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Having problems with your horse and struggling to find a solution?

Tried all the obvious sources of help, but still not getting anywhere?

Ask for a Holistic Assessment and get to the real root causes...

buckingWe firmly believe there is always a good reason when a horse isn’t behaving or going the way his or her owner would like. To discover what’s really going on, our Holistic Assessment covers all aspects of your horse’s life. Even though you may have had some or even all of these areas checked already, you may be surprised by just what our integrated ‘horse first’ approach reveals.

A horse with a badly fitting saddle that bucks because of back pain, for example, will certainly be more comfortable with a better saddle. But that may not be enough to stop the bucking if another equally important cause of the pain is the way the horse is being ridden or that the hooves are being trimmed incorrectly, adversely affecting overall posture.

What happens during an assessment?

First, we take a full history of your experiences with your horse and ask you about his feed and lifestyle.

We look at how your horse moves without a saddle, bridle or rider, to establish any asymmetries or gait abnormalities.

Then Jo, an Applied Equine Podiatrist, will use her knowledge and experience to assess the health and trim of his feet - whether shod or barefoot.

Magics-saddleNext, we look at your saddle to assess its suitability and fit and to check whether it is built symmetrically. (A shocking number of very nice looking saddles are built with fundamental flaws, making them very uncomfortable for the horse).

Then we’ll move on to looking at the bit, bridle and any other tack that you use. In particular, we’ll assess whether the bit is comfortable, a good fit and whether it is adjusted appropriately. Noseband type and adjustment are particularly important and also frequently a source of problems.

If you’re having trouble with your horse on the ground, we check his behaviour and your ability to influence it, by putting you both through a set of simple groundwork exercises.

If you are happy to, we then ask you to show us some walk, trot and canter in the school, just as you would ride at home.

With your permission, one of us will usually want to ride ourselves. We begin from the ground by checking what sort of relationship your horse has with the bit. Then we assess your horse’s level of understanding of the aids and his degree of balance, suppleness and co-ordination from the saddle.

At that point we discuss our findings with you and recommend a way forward. Afterwards, we send you a written report of the assessment and our recommendations.

How can we help you put our recommendations into practice?

We offer lessons and training for you and your horse covering all aspects of groundwork and riding. 

If your horse has foot problems, Jo can give initial help and advice as well as putting you in touch with your local Applied Equine Podiatrist who will be able to support you in the long term.  

If your saddle is causing trouble Jo will also be able to help. She is a qualified, independent saddle fitter who has a deep understanding of what horses really need from a saddle in order to be comfortable when ridden. She has access to suppliers of bespoke, horse-friendly saddles which can also be adjusted as your horse changes shape through their recovery process.   

If your horse would benefit from some bodywork we can put you in touch with a number of equine osteopaths, chiropractors, body workers and therapists around the country.

Some comments from our clients

I’d reached the point where Lady wouldn't do ANYTHING for me, not even ground work. She'd just nap, rear, spook and barge over me. My confidence was destroyed, I hated her and I was ready to give up. Then she went to Holistic Equitation for 2 weeks and they completely changed things around for us. Derek & Jo identified several physical problems which were causing Lady to be uncomfortable: the saddle was too tight (I had had this saddle professionally fitted and made to measure, before anyone thinks I'm an awful owner!), her back was sore, and her feet were trimmed at the wrong angle affecting her posture. So they got the right people out to correct all of those things, did some more handling with her, and when I came back to pick her up she was much calmer and happier than I'd seen her in a long time.” Anne Newson


Djef"I'd really been struggling with my gelding, Djef’s, behaviour. He’d been bucking, rearing, biting and refusing to leave the yard for a couple of years. I’d tried chiropractors, saddlers, different instructors and equine calmers all without success. Then I found Derek & Jo at Holistic Equitation. They helped me rehab his feet and recommended some muscle release therapy, a correctly fitting saddle and some treatment from an osteopath. Then they showed me how to improve his posture and way of going both by lunging him and changing the way I ride. As a result, I can now tack him up and get on him without having to bribe him with treats. I can ride alone out of the yard and on the road. His manners are much improved and he has the makings of a lovely riding horse with a calm and friendly demeanour. In a matter of months I’ve gone from despair to delight". Cassie Cross


What if I’d like to book an assessment?

A Holistic Assessment at our yard usually takes about 2 hours and costs just £250. If you want us to come to you we charge for travel at 45p per mile.

So, if you’d like to finally get to the bottom of what’s going on with your horse, contact us now to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.

by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

by phone: 01327 361700


Holistic Equitation Ltd is registered in England with Company No. 05644190. Holistic Equitation, The Holistic Equitation Centre and the Holistic Equitation Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Holistic Equitation Ltd. All material and images are Copyright © 2006-2019 Holistic Equitation Ltd or others and may not be copied or reproduced in any form without express written permission from the owner.



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