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How to: Get to Know Your Horse and Improve Your Confidence and Relaxation Together

Have you always wanted to learn more about your horse and ways you can improve your confidence together? 

We have caught up with Felicity Davies to talk all about her own horsemanship journey and why you need to incorporate more of this into your everyday routine.

Felicity is hosting a 14 day Confidence and Relaxation Challenge right now in Ridely!

Felicity, where did your equestrian story start and where has it taken you?

– I started riding when I was 12 years old and explored a range of disciplines with my first pony, Muffy! We won, came last, were disqualified and everything in between, and she taught me so much (I also fell off a lot haha)! 

After I outgrew her, I then got into showing horses and I got hooked! I competed in showing events on various off-the-track TB’s and riding ponies for 11 years at state level. Towards the end of my showing journey, I became more intrigued by horsemanship and wanted to better prepare my horses for competitions. The horses I rode were often quite hot and sensitive, but when I would ask others how to help them, they would just say to work them down more, be firmer with them or give them more miles…this advice never sat right with me. 

After a series of events, I ended up applying for a job working as a groom at Will Rogers Performance Horses in Germany, and I got the job! I spent 10 months working there and learnt so much about horsemanship for performance horses. I soon realised that this was one of the missing pieces that I was looking for and that you can, in fact, help any horse feel more confident in a way that feels good for both of you. 

I then came back to Australia in late 2018 and put what I learnt into action, and my horses changed so much! Since then I have supported so many horses and riders in person, and then I created my signature program, The Confident Equestrian Program (CEP) in early 2020. CEP has allowed me to support hundreds of riders all around the world, and I am obsessed with empowering people to realise that they can help their horses feel more confident!! 

What is your definition of horsemanship?

– Horsemanship is the art of listening to yourself and your horse and lovingly responding accordingly.

Why is horsemanship important to you?

– Horsemanship forms the foundation of your relationship with your horse. If your horsemanship is great, your relationship will likely be great (provided their basic needs are met), and if your horsemanship isn’t great, it is likely that your relationship won’t be great. It is something we all do regardless of if we are aware of it or not and it is something we can all improve, regardless of where we are right now. 

What is your favourite way to bond with your horse?

– It depends on what horse I am around, but I love spending time with them doing things that they like. With my mare, this can look like standing on the mounting block giving her scratches, and with my geldings, they love going for walks and hand grazing.

If you could tell horse owners one thing, what would it be?

– Listen to how you feel around your horse. If things feel great and your horse seems happy – trust that! If you feel fearful, unsure or off around your horse, trust that as well. 

Underneath every emotion is a message, tune into what you or they need, find a way to give yourself or them that and watch your feelings shift naturally. You’re wiser than you think.

To get more wisdom and tips from Felicity, join the 14 day Confidence and Relaxation Challenge in Ridely! Available in the groups now.

Learn from Carl Hester in Ridely!

Exclusive training videos with top trainers and riders like Carl Hester are available in the Ridely library. Don’t miss it!