November 2015 is when I first met Lisa Ashton, delivering a demo at Hartpury College, where I am studying an equine degree. I mentioned to Lisa I had a problem with my mare not responding to my aids and that at the time I thought my communication was correct, so struggling to progress our training. I rode my mare, trotting and cantering on both reins. Lisa then rode her for me, explaining how horses learn and how, why and what to improve her motivation to my aids. When I got back on again I was in complete shock, I felt like she was a different horse I was riding. She was much more forwards and a lot more responsive. I then realized all that I’d been taught and how I was riding was not improving my horse, Lisa explained it was all about the release of pressure. I was constantly using my legs on her, no wonder she wasn’t responding to my aids. After the demo ended I chatted with Lisa to see is she could train us, and provide intense training during the Christmas holidays as I returned home to Qatar,Lisa looked after my horse while I was away from the UK for 3 weeks. She taught her the correct behavior inside the stable (she was very aggressive and tense at all times) – I always had a hard time putting on a head collar, everyday would get even worse…Lisa used clicker training in the stable to help change how she felt about life, and therefore her behaviour. Very quickly Lisa figured out my horse was actually in pain. She brought in a great team of vets, diagnosing gastric ulcers, the worse being a grade 3! When Lisa told me I was in shock. After treatment, Lisa recommended the physiotherapist to support and improve her looseness and flexibility ridden, also improving her relaxation. After the 3 week holidays, I was amazed how different my mare was. How she had changed and just become a much happier horse. It was easy for me to handle her inside the stable and ride her. Riding her was defiantly a massive change – she is so much more forwards and responsive. I was so happy with Lisa’s training that I didn’t want it to end so I called Lisa again if she could arrange a clinic for me to work on several things with my mare.

We started monthly training for me and UpsiDaisy. We have both become much more confident. Lisa trained me in-hand and under saddle, applying learning theory. We also worked on my position, using equipilates, and focused on my overall riding fitness off and on my horse. We are working on conditioning my core, straightness and flexibility. Lisa has stood up and supported me all the way throughout this journey. She has helped me to set my goals and made me create a useful performance profile. Lisa has supported all horse management aspects including veterinary and insurance areas. I wouldn’t hesitate in highly recommending Lisa, she really has listened to my problems and provided solutions, that really work. Anyone who is not as confident with their horse, Lisa is the perfect coach, she really helps to go through your fears, providing lots and lots of ‘tools’ which improved my confidence and performance. I have started competing, turning my goals into reality!

Nouf Al-Monsour

Qatar Team Rider and Equine Science Student, Hartpury College

Lisa has been my coach for over 5 years now, in that time I have seen Lisa’s training techniqueschange based on current evidence based knowledge and principles, always placing me and my horse at the heart.

More recently Lisa has been concentrating on all aspects of a relationship with a horse including my mental and physical performance alongside my horse’s performance, Charlie.
As the rider and principal trainer of my young (at times very complex) horse I have found the exercise of defining and setting my goals, with regular profiling of my skills particularly helpful. It has helped me to be honest with myself, and Lisa, so she is able to move our training forwards. It has highlighted my stronger points and most definitely my weakest areas. Then we have been able to plan and set realistic goals as to were I want to be in the near future and also more long term overall goals. Having a training journal and thinking about achieving my goals has given me more focus in my day to day training and has kept me going between training sessions with Lisa. A tangible bonus of Lisa’s training is I have really felt and noticed my confidence grow, starting to actually believe I can do all the things I have only ever dreamt of doing in the past. Lisa’s coaching has focused me on doing the right things for me and my horse, and to trust in my ability.

As with all riders I have my fair share of setbacks, and what has been reassuring is that I know Lisa is there for me and my horse, always offering support and guidance. A phone call, email or text ….oh and a trip to A&E! …..have all been part of the support, Lisa provides. She has such a positive attitude to life that it is quite infectious and her inspiration to keep improving has set me on a pathway to a new career, helping more riders with the complimentary addition of EquiPilates.

Carol Green