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Riding Coach

Ridden Work
It has taken me many years of developing my various handling skills to learn how to cope with Soldier’s wild behaviour. It is only recently that I feel that I have started to understand how to apply these skills to my ridden work.
Ride With Your Mind with Elaine Butler
RWYM has taught me some basic principles;

That you have to be in the right state of mind to learn - ‘Aware’ and not fearful, frozen, frustrated or absent

You have to know what stage of learning you are at... And remember that this can change each and every time you learn something new (see Competence Chart on the left)

That you have to learn to teach yourself and be your own coach on a day to day basis

As much as when doing in-hand and dismounted work, the way you sit on a horse and carry yourself can inspire confidence and leadership and resolve many behavioural problems

You have to work on your asymetry every minute of every day - cross your arms the other way to the norm, muck out or sweep with the tools in the opposite hands to normal

That you have to work on your core strength all the time and pay attention to it and your posture in everything that you do
In late 2008 I went along to watch a friend having a lesson with a Ride With Your Mind coach, Elaine Butler. A group of riders were getting together and Elaine was coming over for day of teaching at a very quiet sand–school. I was invited to join them and our first lesson was in December 2008. I was very concerned about how Soldier would cope with going to a strange place and being expected to work but he has now been to several places and been perfectly behaved every time.
For the first year and 10 months we worked on correcting my position when viewed from the side and this is the way that all RWYM coaches work. Now that this is getting under control we have started work on my asymmetry when viewed from the front or back.
Elaine is really helping me to transfer what I already know about how horses communicate and need leadership to my ridden work.
I have been charting my progress since starting RWYM in Soldier’s Blog and here you will find links to my YouTubechannel which has videos for most of my lessons.
Katherine Evans
Just a couple of weeks after we bought Soldier we were ready to sell him. Katherine Evans is the reason for me still having him today. Some five years later she began to give us flatwork lessons and taught us for about eleven years. A few years ago she moved away and is now based near Chepstow. For several years she continued to travel back to Oxfordshire to keep teaching us. Katherine is no longer travelling so far but is available for lessons and can be contacted through the Welsh Classical Riding Club. She’s written a great review of our first few years. I’m eternally grateful for her help over the years.