I've had a pony since I was 12. I initially got interested in dressage as I had an ex polocrosse Pony who was Welsh cross Arab. He had done affiliated show jumping and was far too much for me for me as a first pony! I used to go out hacking with my friends but they would ride off and leave me in tears because I was so frightened. I didn't want to canter with them and he was bad in the traffic. So eventually I just went in the arena instead!. He used to trot around with his head in the air with wrong bend and I thought ‘this can't be right’. So I read lots of books, back in the day before YouTube and spent ages in the arena, not really knowing what I was doing... but knowing that there should be a better way.
My next pony was a similar sort of disastrous start. He was sold to me as a five-year-old but turned out he was 3! He was such a baby but also very cheeky, so yet again I set about trying to make him better. I soon got interested in dressage and then before I knew it I ended up training with the British squads from being 15 to 21. That’s what set me off then down the path of dressage.
In my late teens and early twentiesI worked on professional yards, riding youngsters and stallions. I eventually became more and more and more frightened because there was no logical systematic approach. There were no pre-flight checks before you got on. It was just a case of just getting on and and dealing with whatever came your way.
So eventually after a brief come back 7 years ago, where I went out competing at medium again, I gave up riding and sold everything. I said I was never going to ride again and never going to have horses again. Obviously anybody who's ever had horses knows that just isn't possible once you've got the bug!! When my eldest daughter was two and I was pregnant with my youngest, we got a little Shetland and I started learning groundwork. Since then I’ve been hooked!
Romeo Nordfeld. Junior Squad 1997
I started Believe Equestrian as I was starting to be asked to help other people with their horses from the ground and, as my interest in Liberty was flourishing, I also had the opportunity to start the first UK chapter of the international Liberty horse Association.
I also wanted to start something really niche. Perhaps you're like me.. in the middle of your life, used to be a fair rider when you were younger and either have no desire to ride anymore, don't have the means or the time due to family commitments. But you still want a purpose and to connect with horses.
There's nothing worse than feeling like your horse life is over, feeling like you're not worthy anymore because you don't ride when actually you can still serve a big purpose training horses from the ground! Not every horse needs to be ridden. They don't stand out there in the field, eating the grass thinking I really should be ridden. So long as they're in work, they're exercised, fit and healthy and their brains are stimulated, they don't care what kind of work they are doing! And it can be hugely satisfying as you can train them to a really high level from the ground.
If you fancy joining us on a clinic or having a lesson, get in touch. If you have more questions, drop us a line. Look forwards to hearing your stories :-)