Lisa’s Equestrian Journey

Equitation Science

I have a wealth of experience in the equine industry and here is my journey, so far…

  • Lisa Ashton (née Beard) successfully represented the Dartmoor Hunt Pony Club in dressage, show jumping and eventing, qualifying for and competing at the National Pony Club Championships in 1990 and 1991.
  • After A’levels, Lisa developed her academic equestrian skills by studying a degree at Warwickshire College and Coventry University. During an industrial placement year, Lisa progressed her training and competition skills as a working pupil at Gill Watson’s International Eventing yard, achieved the Pony Club A’test, BHS AI and affiliated eventing her 5 year old horse.
  • On graduating (1996), Hartpury College employed Lisa to lecture Further Education students. For three years she developed her teaching and learning skills (alongside wardening and pastoral care), obtaining; the Post Graduate Certificate in Education, BHS II, and designing/delivering a new post of Student Competition Co-coordinator. In 1999 Lisa was encouraged to teach Higher Education. so an MBA Equine Business Management was achieved, at Royal Agricultural College . In addition, she spent 6 months working for the British Equestrian Federation, completing her dissertation.
  • In November 2000, Rodbaston College (now South Staffordshire College)employed Lisa to deliver and develop Higher Education in Equine. This move defined her views on horse training. She researched and analysed numerous and varied horse training methods to aid students understanding on a new module: Equine Behaviour & Training. Lisa soon realised the need to understand what each method (and its ‘language’) meant to the horse. She wanted a way to ‘cut through’ the humanistic terminology and decipher what a ‘game’ or round-pen meant to the horse and how different methods facilitated the horse’s learning.
  • On 25 December 2003 Lisa started (and finished!) ‘The Truth About Horses’ by Dr Andrew McLean. The book was gifted at xmas by her sister which inspired, enlightened and empowered her training. Learning how the horse’s brain functions, how training incorporates into horse behaviour and why training failures occurred was a defining point and the start of Lisa’s journey in equitation science.
  • By October 2004 Andrew had done a lecture-demo at Rodbaston and the AEBC horse training system was embedded in new HE curriculum.
  • In 2005 Lisa organised a working trip to the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, followed by the 1st International Society for Equitation Science conference at the AEBC. Both shaped and defined Lisa’s passion and commitment to Equitation Science. The first cohort of Equitation Science degree students enrolled and as she progressed and evolved her knowledge of how horses learn and its impact on training, Lisa ensured her development and growth by organising UK Clinics for Dr McLean.
  • In 2007 Lisa started researching Equitation Science in education presenting posters and papers at the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference’s and in 2008, Lisa was elected Education Officer by the ISES council, to facilitate and embed ES in education.
  • In 2010 Lisa started a family and in 2011 set up EquiSci, became the new AEBC course manager of Equitation Science Certificates and Diplomas
  • In June 2012 Lisa returned to the AEBC and in July passed the Associate Diploma in Equitation science.
  • Lisa was a key member of the LOC ISES 2012 international conference; Practical day and Sponsors Chair. The LOC team facilitated a 3 day conference with 250 delegates at The Royal (Dick) Vet School, Edinburgh, chairing papers in the scientific programme and co-ordinating the Practical Day.
  • At the start of 2013 Lisa became a British Dressage Registered Trainer and commenced regular training at Stefano Coata (professional Show Jumper) yard of horses and riders in Rome, Italy.
  • Lisa was invited to deliver the first Equitation Science 2 day training course for Level 2 EquiPilates Coaches.
  • In April 2013 Lisa enjoyed a fantastic 2 day training opportunity with Dr Andrew McLean in the UK
  • July was a busy month for Lisa who flew to the USA for the 9th ISES conference reporting for Australian magazine Horses and People on the latest in Equitation Science (for more information of the papers presented click on In the Spotlight) followed by a clinic with Manuela McLean in Northampton.
  • Lisa was invited by the Italian Equestrian Federation to present ‘Horse Training Made Simple!’at the 1st Regional ISES Meeting to over hundred coaches, trainers, and riders on 1st December 2013 in Rome, Italy. This was an interactive workshop for delegates to experience how science is applied to horse training, in a fun and enlightening presentation.
  • In January 2014 Lisa agreed to help her old college, Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell  HE team by delivering Level 5 Equine Behaviour and Level 4 Equine Law modules.  Lecturing and assessing learners throughout semester 2, Lisa still keeps in touch with staff and students as they develop their equitation science skills.
  • During 2013 Lisa trained the dedicated Redwings team in Norfolk, followed by regular training throughout 2014.
  • University of Edinburgh invited Lisa to present online ‘Current Issues in Equitation Science’ lecture to MSc Equine Science students in June 2014.
  • In 2014 Lisa completed her first year as External Examiner to BSc Equine students at Sparsholt College and Portsmouth University.
  • July 2014 saw the start of a new equine degree at South Staffordshire College and Wolverhampton University; FD Equine Behaviour, Training and Performance with Lisa designing and writing the new higher education award embracing and embedding equitation science.
  • August 2014 resulted in a flight to Denmark for the 9th ISES Conference where colleagues and friends once again caught up to report, share and discuss the latest research in the field of Equitation Science.
  • September 2014 Lisa started working with the Blue Cross Rolleston. Every week Lisa supports and develops the passionate and dedicated staff skills and practices.
  • October 2014 and Lisa delivers a ‘Successful Horse Training Toolkit’ series for the Welfare Team at The Horse Trust.
  • November 2014 and Redwings and Lisa begin the journey of supporting, developing and training the retraining and rehoming teams.
  • Throughout 2015 Lisa trained Blue Cross, Redwings and The Horse Trust team, delivering the latest in Equitation Science to behaviour, rehoming and education teams.
  • In June 2015, speaker at the Improve Your Horse and Rider Confidence Conference, Moulton College. Centaur Biomechanics: Evidence Based Equitation
  • In July 2015 the first ever Equitation Science International UK residential course was organised by Lisa and delivered by Dr Andrew McLean.  Students throughout the UK attended a 5 day course in Staffordshire, demonstrating and being assessed in the latest in evidence-based horse training techniques.
  • How Horses Learn Workshop XL Vets: Scarsdale Veterinary Group & Hook Norton Veterinary Group, October 2015.
  • Throughout 2016 Lisa is training the Rolleston and Burford Blue Cross teams, supporting and deepening understanding and application.
  • In April 2016 Lisa trained in Holland with the Eco-Coach Team.
  • Lisa presented on the EquiPilates Instructor Training at EquiPilates, Derbyshire, April 2016.
  • June 2016 saw the Launch of bespoke equestrian coaching www.equicoach.life - visit for more information on different services.
  • Second ESI UK Residential course was held in June 2016 followed by the 12th ISES Conference was held in Saumur, France at the French National Riding School or Cadre Noir de Saumur. The theme was “Understanding horses to improve training and performance”.
  • In July, Lisa authored the chapter: Behaviour & Handling of the Horse in Aspinall’s Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing.
  • Lisa presented How Horses Learn at the XL Vets Annual Meeting, Solihull, July 2016.
  • January 2017  Lisa presented the findings the ISES 2016 conference in Derbyshire.
  • February 2017 Expert Witness on successful high profile Equitation Case.

If you would like more information on how EquiSci, Equitation Science can help you and your horse please contact us here