Irish Connemara goes to Superstar Level – Steve Halfpenny Lessons in Tipp July 2014

By , July 12, 2014 11:44 am

I was really lucky & had the pleasure of 2 days with Steve Halfpenny & some great friends, and our much loved horses in Tipperary this week. HOLY MOLY we had such fun, the weather was super, we rode all day in a huge field and made SO much progress it was tricky to really believe it! Here’s a recap of how I did with Oz.

A few weeks ago I was at a wonderful clinic with the Rashids so we sorted out some serious stuff we had been stuck with – mounting block, trotting & the bridle. With all that MUCH better this meant we could start to play with more fun stuff with Steve. And did we have fun!! :)

 photo SteveHwideangle012ps.jpg


EXERCISE: Stick to my plans

The plan – Walk a few steps, backup a few steps, walk a few steps, repeat.

What was happening was half way through a manoeuvre (for example going backwards), Oz would start unexpectedly going sideways by himself. Instead of me continuing to ask him to go backwards as was the initial plan, I’d stop doing this and instead work on stopping him from going sideways. So Oz was in essence had now taken over control of what we were working on. Not good! Instead, if Oz does something I didn’t ask for, just ignore it. I need to keep focused on what I actually want, keep asking for it regardless of what extras Oz decides to do, and then reward when I get what I want. Continue reading 'Irish Connemara goes to Superstar Level — Steve Halfpenny Lessons in Tipp July 2014'»

Ozzie lessons with Mark Rashid & Crissi McDonald – June 2014 Tipperary

By , June 8, 2014 3:42 pm

Mark Rashid & Crissi came to Ireland for what I reckon was the best Irish Horsemanship clinic ever.

We had a Great Cake Competition, live trad music and some very lovely horses, riders & speccys. Every single horse made huge progress over the two days. Actually there was so much progress you had to be there watching to believe how much improvement was possible by just changing some small things.

Here’s a few pics and the report of my horse is below.

Amazing food & a live trad band for lunchtime :)

 photo photo451.jpg

THE GREAT CAKE COMPETITION 2014 (this is just some of the cakes)

 photo photo1-8.jpg Continue reading 'Ozzie lessons with Mark Rashid & Crissi McDonald — June 2014 Tipperary'»

Advanced Aikido: Sunshine Edition UK May 2014

By , May 21, 2014 11:23 pm

The 3 days of aikido with Mark were great. But a word of warning, you’re not going to understand a lot of the moves are they are pretty difficult to put down on paper! These notes are more for the people at the event, who know the moves and just need the outlines of them to remember them. Apologies there are definitely mistakes in here & omissions! Bottom line is that as a non any type of martial arts person, I really got a lot out of the Aikido training that Mark does. It really helps you to connect with your horse in a much more useful way. If you are on the fence reading this, get off it & book yourself into his next Aikido clinic in the UK. Continue reading 'Advanced Aikido: Sunshine Edition UK May 2014'»

Mark Rashid & the UK Sunshine Tour May 2014

By , May 21, 2014 10:23 pm


I’ve just had a pretty super 6 days of watching horsemanship & doing aikido. Tons of fun & lots of new things learned and to try out. For the 3 day riding clinic, there were about 8 horses, who were worked each day. I’m going to write by each horse below. Bear in mind I probably missed a lot of stuff, and please do expect me to get things wrong here :) Anything that doesn’t make sense is my fault, nothing to do with the clinic. Mark, all horses, all riders & spectators were wonderful & Amanda did another amazing job of organising it.


First up, when you’re riding with Mark it’s a really good idea to have a list of things you want to work on ready. He is going to ask you :) Nic wants to work on the subtle things she did in Aikido last December. Continue reading 'Mark Rashid & the UK Sunshine Tour May 2014'»

Mark Rashid – waiting list now only Summer 2014

By , January 21, 2014 6:18 pm


A waiting list is now in place for all riding & speccy places at Mark’s first Irish clinic. We do apologise but this is due to space constraints at our lovely arena :)

If you wish to put your name on the waiting list, please email chocolatelabhelp AT


An Irish horse takes over the world with the help of

By , January 8, 2014 1:21 am

horse training bestseller

Just checked on and realised that the two books I wrote about Ozzie, are now #1 and #2 in horse training on That’s pretty good going for an Irish Connemara from Tipperary!

We’re both looking forward to summer 2014, lots of opportunities to learn more & improve. Happy new year!

Panorama Theme by Themocracy