Mandy has helped me for nearly ten years now with all of my horses. Mandy is brilliant with young horses and ensure that all the basics are in place. I thoroughly recommend training with Mandy, she has so much valuable experience to pass on and her attention to detail is second to none. Mandy has supported me with all aspects of my equestrian career and her positive and encouraging attitude makes her a great asset to my team. Mandy is always at the end of the phone ready to help with any problem I have occurred but equally is the first to congratulate on the good days and pick me back up on the bad days. I look forward to following the rider responsibilities page learning and brushing up on great tips and advice from Mandy and her daughter. I am sure everyone can learn a lot from these two .
Charlotte Bacon - British Eventing under-18 competitor
I have known Amanda for many years now- having started off with fun yet instrumental lessons on my first pony. Her wealth of all round equestrian knowledge, the instillment of confidence and the importance of 'the basics' continue to stick with me since then. Having now competed at 5* level, I continue to turn to Amanda to discuss the horses and myself as the rider, not just technically but also mentally. In such a challenging sport to have a mentor with such a positive and problem solving mindset has helped me to conquer the many 'training crossroads' I often find myself at. 'Rider Responsibilities' looks extremely exciting and I look forward to following the blog.
Amanda and Anna, this page [Rider Responsibilities] looks amazing! I have known Amanda since I was a little bod on my excellent 14hh Connie. Amanda has coached me through many of my riding years, and provided huge inspiration to me to become a coach myself. Amanda has always been there for me through any 'bumps in the road' I had with my riding journey, including supporting me in the basics and building my confidence back up when it was all but gone. Her sensitive and consistent approach to the training is invaluable, not only helping me to become a better horsewoman, but also allowing me to pass on her ethos to those I now teach. I’m excited to see this page develop, and loving the brilliant exercises provided so far.
I have been taught by Amanda now for nearly 3 years. Following a bereavement I had lost all my confidence and Amanda gently changed my belief in myself and my already capable but very spooky horse. My horse and I now have a wonderful partnership and we now go out and compete with complete confidence and have fun and as a consequence we invariably come home with a ribbon. I finished the season by completing an 80cm ODE with a double clear. Thank you Amanda for your wonderful words of wisdom, encouragement and support.
Kenneth Clawson - Fellow of the British Horse Society
I have known Mandy Holloway for the past 25 years. Mandy is an accredited coach and is particularly gifted and passionate in organising all Pony Club activities but above all else has the qualities and skills to coach at the highest level within our sport.
I have known Mandy for almost 10 years and over that time she has dedicated a huge amount of time and effort towards improving my riding. Mandy’s expertise has helped me enormously and her precision and attention to detail has corrected many of my faults. She is an inspiration to many riders, particularly because of her admiration and love for horses, but also because of her dedication to her pupils no matter what their ability.
Mandy has also done for me two beautiful pastel portraits of my horse and dog which reflects her amazing talents and understanding of animals.
I have been incredibly lucky and am very grateful for the amount of time and effort Mandy has put into my riding.
I went to Mandy’s equestrian centre with very little confidence in my show jumping. She got me doing some exercises and soon realised what the problem was. She gave me advice and told me how to improve and by the end
of the lesson my confidence was sky high! Mandy gave me exercises to do at home which was a real help. After being eliminated show jumping in my last two events, I went out that weekend and had just a pole! Now all my show jumping demons are behind me and everything is going fab. Mandy was a huge help in achieving this.
Joanna Day – Fs’ and Is’ Coaching Day Report
Glorious sunshine welcomed the hardy few who arrived to enjoy and benefit from the coaching day offered by Mandy with Jeremy Michaels FBHS as the coach’s coach. Always a wonderful setting at Shorthampton we were all very appreciative of the improved weather. Four lucky F’s and I’s, our hostess Mandy, Jude, Jo, myself and my guest Sue were to benefit from a marvellous days coaching with Jeremy. Mandy had produced for us a diverse selection of her clients, a wealth of wonderful horses and riders of every possible type. There were amateur riders, breeders bringing on lovely youngsters, young riders, event riders, students and a mother riding her gold medal winning daughter’s eventers. The horses also varied from small athletic eventers to big hunter types and ranged across all stages of eventing training up to 2 star. Even Mandy, riding the sweetest little welsh pony, was coached by my nervous guest!The morning session began on the flat with Jeremy coaching the first few riders and asking us all to participate in assessments and suggestions for improvement. There was such an interesting variety of combinations that every aspect of coaching skills was needed. Jeremy rode two superbly demonstrating the huge benefit of have a ‘sit upon’ to feel of the horse’s way of going.
Many different ideas were tossed about – but the overriding conclusion was to try to think positive and seek and enhance the good bits in each combination. The importance of having a horse working willingly off light aids was agreed as key to success as was the essential requirement of a secure and balanced rider.Much mention was made of Chris Bartle and his ‘wheelbarrows’ analogue for helping riders not to pull back at the horses head. Also the benefit of a clear riders ‘body statement’ helping to set the horse up for the intended movement or transition. Molly Sivewright was also frequently referred to, especially the effectiveness of a rider lifting their diaphragm to prevent them tipping forward. The benefits of many transitions within and between the paces was shown to improve the horses willingness and hind leg engagement – and the horse and rider partnership.Each person had a chance to coach one of the riders, overseen by Jeremy, and comments were offered from him and then from the riders. My rider was a youngster on a lovely big grey welsh gelding who was very sharp and we worked on the riders role in calming the horses emotions. I asked my rider to ignore all the horse’s little dramas and crises concentrating on controlling his rhythm and breathing whilst maintaining a secure position – she found this helpful. I find hot horses can cause themselves problems when they forget to breathe out!
Everyone found Jeremy’s comments very useful and encouraging -and then we all retired to Mandy’s lovely old farmhouse for lunch. Mandy had made a wonderful Scandinavian chicken – a light creamy version of coronation chicken with fruit added – delicious. Quite an impressive feat as Mandy had only returned from skiing the day before! During lunch many ideas were tossed about and discussed especially the BHS exams, UKCC and how to encourage new coaches – younger or older – to seek qualification.In the afternoon some of the same combinations of horses and riders came forward for jump coaching and we started with pole work before moving on to grids . Again each of us took a turn to coach and further discussion, comment and encouragement was offered. We then set out jumping exercise with 4 small jumps set out on diagonals at 15-16 meters that could be jumped in various ways and proved effective and very helpful to all. It was also a quick and easy exercise to set up and put away!Jeremy was a wise, encouraging and helpful coach for us all and I especially found it helpful to work in front of colleagues and receive feedback and comment. Coaching can be a lonely business and sometimes a bit of an ego trip… so these days are so valuable to keep ones coaching and social skills up to scratch – and ego in check! Thank you to Mandy for organising wonderful guinea pigs for us, a brilliant coach and a delicious lunch. Roll-on the next ‘Mandy Holloway F and I day’, planned for July I believe.