My name is Holly Barber and I have a family run training yard in Norfolk – Pine Lodge School of Classical Equitation, where we take horses in for schooling, training and backing, and teach riders on their own horses with my mother Sue Barber, who has over 40 years working in the equine industry.
As the name suggests we have a classical background but I have an interest in all spheres of equitation – tips, exercises, principles, anything from whatever discipline; if it helps with training of horses, it interests me!
I am best known for being a trainer and rider in the sport of Working Equitation. I have been part of the GB Team 11 times and am ranked 6th in the world at the last International World Championships. I am also a level 4 trainer and national judge for the governing body, The Association for British Working Equitation.
The sport of Working Equitation is in line with my ethos and has a mix of certain attributes from different disciplines. It is a three or four phase sport originating from using horses as working animals in the field for herding and farming purposes. It has a dressage phase, obstacles replicating things that might be found working the countryside as well as other technical obstacles marked like a dressage test, a timed speed phase, and internationally there is also a cattle penning phase.
Not only do I love competing in Working Equitation, but I use the obstacles extensively for training horses and riders as I believe it is an ultimate test in training and helps create a very versatile horse that can respond to their rider and whatever tasks are asked of them, establishing a better partnership through trust and obedience.
As part of my demonstration at this year’s Showcase I am looking forward to introducing you all to Working Equitation, specifically the obstacles used in the Ease of Handling phase, where the obstacles have to be ridden in a certain way to be judged and given a mark out of 10. We will also be introducing them for the first time, illustrating how they can be useful as part of your training, how they can show up clearly what needs work in your training and bringing focus and variety to you and your horse.
For more information on me and Pine Lodge School of Classical Equitation please see our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Pine-Lodge-School-of-Classical-Equitation-385123083409/.
Watch Holly’s demonstration with Alex Downing ‘An Introduction to Working Equitation’ in Arena 1.
You can also see Holly in ‘Something Fun; Barrels, Bicycles and a Unicycle’ with fellow trainers (and very good sports!) Ollie Phillips and Guy Robertson, in Arena 1