I bought my mare, Maggie, two years ago as a 4 year old just off the race track. I wanted to change her from racehorse to dressage horse! For the first year we took things very slowly and built a strong partnership. Maggie is not the easiest of horses, but with a lot of understanding and patience we got going. I always felt that there may be a problem behind, but could not put my finger on it. I hoped that with regular chiropractic and massage work, and strength building, it would disappear. Then unfortunately Maggie had an accident in the field. Things rapidly went down hill from here, and my lovely mare turned into a monster, resulting in me being thrown off her. I tried everything; chiropractic, massage, Bowen, long reining, walking in hand and time off. I was convinced that her ovaries and hormones were causing most of the problem, and called in my vet to investigate. We found nothing wrong with her ovaries, and proceeded to x-ray her spine, again we found nothing wrong. At this point I was seriously considering having my lovely mare put to sleep, as she was becoming more and more dangerous to handle by this point. I knew something was hurting, but no one seemed to be able to help.
I was then introduced to Sarah by a friend of mine, who convinced me to give Sarah a go. I was very sceptical by this point, but also willing to try anything. Thank God I listened to my friend! Sarah quickly and expertly assessed Maggie, and told me that the mare was in a LOT of pain in her back, and that she did not think the problem was hormonal. Sarah got her chiropractor, Jose, to treat Maggie, and even Jose said that she was one of the worst cases that he had come across!
Sarah then got to work on Maggie, teaching her how to use her body correctly, working her from the ground initially and then progressing to ridden work when she felt the mare was strong enough. This whole process took less than 3 months. The first time that I saw my mare being ridden I got very emotional. She looked FANTASTIC, and most of all she was willing and happy, and no longer a monster!
What Sarah does is unique, and I truly think that she is gifted. She succeeded where everything else had failed, and I now have my horse back. I am now back riding her myself under Sarah’s watchful eye, and hope to get to a competition soon.
As a trainer, Sarah has “remoulded” my position and helped me enormously. She understands human and equine biomechanics and as a result has made my riding more fluent in a way it has never been before!
My beautiful 18hh KWPN warmblood is the most wonderful horse I have ever been around. He is kind and safe and loving and I was having a truly lovely time with him. He was always labeled from day one as a tad lazy. For me as a novice wannabe dressage diva that was perfect. However after about a year I just wasn’t progressing. He was never lame or seemed like anything was wrong he just never really wanted to do anything and if I am honest I began to lose interest. It was getting harder and harder to keep him going. I was always puffing and panting and kicking… "Wear bigger spurs" they said, "carry two whips I was advised". It just all felt wrong to me. I backed off and stopped going in the school regularly, happy hacking was our thing until June last year.
I took him to a friend's yard for a holiday and he travelled really badly, banging and crashing around and covered in white foam when we arrived.. We washed him down and he settled. The next day I tacked up and went for a walk around the lovely fields. His neck was down his ears dropped to each side and just felt like he wanted me to get off and carry him! I got off and walked back with him on foot. What now? The vet was coming the next day to the yard so I asked for his bloods to be taken to test for a virus. The vet followed procedure and put his stethoscope to him to check his heart and his face was a picture. His heart was all over the place, out of time and just stopping for long periods of time. I was told not to ride at all and to get him in asap for ECG and a scan. He was diagnosed very quickly with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), an electrical disorder of the heart rhythm and the most common pathological arrhythmia in horses. Symptoms of course include being lethargic. He was treated with the intravenous drug and had half a dozen doses but it didn’t work. There was nothing more I could do really. The vets said to be honest there is not a lot I could do just keep him happy. Well that was the biggest problem and he was definitely not happy. The choices were turn him away for good or put him to sleep. He is only 9 years old, I was utterly heartbroken. Then I met Sarah Ridd...
My friend brought Sarah to my yard, I wasn’t keen to be honest. "What was the point?" I thought. She arrived at the yard and instantly I found her very natural, warm and friendly. She wasn’t to fussed about me talking for ages about all that we had been through she just wanted to see Boy. I brought him out the stable and she walked around him, ran her hands over him, took a breath and said simply ‘Oh dear’. In her opinion, biomechanically he was in a total mess, chiropractically his body was all over the place and she just simply said “your horse has shut down, he is in pain and discomfort”. I of course was very shocked. "So what now?" "Please let me take him for two weeks and assess him, I think I can help here", she said. I explained that he wasn’t the best traveller and I questioned was there any point with all the heart stuff too? "Please let me try" she said, "I don’t think its his heart that’s causing the problem". Dumbfounded, my friend and I stood there for a while and then just said "Ok, take him."
So, I won’t go on about what happened next as you can see all that on the website, but her methods and training philosophy are sublime. Researched, planned and executed with precision and natural communication skills, there was never an ‘opinion’ just facts. Sarah has a team of professionals that she works WITH; vet, chiro, physio and farrier. They broke it all down and here I am writing this while sitting on the floor as my back aches so much from so much AMAZING riding!!! It took her 3 months and there was a great deal to sort out but my beautiful Boy is home, sound, healthy, shining, full of energy, strong, fit, good to travel and HAPPY.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a an Olympic standard pro rider, a leisure rider or amateur competitor ..pick up the phone, call this lovely lady tell her about your horse and I guarantee you will not be able to do anything else but embrace her passion, empathy and genuine knowledge of how a horse works!
Thank you Sarah and all the team at Weymarsh - we are having a ball! I think I actually did a half pass today! Woohooo