Having battled with riding confidence issues for many years, exacerbated by unsuitable horses, and then becoming a mum, I was about to give up on my passion for horses, and following a bad fall, became unable to hack down the road without being led. This was a paralysing fear, totally irrational, yet causing me to dismount in tears, and yet again lead the horse home.
Then I met Don on his Leadership Development Course through my job, and he offered to come and help me with my horse
With his unique and frighteningly accurate insight into how my fears were controlling the outcome of my relationship with my horse, and his ability to identify behaviours that I was totally unaware of, Don guided me through all the complex issues I had developed.
It took time, unlimited patience from Don, and a change of horse, but now I have competed my own warmblood in British Dressage, and even though occasionally I get nervous if my horse is particularly sharp, I feel confident that I have the mental tools to take control of the situation.
I have even bought a youngster and backed him myself.
Dons` approach is kind yet direct, he won`t let you run away from the issue, and has an extraordinary skill. I have had lessons / clinics with many well-known trainers, and I learned a lot of practical advice, but I never learned about myself, and how my mind had such an impact on my riding, my competing, and my dealings with others .
Dons` methods and teachings have given me back my life with horses. I am truly grateful he didn’t let me give up.
Jenny Hall BHSAI
Wow what a journey! When I think back to where I owned an almost un-rideable horse, who would bolt from my rein pressure, shy away from absolutely everything, ropes included. Adding to this was the fact that he had hardly any, safe, stable manners. To where I am/we are today!
Don Campbell’s timely intervention and his exceptional observation skills of people and their horses, together with his unique individual way of teaching; thank you. Plus your patience when I just didn’t get it!! Has enabled me to look, take stock and change what was necessary in myself. Consequently these personal alterations have had an extremely positive affect on my riding, which in turn has allowed my horse to become confident, calm and trusting.
Now I ride with a smile on my face and a smile in my heart – Thank you
I truly believe that if it were not for Don Campbell’s unrelenting belief in my capabilities, I would not be riding my horse today. I am sure he would have been just another field ornament!!
I took up riding in my late thirties, with little experience of basic lessons I didn’t have much understanding of the principles and disciplines of riding. Don had a way of showing people that it started with the rider as opposed to the horse. He would look at your ability, fears, personality and how you applied it to your horse. It was one of his unique qualities; I had always been taught that the problem was with the horse and not with the rider. Being dyslexic was another obstacle to overcome, I found schooling daunting. Don broke every instruction down for me to visually learn from, as I struggled to understand the technical words used in the schooling.
He taught me that your confidence and natural ability is a great tool in riding. By applying these two elements, it gave my horse enough confidence in me as I did him, which allowed us to work together and trust one another. Don’s experience as a rider and a teacher has allowed me to be the rider that I am today. My riding experience has expanded since lessons with Don, from cross country to dressage with a variety of horse breeds and abilities. I thank Don for his ongoing support and input and look forward to the future.
I originally started my lessons with Don as I had lost my confidence since having my little boy. I also had my confidence knocked by a few other negative riding instructors.
I had not had a lesson in years, I had only ever been a happy hacker so was also nervous about all the bad habits I had pick up.
Don was amazing from the start, was very patient with me and made me feel really comfortable. I loved the fact that whenever i was struggling with anything he would get on the horse and show me what I was doing wrong and then show me how to correct it, I have only ever had people tell me what to do they have never got on the horse and showed me so i have never been able to correct myself.
I would recommend Don to anyone as he has boosted my confidence so much and helped me in so many ways and made me the rider I am today.
For several years I struggled to ride properly after suffering a pelvis injury which affected my balance and hip flexibility and subsequently had a bad fall in canter as a result. I tried several different trainers to help resolve my problems but, their methods generally focused on my hands and legs and had no answer for the fear that was starting to affect me and prevented me from getting into canter. My riding just deteriorated to the point I nearly gave up completely.
Then I met Don. His approach was to understand not just my physical issues but, also the mental and emotional blocks I had built-up towards my riding. He systematically set about breaking down those blocks, putting in place good riding practice and then piecing everything back together. As a practitioner myself dealing with mental, physical and emotional issues for others everyday it was a relief to finally find someone that understood. It gave me so much confidence. I am now back riding my own horse out and finally not breaking into a cold sweat at the mention of canter or, the ‘C word’ as it became known!
I shall never forget our first encounter with Don. He'd agreed to help my teenage daughter with her new steed, a rather head strong, disagreeable character. His first words I shall never forget...'right then, let's see what you've got'...two laps around the arena and he pulled them in...'okay, so, let's sort the rider first...then we'll look at the horse'. Daughter's face was a picture!!... I just secretly smiled to myself.
And that's exactly what Don does...he sorts people and then the horse side just seems to fall into place. He has this knack of identifying the problem and let's face it...nine times out of ten this is usually us aka the rider...and then has this way of making us see the most simple but effective change is often all it takes.
Obviously, his immense wealth of experience, passion and overwhelming empathy for our friend the horse comes into play, but ultimately, Don Campbell is a fixer...a people fixer and one of the kindest, fairest people I have had the pleasure to meet and for whom I hold great admiration and respect. It's hard to put into few words but like so many things it all comes down to trust...trust and then when you build on the trust you get the harmony. This is what you will get with Don.
Interestingly enough, daughter holds the same opinion and couldn't wait for the next session!!
Paula Millward BHSAI - typical pony club mum with a little experience under her belt
What some riders say about how Don has helped them overcome their fears, confidence issues and injuries and put them on the road to achieving their riding ambitions
printed copies from £15.95 + p&p or download now as an ebook
© 2016 - Don Campbell