Category Archives: Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy

Applications are now open for new training places on the Academy programmes. Join us! Part 1: Jack & Amber

By Wiola Grabowska

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We are a small training initiative so places on the programmes don’t come up often and when they do, they usually become taken by friends of riders already on the programmes. For the first time in a long while, I’d like to invite applications from riders who perhaps have not come across such an opportunity before and would like to experience the Aspire Equestrian adventures! 

There are several places up for grabs this Spring thanks to fantastic owners I am lucky to work with who enjoy having sharers or loans on Academy programmes.

First go two absolutely fantastic ponies, Jack and Amber.

JACK – 13.2hh Welsh Section C. Available from 1st March 2018 (can be stabled at Northolt or Henley on Thames)


screen-shot-2017-10-02-at-21-47-42-e1506979276112.pngSuper, versatile pony with a huge willingness to please. Sensitive but sensible, can be ridden by a child, lightweight teenager or a small adult. Jack is a true all-rounder, is easy to do, very affectionate and a true “people’s person”. Brave and spirited yet perfectly suitable for bitless and bareback training. 


You will: 

– be a caring, patient yet adventurous rider who enjoy developing own flatwork/dressage, jumping, cross-country, hacking skills;

– enjoy taking part in training outings, arena hires, Intensive Training Camps and/or low key unaffiliated shows 

– 13 years or older and maximum 8st (younger riders possible if capable riders)

– happy to take Jack on a minimum of 6 months loan (ideally 1 year)

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For more photos and information on financial commitment please see our website: 

If you would like to chat through this opportunity please feel free to call Wiola on 0749 2202 400 or email

Update 22/03/2018 ****AMBER IS NOW TAKEN*****

GRYFINDOR AMBER FLAME (AMBER) – 13.2hh Welsh Section C. Available from 20th March 2018



Experienced, ex-competition, one in a million kind of pony with numerous Pony Club wins to her name in previous loan homes. Now a very capable schoolmistress, fantastic in the arena with less confident riders but still with plenty of exuberance with more adventurous ones.


Amber is available for Start (complete beginner rider) programme or Foundation (novice rider) programme to give her a quieter life she now deserves. She is a fantastic, confidence giving pony with larger than life character and would be a wonderful friend to someone wanting to learn the foundations of riding skills with. Suitable for children 10 years +, small teenager or a small adult (maximum 8 stone for a learner rider).

For more photos and information on financial commitment please see our website: 

If you would like to chat through this opportunity please feel free to call Wiola on 0749 2202 400 or email

A couple of more places will be available soon at the UB5 location and at Henley on Thames. Stay tuned or email now to be informed as soon as the places come up!

Time to grow the Academy! Don’t miss the new training places available… Place 2 of 3 – with full loan of Gilly on Foundation to Performance Programme.

Earlier this year I decided to open several more places on the Academy programmes and it’s time to invite further 3 riders to join us! Place one of two – with Oscar and place two of three – with Gilly.

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Mairi and Gilly at Cherwell Competition Centre – 8th July 2017

Meet Gilly, 16.3hh, Irish Sports Horse gelding owned by Georgia Reed and currently on full loan to one of the Academy riders, Mairi. Having decided she is ready to buy her own horse, Mairi will be terminating full loan contract on Gilly but Georgia is happy for him to stay with us with another rider. Don’t miss this place as Gilly is one of those hard to find horses that will jump his heart out for you and will work well on the flat too. 


This is a very unique opportunity to join the Academy team with a horse that is already settled within a routine that suits him and who works well with variety of different riders. He would suit both a learner rider and a competent, competitive one who would like to train harder.


As with all horses and riders who are part of the Academy programme, we put emphasis on a thorough education of the rider and wellness focused training of the horse. The place would suit a rider interested in developing their riding and horsemanship skills in a friendly, motivational and fun environment within a grassroots sports team.

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Gilly and Mairi learning Shoulder In in-hand 

Gilly will come into your life with a unique and attractive Aspire coaching livery package including:

  • weekly training and coaching support – fully bespoke and flexible (£160/month)
  • full and very supportive livery care (please see contact details for more information)
  • one or two sharers who ride once a week and contribute substantially to the full livery costs (up to £160),
  • inspirational training vibe that will encourage you to train to your best self
  • access to help & advice around the clock

Location: Northolt, Middlesex/West London (UB5)

Email or call Wiola on 0749 2202 400 for full details. 

Available: from mid August 2017

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If you are a dreamer and hard worker – join us 🙂 

Time to grow the Academy! Don’t miss the new training places available… Place 1 of 3 – with training share of Oscar on Development Programme.

Earlier this year I decided to open several more places on the Academy programmes and it’s time to invite further 3 riders to join us! Place one – with Oscar.

Meet Oscar, 16.1hh, 6 year old Irish Sports Horse gelding owned by Paige Burford. 


Oscar is a young horse with a history of a few serious injuries which means he requires sympathetic and thorough approach to training in order to help him develop further. He can be straightforward to ride on his good day and might need more rider’s guidance on his weaker days. He can be quirky but his behaviour is not dangerous, it is more of a schooling quirkiness than violent playfulness.

Rider Profile for this training place: 

Oscar is available for the rider ready to join our Development Programme i.e. one who:

  • is aware of natural crookedness of every horse and how this affects their performance;
  • has stable basic seat in walk, trot and canter, stable light seat over poles/cavalleti and is happy jumping small jumps (2’6 to 3ft)
  • has a calm and patient attitude to schooling
  • has plenty of curiosity about how to help a horse work to its best and has a strong desire to learn more about schooling for soundness and longevity
  • is confident enough to be able to remain relaxed and calm when dealing with horse’s balance and straightness issues like falling in and out on turns and circles (no need to be gang – ho, simply being confident in own seat and balance is all Oscar needs)
  • loves solving schooling puzzles!
  • loves training and taking young horses out and about to learn more about life and compete from time to time at grassroots levels of dressage and/or jumping.

Oscar schooling

Full offer: 

  • weekly lessons (more frequent training options also available)
  • opportunity to take Oscar to training trips (lessons at variety of venues – flatwork, jumping, XC)
  • Intensive Training Camps
  • shows

How it Works

All Academy training for riders without own horses (or wanting to join in without own horse) is based on riders loaning or sharing suitable horses at the venue the training takes place. Availability of training places depends on availability of those horses. More information on our website Please have a look around before contacting us so you can familiarise yourself with the coaching offer and decide if it’s for you. Happy to answer any questions and queries anytime 🙂 

XC 2Oscar XC 1


Available from: 1st July 2017

Minimum training commitment required: 3 months (but priority given to riders interested in long term training adventures)

Location: Northolt, West London/Middlesex (UB5)


Monthly loan/share: £80

Lessons: £40/lesson (minimum 4 lessons a month)

JOIN US 🙂 Please contact Wiola at if you would like to organise a visit, meet Oscar and discuss the opportunity further. 




A little Before & After fun with Ferris & Mojo

By Wiola Grabowska

Blog Mojo and Ferris
Mojo, owned by Kelly Hill – 8 years old AES Gelding, backed later in life and bought from the field in November 2016. Ferris, owned by Emma Brinkworth – 11 years old Thoroughbred, ex-steeplechaser, purchased in 2016 and rested in the field.

Biggest bonus of taking regular photos and videos is that we can go back and look at all the stages of development both in the horse and the rider. Whilst it is fun to compare and see the difference over time, it is also a good lesson when working with the next horse and rider.

Important thing to note here is that both Ferris and Mojo are owned by experienced, competent riders with a lot of riding feel and ability to act on many “green moments”.  They are both challenging in the best possible way, trainable yet with good own instincts  and I think we have a good understanding of what we want to achieve through working together. I do think this is important in any coaching situation.

Top photo: 29th April 2017. Aspire Equestrian Intensive Training Camp. Bottom photo: 22nd November 2016, first time Kelly rode Mojo with me.
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Bottom photos: Emma’s first lesson with me on Ferris 8th March 2017 and Ferris’ first flatwork session under the saddle since his “let down time”. Top two photos: 14th May 2017. Ferris being ridden by one of my young riders, Sasha Eastabrook.

Both Mojo and Ferris work in-hand regularly. Ferris with myself and Mojo with Kelly in lessons and individually. I believe it helps hugely with the horses’ understanding of training and its demands, both physically and mentally.

These comparisons shots are not to show what can be done in a short space of time because with a learner ride, the same horse might take five, six sometimes ten times longer to reach similar level of improvement.  However, this is a fun way of showing that regular training without any gadgets brings good results with seemingly ordinary horses.

I believe that wellness oriented training makes any horse more beautiful, athletic and able and I love being part of the process of getting there 🙂

Both of these horses are a work in progress. Don’t be fooled or discouraged as there are many not so perfect moments happening in their every day training 🙂 They are still learning, building the right muscles and gaining experiences. Hopefully in another several months time they will have learnt to move with even more balance, suppleness and spring in their steps!

***TAKEN!*** Rare Opportunity! Amber – Fabulous pony available for Training Share with the Academy




Available for training share with the Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy, Amber is a fabulous all-round schoolmistress who is safe and fun, well travelled, well schooled and turns her hoof at anything from dressage, through show-jumping to cross-country.

Ideally, we are looking for someone who: 

  • is looking for all-round coaching 1-3 x a week (lessons at the yard in Northolt UB5)
  • would like to attend Academy’s training outings, events and Camps with this special pony
  • 10 years or older (weight limit: 8.5st)
  • would like to become part of the team with Amber and develop their riding and horsemanship skills

We are offering: 

  • Academy livery (full-livery) at Northolt with Kelly looking after her
  • Weekly lessons with Wiola at Northolt (up to 3 lessons a week possible)
  • Opportunity to take part in variety of training options outside the yard

Please contact Wiola for further details on 

Introducing first “How to be The Gadget” [instead of using one] course by Aspire Equestrian

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post on my Diary blog titled “Be The Gadget“. It got some insane amount f views and really lovely comments so I started thinking about putting together a little course that I could run and teach anyone some basics of groundwork without gadgetry…


Most horses require no additional leather work but a well fitting cavesson and a lunge line to learn how to move in balance, with engagement, relaxation and looseness in the body. ANYONE can learn how to be the gadget and create a positive connection with a horse that is so much more than standing in the middle of a circle and let the horse run around.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Bailey (your learning partner) and the first Aspire Equestrian How to be The Gadget course 🙂 


Overview: The course consists of 16 private sessions and will cover: lunging, in-hand work and long reining. Sessions are 1h long and include both theory and practice.

Suitable for: anyone who looks after/exercises horses – riders, parents of riders, nervous riders, non-riders

Perfect for: anyone who wants to learn how to structure groundwork training without use of gadgets and achieve lasting results in horse’s posture, attitude and quality of work under the saddle.

Duration: 16 weeks (weekly sessions available on Tuesdays, Fridays and/or Saturdays)


Share of Bailey: £160 payable to horse’s owner

Coaching: £25 per session (£400 per course) If you are already training on Aspire programme and would like to do this course please chat with Wiola about special fees for current riders.


Bailey is a 15.2hh Welsh Section D bay gelding who will be your learning partner on this course. He is very accustomed to wearing gadgets so let’s see if we can get him to work well without them 😉


For further information and to book your place email Wiola at

Look forward to meeting the keen learner – horse person 🙂