Building Confidence

The key to having fun!

We feel we are especially good at helping both people and horses to feel more confident.

When you have got better skills, confidence comes all by itself

People who have a crisis in their horsemanship, either through injuries or other events, often find their way to Moor Wood. Years of helping with hundreds of difficult situations has given us a lot of experience and we have many resources to offer, although we are not qualified therapists. Nothing can be guaranteed in horsemanship, but you will be sure to feel welcome, listened to and respected for the effort you are willing to put in, and we think your horse will feel that way too.

You and your horse will feel listened to at Moor Wood

We focus a great deal on improving your skills and your judgement – and your horse’s capacity to cope with what you want to do, of course. The reason we concentrate so much on your skills is simply because that is what is most likely to help you stay safe.

No horse is 100% safe, and every person who goes near a horse should be aware that it is a dangerous activity. Minute per minute, it is seven times more dangerous to ride a horse than to drive a motorbike, which is all the more reason why you should address your skill level as best you possibly can, and as much as your resources allow (see this link about how best to economise).

Progressive desensitisation involves making a conscious effort to find out and remove sources of fear

One of the ways in which we make horses safer is through progressive desensitisation, A.K.A. Spookbusting, which Adam investigated during his Monty Roberts Preliminary Certificate project. We are probably the only horse trainers in Gloucestershire for whom it is normal to train a horse using plastic bags, tarpaulins, umbrellas and the like.

Woody might seem a boring ride to some, but he’s the best place to start for others


A lot of our most important confidence-building work for riders is done in seat training, which we generally begin using our most trusted herd member, Woody. He’s an exceptionally calm and reliable mount, with an unusual conformation, but our children were already riding him aged 1 and 3. He can be very useful to give people a start.

When a rider is feeling able to progress to a more exciting horse we would make sure that along with your confidence, we are increasing your skills. Meantime we work with your horse directly, and explain very carefully what we are doing and why. We also sometimes use guided meditation (hypnosis) to heal and redirect irrational fears. Sometimes we advise clients to seek professional hypnosis which can be extremely effective, but also very expensive; having given pain-free birth at home to our children by hypnosis, we are adept at it without being formally trained.

This scene represents considerable progress, achieved in one session