Jenny Pearce

How to be a stand out riding student

Sandra and her horse Milly

   OR …  How to get the best out of your horse trainers and teachers

   OR…  Do you even KNOW how good you are yet?


There are some absolutely awesome trainers and teachers and riders out there, some of whom I have studied and some whom I have admired from further afar. You can find them on the world stage and you can find them teaching on little country arenas and you can find them in outback paddocks.  And some of them are so outstanding that the world is simply a better place for their existence.

These horsemen and women are so good at what they do, so gifted, that it is logical that we want what they’ve got with a horse.

So how come sooo… many people get bogged down in the struggle to be like them?

Well if you want what they’ve got, then I’ll start by telling you what NOT to do.

You don’t get to be as good as these people that you admire, by doing what they do, the way that they do it.

You follow these people because they’ve got what you want, but you don’t get what they’ve got by following them.


You get what they’ve got by being uniquely you.


Don’t worry, this is not some airy fairy piece I’m writing here. It’s very practical and if it doesn’t make sense by the time you get to the end, then I’ll figure out something free to give you, to make sure that it makes sense.

Actually, I’m going to give you something special for free anyway. 🙂

All the best horse people in the world, every single last one of those who are worth admiring, do the right thing with their horse, at the right time.

Their timing is phenomenal – they look like they are responding almost before the horse reacts. In fact, they ARE starting to respond before the horse actually does anything.  That’s one of the things that happens when you work with confidence from your own unique feel – you feel what’s going to happen, right at the beginning, before you can even see what is changing in the horse with your eyes.

Their feel for the horse is exquisitely sensitive, never pushing a horse beyond what they can give – knowing exactly where that point is. By their very presence a horse feels reassured and more comfortable.

They have an inner guidance system that they can rely on. It’s beautiful to watch.
But here’s the thing – if you try and do exactly what THEY are doing, the odds are that you will struggle unnecessarily and fail to reach what you are looking for.

And that struggle makes people more and more miserable, feeling more and more like a failure or even worse, getting hard on the horse because they think it must be the horses fault. Back in the days when I was copying others to try and be that good, I sooo… thought it was my horse’s fault because it LOOKED like I was doing what they were doing.


But it didn’t FEEL like that to my horse.


And here’s why.

The biggest thing for horse people to understand is that each of us – every single last one of you reading this – is unique with natural gifts and talents in your feel and connection with your horse.

It’s your OWN inner guidance system.

And you probably don’t even recognise how naturally talented you are with it …

… because typically our society hasn’t paid much attention to these kind of things. We haven’t been taught to notice our skills and strengths, we kind of focus on lack rather than on celebrating our strengths.

As riders, we have so often been drawn to the famous people and beautiful riders whose type of skills we lack – we are very often drawn to our opposites – in order to complete the experience that we don’t have. And doing that is all well and good, even excellent – when we recognise our own strengths, our own natural talent in FEEL for a horse and know how to use it.

When we recognise our strength

and use our natural talent,

we become even stronger…

… and yet by focussing on what we AREN’T good at, by trying to follow someone else’s version of being really good with horses, we sadly produce more of what we AREN’T good at too.

And that’s when we struggle.

When we are NOT aware of our own strengths and natural talents, we risk abandoning them and floundering around trying to copy someone else’s idea of being good with horses.


And we are left feeling not good enough.


That one single thing – ignoring or being unaware of our own natural talents and trying to copy someone else’s way of being good with horses, that is the single biggest cause of us feeling not good enough.


It is the root cause of struggle and doing the whole horse journey sooo… much harder than we need to.

It is supposed to be enjoyable.  You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.  It’s not going to get better unless you start enjoying it.


Tomorrow I’m going to talk about how you can start enjoying everything with your horse.  We’ll talk about the different sorts of natural talent and how that works in practical day to day use of them, in the context of the teachers on staff here.

They have kindly volunteered to share how they personally experience the different kinds of feel and connection with their horse and with others and to talk in more detail about that in the comments section too, so that you can get a clear idea of how this feel and connection stuff works on a practical level and how that fits with your own unique feel.

Then the day after that, I am going to give you that freebie that I promised you and lead you to notice and experience the uniqueness that is the way that YOU experience feel and connection to a horse, so that you can start getting the best out of your horse AND all those wonderful horse people and teachers out there.

I am not going to email everyone again tomorrow – that feels too much like spam – so sign up to get my blog straight into your inbox if this is an interesting topic for you. There’s an easy unsubscribe if you are not enjoying later articles. There’s a blog sign up box on the right hand side of the page and up towards the top.

If you already get my blogs into your email, then there is no need to sign up again.

And please – comments are the life blood of a blogger – and I REALLY want to know how this lands with you.

What about your inner guidance system? Can you think of spooks and falls off your horse and other circumstances where a clear and reliable inner guidance system would have saved your butt? What about just knowing HOW to help your horse and yourself to feel good – most of the time?

So leave a comment below. I’ll be looking for them and ready to chat!




  1. Joanna Blake 10/08/2014, 5:50 am Reply

    thank you jenny for this post it is so timely you cannot imagine. i knew there was a certain something needed with my mare for her performance. i saw how she had responded to a lead mare she lived with for a while and i thought, i need that, whatever that is and i knew it wasn’t technique. i saw other trainers with it and knew it wasn’t food rewards, it wasn’t force it was an inner something that said, i lead and the horse happily gives themselves. well, after a bizarre series of events i finally heard a little voice inside me that had the answer, the outer actions have not changed too much but the inner me has changed to ‘calm leader in all circumstances’ and there has been a shift in energy and now my mare is starting to direct her energy to following mine and i can’t wait until the end of the month when i can get busy with her each day with this shift.

    • jennya 10/08/2014, 7:35 am Reply

      Funny about the timeliness hey? How often that happens is mighty coincidental – NOT!
      Lovely validation for you.
      Your comment on leadership has given me the opportunity to expound about it a little, even though this is not so much a reply to you, because I very much enjoyed hearing what is changing for you.
      I actually don’t pay as much attention to being the leader as some other trainers, although I am aware of what qualities a leader has and the path to get there. I think most people’s definition of a leader is not a horse’s definition of a leader. I look for co-operation first, keeping the leadership things in the back of my mind and working on little bits and pieces as the opportunity arises to do that peacefully – following my inner guidance about it, as I talked about in this series, with the goal of my mental, emotional and physical well being and my horse’s complete well being too.

  2. Patsy 10/07/2014, 7:56 am Reply

    I’m struggling with a 7 year old homebred which I have admittedly ‘spoilt’ He’s so used to having his own way but He’s now too big at 16 hands to ‘bully’ into behaving. Last week I tried to school him but he threw me off and ran back to the others. I don’t want to hit him as I’m sure he will just be worse. Can you help?

    • jennya 10/07/2014, 3:25 pm Reply

      Sure! 🙂 Our whole way of being with horses is about developing a feeling of well being that has a horse WANTING to co-operate with us. It makes sense doesn’t it, for them to be attracted to what feels good for them? Learning how to use your feel like we talk about in this series of lessons, makes this a fairly simple process Patsy. And I’ve heard people, specially instructors and trainers, use that “spoilt horse” phrase before. What they are really talking about most of the time is a horse who knows his own mind and won’t settle for getting pushed around. Like difficult children, difficult horses can make the BEST “adults” when they are treated right! 🙂

  3. Jeni 10/06/2014, 6:06 pm Reply

    Oh dear!
    I am really struggling with a new horse, not young, 12 years, but he must have been so soured by previous people, I cannot find the play in him, and he does BITE! So much. Poor bloke.

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 8:21 pm Reply

      Have you got The Six Keys yet Jeni? The combination of you inner guidance (more about that tomorrow! 🙂 ) and The Six Keys will really help you with him. Establishing a comfort zone, a place of well being as a foundation to work from, I would make the first thing on my agenda.

  4. Donna 10/06/2014, 4:21 pm Reply

    Oh this is so me right now I feel stuck and like an absolute beginner not knowing a single thing out there and gee do my herd know that!!! I’m having trouble even haltering them some days and it is definitely not what I want our foal learning, it is just so frustrating.

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 8:24 pm Reply

      Do you think there is any chance that your VERY empathetic herd is getting you to skill up for that foal? Who is going to be needing some attention about now if you want things to be easy for you and him. I am thinking that if you wrote that here, then it’s OK to give advice! 🙂 Slow down and figure out what they are telling you. I KNOW you have great skills, settle in with the quiet mind in today’s lesson and get your confidence back in your own abilities…

      • Donna 10/07/2014, 3:55 pm Reply

        Oh defiantly as everything happens for a reason so I know they are teaching me something 🙂 well trying to
        I will listen to your advise any day and everyday Jen
        I think I am trying to hard so I will relax

        • jennya 10/07/2014, 4:07 pm Reply

          Ahhh well, laughing gently here at all the times when I myself have tried too hard… You must have heard me say it many times – the one thing that is calculated to get in the way of EVERYTHING is trying too hard. I remember that moment in my life when I spat the dummy about struggling, which is another way of saying “trying too hard”. And when I say spat the dummy, I mean SPAT THE DUMMY. I took an imaginary baby’s dummy out of my mouth, threw it on the ground and had a temper tantrum stamping on it. Pretty funny since it was only in my imagination in the first place. I think that made a statement to myself that I really was “over” struggling any more, that I was done with struggling and was determined that I wasn’t going to do that any more.
          And life and horses have unfolded to become easier and easier all the time…
          I think there might be a clue in there…

  5. Alyth 10/06/2014, 3:17 pm Reply

    Thank you 🙂 Once again you come up with exactly the advice I need at exactly the right time 🙂

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 8:26 pm Reply

      I am so glad that the timing is good for you Alyth. I have a sign on my computer that I look at every day that says “The solution to every problem is already in your life”. It’s had me opening up to some interesting solutions sometimes, but by crikey it’s right!

  6. Di 10/06/2014, 1:35 pm Reply

    OMG Jenny – I’ve just made some time to read this. It is sooooo excellent and came at the right time for me today.

    Curiously this morning I came in to review your QM’s to find the one about understanding. Then I saw this email that I hadn’t finished with a day or so ago. It raised my spirits because I really feel it’s my story too. I’m wanting to keep courage to be ME with my horses but have found I’m STILL easily shutdown by others perceived by me to be ‘more skilled’ than me? Surely by now I’m old enough to have that courage but the thing is I think I feel (and see) stuff that probably washes over others and thus it’s a skill to remember ‘Who’s is it’ etc. firstly?

    Thanks again for your wisdom and bringing it to us. Can’t wait for lessons two and three…

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 8:29 pm Reply

      We are working on a lifetimes of conditioning and devaluing our own skills Di – especially if they are different from the teacher’s. Being already part way through the Fast Track program, use that quiet mind lesson of Day 3, to get at what is BEHIND this issue – which is, as you already know, is what makes Fast Track, a fast track.

    • Di 10/08/2014, 10:49 am Reply

      Well I’ve been back through Lesson 3 and it took on a whole new meaning now that I’ve been working with Fast Track for a while. It brought me to wonder what I got out of it when I first started???

      I have yet to do the exercise again around my horse to see what comes up but I suspect it will be about happiness, joy, being positive with myself and my horse ALL of the time. I have already experienced many changes with my horse and I but recognise it is quite easy to ‘forget’ or let ‘something’ of the day take over almost unconsciously. The secret is to practise of course but not in the sense of the word; to be very aware when my horse is telling me I’m off beat today and being able through a QM (which can be there and then standing with my horse these days) to get the happiness feeling radiating from my being.

      All very easy to say but am working at it.

      • jennya 10/08/2014, 5:14 pm Reply

        What greater gift can your horse give you and you give your horse, than “the happiness feeling radiating from my being” It sounds like you are going great at it Di – well done! 🙂

  7. Sue 10/06/2014, 12:56 pm Reply

    Hi there, yes this email is very timely for me too. Just trying to figure out my new (3.5 yo) fella without messing him up. Getting pressure from others to send him off to ‘the trainer’. It frustrates me when people try to tell me how my horses should or should not behave. BUT….my relationship with him is MY relationship and I like the way its moving forward. I want to be his teacher so I’m keen for your kind of inspiration.

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 8:32 pm Reply

      Lovely thoughts Sue. The strength to smile at that pressure will come from the confidence in your own inner guidance. And that may well tell you to send him off when the time is right :0 – BUT – the inner guidance will also help you to pick the right person if that happens…

  8. Karen Higgins 10/06/2014, 12:22 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny, You are a gem. No one has EVER said to me – “be uniquely you”. What a revelation it never occurred to me to be me, duh!!! So busy trying to copy the naturally brilliant people that l forgot to listen to my inner guiding system, no wonder the struggle, the failure and misery were (or at least felt) endless. Thankyou so very much for everything you do.

    • jennya 10/06/2014, 12:34 pm Reply

      Ahhh Karen, that makes all the time on these articles worth while! I know the “close to heartbreak” feel that can come from trying sooo… hard to copy those we admire and thank God for the path of inner guidance that we are on now.

  9. Frances Dingle 10/04/2014, 7:56 am Reply

    Oh have I done this one to death.Even surrendering my horse to to shown how it is done.Silly woman what does she know. To old,slow, fat and ugly.But I am sure you gain something from every trainer.It did take a few horses to show me and I am thankfull to them and all my herd even my sticky bun eating stallion.Remembering moon.

    • jennya 10/04/2014, 8:50 am Reply

      Gosh sunshine are you looking in the mirror to the same woman that I see???? I guess we did this one to death together hey? All those years of frustration and tears and literal headaches from all that tension from trying sooo… hard and feeling not good enough and in my case, blaming Bobby for that. Bless him and Remembering Moon too! And thank God and the horses for where we are now…

  10. Marsha James 10/03/2014, 8:01 pm Reply

    Please!!! Your insight is so wonderful and helpful to this senior,

    • jennya 10/03/2014, 9:09 pm Reply

      Marsha, a senior too. I guess technically I am too at 59 in a few weeks. The ground is far too hard at our age to consider anything else BUT a lovely relationship and a horse who wants to look after us, hey?

  11. Sandra 10/03/2014, 3:30 pm Reply

    I love your articles Jenny. I remember the time when I felt so guilty because I didn’t want to do things – the way – other trainers did things, until I realised that “nothing is set in concrete” especially when dealing with horses, I approach each one differently, whatever they are comfortable with. If they don’t want to do something, thats fine, because I always get what I need in the end, just approach it a different way. Your horse sooner or later lets you know when they are comfortable. As I said I love your blogs, thank you.

    • jennya 10/03/2014, 9:04 pm Reply

      I am glad that you are enjoying them Sandra. Wait til’ you read about the ladies and their different feels – that will make such sense of what you know already.

  12. Deb 10/03/2014, 2:04 pm Reply

    I have been implementing what I am learning daily, and I am awe struck at how much communication I was missing between Em and myself. I have a sore back, yesterday I was doing the heart connection and Em kept looking at me then bending her front legs as if she was going to go down and I got ROLL, so I went and rolled in her yard, can’t say at the time it felt good but I will admit this morning my back doesn’t hurt as much, she was happy about it and was more, I want to say bonded, to me this morning. Thank you very much. Deb and Emma

    • jennya 10/03/2014, 9:05 pm Reply

      Belly laughter Deb – go girl! Wish I was a fly on the wall! 🙂 🙂 Anything that works and makes you happy is my motto…

  13. Rose 10/03/2014, 11:51 am Reply

    Hi Jenny….
    Thanks for this very timely email. Until just a few weeks ago I was just so confused and insecure when it came to riding. Then, after reading your free lessons (can’t get the videos, my computer is very old) I decided to put your advice to practice and just started taking lessons (for the 100th time!) 2 weeks ago. I have my own horses but I can’t bring myself to ride my mare (my other horse is too small for me) because she really has not been trained and every time I have asked for help in training her, I’ve been told that I have to “let her know who’s boss”. Problem is, I don’t want to hit her or yell at her, which is what other people have done, so time keeps going by and I am still not riding her. Reading your email has given me hope that maybe I will be able to train her and ride her without having to act like someone I’m not.
    Thanks so much.

    • jennya 10/03/2014, 9:08 pm Reply

      Oh Rose… I hear this story so often and it is so unnecessary. Stay in touch sunshine, I think we have answers that will help you AND keep your eye out for someone to be with you in the physical who has the same values as you. There are thousands and thousand and thousands of us out there now and growing all the time.

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