“Collective Equestrian is my horse’s home and my haven, to which I escape at the end of a working day. I love the fact that the team have taken the trouble to really get to know and understand Boris; his character and foibles. They treat him as if he were one of their own. The care lavished upon him is reflected in a settled and happy horse, which is something that gives me enormous piece of mind. For me, as for any livery owner, the standard of care is obviously the paramount consideration, but in addition to thorough and expert horse management, Collective Equestrian also boasts some really excellent facilities (floodlit indoor arena, outdoor 20 x 60 with a range of jumps including skinnies and corners for simulated xc questions, walker etc – there are even some good hills for fittening and canter work). These facilitate my training and in turn help me to derive as much pleasure as possible from my riding. The team are incredibly supportive across the board. They do all they can to make things easy for clients. I never have to worry about booking the farrier, dentist etc as the sweat of those little jobs is taken away & organised with impeccable efficiency by Liza. I also benefit from regular training with Liza, who is (patiently and tenaciously!) helping me with my flatwork. Liza has really encouraged me to push myself so that I can get out and compete at levels that I had previously assumed to be far beyond my reach. It’s a real eye opener and has brightened up my view of dressage quite considerably – turns out it’s much more interesting when I try to stretch myself (I probably should have figured that one out myself!)! That said, although boasting 3 experts in the field, Collective Equestrian is very much ‘not just a dressage yard’; their experience and horizons are far broader than that. With monthly jump clinics with Antonia Wills and Jonny himself eventing during the season, they understand and cater for those of us who get their buzz from leaving the ground as well for the dressage divas, the Andalusian aficionados, the happy hackers and everyone in between.”
“I can not recommend Liza, Bardot & all the team at Collective highly enough. My first impression was what a warm & friendly reception I received. Everyone always makes me feel so welcome which is lovely.
Liza is a fantastic teacher! She is always super positive in her feedback & makes me feel as if I can achieve anything. She has a knack of making learning fun & different each time. Bardot is a fabulous school mistress. She really knows her stuff & clearly enjoys her work. My confidence has come on in leaps & bounds since riding her. A trip to Collective is definitely a highlight in my week!”
I trained with Jonny for nearly two years and got my first taste of competitive dressage. Certainly, I’d done plenty of riding prior since top level competing is in the family blood! But, I’d never done an advanced dressage test let alone thought about contesting the Junior FEI tests at premier league level. Certainly learning half pass and the like was an eye opener and Jonny’s obsession with “position and go” resulted in his running backwards along many a diagonal to check that I’d managed to keep things on track. Since moving back to Ireland, I’ve started an international career in dressage with Fanfarron – a horse that Jonny suggested I try when I was looking a couple of years ago. I think one of the best things is that despite our living in different countries – he in England and myself in Ireland, we’ve stayed very close and can always count on a bit of support over the phone or in person if i see him at shows.
Courtney Stuart, International Dressage Rider
It all started when I’d hitched a ride with Jonny up to the Premier League at Myerscough. I’d recently started competing at Prix St Georges level. Jonny gave me a hand the night we arrived and again the following morning to warm-up. So, that meant we managed to get a decent score in our first Prix St Georges at Premier League level. From there, we worked together regularly and by the end of the year my scores had improved considerably: I pulled close to 70% in the small tour at the CDI at Biarritz that October.
Shortly after that I seconded Jonny to my efforts to find a second horse to compete. We both loved Zola the minute we each sat on her. And she’s the horse that took me to the Asian Games and won me my first medal.
Vivian Chang, International Dressage Rider
The wealth of knowledge Jonny has gained over the years from several top trainers including (Delia Cunningham, Pammy Hutton, Henk Van Bergen and Gareth Hughes) has been combined into his own training system. Then add 15 years of riding internationally, it gives a very good foundation for Jonny to teach from.
Jonny has helped me with my riding and horses since September 2013. He has guided me in the right direction on his own horse Fidelio who I have progressed from novice on and with who I hope to make my Prix St George debut in the coming months. The focus is always on rider development and being able to apply what you have learnt on one horse to another. More recently, we have been producing three year olds together, where eyes on the ground are invaluable, as is his consistency within the training, starting from where we finished previously. We very easily share rides, which speaks volumes for our training system.
Our horses all have a very varied work programme and so also do a lot of jumping. Jonny’s hidden talent is jumping lessons, having evented before taking up dressage more seriously. Jonny’s jumping lessons involve very clever individual exercises which help each horse develop their own weaknesses, as well as developing my technical knowledge and ability – they are also highly enjoyable and come thoroughly recommended!
And if you don’t listen the megaphone is never too far away…
Elizabeth Allen, Advanced Dressage Rider
Alex is a fab instructor! He is very experienced in the horse’s movement and the rider’s position. He is genuine and friendly so makes you feel confident and at ease. He has extensive dressage knowledge so whether you need help with your basic position or want to try some new high level moves, Alex will definitely be able to get the best results for you!
I hadn’t had a lesson for years and, to be honest, and I was sick with nerves! Looking back, I’m not really sure why. Alex had such a calming affect on me and put me at ease straight away resulting in a positive impact on my horse. He listened to our story and my aims and everything seemed seamlessly adapted. I don’t have the most straightforward horse but Alex managed to get us both working well right from the start. I really enjoy lessons now as I feel we progress more each time. Alex has made such a difference to my attitude and motivation to schooling and every time he would give me exercises to work on for homework. I would wholeheartedly recommend Alex to anyone.