Being The Change
Before Equitation Science had its worthy spotlight, I remember always asking how? "How does my ‘inside leg to outside rein’ ‘connect’ my horse?" "How much pressure is too much?" "How do I make my horse feel good?"
Hungry to learn, I dedicated my career to understanding equitation. I remember as a lecturer at Hartpury College (1996-1999)asking how does "bending my horse around my inside leg’ actually work?" (having achieved BHS II (old currency) and Pony Club A’ Test) I would ask different coach's how the 'inside leg to outside rein' facilitated ‘bend’.
In 2000 I started lecturing at Rodbaston College, Staffordshire UK, and was given a new module in the Higher Education Programmes: Equine Behaviour & Training. As I explored new age training methods: Equus, Parelli, Clicker Training, and Tellington Touch, I kept coming back to one question…what is ‘in it’ for the horse?
How does a horse feel ‘joining-up’? How does a round pen (as opposed to not a square pen) motivate ‘join-up’? How does a ‘circling’ or ‘porcupine’ game make a horse feel? How does changing from a continuous payment schedule to a variable schedule in clicker training make your horse feel?
Clarity of communication. Lightness. Responsivity. These are all qualities of our training. But what learning processes do we recruit to motivate a light response? Or how do you train relaxation to novel stimuli? How do we make our horses feel during our training?
On the 25th December 2003 my sister gifted me a book from her equestrian book club. This one small act of giving changed my whole life. I vividly remember feeling a soup of emotions, as each chapter added to my knowledge gaps and understanding. I totally submerged myself in The Truth About Horses by Dr Andrew McLean. Eventually I was convinced to stop for Christmas dinner, only to tell my family all about my epiphany! This one book explained all my whys, how’s and what’s. Thank you so much Andrew for sharing your knowledge in writing such an accessible, easy to understand and supportive book, if you haven’t read it yet, do because – it was the smallest, yet biggest defining moment of my equestrian journey.
Positive Reinforcement is not just for horses
Fast forward to present day and I run two educational businesses; EquiSci and Equicoach.life - both dedicated to helping more horses - by helping more people. EquiSci provides tailored training programmes for leading UK; charities, colleges, studs, professional riders and veterinary practices delivering the latest in Equitation Science. EquiSci also hosts Equitation Science International training and assessments in the UK, offering annual coaching with Dr Andrew McLean here in the UK.
In 2017 I returned from presenting at the BHS Welfare Conference with a vision to create a community to help more horses. If you see things differently, committed to helping horses feel good, and value compassionate people, then head over to Facebook and join Coffee With Horse Lovers.
I believe helping more horses requires a healthy spotlight on us. As a coach I translate the latest in equitation science and mindset training. Why mindset? Because without it, nothing else matters. Providing clarity for people (understanding the how’s, why’s and where’s of horse training) is the change our horses need.
Fully qualified and insured Equitation Science International (ESI) Trainer and Assessor, Equicoach is the Uk home of ESI.
Clients include; professional showjumpers, Mounted Police Officers, leading international stud, equine charities, coaches, vets, vet nurses, dressage judges, universities & colleges, riding Clubs, British Horse Society, Italian Equestrian Federation FISE and horse lovers.
Former International Society for Equitation Science Education Officer, Expert Witness to high profile equitation cases, equine masters and degree External Examiner, Equitation Science masters dissertation supervisor at Edinburgh University, Eco-Coach trained, and the UK home of Equitation Science International (ESI)
Lisa is the UK ESI Assessor, BHS Stage 4 Senior Coach, Pony Club A’Test, evented to BE Novice and a British Dressage Trainer and competitor.
Philosophy & Principles
My purpose is translating the latest in evidence-based knowledge so you can digest and progress your relationship and performance.
I champion correct use of negative reinforcement (presume-release training) and optimise learning by combining positive reinforcement. Combined reinforcement is my training 'signature' making sure I strengthen behaviour via positive reinforcement for people, not just horses!
Progress Over Perfection
Trust the Process
Control the Controllable's
Grow Your Champ Mindset
Beware of your comfort Zone
"Lisa’s pioneering spirit and boundless enthusiasm for equitation science mark her out as one of the great champions of the horse."
-Professor Paul McGreevy, Australia 2012.
Lisa is one of the most passionate people I know regarding her work and Equitation Science her enthusiasm and expertise enlightened me. I have learned a lot from Lisa and would not hesitate to recommend her!
-Alexandra Sprason, BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science, Lichfield, UK
I have known Lisa since 2001. We worked together in an educational institution and I regarded her as a friend and mentor during this time and ever since. I have followed Lisa's equitation science journey from day 1 when she had just finished. The Truth About Horses by Dr. Andrew McLean, to now, Andrew is Lisa's mentor and close friend. I remember vividly how she embraced learning theory in its infancy to ensure training horses at all levels was safe, ethical, and reproducible, which became the pinnacle of all her work improving horse welfare and well-being.
Lisa's delivery is professional, approachable; she is knowledgeable and passionate, ensuring riders are educated in evidenced-based principles (ISES, 2010) to achieve results that are ethical, sustainable and which work!
-Claire Dempsey, Telford, UK