Testimonials

"I had lost my confidence on my Dutch Warmblood and had not been riding for 6 months. My cousin introduced me to a beautiful French driving horse which I fell in love with and bought. Now I had a driving horse and no confidence. I needed help! Years previously I had bought a book about Centered Riding, so I searched the internet for a teacher and found Patty. Travelling up from the New Forest to Newbury, Patty has helped rebuild my confidence and, with her expertise, helped me re-train Legende into a riding horse. Her empathy with myself and the horse is remarkable in addition to her valuable knowledge of Centred Riding. I am so thankful I have found her, thank you Patty!” –Linda & Legende

“Since my ponies and I have been having lessons with Patty we’ve all come on in leaps and bounds. She is always positive and encouraging and makes me feel that I can achieve whatever exercise she is showing me – and also makes sure that I am confident enough to be able to replicate it when she’s not there. I always feel that we’ve improved each lesson we have. She is really good at explaining things in a way I can understand and making me aware of how different movements should feel.One thing I particularly appreciate is the fact that Patty knows how to get the ponies to achieve something without forcing them or beating them which I’ve experienced in the past with other instructors. As a result my previously nappy mare now actually trots when she’s asked without throwing a tantrum! Everyone who sees me riding the ponies is impressed with how well they are going and how much better I’m riding. In fact, at a show earlier this year some complete strangers came over having watched me warm up my gelding and commented that it was so nice to see such a harmonious partnership – much better than the other (far more experienced) ponies and riders that had been warming up at the same time! (We went on to come 3rd in our ridden class.)”–Mary, Bond & Phoebe

Having groundwork lessons with Patty is helping me build a much better relationship with my Fell gelding. She is always calm and patient with him even when he is challenging and this has inspired confidence in me. Patty is the best instructor I’ve ever worked with, thank you.–Anne + Briar

If you want rapid results and quick fixes then I think you will be disappointed with a lesson with Patty. If, however, you are willing to explore riding as an art form and have an open mind then you certainly won't be. I was introduced to Patty by a mutual friend who was also interested in holistic riding when I was struggling with my young, wilful but talented Connemara gelding, Ronan. Although we actually liked each other, we did spend a lot of time arguing, with myself in the role of nagging but ineffectual parent and Ronan playing the stroppy, rebelious teenager.  Not just riding, but in our day to day interactions, which was beginning to make me fear for my safety on the ground at times as well as making ridden progress slow and frustrating. It did not take Patty long to spot that some of our blocks were physical, in that Ronan had probably been ridden in draw-reins prior to his time with me, the resulting remaining tensions  and weakness in his body were causing blockages which were preventing him from performing even basic schooling figures in a meaningful way. We spent time where I was taught how to perform carrot stretches  and therapeutic exercises correctly, which has made a big difference to his muscular development. I do not get away lightly either, as Patty will not shy away from bringing up my issues which are causing blockages in my riding and relationship with Ronan, all in the nicest possible way of course so as not to cause hurt or upset. Thanks to Patty I am now starting to understand what gymnastic training of the horse actually means and not just the how, but the why and when of when to use the schooling excercises. We are still quite new in this part of our journey and still have a lot to learn, but already changes are happening. We have even had a few comments from others about how impressed they are that Ronan is now starting to listen to me rather than following his own agenda–Annette + Ronan

Lesson's with Patty have been refreshing, rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. Patty has enabled me to feel and start to use the centred riding techniques - amazing! Patty combines groundwork for me and my horse and translates it into ridden work throughout, this includes stretches and exercises for Jacob and stretches and exercises for me! Keeping a holistic picture of horse and rider in mind, the emphasis is on the physical ability of both me and my horse and what we can physically achieve together - sports bra necessary for trampoline work! I got my horse, Jacob, in May of this year - he is a 12 year old welsh cob type, is a rescue from Horseworld and comes with a lot of baggage! Mainly trust issues, separation anxieties and a general lack of confidence when ridden. I spent a lot of time on the ground with Jacob working on space, trust and response instead of reaction. He would set his neck and "go" in a very short space of time and with no regard of consequences / items in his path! He demonstrated this very well in our first lesson with Patty. Patty has helped me to take the groundwork to another level and apply it to ridden work - we are currently working on re-sensitising Jacob to the bit and rein aids, both from the ground and in the saddle. I have felt supported with my bolshy horse and Patty has helped confirm to me what it is I need to do on the ground and on top of my horse to improve the picture! I feel that by using these techniques the bond and trust between me and my lovely horse has strengthened. Just thank you lots! –Emily + Jacob

I’ve been having lessons with Patty for a year now, and the changes in my riding, in my horse’s way of going, and in the way we work together have been amazing. I must have been a challenge for an instructor. I’m in my sixties, with a lot of riding experience and not a lot of skill. Hebe is my third horse, following two cob geldings, she’s a Haflinger mare, just five when I bought her, seven when our lessons started. She was an obedient little horse, but slow, and she always seemed switched off and not really interested in anything we did. I don’t think I’m a rough rider, but I felt as if I was bullying her. Now, a year on, I understand so much more about how a rider affects a horse - I was blocking her in several different ways - and she is so much more responsive and willing now. She responds to much softer aids - even a breath, sometimes even a thought. I’d read Sally Swift’s book about Centered Riding (and plenty of other books), but really you need an instructor to make it happen. Patty is always kind, patient and gentle; she doesn’t give instructions, she makes suggestions and asks questions. It’s never ‘do this’ but always ‘what happens if you try that?’ She takes endless trouble to explain things, to me and to Hebe too - she’s brilliant at communicating with the horse, and explaining to me exactly how she does it. Every weekly lesson has brought some new insight as, very patiently, she has made me change old habits and ride in a new, softer, and more balanced way. Change is not always comfortable at first, and doesn’t happen instantly, but it’s infinitely worth it and thanks to Patty I’ve already come further than I ever thought possible.–Linda + Hebe

I have been working with Patty for a year now and the impact she has had on Rufus and I has been massive! I started working with Patty due to my horse Rufus having over developed muscles on his right quarter and underdeveloped muscles on his left quarter. Patty has done lots of body work with me so I am now much more aware of my body and the effects it has on Rufus. I am right handed thus stronger on my right side which has affected Rufus being stronger on his right side too!! With all the ground work and riding lessons Rufus has totally changed shape and is now equally muscled all over and looks fantastic. I have also changed and use my body much more equally. Patty’s always been on hand to offer me advice with mine and Rufus' training and Rufus is going the best he ever has. This is all down to Patty's Centered Riding which has such an impact on me and Rufus, I have learnt so much from her and look forward to learning much more!–Becky and Rufus

I have been training with Patty for about 6 months now. I am thoroughly enjoying the new experience, i.e. less is more. It is not a quick fix, but it will enhance your relationship with your horse, and start the horse working in the correct way. I am dressage orientated and was taught the usual way, 'get after your horse, kick it, pull it in', in effect it was forcing the horse to work. The Centred Riding way is so much easier, the horses are more relaxed and want to work for you, their movement is also much better as they are working the right muscles as they are happier and not tight. I fully recommend Patty's teaching, but be warned it is like learning to ride all over again, but it is worth it! –Beverly + Marco

Having read and watched the videos of Sally Swift, I felt Centered Riding could be the way forward for me and my two horses (a Gypsy Cob and a Haflinger), both of whom came to me with baggage. But that thought was just that till I heard of Patty. I attended a Centered Riding Open Clinic that Patty had organised and that convinced me I was right. Patty has a whole person whole horse way of teaching getting it right on the ground (very good exercises to practice) getting you right the physio balls and trampoline you have to do it to appreciate it. Her whole ethos is the JOINT journey that you and your horse are undertaking and it takes as long as it takes. To say Centered Riding and Patty’s teaching was a light bulb moment for me AND my horses they understand and appreciate what is happening it makes life easier for them when as a rider you are CENTRED. The journey has just begun, but it is going to be a journey we enjoy and look forward to doing.–Lesley, George + Walter

Barney was delivered to me as a hardly touched, just halter broken (if you could get near enough to put it on that is!) 5-year old, 14.2hh registered grey New Forest Pony. He was super sensitive, highly reactive and extremely scared of people and the world. I was his last port of call. I had to promise that, if I could not help, I would not sell him on, but would have him put down. I am not a newcomer to this situation and have started and trained many horses from all sorts of backgrounds, but Barney has been a very special case throughout. Using Silver Sands Natural Horsemanship methods and the help of Steve Halfpenny, I was eventually able to start him and ride him, but it was a long journey, which we are still continuing on. In September 2008, I attended a Centered Riding Taster Clinic in the New Forest on another horse and was immediately hooked on the subtlety of the techniques. I knew straight away it would help Barney and me! I have since been having regular lessons with Patty Burrows, Centered Riding Instructor in the New Forest, and my riding skills have improved and been fine-tuned with the Centered Riding techniques. The difference to Barney is absolutely amazing – he responds incredibly well to the thought process and imagery of Centered Riding and has become much softer, quieter and more responsive. Friends have even commented that he is turning into a dressage pony! Because I am now also more centred and balanced, we are so much more connected. We are truly riding together now, no longer as two separate beings. I have even been able to re-introduce him very successfully to Endurance competitions, which I had to put on hold previously as he was getting too wound-up to be safe. Patty and I both feel that Barney is a very unusual character (to put it mildly). It can be challenging at times that he is so sensitive, but on the other hand, he tries very hard to please despite that and we both agree that we have learnt a great deal from him – he keeps us thinking. In fact, he is an excellent teacher to both of us and has clearly told us that Centered Riding is the way to go!–Brenda + Barney

Please find below some testimonials following our Clinics:

Improve Your Horse’s Core Clinic, April 2011 (1 day) with Patty Burrows + Kate Fisher (Chartered Physiotherapist)

    • "A well-structured clinic with focussed sessions on stretches with Kate's insight into what was difficult for the individual horses and Patty's observations of how to take my horse's training forward with regard to the pole work exercises and transitions on the lunge. A very enjoyable day focused on the health of the horse, rather than performance/results, acknowledging how much horses give of themselves when we ride. As a result of this clinic I feel more confident in how I train my horses to increase and maintain their health, strength and enjoyment of their work.”
 
    • “The course was extremely well run in a relaxed and professional manner and packed with relevant information. Lots to think about and work on.”
 
    • “I enjoyed this clinic immensely, and am so grateful to you both for presenting it in a way that I could understand clearly, identify a pattern and learn through repetition on many different types of horse. It was a highly effective and empowering experience and the results with my horses are beyond all expectation. Thank you both so much!"–Alexa
 
    • “These clinics are really useful. The sessions make us aware of our horse’s physical well-being and how our balance [or lack of it] affects them.”
 
  • “Patty teaches you how to tune into your horse’s core without requiring the 'Avatar' plait! Whilst Kate guides you on how to look after and develop your horses core."

Physical Foundations for Horse & Rider Clinic, October 2010 (2 days) with Patty Burrows + Kate Fisher (Chartered Physiotherapist)

    • "I would recommend your clinic to others who are new to this way of working and looking at horses. I also believe that your clinics will grow and improve, as both your ways of thinking towards the horse are fantastic. I love both your softness and empathy towards the horse - it is a rare quality that is severely lacking in the horse world.”
 
    • “A thoroughly enjoyable, friendly & informative weekend spent with like-minded horse-aholics. Both Patty & Kate really know their subjects, and their enthusiasm made the two day course a joy to attend.”
 
    • “This clinic was excellent as a starting point to gaining the skills in observation and palpation of the horse, so that you can help them work more effectively and then providing the information as to what to look for to help strengthen any weakness and reduce the likelihood of injury. The level of knowledge of Patty and Kate is phenomenal and their passion about making the process of riding enjoyable and fun for both the rider and the horse is truly evident in all they try to teach you.it has given me the confidence to try things I would never have considered previously. So very many thanks for starting a more fulfilling approach to horses and riding.”
 
    • “This clinic was truly amazing, and I enjoyed every second of it. Both Patty and Kate made the weekend interesting and very useful, and it was lovely to meet so many different people but all with the same passion. I consider myself a novice rider as I have only been learning for the last two years, and was concerned that the clinic would be for the more experienced rider, but although there were lots of riders there that were experienced I didn’t feel out of my depth, and if I didn’t understand something, Patty and Kate where more than happy to answer my questions. I learnt a lot from everyone, so thank you and I really look forward to more clinics. To anyone considering attending a clinic run by Patty and Kate, my advice is....GO!”
 
    • “An extremely well organised and run clinic. Pitched at just the right level. Very informative, clear explanations without being too technical. A wonderful weekend.”
 
    • “If you are looking for an answer to help you understand why you feel crooked on your horse and need help to sort this out look no further. If you want harmony with your horse Centred Riding is for you, it has helped me address issues that I thought I would have to live with. Patty and Kate have a wealth of information, are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate about their work, easy to understand and ready to help in any way they can. The Physical foundation Clinic at the Fortune Centre on 30th & 31st October 2010 was an inspiration. –Thank you ladies from Pam and Saracen x
 
    • “Fantastic, worthwhile weekend, not only could we help to sort out our own bodies out, but really got to know our horses bodies and how we can help them by feeling for any pain before it got to crisis point!”–Beverly
 
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed the clinic and we were all made to feel very welcome. I felt that I was able to ask questions if I was unsure about anything. Both Patty and Kate have a lovely positive and encouraging attitude that, I think, made everybody want to better their relationship with their horses and for myself to think about a change of career! Well done Patty and Kate.–Lorraine