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Welcome to The Art of Riding Community!

VideoCoachingBoost500x500Hello and welcome to The Art of Riding Community!

My goal is to give you a boost this season with new insights and practical nuggets to carry you forward on your path with your horse.

I started this video coaching program at the persistent request of a couple of folks who were nowhere near my clinic venues and really wanted support in developing their better feel in their horsemanship. I admit I was skeptical at the start about how well this could really work for teaching... feel!

WHO KNEW! It turns out video really helps make 'Feel' more tangible.

First, video allows us to freeze moments in time - playing "Simon Says" or "Freeze" with your horse doesn't really work 'live'I have found! Freeze-frames and/or rewind mean you can really see what is happening as we fill in details that may have been missed, along with guidance on refinement. Second, we use Google "Hangouts" to sit down, explore, chat about and re-focus your next efforts or game plan - it's (almost) like we are sitting down together in the same room!

"BUT KAREN! I don't know the first thing about filming, let alone a Google Hangout!"

I know, I know! And you are not alone. That's why I want to note here that most folks are simply using a smart phone to record a video clip (we are not talking Hollywood here). A simple download of an app to your phone gets you "Hangout" enabled! 

"BUT KAREN! I don't own a smart phone!"

If you don't happen to own a smart phone, or have patchy or no internet service (pretty common among horse folk in more remote areas), no worries! I also do virtual coaching by the good 'ol fashioned telephone. If you can get your video to me (using a friend's computer, library or sending a DVD) I can send you screenshots from your video for our session

"BUT KAREN! I just don't have anyone to video me!"

I've had students get super creative with this - like putting the camera on a fence post and placing cones to mark the area in the view-finder, so she knew where to be, presto no camera person needed! Seriously, people have done that very successfully. If that still sounds intimidating, you could even send photos to discuss, or simply get on the phone and describe to me what's happening and we go from there. This is not quite as effective, because we're all human and it is possible to miss details that might be important. Having said that, I've had many a conversation or email that may as well have been a video - that just seems to happen when folks (probably like you!) are into horses for the reasons that bring people to my site (i.e you are already noticing the smaller things in your horse and/or yourself - whether due to experience or simply that you are empathic to your horse, or both!).

THE POINT IS, if coaching appeals to you and you think you'd like to give it a whirl, don't worry about the silly tech stuff, "Just Do It!" for you and for your horse

"BUT KAREN! Wait... I don't know you!"

That is entirely possible as there are many people I've not met on our planet. My sincere goal is to find the 'sweetspot' - where you and your horse really are together, however good or sometimes challenging - and help you move forwards to where you want to go with your horse, at your speed. I suppose it is possible that we might get together and for some reason you want to reach for the big red button and bow out. That has never happened, but I respect that it could and while of course I'd be disappointed too, I'd far prefer to give you a full refund and wish you luck in finding what you seek. Guaranteed.


If you would like to join in, take a look here. I hope to see you around soon.

Enjoy your horse :)



Mark Rashid


"I see an 'opening' as anything that allows us to help guide, however briefly, an individual in the direction we ultimately would like to go. An 'opening' can be, and often is, a very subtle form of communication between horse and rider that can easily slip past us if we're not paying attention. 'Openings' can and do work both ways. [...] It amazes me just how small an 'opening' can actually be, whether working with horses or with people, and how easy it can be to create an 'opening' when one is needed."

Mark Rashid

"I truly believe developing the ability to see and use 'openings' effectively is only one piece of what one might refer to as the 'harmony in horsemanship' puzzle. When this idea of understanding 'openings' is brought together with the understanding of two other simlar ideas - making a connection with another indvidual, and the role distance plays in overall communication - I believe it is then that harmony in horsemanship becomes a much less daunting concept for us."

Mark Rashid

Leslie Desmond


"Bill knew about a place I did not know existed, or could exist, between a horse and a human being [...] Bill included each one of my horses in that information exchange. Over the course of many months,... he took each one by its lead rope and, later, by the bridle reins. Using what he called his 'better feel', Bill showed me and each of them exactly what he meant by what he did [...] It was not long after I made the switch from force when needed (often) to always customizing the feel I offered to a horse, that two tough horses I had misunderstood for years developed into my most reliable mounts."

Leslie Desmond

The lightest hands carry intent that is recognized instantly by the horse, as seen in the maneuvers he chooses to make with his feet. Whether that horse is ridden or handled, the lightest hands can purposefully influence the speed, direction and sequence of each foot with accuracy, in a manner that is reflected in the horse's body and on his face.

Leslie Desmond

Bill Dorrance


"The Real Masters Understood Feel [...] For example, De Kerbrech, (French officer in the cavalry of Napoleon III) really understood horses. He had it fixed up so the horse could succeed. [...] The first time I read Beudant's book was in the 1950s. The way he explained things, there was no doubt in my mind about what a person needed to do to get these little things working for them and their horse."

Bill Dorrance

“Feel, timing and balance: sometimes it’s best to talk about feel, timing and balance separately, and to learn how to apply each thing separately on the start. But when you apply these three things a little later in your training, then you see that each one of these things supports the other. They are interconnected and all three are real important. You really can’t get along without all three.”

Bill Dorrance

Faverot de Kerbrech


“ le deplacement du poids est facile dans tous les sens, plus l'equilibre est parfait. En vertue de ce principe, on dit que le cheval est 'en equilibre' quand de simples indications suffisent au cavalier pour modifier a son gre la disposition du poids sur ses colonnes de soutien”

Faverot de Kerbrech

[Translation: ...the easier it is to shift the weight in any direction, the more perfect the balance. By virtue of this principle, the horse is 'in balance' when a simple indication from the rider is sufficient to modify the distribution of weight across the columns of support (four quarters) accordingly]

Duke of Newcastle


"You must in all Airs follow the strength, spirit, and disposition of the horse, and do nothing against nature; for art is but to set nature in order, and nothing else."

William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle

"A confrontational approach ‘Astonishes the Weak Horse […] makes a Furious horse Madd; makes a Resty Horse more Resty […] and Displeases all sorts of Horses’. The alternative however is not ‘to Sit Weak […] but to Sit Easie’, in the understanding that ‘The Horse must know you are his Master’"

William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle