Retraining of Racehorses: About the Owner
Training has always been a great passion for Karen, the owner of Woodside Stables which she runs with her husband Phil, and she has also had a life-long love for the Thoroughbred horse. "I always seem to end up with a TB...it's a vice!" She says.
As there are always an abundance of ex-racehorses out there with little or no training or preparation for life in the real world Karen has made it a life-long hobby to give these horses a good education and therefore a good chance to find a new career. "If I can make an upside-down, unschooled and often misunderstood horse into a beautiful Rolls-Royce ride I am guaranteeing them a home for life, wherever they may go".
Karen enjoys training all types of horses (and people). After a decade of busy competition in all three disciplines and training horses for other riders to compete, she began teaching and spent many years training students for their BHSAI exams. Although she now concentrates on horses and running the yard, she is more than happy to help with any problems or questions people may have in order to gain a level of knowledge and understanding to ensure they can achieve the best results from schooling and competing their horses. Karen follows her own methods of intelligent horsemanship, drawing upon her 30 years of experience and following the teachings of the more Classical form of Dressage, believing that harmony, understanding, balance, lightness and self-carriage are the best ingredients for making a happy horse which no-one would ever wish to sell.
More recently Karen has broadened her scope of teaching and training to include Western, Le Trec, and Horse Agility, being successful competing in all three disciplines. Le Trec and Horse Agility in particular are both fast growing sports and which horses find tremendous fun! "I find Horse Agility is the best form of developing a trusting bond with your horse, particularly if it is a new partnership. The horses find the obstacles interesting and they develop confidence and trust in their owner in a way no other discipline does - it's wonderful to see!"
Karen has never lost the desire to take on a new challenge. "I've never met a horse that wasn't grateful when I showed it the way. The look on their faces when the penny drops and they get it right...'gets me every time, it's so rewarding"
Some Before and After photos of horses I have schooled