"My priority is always the welfare of the horse, emotionally, physically and environmentally."
“I will speak up for the horse and see things from the horse’s point of view. I have developed a unique understanding of how horses communicate and understand their needs. This forms the basis of all my work, both training and teaching.”
Philippa Unwin is an accomplished Natural Classical Horsemanship Trainer who is also highly skilled at communicating her ideas through her individual approach to teaching.
She has worked in many settings with horses and encountered many different approaches to training horses. Her opportunities for developing her ideas have included working with race horses, competing at a high level in endurance and training with Classical Trainers but Pip has always maintained that her greatest teachers of all have been the horses themselves.
Here Pip talks about her professional development through the horses that have helped show her the way.
I am an accomplished Natural Classical Horsemanship Trainer who is also highly skilled at communicating my ideas through my individual approach to teaching.
I have worked in many settings with horses, and encountered many different approaches to training horses. Opportunities for developing my ideas have included working with race horses, competing at a high level in endurance, and training with Classical Trainers but I always maintain that my greatest teachers of all have been the horses themselves.
Here, I talk about my professional development through the horses that have helped show me the way.
Pippsway is the horse's way
"I have been involved with horses for over forty years. I have been fascinated by them for as long as I can remember, it is this fascination that has led me on the path I am on."
I have been lucky enough to have had the pleasure of being the owner of some lovely horses that have all taught me so much over the years. Starting with ‘Lord Nicholas’ a three quarter bred TB who had only hunted and at full speed, so not at all easy to ride but he was an absolute gentleman. He taught me so much. One of the many things he taught me was to gain the horse’s trust if you want the horse to work willingly with you and how to gain a horse’s trust by building a relationship on the ground first.
Then came Charlie, he was an Anglo-Arab. I bought him as a freshly backed five year old. He taught me about the highs and lows of bringing on a youngster and I also started Endurance riding on him. Again, he taught me a great deal about the trust and leadership you need to be able to compete successfully so both horse and rider enjoy it.
Next came some ponies for the children, which taught me about the responsibility of trusting your child’s well-being with an animal as big and as powerful as a pony, but they also taught me that the relationship a child can build with a pony can be amazing and that relationship can build such self confidence and self worth in a child. It also teaches the child the responsibility of looking after another living thing; very rewarding.
My next horse was Indy, a pure bred Arab. We spent many happy hours together training and doing Endurance rides. He was also with me when I set up ‘Pippsway’ and he was my rock. He really was my right hand horse as ‘Pippsway’ grew and I had up to 20 horses in my yard for training or rehabilitation at any one time. He helped me with a lot of horses that had issues and with young horses starting their education in being ridden horses. He was the herd leader and a great one, I cannot thank him enough for what he did for me, and so many others, he is still very much missed.
Mica came along while I had Indy, she was a Connemara x Tb. She was lead mare and was a very gentle, caring, giving and playful soul. Like Indy a complete rock, she worked with a lot of people and really helped them to find themselves after they had lost their way. I cannot thank her enough for all her help, she gave so much of herself. Again still very much missed.
Then came Pifado, pure Lusitano stallion. He was a pure, gentle spirit; really not of this world. He, like Indy, was my soulmate and right hand horse. He has done so much for me and so many people and horses, he touched so many hearts, he was a pure joy to be around. I have never ridden any horse like him, he was like going into another world of light and pure joy. He was the gentlest and most well behaved horse I have ever known, his trust in me was just incredible and my trust in him was complete. Pifado reminded me again that all horses are very unique and individual personalities and need to be treated with respect to their individuality. Physically and mentally they all have different strengths at different stages of their development. They cannot be pigeon holed into a regimented training programme. Pifado was a reminder that whilst the goals may remain the same for all horses; to achieve a happy, well balanced, spirited, self controlled all rounder that can calmly face any situation, the path to achieving this will be different for each and every horse.
Pifado taught me that sometimes you have to do everything back to front and the wrong way round, that just when you think you have cracked it or got it you have not!! He taught me to always keep thinking of new ways to do things, your only restriction is your imagination; so be always creative and make it fun.
There have been many other horses that I have owned briefly and re-homed, each one has taught me something valuable. All the horses that I have come into contact with have taught me, they all have so much to give. I have never come across a bad horse, just bad ‘horsemanship’, due to the human not understanding the nature of the horse. It is through listening to the horses that I have and am still learning the ‘True Nature Of The Horse’. It is a wonderful job!”
I have competed successfully in endurance riding and was National Novice Champion in 1998 and Wessex champion for two years consecutively with my lovely Arab Indy. Due to the commitments to my business, I have not competed for a number of years but I hope to change that very soon by competing again on Bronson, an ex-racehorse that I have been bringing on over the last year.
I have been involved with many different aspects of training horses including:
Training in Polo
Point to Point
National Hunt Yards
Reach new goals
Whether you have a much loved family pony, an eventer that has hit a brick wall in it’s training, an ex racehorse, an nappy hack, an untouched youngster, or you just want to reach new goals and improve your horsemanship, I have the experience and skills to help both you and your horse reach your aspirations and dreams.
My roots in dairy farming have given me a strong sense of connection with the natural environment and have enabled me to be an adviser to my clients regarding all aspects of pasture and herd management. Through keeping and studying horses naturally in herd groups I have learned that many horses’ emotional and physical difficulties can be improved dramatically by examining and making appropriate alterations to the regime under which they are kept. My experience in farming has allowed me to combine the sensitivity of a spiritual approach to working with horses with a practical, down to earth and common sense approach.
I have a particular interest in the horse’s natural balance and movement and how the rider influences the horse’s natural way of going. I understand that we often see wonderful exuberance combined with self control when we see horses free with their herds, so I have developed riding techniques that allow the rider and horse to have freedom of expression whilst maintaining a calm and balanced posture.
My keen interest in maintaining freedom of movement means I also have a keen interest in all aspects of saddlery and tack and the influence that they have on the movement of the horse. My training will always take a holistic approach considering the bits, bridles and saddles of every horse that comes to me, and whether these are positively or negatively influencing the horses way of going. I am a trained saddle fitter.
Trust, Empowerment & Liberation
One of the greatest gifts that training with me can give you is a deep trust in your own intuition. You will learn how to work out what your horse is communicating to you, and why, and how you can deal with it, but it will be you who finds the answer! This empowers horse owners in a wholly new and liberating way. Following a consultation, I will give ongoing support over the phone or online.
“The ability to help every new horse and rider that come into my care to begin to talk to each other, in order that they become partners coming together as a whole with understanding and sharing the joy of unity, is as fulfilling for me today as it was when I started.”
I have always felt drawn to horses. Over the years I have experienced a great deal of pleasure and fun with my horses, they continue to teach me so much. A horse shows such willingness and desire to do their best for us; their kindness, generosity of spirit and gentleness is a joy to share.
If I can help one person and one horse to begin to talk to each other, in order that they become partners coming together as a whole with understanding, sharing the joy of unity. For many riders and horse owners it is a daily battle without this understanding.
It is time that we give back to the horse in order that he can continue to give to us willingly. If we take the time to learn his language the benefits to us are immense.
But before we can go down that path we have to be open and honest with ourselves and ask for help. This is the hard part and if you can get beyond that the rest is easy.