I am a 40 year old woman returning to horseback riding after a very long hiatus. I took lessons on a pony when I was a child and also started some dressage, however, my family dynamic changed and I was not able to continue. As I continued with my education and then my career, it has been a lifelong dream to one day return to horseback riding and maybe even own a horse. My chance to return has come and I am so lucky to have found Rhi Davies.
I have been training with Rhi since the beginning of this year and it has been an absolutely eye-opening experience. Her style of horsemanship is unlike anything I have experienced before. During one of my sessions, she was teaching me a new exercise and my eyes welled up. I was able to mutter, “Oh my gosh, I just realized you are almost teaching me how to train a horse not just ride a horse.” Rhi simply replied “You told me you want to own a horse. I want you to be well prepared and know what you are doing. Every interaction you have with a horse is an opportunity for you to teach them something, or them to teach you something.” This is exactly what I am learning. I have been trying to explain to my friends and family exactly what I have been doing every Thursday and I find myself unable to put words to what is going on. Rhi is patiently and carefully teaching me how to become a horse-woman. It is beyond owning and riding but really communicating and having a close relationship with a horse. Rhi shows you how to manage the horse with presence, air pressure and then contact--if necessary.
Every week I am learning more about myself as well as getting a little bit closer to my dream. I only have Rhi to thank for it.
I am so glad to have Rhi as my riding instructor for a year before she left for her training. I didn't have much riding experience and rode only once a week with different instructors every time to begin with. After taking the first lesson from Rhi and feeling the different way of teaching, I decided to stay with her and ride twice a week. As an adult learner, I rode horses the way I drive cars subconsciously and couldn't steer my horse well. Rhi pointed that out and used simple examples to explain the situation to me. It helped me to understand the reasons behind the advice and got rid of the bad habits. She also helped me to build up confidence by analyzing whether the situation was caused by my muscle strength or just simply lack of trust in my horse. Throughout the whole year learning from her, I found that she is very passionate and knowledgeable in horsemanship and never stops enhancing her own skills. I am very happy to hear that she finally finished her training and is starting her own program because I definitely love to take lessons from her again.
Rhi was my first instructor and with me the first time I ever got on a horse. She taught me strong fundamentals about riding and horsemanship. She has complete understanding of the horses and develops trust and confidence with her students. She's patient while you're learning new skills, but she constantly reinforces the techniques you've already been introduced to. She takes great pride in the work she does with her horses, and wants her students to feel proud of their accomplishments. I miss her telling me to keep my heels down and her English slang words like "wonky". I wanted to try riding horses, but because of her, I learned to love it.
I'm so proud of Rhi and what she has accomplished. She was one of my favourite students, and now she is one of my inspirations. She gave up a very successful partnership in her law firm to travel around the world to follow her dreams: how to love and understand the horse. Her students and clients should count themselves very lucky to have her and her super woman legs in their corner!
Rhi is extremely professional and knowledgeable; and she is highly personable and positive with her clients, as well. I myself am an experienced horseback rider, and I have much respect for the way she teaches her students to ride, both technically and in her delivery of instruction. My daughter learned a tremendous amount from her in a short time, and she greatly enjoyed her lessons with Rhi. We will miss her at Sycamore but wish her tremendous success in all of her equine endeavors. We hope that our paths cross again! Thank you, Rhi!
Rhi is an amazing riding instructor. You can definitely tell she really cares about her job and, of course, her students. She teaches extremely well, never making you do anything out of your comfort zone. She is extremely patient and kind. She always has a reason behind her critiquing, which is very helpful. She not only became my riding instructor, but also someone i look up to. Rhi is great with people with all ages, whether its like me, a 16 year old beginner, or an adult beginner. I hope to take lessons from her again very soon!
Rhiannon is friendly, dependable, and hard working. I was more than happy to leave my horses in her charge while I was away from my farm, and I enjoyed her company, character, and good work ethics while I was there in person too. She approached her work with a good combination of knowledge and logic, and remained positive, energetic, and diligent throughout her time in Ecuador. She had an excellent manner with the horses, and handled them well both on the ground and in the saddle. I was also impressed with her client handling skills and professionalism on tours. I can honestly say I look forward to Rhiannon returning to South America to ride and/or work with me in the future.
Rhiannon and I were working students together at a dressage barn near Lexington KY and I can recommend her to help with your horse without reservation. She brings together solid fundamentals, endless curiosity, and sincere empathy in her approach to working with horses. She has a heart for understanding the mis-understood horse and for developing her work on building trust. I don't want to make her sound like a push-over though as she also knows the differenece between a fearful horse and a disrepectful horse and is able to be firm when the situation calls for that although her first inclination is to give the horse the benefit of the doubt and to begin her intervention there. She has worked with a great variety of horses and disciplines and see the basics of trust and respect as the fundamental basis of any good work in any riding style. I value her input and trust her advice on any problems I encounter with my own horses.