A little ingenious product for any rider :)

This is not a sponsored post, I literally only just seen this thanks to Twitter (and more specifically, thanks to chit chat with @RolltackLtd ) and genuinely loved the idea and couldn’t not share it with you all. I am forever dragging tack piece by piece everywhere so this looks like such a great solution to short distance tack transport 🙂 The car storage idea will probably appeal to many too. Let us know what you think – how do you deal with moving your tack around? I especially liked the idea of it double working as a mounting block. Clever.

Click on the image above for the full website, testimonials and more photos: http://www.rolltack.co.uk/



Rolltack Ltd has just offered you dear Aspire blog readers a 10% discount at checkout!


Teaching Standards of Riding Lessons – Following an interesting conversation on Horse & Hound Forum

s3It is believed that for something to change, the awareness of an issue has to happen. It certainly hold true for riding skill – we first need to feel or be aware of a possibility of the feel for something before we are able to tweak it, correct it, improve it. 

If you follow Aspire’s blog and coaching programmes you will know that we do not do short cuts. There will never be any tricks and gadgets substituting what can be learned without abuse. And yes, let’s don’t walk on eggshells and avoid the word. 

I generally focus on positive information and happy vibe on this blog but I am also passionate about grassroots riding education and if it is to change for the better, many many riders, riders-to-be and parents of those need to be aware of what standard is the good standard. 

Have a look at the below conversation currently happening on Horse and Hound Forum and add your thoughts on there or on here.

When watching your child’s lesson and having doubts about your child learning to “ride” not “bully” – do ask questions. If instructor is unable to answer, ask them to find the answer. When having lessons yourself as an novice/intermediate rider, follow your common sense. If you are asked to whip the horse repeatedly or kick and kick until your legs hurt, have your say

Teaching Standards.

Some young instructors never been taught to teach differently – build their awareness with your curiosity….Riding is such an amazing sport and can transform lives beyond imagination. It needs to be done with horse wellness in mind though otherwise it’s nothing but circus – entertainment at a very high price to the animals involved. 

#WEG2014 Video snippets: Boyd Martin, Team USA captain, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

For all those who wish they were watching WEG in real life! Little video snippet from the start of the eventing adventures in Normandy:

Team USA ready for the Games to begin in Normandy

Land Rover catch up with Boyd Martin, Team USA captain, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM currently being staged in Normandy, France to find out how he and the team are feeling on the eve of the eventing competition. Find out which countries he feels are a potential threat to the USA, and what he thought of the cross country course which the team saw for the first time today. Also see the various competitors take part in the trot up at Haras du Pin, the picturesque venue for the eventing competition.

Information source:

Sally Price | Senior Communications Director | Fast Track

Part of CSM Sport & Entertainment

Dancing in the rain – a few positive sides of rainwater and puddles!

Helen1Late August in England is a bit like an opening act of drizzles inevitably followed by countless rainy days – you better learn to like them or you enter a season of awaiting for drier months to return. My boots are already saturated and it’s barely started to truly rain 😉 If you know of any good waterproof clothing and footwear that I can try, please comment below! Not many that I tested have lasted continuous battering of wetness over the years but there are so many different brands out there that I may have easily missed the gem that keeps one dry while trekking the arenas! 

Now onto the positives!

No flies. You can’t argue with that one and it’s a huge relief not to have horses being eaten alive. 

Great opportunities for harder work out for your horse! Simple groundwork over varied terrain improves body awareness, proprioception and muscle tone and is rather fun too 🙂 

Joker over puddles


Test for your grit and determination! I find that the riders who continue their lessons over the winter and in challenging conditions, are the ones who are truly committed to improvement and reap the benefits of their work. There are conditions in which riding is not fun and schooling not really fair on the horse, like high winds and driving rain, but many challenging weather variations can generally be trained through. It certainly brings a special sense of accomplishment and most horses work well in not-so-perfect environment as long as they are focused and kept interested. 

Helen 2

To the point 😉 We tend to keep the sessions shorter and certainly very focused when strolling around in the sun admiring the view is not an appealing option. This teaches good planning and tests rider’s ability to maintain focused as well as engaging horse’s attention. It’s also a good chance for an instructor to test the commitment of a client 😉 


Working on the posture – both of the rider and the horse…

Rainy days are perfect for biomechanics bootcamp and I am yet to meet a rider who didn’t enjoy our sessions on Racewood simulator. They are intense but fun and allow the rider to fully focus on own body awareness and effectiveness. 

Collage Racewood simulator


All these little indoor spaces that are normally only suitable for very small horses or ponies can now be very handy for in-hand work and groundwork with your horse to help them with their own posture, muscle use, suppleness and flexibility.

Moira in hand with O

Or alternatively just brave the outdoors and come for one of Aspire workshops 🙂 You never know, the sun might come out for long enough to have a great few hours of learning 🙂 

in hand workshop


What do you do in the autumn (Fall) when the weather becomes challenging? Do you continue your lessons/riding as normal? How do you alter your training? Do you like riding in the rain? 🙂 

All the best,


2014 Aspire Coaching Offer


Dressage for Jumping: Two movements you don’t want to be skipping on when working on your flatwork

Patricia over at The Dressage Tipster/The Crystal System invited me to guest blog for her fabulous blog so if you love jumping and would like to read a few of my thoughts on how useful dressage can be to avoid “unlucky poles down” or always landing on the wrong lead, read on:

guest blog
Click on image to read 🙂

Alice-Rose Brown’s Confidence story series Part 3

I should have said at the beginning of this series that I’m not a top rider, not a sports psychologist, and not a riding instructor, but I am a nervous rider. What I hope I have conveyed to you in this series, from one nervous rider to another, is that your confidence issues don’t have to rule your equestrian life – you can beat them. After writing last week’s article I felt that there were a few more tips I could give you to help you boost your confidence. So here they are:

Tnfshow1ake things at your own pace

Taking things steady is probably one of the biggest tips I can give to anyone struggling with their confidence. We all like to think that once we’re back in the saddle everything will be fine, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

Even if your dream is to ride around Badminton it doesn’t matter how many steps it takes you to get there. Sometimes just spending 10 minutes in the saddle walking around the arena is enough to give you that initial confidence boost.

Personally, my dream is to qualify for the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championships at Olympia, but having had my confidence knocked by my young pony last year quite frankly I’ll be pleased if we can manage a sedate walk around the field by the end of the year!

Ignore, ignore, ignore

The other top piece of advice I would add to the tips given in my previous article is to ignore what people say. Livery yards are known for their gossip, it seems to be part and parcel of owning a horse, and we’ve all been the subject of the occasional rumour.

Just do what makes you happy and work at your own pace. You’ll be the one having the last laugh when your confidence returns and you’re out there achieving your dreams.


My final piece of advice, and something we could all do with remembering, is breath!

When you feel yourself getting nervous just take a few deep breaths, relax your shoulders, and smile. If you’re concentrating on your breathing and you’ve got a beaming smile on your face you’ll find it hard to be nervous.

“Fake it ‘til you make it” wasn’t a phrase originally associated with horse sports but sometimes faking confidence will help you get on with the task in hand until you feel truly confident in the saddle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and that it has helped you even in a small way to start tackling your confidence issues. I’ve been there, I’ve gotten the t-shirt, and I know how hard it can be. Equally, I also know how great it feels when you push your lack of confidence aside and really enjoy being with your horse!

Little peak into…

I’m sitting here having just finished the next Aspire’s newsletter – all fresh and ready to go out tomorrow morning.

newsletter peak

If you are subscribed already look out for it in your inbox in the morning! This will be the 3rd little newsletter leaving Aspire’s press quarters and we now have over 120 readers from various countries – any feedback will be much appreciated so future newsletters can be more and more useful If you have not signed up yet, head over to our microsite here: http://aspir1.wix.com/aspireequestrian2014 and add yourself on 🙂

All the best,


Feature Blogger Alice-Rose Brown continues her Confidence Series – Part 2: “What can I do to overcome this?”

In the first part of this short series on confidence we looked briefly at the emotional stages of lack of confidence and how it can affect us. A crisis of confidence can come at any time during your career with horses.


Some riders report feeling unsafe around horses after having children or taking a long break away from the equestrian world. Others have an accident or injury that understandably makes them nervous once they’ve recovered from any physical wounds. And some riders, like myself, have always been nervous and often ask themselves why they put themselves through the experience in the first place.

The answer to that is simple – people are drawn to horses for the sheer love of it – and once horses are “in your blood” there’s no going back.

As I’ve said before, the only useful question you can ask yourself when you’re suffering with nerves is “What can I do to overcome this?” and here is what worked for me.

Take a step back

Stepping back and giving yourself a break can be tough, especially if you’re still largely in denial about your crisis of confidence. It can also be hard if you’ve given yourself a deadline to be back in the saddle. Whether this deadline is real, such as a big competition coming up, or imaginary it doesn’t matter – it all adds to the pressure.

If you’re concerned about your horse becoming unfit or bored during your break from the saddle then find someone else who can ride him for you. Sometimes just seeing your horse behave for someone else can give you enough confidence to put your foot in the stirrup and get back on.

Be open and honest

As well as being open and honest with yourself it’s important to be open and honest with those around you about how you feel. Every rider has felt nervous at some point and you’ll find it easier to face your fears with the support of your fellow horsey friends.

For example, if the thought of going for a fast hack fills you with dread tell the person you’re riding with you’d rather stick to a steadier speed. After a few steady hacks you might surprise yourself by wanting to take it up a pace.

Caitlin on Star BLOG POSTHave some lessons

When you’re having a lesson you’re forced to concentrate on what your instructor or trainer is telling you rather than what the horse may or may not be doing. Take it from me; it’s difficult to worry about the horse spooking if you’re concentrating on your outside leg not flapping about like a flower in the breeze!

If money is tight you don’t even have to use an instructor. For me, having my Mother on the ground reminding me of some of the basic principles of riding was enough to make me forget about my nerves. A trusted friend or family member could do the same thing for you.

Keep it simple

As I said above, I wasn’t doing anything complicated in my “lessons”, I was just running through the basics to keep my mind off my nerves. Even top riders need to remind themselves of the simple things and we could all do with brushing up on our rein changes or square halts from time to time!

Don’t worry about your horse being wasted

We all like to think of our horses as superstars, personally I hope my pony will turn out to be a miniature version of Valegro, but so far it’s looking unlikely!

The problem with thinking like this is that you then tell yourself your horse will be wasted with you if your nerves mean you’d rather stick to short hacks instead of competitions.

Realistically, your equine partner isn’t going to care what he does as long as he’s fed, watered, and kept in the manner to which he has become accustomed. If your nerves mean you need time away from riding then roughing your horse off and giving him a break might be the best thing for both of you.

In the next, and final part, of this series on tackling confidence issues I’ll be looking at a few more ways of keeping your nerves at bay and discussing what happens once you’ve conquered your fears.

Best wishes,


More about the author here: Alice-Rose Brown

This is a feature blog post series. If you are a up and coming writer, journalist, a blogger with a story to share and would like to write a post, a series or few for Aspire blog to reach grassroots focused audience, please email Wiola at aspire@outlook.com. If your values match Aspire Equestrian’s values of thorough rider education, wellness focused horse training and dream brave-work hard philosophy don’t hesitate to get in touch 🙂