Jo is an experienced Natural Horsemanship Instructor based near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire with her horses Tillie (Cleveland Bay x TB) and Jay (Czech Warmblood). Tuition includes private lessons, half and full-day workshops and clinics for all levels. These can be either at her exclusive facility in Bourne End, or throughout the UK and Europe.
Read on for Jo’s full story…
I was pony mad as a child and dreamt of having my own pony to hang out with and have fun. I grew up spending as much time as I could at the local riding school, having regular lessons and helping out every weekend and in school holidays, riding and learning as much as I could as I went.
I bought my first horse in my mid-twenties, and that’s when the learning really began! I had as many lessons as I could and I trained for British Horse Society exams in order to be the best I could for my horse. But I was still frustrated – I didn’t have that perfect partnership with my horse and I felt I’d never be any good. I felt like a failure and it simply wasn’t fun anymore.
The turning point came when a 2-year-old filly came into my life. I’d made one of those heart-based decisions and bought her thinking I could give her a good start in life. However, she wasn’t straightforward at all! Nothing I had previously been shown worked with her and the only things I was now being advised to do didn’t sit well with me at all. Something in my gut told me there had to be another way.
I attended a Parelli demonstration in October 2001 and found what I was looking for – a step-by-step programme that would help me learn how to interact with horses in a way that made sense to them. I invested in the starter kit and committed to the programme and I haven’t looked back since. Aside from learning how to read horses and communicate with them in a language they understand, I have learned how to be a better leader; calmer, less stressy and emotional, more dependable – all traits that are essential when working with horses, and which have also had far reaching benefits in my personal life. The absolute best thing is that I now have a wonderful relationship with my horse – that same horse that caused me to seek other answers – she has become a fantastic, dependable and trustworthy partner – sometimes I can’t believe she’s the same horse, and I’m sure that if we could ask her she’d say she can’t believe I’m the same human!
Since beginning the programme in 2001, I have attended numerous clinics with 3, 4 and 5 Star Parelli Professionals, spent a total of 12 weeks at the International Study Centre in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and I qualified as a 2 Star Instructor in 2010. After becoming an instructor I have worked assisting senior instructors, both in the field and at the UK centre in Stoneleigh, ensuring my education in both my horsemanship and my teacher-man-ship continued to improve and grow.
In 2014 I graduated the 3 Star Instructor course at the Parelli Centre in Pagosa Springs and in early 2015 I graduated the 3-week Colt Start Course run by the Parelli Education Institute in Texas.
I have been teaching at my home base in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire since 2013 from where I run regular workshops, clinics and play days. I am also available to travel to your own location for lessons and workshops.
My goal is to enjoy progressing my horsemanship and to continue to help others learn to understand their horses better so that they may go on to feel safe and confident, and have fun doing whatever they choose to do. I continue to study with high-level instructors every year to develop myself as both a teacher and horseman, and I love the opportunity to share with you what I have learned!