THE HOLISTIC HORSE

Here at Exmoor Riding we like to think about the 'whole horse' from health, diet, day to day management, training, riding and companionship.  Our holistic approach is based solely on our own personal experiences, and we have allowed our horses to teach us, whether their problems have been minor cuts, or major psychological issues.  We are still learning from them all the time, and they are our greatest teachers.  

We can offer a workshop to help you work with your own horses (see below) taking you through the steps from going barefoot, to daily care and management, free-scholing and join up, to inhand work, horse agility, liberty training and wild agility too!


We wish to share some of our experiences with others, so that you too can try some of our tried and tested ways.  All horses are different, and all horses respond in their own unique way, so it is up to you to learn to listen to your horse in any of the areas that we describe.  These are simply 'tools' in our toolbox that you can cherry pick at to help your horse along the road to health and happiness…..

This section of the website will cover the following topics:  (all currently under construction)

As part of this process our training involves a lot of 'ground work' including in-hand work, liberty work, free-schooling, long-reining, ridden schooling, dressage and hacking out.  This gives the horse a huge variety of experiences, and enhances their connection and bonding with us, their herd friends.

When you visit with us you can participate in some of our training techniques, to help you have a better trust-based relationship with your horses or those that you meet and work with, as well as some tips and advice on natural therapies that we have used, and a more natural diet which encourages a more gentle behaviour.

Discover how to connect with your horse with us!

Free schooling, liberty work, horse pilates, calm and gentle leading,
horse agility, and wild agility.

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HALF DAY WORKSHOP - £60 FOR ONE OR TWO PEOPLE - £30 additional participants

Our workshops are designed to work around the needs of the horse.  Horses are herd animals, and most do not wish to be a herd leader, so they are looking to you to take that all important role.  Some herd leaders are bossy and aggressive - such herds are usually small and poorly connected to each other; whereas some herd leaders are quiet and gentle, leading from behind, and typically such herds have a large following, but all within that herd know their place in calm and gentleness.  We aim to help you become that passive herd leader, working with your horse, gently connecting in all that you do together…..

A typical workshop will include some of the following elements depending on your needs and expectations:


  • Discussion on your expectations and problems, day to day management, diet and exercise routine
  • Gentle moves to relax your horse and ask for connection; relaxation and the poll
  • Gentle stretches to help improve movement and flexibility
  • Gentle leading - does your horse pull you around the field?  We can help you walk with your horse together on a light rope or no rope at all!
  • Free-schooling at walk, trot and canter followed by connection ("join-up")
  • Signs he can teach you, and signs you can teach him - connection through body language; yours and his
  • Horse agility, including free agility and wild agility along our private trail.


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It's easy, fun and above all helps you become the passive leader your horse is always wanting!

Our facilities:

  • Indoor working barn for bending, stretching and gentle work
  • Outdoor arena for loose work, lungeing, connection/join-up, ridden work, free jumping
  • Outdoor Agility Course
  • Wild Agility Course/Trail
  • Classroom for discussion & refreshments


At Exmoor Riding we aim to consider the horse first with all our riding and training.  To this end all our horses are barefoot, they are usually ridden with gentle bridles without a bit  and using treeless saddles, where you can feel the movement of the muscles of the horse beneath and ride sympathetically to its movements.  (Note: A couple of our horses have high withers and may be ridden in treed saddles to protect wither rubbing)

 We also work with our horses in-hand with free-schooling (loose work),  horse agility and liberty work.   This is a great avenue to building connection with your horse, to stregthening weak musles, to assist in maintaining fitness, and establishing a partnership with the horse.  A horse responding well is a happy horse, who respects you, and wishes to be with you instead of running off or grazing at a distance on his own.  This is such an amazing feeling!

Paps has been our greatest teacher.  Horse Agility and Free Schooling has helped us through a painful stage, particularly with Papoose, in gaining his confidence, and gaining our own self confidence.  Paps now has a good connection with us, and trusts us (and we him) so much more than the previous years we worked with him, and we have a far greater understanding of each other.  We are still learning together and trying to find an equal language - it is an exciting road of true discovery of equine behaviour and we strongly recommend connection for anyone who has a problem with their horse and their own self belief.

If  you would like to join us on a workshop demonstration and working with our horses in our indoor barn, outdoor arena our agility field and our wild agility trail then book into a half day session for an interactive and inspirational experience with us.  

Paps - with persistent time and patience - is mastering connection well as we both learn to move together.


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If you would like to bring your own horse to work with gentle connection please give us a ring.

CATHY & ROD, EXMOOR OWL & HAWK CENTRE, WEST LYNCH FARM, ALLERFORD, MINEHEAD, TA24 8HJ 01643 862816 EXMOOR.FALCON@VIRGIN.NET