Tag Archives: London

London riders – places on Aspire programmes are coming to you :)

***Apologies for those of you who are waiting for Part 5 of the Gift Guide! I am on limited internet at the moment so uploading the pages is tricky! It will be up as soon as possible!***

Caitlin on Tilly
Trial lesson at a London yard. Caitlin on Foundation programme.

In the last few months I have been receiving more and more enquiries from London based riders who for one reason or the other can’t make the journey for Reading lessons. The challenge was on to find a place that would be accessible by public transport, had at least 2 to 3 horses available for share or loan, had an all-weather arena plus ideally some field riding and hacking and also be do-able for me to travel to regularly.

Having tried a couple of places and them not meeting the criteria, this weekend myself and a couple of my lovely clients tried a little yard not very far from a hub of public transport at Ealing Broadway. The initial trial went well so we are setting off with several places available from December 2014 🙂 More information will be included in our Newsletter tomorrow and details are available via email at aspire@outlook.com.

I will continue to search for more opportunities in and near London so if you don’t manage to get a place at this yard, rest assured I am on the case! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or email any time 🙂 Wiola

Emma Z
Trial lesson at a London yard. Emma on Development Programme on a newly backed youngster.


Due to increasing numbers of London riders wanting to ride on Aspire programmes…


Due to increasing numbers of London riders interested in Aspire’s coaching programme, I am looking to work with a centre nearby (30min from Central London) so not all London riders have to trek all the way to Berkshire or Hampshire every week.

My training is horse friendly and rider centred – the courses aim to inspire, motivate and educate those riders who ride for improvement, ethical sport and joy of being around horses. We offer positive, dynamic tuition that is creative and fun.

Any of the below or all available as part of the cooperation: 

– committed, passionate instructor happy to help with existing business

– quality tuition for existing liveries if needed/wanted at special rates

– freelance teaching cover

– schooling for ponies and horses ridden, groundwork, in-hand

– teaching training for trainee instructors – quality “teaching to teach” service

– assistance with marketing & PR

– overall helping hand

I am looking for someone with Aspire values and passion for equestrian grassroots sports…If that’s you, or you know of someone I could contact, pleasedrop an email to Wiola at aspire@outlook.com 

ALSO LOOKING FOR CENTRES ANYWHERE IN THE UK WHO WOULD LIKE TO HOST OUR ASPIRE TRAINING GET-AWAYS! (These are bootcamp training weekends and weeks – please get in touch if you have 4-5 lovely horses we could hire for training, good lesson’s facilities, safe hacking and a local B&B).

Thank you!

Wiola Grabowska BHSAI/INT’T


Calling horse owners in London, Berkshire, Surrey – Aspire lessons going mobile

As some of you will know, the Aspire courses have been mainly venues based and non horse owners focused in the last three months and we know that some of you found the distance to Reading too much to travel. Starting from today (6th June 2014) we are much more mobile and available for regular lessons in many areas of London, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent (Orpington) and who knows, maybe somewhere where you are too 🙂

Give Wiola a ring, book your trial lesson now and start a very aspirational summer this year 😀

If you share our training values for grassroots riders and would like to help us to spread the word, please feel free to print out the below poster and pin it at your yard, tack shop, feed shop or just forward the link to this post to your friends. 

berks and london

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro smash the Grand Prix Freestyle world record!

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro smashes the Grand Prix Freestyle world record with a winning performance (93.27% ) at the London International Horse Show in Olympia on 17th December 2013:

Click on image to watch the video


LOCATION INDEPENDENT. ANYONE CAN ENTER. Intensive Training Day offer can only be used in the UK. Photo model: Flirting with Destiny owned by our lovely Guest Blogger: Candace!

If you would like me to cast an eye on a problem you are having with your riding and give you a mini-training plan to work on the issue, be brave and do the following:


  • film 1-2 min of clear footage of one issue you would like a training plan for
  • embed it on your blog in a post titled “Aspire Equestrian Monthly Virtual Training Challenge – Christmas Special” and a short description of what you are trying to achieve and what you are doing on the problem right now.
  • send me a link to your blog post as a comment to this post

I will comment on your blog with a thorough feedback and a mini training plan. 


You can then pick a friend with whom you can claim your Christmas Special Offer: 1 MONTH FREE OF ASPIRE VIRTUAL COACHING FOR BOTH OF YOU! (to be used any time before the end of February 2014) and ÂŁ50 OFF an Aspire Intensive Training Day in 2014 for each of you*.

Be brave :) Bloggers must enter the challenge before 24th December 10pm London, UK time.

All levels and problems welcome. 

* blogger who publicly blogs about their training via Aspire Virtual Coaching programme and a friend will receive ÂŁ50 OFF full fee when they book Aspire Intensive Training Day (location: Berkshire UK). Normal Intensive Training Day’s fee: ÂŁ200 per rider per day. The offer can be claimed any time between Aug – Dec 2014. 



Don’t know what to expect from an Intensive Training Day? Watch our little video preview to Aspire 2014 coaching 🙂

How would you like to take part in something amazing in 2014? Introducing our next year’s offer…



… to invite all inquisitive riders and challenge seeking riders-to-be to our 2014 all-levels training programmes which will initially be available at the following two locations:

1. Cullinghood Equestrian Centre, near Reading, Berkshire (5o min from West London)

2. Moorwards Farm Equestrian Coaching Facility, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire (25 min from West London)


ASPIRE2014STARTFor real first timers or anyone who wants to go back to basics and establish a safe, correct seat both for jumping & dressage. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. You will be free to progress to the next programme once you’ve achieved the following skills: Start Skill Set


For all you ambitious leisure riders out there! You will be challenged within your level, encouraged to progress your skills and better understand horses as riding companions. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. However, horse owners are welcome to join in as well as non-owners who would like to loan or share a horse for duration of training (help with choosing the right horse is given free of charge). You can stay training and riding at this level indefinitely but will be free to progress to the next programme once you’ve achieved the following skills: Foundation Skills Set


Both for leisure and sport minded riders who have keen interest in training a horse that moves in a bio-mechanically correct, happy and healthy way. No gadgets training aimed at understanding rather than quick fixes. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. However, horse owners are welcome to join in as well as non-owners who would like to loan or share a horse for duration of training (help with choosing the right horse is given free of charge). You can stay training and riding at this level indefinitely, we never stop learning to school different horses. The skills worked on during this programme: Development Skills Set.


For grassroots, amateur competition riders with passion for dressage, show-jumping or eventing. You will be a horse owner or Development Programme level rider who is keen to loan or share a horse to compete.


From March 2014, each month we will have up to 12 places available and they will be offered on first pay first serve basis. There will be 5-6 places for non-horse owners and 5-6 for horse owners. All training will be available in form of packages consisting of 8 ridden training sessions (average price: ÂŁ40-ÂŁ60 per 90 minutes session) and 8 Aspire Coaching Sessions. Stay tuned for ‘Early Bird’ Packages coming up on the 6th of December! UPDATE: Click here for further details


Email Wiola at aspire @ outlook.com and be the first to receive Aspire offers.

Looking forward to meeting many aspiring riders in 2014 🙂

The Big Adventure Starts From March 2014…!

Academy from March
Programmes available via Aspire Equestrian

Some of you will know that I have been looking for a yard base for Aspire’s programmes…

In the last few months I have read more adverts than in a few years that’s for sure and in the process I found out that should I was looking in the US I would have plenty of choice! Candace, my dear friend from Chicago, added even more temptations with some awesome links. It seems that having a freelance instructor running their own training programme out of someone else’s facility is a system widely used and utilised. Noted for the future 😉

As for the presence…I can now tell you that a place in the UK which ticks many important boxes and which is happy to facilitate Aspire programmes had been found! It might not be a long term solution but I am very happy about this option which should work really well both for non horse owners as well as for riders with own horses.

The venue is easily accessible from London which I am really pleased about as I was worried about going too far away and losing my fabulous London clients. It’s also set in a wonderful countryside and has an option of an accommodation which was one of the most important factors in the whole search.

I will share more details in due course and as there also is a B&B on doorstep I would already want to warmly invite any readers from further afield to come over for a weekend (or more!) of serious training fun 🙂

How a little marketing message took me back to a few dramatic months with Strangles in 2010

Kingsley watching
Kingsley watching me splat on the grass watching him 🙂

From time to time we come across something that takes us back in time…

It happened to me yesterday so first, let me tell you a real life story. I haven’t blogged about it at the time due to sensitive nature of the whole case but years have passed so here we go.

One lovely morning in 2010 I went to work as usual. At the time I taught and groomed freelance at ten, eleven different yards around London, from small private places to big training centres. It took quite a bit of organising as I didn’t drive so I had separate sets of clothes and equipment in lockers at each yard. I’ve also had enough training on equine infectious diseases to know that at the yards with questionable management I needed to have certain rules and that was to have separate boots for those places…You can wash most things in high temperatures if you need to but boots are tricky to wash well unless you have some sort of disinfectant with you all the time. I didn’t have one.

On that one lovely day, my intricate and incredibly interdependent work pattern collapsed. Little did I know how badly.

It started with a phone call from a yard manager of one place I groomed at. She sounded very worried and concerned because she had just spoken to her vet who informed her there was an outbreak of strangles at a yard she knew I also worked at. Funnily enough I was at that yard at the time knowing absolutely nothing. Off I went to chat to another freelance instructor working with me and surprise surprise she also was not informed.

We then had a conversation with the staff who told us they had a couple of horses with flu like symptoms and that they were being moved to the back yard awaiting further tests. I phoned the yard manager back relaying what I learnt but she was adamant the vet diagnosed Strangles.

Somebody was lying for sure but we had no idea who and what was going on. Most of all, I was shocked none of us freelance people got informed as all of us worked at many different places in several counties around London.

I saw the horses in question, they looked subdued and off but that’s about it. I changed into my non-work clothes and went home to google everything possible about working at a place with Strangles…I found nothing much. I spoke to the vet who advised me to change all clothes and wash hands with antibacterial solution before leaving the yard. I bought a few bottles of those little hands sanitizers and used it non stop.

I informed my other yards about an issue and suspected disease but it was not without drama because the affected yard decided to keep a secret…Myself and other instructors were told not to inform anyone else about the veterinary investigations.

On one hand I could understand the owners because the craze that happens in the industry when infectious disease happen and a stigma that surrounds the yard affected are all very difficult to deal with. On the other hand, everybody needs heightened awareness on everything hygiene to contain the disease…

I chose to be open about it and informed all my other employers…

Few days passed and I received a message from the yard manager who initially phoned me asking me not to come to work because she was worried about having Strangles at her yard…I was taken aback by this. I had a horse at livery at the yard at the time too so it was a very difficult moment.

Few other yards followed.

I spoke to a centre manager of a big riding school I freelanced for asking her opinion (they had Strangles at the yard years earlier) and she was happy for me to continue to work. Her decision pretty much saved my livelihood at the time.

As more places grew in disease paranoia and as I lost 80% of my income I became rather desperate and emailed British Grooms Association for advice on procedures. They were very helpful and even put me in touch with a vet who advised me to simply keep my working clothes separate, use disinfectant as I was already using and otherwise work as normal. There were no actual procedures in place for freelance workers…

The whole thing slowly turned from a problem to a nightmare. Strangles got eventually confirmed at the stables with more than 2/3 of horses becoming ill over following weeks. Although I was hearing that my measures were more than enough to continue my work as usual, I started to doubt myself.

As the affected stables remained opened for business ( I still have no idea why the vet didn’t order temporary closure) I continued to work there whilst dropping most of other jobs. In the end of the day, if for whatever reason a horse at one of my other, healthy stables became ill I would forever regret my decision to work regardless of danger.

That was a pretty dark period of quite a few months. I love my job and love teaching so not being able to go out there and do my crazy amount of hours that I was used to was killing me. I also terribly missed my horse whom I couldn’t go and see either.

As far as I am aware, to this day there is no protocol for freelance instructors regarding multiple work places and infectious diseases. I guess it is down to each and every person’s honesty to report they work at an affected yard. Although I endured some significant financial hardship at the time and was told by the owners of affected place that if I wasn’t so naive and informed others I could have worked as normal, I wouldn’t do anything different.

I would, however, like to see some support network available both for freelance workers and the staff at affected places as it was a very sad time with young girls looking after seriously ill, seriously suffering horses.

Why this story all of a sudden? 

Well, yesterday I received a message…I get a lot of spam nowadays but I appreciate networking and enjoy it so if someone has something interesting to say, I keep on reading 🙂 This particular message took me back to those dreadful several month in 2010!

It was a product presentation and the more I read the more difficulties from “my strangles year” I remembered. As I finished reading, looking up the website and checking up on recommendations I knew my life, and perhaps life of the yard affected, could have been rather different if I had that product back then.

The product is called EQUILYPTUS and this is what it claims to kill: http://www.equilyptus.com/germs-and-bacteria/

Have you heard of this product before?

As it sounds so incredible I am going to extend this post further and let you have more information:

Equilyptus is revolutionising Bio Security within the equine world. It eliminates odours, kills bacteria and germs allowing you and your
horse to be free from spreading contagious and infectious diseases such as STRANGLES, RINGWORM and EHV plus many more. It is also
effective against THRUSH, MUD FEVER and SWEET ITCH

Equilyptus is specifically designed to be used by vets and such like for Bio Security when travelling from yard to yard and horse owners
when Temporary Stabling, even stud farms and racing yards. Use directly on you, your clothes, equipment and any other surface even
bedding. Also tack, blankets, mangers and smaller areas where bacteria, germs and flies collect. When used correctly on you, in your
yard, stable and transportation it will not only encapsulate all dust particles but also inhibit and stop the spread of bacteria germs fungal spores and viruses

SB1_1923According to Olympic Champion Tim Stockdale, “if you own a horse you need Equilyptus all year round. It’s Brilliant!!!” It is also endorsed
by Olympic bronze medallist Caroline Powel and Margot Tiffany BHSI who was on the board of Directors of the British Horse Society.

What is so special about Equilyptus and what are its unique selling points?

100% money back guarantee to destroy all odours.
Kills 99.9% of bacteria
Destroys fungal spoors
Effective against thrush
Effective against mud fever
Effective against EHV and many more viruses
Fantastic coat shine
Safe on clothes fabric leather and any surface
Safe on human skin
Neutral Ph Balance
Non toxic
No alcohol
Non hazardous
Non irritant
Non carcinogenic
Safe on any animals
No shelf life
Contains the natural oil from the eucalyptus leaf
Encapsulates dust particles
Environmentally friendly
Fully biodegradable

Now, do you understand how reading the above caused some turmoil in my memories?!

Please tell me if you had used this product? I am seriously thinking of buying this. 

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Longines Global Champions Tour is in London for the very first time. Set in the Olympic Park the competition starts today and carries on until Sunday. Don’t miss it, easy watching via Live stream so get your whole work team on your side! 😉

Live Streaming
Click on image above to go to LIVE stream 🙂