the Pied Horse mounts, and two years running made the placings. In 2009 Elinor Cowen achieved a 4th place in the Under 13 section, and Philippa Wisbey was Reserve Champion in the U17 section. The competition was very long, busy and tough with riders coming from all around the country to compete at show-jumping, dressage and equitation knowledge. 

Shown here are Ellie, Cathy and Philippa receiving their awards at Newton Hall (Ipswich) on winning both sections of the regional qualifier in 2009.

Closing the riding school after ten years was a hard decision, but now I definitely have more time to spend with my own horses, and helping individuals with their own horses too.

I am based near Colchester in North Essex, and happy to travel around Essex and Suffolk to work with riders of all ages.

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