Liz Horner has over twenty five years of horse riding experience having started riding when 5 years old and owning her first pony at the age of eight. She has successfully backed, trained and competed her own horses and has worked at several riding schools and yards. Before going to university, she experienced much of the fun involved in horses, including all types of riding club activities (showing, jumping, cross country, dressage) and represented her local club on numerous occasions. Since university she has brought on young horses and mainly, but not exclusively, competed them in affiliated dressage up to medium level and successfully competed at regional finals.
At Bristol University Liz studied Equine Science learning about the physiology, anatomy, psychology, biomechanics and husbandry of the horse. Following undergraduate training, she continued her education completing a postdoctoral degree (PhD) at Cambridge University, Department of Veterinary Medicine studying equine osteochrondrosis (OCD), which sadly is a common disease in foals. After completing her studies at Cambridge she followed an academic career at numerous universities, however, her heart has always been in horse riding and a passion for training young/ novice horses and riders. Therefore, in the following few years she completed her BHS qualifications alongside her job with the view of one day following that passion. Following the birth of her son in 2009, she has now started up a small business as a freelance riding instructor.
Liz offers a professional, knowledgeable service that is perhaps slightly different to the ‘traditional instructor’, being patient and calm, allowing the rider to ask those questions they’ve never dared to ask before like “what is a half halt?”. Liz’s goal is to allow her riders to understand exactly why things are going wrong and how they can begin correcting problems, in a logical, easy to understand way. “We’ve all had months of ‘banging our heads against a wall’ feeling that we are never going to get that correct canter lead or keep our hands up and still, while the horse works in an outline.” Liz will teach you the ‘classical way’ of working your horse, moving up the ‘Scales of Training’ while also concentrating on you as a rider – “after all your horse can’t work properly if you are sitting incorrectly!” It’s amazing how quickly riders can feel more confident and positive about their riding without the use of gadgets, allowing horse and rider to work in harmony.