By the end of my first ever Pippsway lesson I knew that when I eventually got my own horse he would be coming to live there (even though it’s a 45 minute drive away!). Seeing the horses living as a herd, out in huge pastures with the freedom to move 24\7 365 days of the year and having spent two hours with Pip learning more about horses that I had ever known before, it was a no brainer. In time I was to learn that there are even more benefits than I could possibly have imagined. Pip’s 40 years of experience, her true understanding of how to communicate with horses, her ability to rehabilitate even the most difficult horses, never mind the fact that she is also a qualified saddle fitter, and her talent of being able to teach horses and riders in so many different ways that she can always convey what is required, are just some of the things that make being at Pippsway so rewarding.
As it turned out I got a horse much sooner than I was expecting! Bronson, a one eyed ex-racehorse, came to Pip’s yard and we got on so well in my lessons that Pip offered to sell him to me. It was agreed at the time that he would stay at Pip’s yard. Not only would I not want my horse anywhere else, he is a rehabilitation case and I knew I was too inexperienced to have my own horse under any other circumstance. It has worked out beautifully! Pip mentors me and also works with Bronson to bring him on in his training. It makes such a huge difference to how Bronson goes when he’s been working with Pip. It also means he gets to enjoy doing things that are beyond my current ability which is just wonderful! Being a thoroughbred he loves his canter and hill work and Pip takes him up on the Quantocks and round the canter fields regularly. This keeps him happy and sane, is strengthening his body and mind and improving his balance. Pip’s confidence and ability mean that he has the most positive experience, of all the new situations he finds himself in, first off.
I truly came to appreciate the benefits recently when a flare up of an old injury meant that not only could I not ride, I couldn’t even drive! Knowing that for the weeks I was out of action Bronson was having his every need looked after and Pip was bringing him on, was such a relief! My Husband drove me up to the yard so I could enjoy watching Pip ride him round the canter fields and seeing photos of his adventures on the Quantocks put a big smile on my face.
When I was younger I had riding lessons on my pony and later my horse but they never had any training with a more experienced rider. I can see now how this is missing such a wonderful opportunity! Pip works with riders at their level and then works with the horse at his level. This brings the horse along in his understanding and makes life so much easier for both the horse and us less experienced riders.