Marianne and Louie This is about horsemanship, not riding, dressage, jumping …… Recognise when you’re rattled and get the right help! APOLOGIES FOR THE LONG POST!!!! Louie has had his challenges in the NE and he has changed from a happy, gentle, go lucky confident 5 YO, to an anxious, stressed, “I don’t know where to find my calm happy place” horse, very quickly. I understand his challenges: on a lorry for (unplanned no stops, 11 hours solo trip up here); 6 different yards in 5 years, where he made horsey friends every time and then was moved because of yard issues. He is a herd (natural) horse, with all the insecurities of not having a herd around him brings to the surface. We are now on a lovely farm with a small stable herd but it’s the nature of livery yards that people and horses change. Recently, our herd had changed, with three horses moving out, two moving in; so he is in a field with 1 other horse that he knows well and 2 others across the fences (electric), that he cannot now touch and play with. He has become over bonded with his 1 field friend. If you, as a human, had your universe changed so frequently and to this extent, wouldn’t you feel disorientated and lost???? I know I would, even though I am one of those strange folks that love change; everyone needs some level of deep-down consistency. So here we are again, an unsettled, anxious, on his toes horse, who can’t keep his brain in place due to anxiety. I have had a lifetime with horses and been on every teach-in I can for 30 years, from equid psychology, biomechanics with Charles, through to equine ethnography, straightness training and liberty – give the horse a chance to express themselves. I was getting no where and knew I needed help. So, we tried, Reiki, Dick Vet behaviour psychologist, ET, zoopharmacognosy, you name it, I’ve tried it, trying to restore peace to my now rather big cob X thoroughbred. Then, along came Louise Stobbs (LS Horsemanship). Louise taught Louie (and me!) to find our calm happy place – because I am now very rattled as I cannot find the right solutions and Louie is so unhappy and a bit (very) unhinged. Through doing what appears to be “nothing”, she has taught both of us, what time and waiting and waiting and waiting, does to find our “HAPPY PLACE”. There is no point in pushing through with a horse (despite my younger years of being told he’s “taking the mickey” and being screamed at by international trainers over the years because I refuse to hit a horse or use spurs). Do you want to be on a horse that explodes?? I know I have many times and now I am too old to fall off badly – again and again. First and foremost, I love horses; who they really are and what they can really be, much more than riding. Age? Yes possibly, but I wish I knew then, what I know now and I might not have broken so many important bits. Horsemanship is so much more than riding – in whatever form it takes – but it makes riding so much more relaxed and enjoyable. In my book (at least) Louise is up there with horse people (and I have been around the world looking for different ways) I have personal experience with – the folks like Fred Pignon, Manolo, Monty, Nuno Cuvaco. Nuno and Louise are within my grasp, up here in the NE, where there seems to be a lack of empathy (? Opportunity) with the horse, before riding, eventing, or whatever else, takes you’re your fancy and enthusiasm. But it depends on what you want to invest in? The horse, the competition or winning which gives you the ££££ to keep going commercially. I am happy horses have cost me money rather tan making me money. We have been working with Louise for a year, maybe 4 sessions? In one double session last week, she brought the anxiety/flight response into being fine alone in the arena (no horses visible), in the stable alone (he is now claustrophobic), walking down the lane alone. Chilled as anything. Then we start doing posture, movement, flow and stops. I have kept up the being alone/happy places exercises every day and it is working (on most days – nothing is infallible read the situation - there are fence menders, hedge cutters, lorries working). Lou is calm, happy and playful in the arena when he can’t see another horse. Thank you, Louise. I wish you lived closer to the NE and you could get here once a month year round – even in the snow. If you want a quick fix for a problem that’s been going on for ages, Louise is not for you. Horses take time and patience. If you have time, patience, willing to put the work in, and apparently understanding of equids, maybe she can help.
Barbara Hardman (BSc Hon, MSc Equine Science, Provisional CAB with APBC) I had the absolute pleasure to collaborate on a challenging fear based aggression case with Louise. She is incredibly knowledge, kind and puts the welfare of the horse first and foremost. As a fellow behaviourist, working with such talented like minded professional in the field of equine behaviour is a pleasure. Louise not only has an amazing horse focused approach, but also supports her clients from start to end to help them achieve her goals. I'm sure this is only the first of many collaborative cases we will work on. I can't recommend Louise enough.
Steven and Teddy Where do you start to write a testimonial for Louise? Basically she has no clue how good she really is! Louise has an innate ability to understand each individual horse that she works with. Her approach is kind, honest, practical and clear to understand for both horse and owner. There is a clear structure for each session and no quick fixes just the constant goal to enhance the foundation of the horse's confidence and understanding. She has unbounded patience when teaching groundwork both with horse and owner - she makes it look easy but its really not and so she takes all the time that's needed for the owner to understand how to replicate and build upon the progress between sessions. She has the horse's best interest and comfort at the forefront of her training which shines through in the results. I don't want my horse to be brave, I want him to be relaxed in every scenario and not need to be brave. I don't want a horse that rushes forward, I want mine to enjoy the time we are riding together and enjoy the scenery as I do. I don't want to be afraid of open spaces - a calm, self confident horse doesn't need to be brave, they just need to be themselves and enjoy the moment like we do. I want a horse that wants to work with me and for me simply because they want to not because they have to, a willing partner will always give more than a conscripted one - I want a true partnership. Louise can help you build a bond with your horse like no other - my horse is 5 and recently we were riding alone and a low flying helicopter checking power lines following the recent storms crested the hill in front of us....nothing happened he just stood still, watched it then carried on - that's not luck, that's training that has built the horse's confidence - I feel very lucky to have the partnership I do with my horse, this is largely thanks to the training Louise has instilled both before and during my ownership. I can't recommend her highly enough! Steven L
Laurene and India I initially contacted Louise to help me restart my mare Indy. I had done a lot of groundwork with her but despite this, my girl was still incredibly ‘hot’ and struggled to find any relaxation when ridden. This meant she could be explosive under saddle and I had felt I'd reached the limits of my current capabilities. After an initial session where Louise assessed my mare from the ground, we agreed to start from the ground up. So that my mare could learn to find relaxation and a more open stride, Indy has had a very traumatic past and this has made her very wary of new people. Louise has been kind and sympathetic towards her. She has been incredibly patient with Indy and never rushed her to get results. My mare has been allowed to move at her own pace and Louise has guided us step by step through each exercise. This is not the ‘one session done and dusted’ kind of training but it is thorough, mindful and holistic seeing your horse as a whole! With a bit of perseverance, you soon see results. My mare is now much more able to relax into the work and with specialist physio input, which Louise helped connect us with, we are well on the road to having a much happier horse! Louise is lovely to deal with, is down to earth and clear when giving feedback. She really puts the horse at the heart of all of her teaching, and I feel very fortunate to have found her and to have her on our team. I can only highly recommend her to anyone that is struggling with their horse!
Michelle and Pablo Louise was recommended to me by a friend after my daughter was becoming frustrated with her communication and connection with her horse and unsure of why this was happening and what was going on. Louise talked the process through with us and set to work with our horse Pablo. Louise has done a lot of ground work and has involved my daughter in the process. Getting her to understand why such work is vital for both horse and rider. Our work with Louise is still on going and the change in our horse has been amazing! Not only has Louise helped him to understand what is being asked of him and worked on areas where he struggled, she has also explained the whole process to my daughter who is able to continue his training alongside Louise thus building her confidence and knowledge. Louise also has helped us to identify health conditions in Pablo which were confirmed by a vet and treatment was sought. Louise really takes time with the horse and has been on hand to offer advice in every area. Horsemanship at the core!
Cara, Dabs, Wally and GG Louise is so knowledgable and has such a brilliant way of working with the horses. She has helped me with a range of different horses and I've seen results from all of them using her advice and training methods. I have learnt so much in working with them from the ground and all of the groundwork that Lou taught me has transferred to ridden work brilliantly and has helped all the horses I've worked with to become strong and balanced and happy in their work. She is helping me at the moment with my TB mare Gigi and has been a godsend with her advice after a recent bout of colic, giving me dietary advice and support with Gigi's recovery. You couldn't choose anyone better to help you with your horse. Louise will always put the horse first and has a brilliant way of explaining everything too. I've attached a few photos of the last 2 horses Lou helped me with before Gigi, Diablo and Wally. Both were very different horses who struggled in various areas and both of them responded so well to everything we did with them! Diablo was very unbalanced and very sticky about jumping, he lacked confidence and suppleness but with Lou's help he went on to be a brilliant, strong, brave and happy horse. Wally was very sensitive and reactive, he thrived on the groundwork and became a really sweet and balanced horse through all the hours me and Lou spent working with him. I'd recommend everyone to let Louise help them with their horses, they'll learn a whole new way of working them if they do! Cara B
Amy and Buck Lou has been absolutely invaluable with developing my horse, both on the ground and ridden, using sympathetic methods that just make sense. No longer is he a hollow horse with his nose in the air and I can feel him collecting beneath me, best feeling ever! We are bitless too and I have previously had trainers tell me I would never achieve what we have without a bit. Thank you Lou for all you have done and continue to do. I am looking forward to seeing how my boy continues to develop in the future. Amy D
Harriet and Dudley Lou has helped me invaluably in the past with ex-racehorse Dudley when I was experiencing some mounting problems with him. The methods Lou provided to me were kind yet effective and within a few sessions Dudley would stand calmly and patiently at the mounting block, with no more rushing off as soon as I had picked up the reins and had one foot in the stirrup. I can’t recommend Louise enough for anyone looking for help with their horse.
Jenny and Pepper I can't recommend Lou at LS Horsemanship enough. She takes the time to look at the bigger picture of both horse and rider, and teaches techniques which make a real long term difference. Her calm way of doing things make her ideal for nervous or anxious horses, and my mare has really benefitted from her approach both mentally and physically.
Jess and Dodger Lou has been fantastic with my spooky horse Dodge. Since starting lessons with her I can see a difference in him and he is much happier, as am I! 😁 Lou has taught me things the ‘traditional’ horse world hasn’t and I wish I’d met her sooner!
Annalise and Finn Lou is lovely, so calm and helps to relax both owner and pony. Her tuition really helped me understand how a spooky or nervous horse may think and helped me to respond better. Would definitely recommend!
Marianne and Louie Louise is a wonderful kind horse lady who helps horses in a calm gentle way that they appreciate so much. If you feel she can help both you and your horse, don't hesitate to get in touch with her.
Jane and Abacus Louise has been working with my horse for a few months now having been highly recommended to me .Not only has she solved our mounting issues & improved Abacus' suppleness , most importantly she has massively increased my confidence handling him. I have always found Lou to be reliable,patient and supportive and willing to go that extra mile .I highly recommend her to anyone wanting a more harmonious relationship with their horse.
Nicole and Dan Where do I even start! I have the pleasure of loaning Dan owned by Lou and he is the most well trained horse I've ever come across in my 20 years of riding. After having lesson with Lou on Dan, I feel like she's unlocked a whole new level to my riding that I didn't know existed, let alone being able to do. I can't thank Lou enough, her expertise has helped me be a better rider and bond with Dan on such a deep level. Lou understands horses so in-depth, it makes so much sense, but until you know about these things, you don't know! I can't describe how many 'oh my god' moments.
Alex and Izzy To me horsemanship is a two way communication between horse and rider. It is very clear that Louise has a solid understanding of this and this reflects in her way of teaching. I have always felt at ease whilst training with Louise, she is always reassuring, relaxed and quiet with the horses which I believe is the most effective way and always gets the best end result. Louise is extremely passionate about her work and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every session. Alex S
Eloise and Pablo I couldn't recommend Louise more, I've been working with her now for almost a year and the difference in not only Pablo but myself is astonishing. Not many people out there will give you not only lessons, advice both riding and on the ground but Louise has also given me a big insight into how a horse behaves, works and should be managed. She has helped us to diagnose, properly treat and manager our horse's grade 3 ulcers, from which he has scoped clear due to her advice and we are now on the track to soundness again. Pablo has changed from a stuck, numb, unhappy and uncomfortable pony to a much more supple, alert and definitely happy pony who is even now starting to work at liberty due to all the knowledge I have gained. Again, I couldn't recommend Louise more as she has taught me so much and I'm ever so thankful for this service, I don't know where I'd be without her! Eloise S (14)
Vicki and Teddy I've been working with Louise for a number of years now and I can't rate her highly enough. I began working with her after a fall left my confidence shattered and she has taught me (and my horse) so much. With my horse she quickly identified what our issues were and put a plan in place to help us overcome these. She returned to the North East 2 years ago and was invaluable in helping me with my youngster, teddy, who was 4 at the time and she helped me build his confidence taking him from a very nappy horse to one who will now confidently hack out alone and be less in love with the gate when we are in the school. She also helped me understand how to apply the mythical outside rein so he wouldn’t drift towards his beloved gate. More importantly she taught me that slow and steady definitely wins the race with a young horse. Working with Louise I've learned so much more about the importance of ground work and not letting your horse overstep little boundaries that can then grow into bigger issues. She is very knowledgable and explains things in a simple, straightforward way. She is solution focused and always has the best interests of the horse at heart. She is no-nonsense, doesn't let you make excuses and gives you the skills, knowledge and confidence to implement her advice.
Jess and Harley After speaking with Louise online briefly she was more than happy to come out and work with my youngster who had boundary issues and provide relevant groundwork exercises. When she met Harley she had a confidence with him that instantly took effect and provided visible improvements. After working with him herself Louise showed us a variety of different exercises and then worked with my mum to help boost her confidence and handling of him as well. As a nervous and wary handler the change in her ways was very clear and that confidence she needed was back. I personally feel I have taken a lot away from the session and look forward to putting it into practice as the results spoke for themselves and will be looking to use them on my other horses as well. I wouldn't hesitate to contact Louise again and ask her to come and work with any of the other horses or even to go over/develop the work she's already. Would definitely recommend her to anyone who needs that extra support be it a novice or experienced handler, you'll definitely take something away from the session.