A long term client and friend, who has been with me from the start, with two beautiful young horses.
Disclaimer: I do not advocate riding without a helmet. This was momentary for the photo and the decision taken by an adult client aware of any possible risk.
"Our paths have crossed ever since 2016. Since the first lesson we had together I knew with certainty that I wouldn't want any other coach in my life.
I've had many trainers before, and with each I found myself in situations I couldn't handle and solutions that would go against my personal values. This confused me to no end and lead to disorder in my head because the trainer's values often clashed with my mine.
I was still a newbie at handling and mounting horses on a daily basis. (I was already an adult, which made it harder to follow since I hadn't learned the right habits and motions). I was yelled at every time I didn't realize exactly what was asked of me and not given enough explanations about the how and why and what the effects on my horse would be.
So, after two years with multiple trainers I felt I was still at square one. Following a bad fall during a lesson, I started to believe that I would never be capable of handling and riding horses. I started to become anxious after the accident. I didn't know what to do, just that I didn't want to give up my passion, nor the contact to the animals that have always been so special to me.
You started by teaching me the internal workings of horses (about the body, movements, health, behaviour, pain, etc.) as well as the effect of my actions on my horse (positioning, movements etc.)a nd helped me to find solutions to all the challenges we faced. At the same time you gently taught me the necessary techniques with patience that I've never encountered before. By entering all this, you pushed me to my physical and mental limits. You always kept a professional and sensible eye on me, which helped me to go beyond those limits and to grow. At the same time you kept a close eye on the well-being of the horses, since the relationship between rider and horse is at the center of your values.
Even in the worst moments I knew I could always count on you, even when I wanted to give up because I thought I'd never get anywhere, you where there and ready to work through the toughest situations together with me, encouraging and motivating me to continue. We found solutions for everything, which helped me stay fierce and build confidence in my horses, myself and for the first time in my trainer (You).
When I look at my two horses today, I see my soul mates, who understand me and other without words. It's all thanks to you. You taught me to listen more profoundly to the slightest signs, to understand what reactions show that there is pain behind it.
You were the first and only to find out my horses were in pain. My mare had stomach ulcers for years without anyone else finding out. My gelding had developed a light case of kissing spines due to abuse he suffered back in Spain. Their pain signals (bucking, bites, rearing, ears, unwillingness to advance, sensibility, etc.) were ignored, or worse. I had been given "advice" to give them "a good smack" so they stopped. I assure you that doesn't help and only worsens the horses illness, makes them resist even more or causes them to abandon themselves and give in to fear.
But you, Nadia, you didn't abandon them, you didn't abandon us. You saw my horses, you understood them and you didn't stop researching until you found the reasons behind their suffering. My horses are finally well and their "bad behaviour" has stopped. Thanks to your gentleness and enormous patience for our fellow companions. Today my horses like to give me what I ask of them entirely by their own volition, they follow me, even without lead rope, by their own choice.
During my walks or hacks they stay with me and focus on me when they are afraid of something. They have the right to have their own will, opinions and ideas, which I consider during our daily routine. My mare even takes her medication on her own, even though she didn't like it at all, she tried to bolt and hide in a corner. Today she readily opens her mouth, takes her medicine between her teeth and waits for a treat afterwards. My horses and I owe you immensely, both, professionally and personally. I am very grateful for everything you did for us and for the time and effort you invested.
You deserve to be supported and recommended. You made all the difference for me and my horses as well as for your surroundings. You are a great resource for everyone. Everyone who has the chance to work with you can consider themselves lucky. I appreciate and value that I came to know you, the way we walked and still walk together as well as all the time I spend at your side. I will always believe in you and what you do and support you wherever I can. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart."
A long term client who provides a safe haven for rescue horses and who has unparalleled dedication to their wellbeing. Through her, I encountered a horse (Billy) very dear to my heart who has been incredibly rewarding to work with.
Testimonial to come.
An old client and friend with a wonderful horse carrying many complexities who made us both think outside of the box and repeatedly question ourselves, and sometimes life.
"I met Nadia near the beginning of my riding journey, and in one way or another she has been a part of Amigo’s progress ever since. It’s difficult to put into words the impact she has had on myself and my horse over the years, Nadia has been a constant source of support both professionally and personally.
Amigo has some deep-rooted psychological issues from past mistreatment, so it was always a mystery as to what the next challenge facing us would be when working with him.
Nadia’s extensive knowledge, and her willingness to research the parts she wasn’t sure of, coupled with her patience, empathy, and understanding of the horse and rider, resulted in the steady progress of us both to a point where we were able to take part in a Galop exam, ride confidently in the forest, and find comfort that even on a bad day, there were better days were ahead.
Several years on I still find myself remembering back to past advice, and thanks to Nadia’s initial support and training that set a positive course for the two of us, I have a horse who enjoys forest rides, continues to gain competency in dressage work, and has a love of jumping.
I can honestly say that without Nadia we wouldn’t have come so far in the beginning, she really does have a natural skill with horses and riders, and will help you to reach your goals!"
An old client and friend who entrusted her three wonderful horses to me for a long time, including a little blind pony who taught me far more than I ever taught her.
"Nadia has an atypical and unique approach to horses. Passionate by nature and always on the lookout for creative solutions, she doesn't shy away from any challenge that comes her way, like taking charge of my blind and very fearful pony named Missouri. Nadia felt her personality and nature, was able to pierce her shell with a lot of patience and put the Missouri in total confidence in work."
A long term client who has recently achieved her lifelong dream of having her own horse, and what a lucky horse he is.
"My experience with Nadia as my riding instructor/trainer has only been positive. I have known Nadia for the past 4 years, I came to her with a dream of owning a horse. Unfortunately, that dream felt, at the time very unrealistic as I had developed a lot of fears around horses. Now I am a lot more confident and I recently bought my first horse. Nadia is not the traditional riding instructor, she is always available to respond to any concerns or questions but most importantly she is very patient with both horse and rider. The well being of the horse is a priority for her at all times and she is not scared of conveying this to the rider, but she does it in an understanding and patient manner. I would recommend her services, in a heartbeat, to anyone looking to have a real bond with their horse. She will teach you how to ride but, most importantly, she will teach you how to understand your horse and have your horse understand you to be able to work as a team."
Perhaps it's cliché to have my own mother at the top of this page, but she has been with me every step of the way, has listened to my every thought for years upon years. I would not be half the horsewoman, or human being I am, without her at my side.
"Nadia is my daughter. Between us we own four wonderful horses that we love dearly. They are all exceptional in their own individual ways. All of them have experienced difficult pasts and Nadia has accompanied them all on their journey to a better life, a better mindset and to a close connection with their two owners.
I have had the immense privilege of observing Nadia’s evolving competence and understanding of horses’ needs, both physically and psychologically. Not only with our own horses, but also with the horses she has worked with such as Amigo, Drake, Missouri (Missy or Missou), Paloma, Chanel, Fano, Moogli, Milo (who has sadly left this world), Max, Zo, Topaze, Peggy, Billy, Bijou, Etoile, Bella, Ulrich, Cachet Crème, to name but a few. The point I’m making is that every time she worked with a horse, whether it was just with the horse itself or the horse with a rider, or in ground work, she took into account in great depth the needs and abilities of the horse and ensured that the demands she made of the horse were within their physical and psychological capabilities. She would progress slowly during each session, giving the horse the time to take in each step without stress or tension. I have seen the horses respond to her gentle firmness in a positive way. There are times when I truly believe that she hears them.
Nadia was extremely fortunate to have an excellent mentor and teacher for a number of years in Carine Babut, Founder of My Other Riding School. Carine was instrumental in allowing Nadia to develop her skills, sometimes pushing her way beyond her own self-imposed limits. The result being that Nadia was able to develop her own vision and her own method that coincides with her own personal beliefs. The experience she gained under Carine’s mentorship was invaluable and gave her the confidence in herself that she had been lacking before.
Nadia and I share a very special bond, reinforced by our shared love of horses, and of all animals to be precise. I am so lucky to have in Nadia a reliable and thoughtful person to discuss horse issues with. Her considerable knowledge is practical, scientific and academic. Nadia spends a great deal of her time with horses (and very much in her own time also) analysing reactions, movements or unpredicted behaviour, and researching for answers and explanations. However, having done that, she always thinks things through before deciding on her next plan of action in order to adapt it to the needs of the specific horse.
Nadia is generous and kind with both her equine and human clients. If she has to say something important to a client concerning the care of their horse, she will always do so, as kindly and as competently as possible. This demonstrates that she holds the immediate and long term well-being of the horse close to her heart.
Nadia does not work with horses to meet a deadline imposed upon her by the horses’ owners. She understands that horse need time to work through and then move on from an issue. She knows that there are times when there are set backs and that everything has to start again from scratch. Pushing the horse too fast does not necessarily solve an issue, it can make it worse or even create new ones. Her goal is always to take the time the horse (and rider) need to work slowly and calmly through problems with a view to solving them permanently, or at least, to keep them under control.
If anyone were to have a problem with their connection with their horse or if a horse has behaviour issues, I can but recommend her help. Not only because I am her mother but also because I know for a fact that she is very good at what she does."