ONE YEAR ON: From a very nervous beginner rider to 12 months later…VIDEO STORY


On the 5th of May 2014 I received an email with this opening line (I hope Nigel isn’t going to kill me for quoting him! 😉 :


I’ve looked at a number of riding schools and they mostly seem to stick you on a horse and let you get on with it.  From what I’ve seen on your website it looks like you take a more fundamental approach, which is what I feel I need, given my confidence issue.

Fast forward several email conversations and organisation of a suitable start date, we set the first session for the 8th of July 2014.

First session for Nigel – learning basic balance on the simulator

At 6ft4 (1.95m), low fitness level and with some serious confidence issues ever since being bolted with and bucked off a horse as a child, Nigel certainly has been an interesting coaching challenge from the word go!

I can’t say I specialise in nervous riders. There are many much more capable coaches out there who can do a much better job with confidence issues.

I do, however, specialise in the go-getters, triers and dream chasers 😉 With all his disadvantages, fear being most dominant, Nigel had from the start what many riders are missing: incredible dedication and the drive to conquer whatever limitations came his way.

He probably doesn’t even see it like this but having taught thousands of riders I know many who give up at slightest obstacle be it nerves or physical disadvantages. I used to think it’s down to guts and courage but now I think it’s rather down to grit and determination.

Nigel and Star, one of the two of his horse-teachers so far. An amazing mare in her late twenties who was sadly put to sleep in June this year.

We have had some great rides where progress felt easy and fluid and we have had some very challenging sessions where everything seemed too much effort or appeared too difficult or too scary to achieve ( the first time I asked Nigel to ride without a bridle for example – I am sure he must have grown a couple of grey hairs 😉 ) Such experiences are a part and parcel of this sport (and any other) when trained as one and for me, they are as necessary for full enjoyment as the eureka and on-top-of-the-world moments 🙂

Nigel canter
Nigel today – 6th July 2015 on the other of his horse teachers – Percy.

If you too are a nervous rider, having riding related confidence issues, think you can’t achieve something due to one or other physical limitations do take example from Nigel and forget about needing talent and bravery. What you need is patience, dedication and a go-getter attitude 😉

Below video is a series of clips from many hours of footage I took over the year. I chose some moments that were both good and difficult, some that brought happy achievements endorphins and some that potentially brought the “I can’t do thiiisss!!” experiences 😉

Happy Aspire Anniversary Nigel!!

Happy watching! Personally, I am really looking forward to what next year’s video will be like 😀

6 thoughts on “ONE YEAR ON: From a very nervous beginner rider to 12 months later…VIDEO STORY”

  1. Great job Wiola and well done Nigel for your perseverance. Look forward to following your progress!

  2. Lovely work, Nigel and Wiola!
    Very good body alignment, and soft and steady hand position! Impressive 😊

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