Client Comments

Sue Nevill-Parker - Arrow Equestrian

Arrow Equestrian has associations with a few selected teachers who are outstanding in their field and Felicity Mann is one of them. She is possibly the only person I know who galloped to the finals of the Prince Philip Cup Mounted Games then, in just a few years was teaching her pony flying changes in preparation for her BHSI! She has been taught by some exceptional trainers in her formative years and has managed to stay true to the principles they instilled in her. We have been friends for many years and our paths have run parallel since we were children - going to the same gymkhanas and Hunter Trials, progressing through Pony Club to gain our "A" test, competing in numerous Horse Trials and expanding our experience in all things "horsey". We have travelled to Germany and Portugal together to widen our horizons and both believe passionately in aspiring to the "Classical Ideals" of horsemanship as taught by Erik Herbermann, author of "Dressage Formula" and "A Horseman's Notes".

Felcity's equestrian knowledge and experience has been further enhanced by becoming a qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique and and this is where she truly excells. I can think of no other person I would rather have as my "eyes on the ground" to give me honest and accurate feedback on my riding whether it is on my own horses or on her amazing equine simulator.

At Arrow Equestrian we try to promote excellence in all that we do and having Felcity as one of our team is in deed a privilege. We have organised sessions with her here in Herefordshire as well as at her home in Devon on her equine simulator and riders of all abilites have found her teaching inspirational. She enables her pupils to make real and long lasting changes, both physically and mentally.

In short she is a joy to work with and she has a quality which is rare to find.

How the simulator can be an aide to correct saddle fitting. - Nathaniel Underwood

Many riders do not sit level in the saddle and many horses do not move straight.

When a saddle goes to one side it is sometimes difficult to establish how much of this is due to the asymmetry of the horse's conformation and how much due to the rider being unbalanced. An unbalanced rider can actually affect the horse's muscle development and can cause uneven development as the horse is continuously striving to compensate.

Many riders are unaware of how incorrect and uneven their own posture is. Use of a simulator which is completely symmetrical, especially where the rider is observed by a trained instructor, can help the rider be aware of any imbalance and to correct it as far as possible. This is a great help in correcting the balance of their saddle and helping their horse to move evenly.

Di Dickenson

I own and ride two large warmbloods and have spent most of my life looking for a way of riding that doesn't leave either me or the horse in need of an osteopath! The Alexander Technique together with the simulator and Felicity's unique way of teaching is a very effective way of developing balance, self awareness and harmony with the real horse. The benefits come surprisingly quickly.

As riders we want our horses 'connected', and this technique helps the rider to be 'connected' giving the rider access to better 'use' of their seat, back and legs. The horses never fail to notice the subtle improvements and are quick to show their approval by becoming softer, more consistent and more generous in the work they offer.

Karen C Jones, Endurance Rider

I have been attending Felicity for simulator sessions for over a year and I am convinced that she has played no small part in our success. She has helped me to find an easier way of going on my two FEI horses. Using the simulator provides another dimension to my riding training and enables me to work on areas that I know are lacking! Following our 160K (100mile) FEI success at Cirencester Park in June 2009, Macadamia and I were invited to join the EGB Elite Squad. Simulator sessions with Felicity will continue to form a significant part of our training.

Sue Morris, Dressage Trainer

Having students use the riding simulator compliments completely what I am doing with them on their own horse. Issues in timing of the aids, rider asymmetry and balance can be worked on without detriment to the horse and can be repeated as often as necessary - with feedback from the computer readouts - so that the rider can ingrain the new feels and sensations into their body before taking it back to the real horse, who with these new-found skills of their rider will very often feel as though someone has been schooling them too!

Nina Venables, Dressage Trainer, British Team Para Trainer

The use of the Simulator is an excellent piece of equipment to enable riders to understand their own faults as well as helping develop core stability, balance, straightness and co-ordination, all of which are key to anyone who riders at a competitive level.

The rider can be placed in the correct position and by using the mirrors, all aspects can be checked from every angle. This is an excellent opportunity for visualisation and imagining that the rider is sitting on their own horse. Suppleness can be developed which will help with the mobility of the hip joints and lower back.

The simulator would be an excellent tool to assist with warming in general. Para Riders in particular could benefit from this use.

Sandra Fry BHSAI

Based on the edge of Dartmoor - training riders and producing homebred Dressage horses.

Working on the simulator with Felicity's observations and the mirrors - I have been able to make corrections needed in all paces and through transitions without getting involved in what my horse does. Now I am really feeling the benefit of the training as I am sitting much straighter and my horse is going in a much softer way, fulfilling her potential in movement and going forward into an even light contact.

Alexander Technique and Simulator Client, Lyn Page

I have been riding for 30 plus years and have competed in dressage up to BD medium in recent years, previously I have Evented and worked with young horses as well as dabbling with most other areas of equestrianism at an equivalent of Riding Club level.

I went on to have some individual lessons on the Riding Simulator and the amazing thing is that it does help you to improve. As it is steady and consistent you can repeat things exactly and as many times as you need, breaking things down until you can understand and feel what is going on. Felicity has a great way of explaining things. She won't just talk you up and praise you but equally she never ever puts you down or makes you feel stupid. Everyone's experience is unique and valid and what is created is a safe positive learning environment. Felicity will adapt to your understanding and I think this comes from her own experience in riding and training, backed up by her vast knowledge of the Alexander technique.

I moved onto having Alexander lessons with Felicity and finally to lessons on my own horses. The riding lessons are always a challenge but very enlightening. I have found breaking things down into these three stages has really allowed me to learn and understand, and then to rebuild the blocks by taking small steps.

Felicity and the Alexander technique really break down day to day habits and help you not only to improve your riding and your bonding with your horse, but also your day to day living - improving your fulfilment and enjoyment of things. In my working life I have moved into training people, with my new found confidence to stand up in front of people and present to them. I really enjoy this aspect of my work now and previously it was lack of confidence that was holding me back from experiencing new things. I also cope much better with stress which enables me to work more efficiently.

Felicity and her set up provide an excellent learning environment - one of the best I have come across. It makes you feel years younger instead of years old and I really wish I had discovered all of this years ago.

Barbara Hemmings A.M.T.R.A ex Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales Manager

Alexander Technique Lessons with Felicity have had a huge positive impact on my day to day movement and mobility. Major reconstructive ankle surgery in 2001 had left me with a permanent 5cm leg length discrepancy. Originally a life changing accident in 1973 involving a motor bike ploughing into the horse I was riding had inflicted severe injuries to both legs. Having endured many orthopaedic procedures over the years including two ankle replacements, I had developed certain postural problems that were inhibiting my general movement and would therefore create problems for me in the future.

Felicity has been totally professional and was realistic in her approach to my issues. Over the last year her in depth knowledge coupled with her ability to teach effectively has meant my mobility and posture have improved dramatically.

My lessons are an investment for my future. The technique is non-invasive low impact and empowering and I would highly recommend.

Sue Kearnon

Before lessons on the simulator my major problem was that I collapsed badly on one side. Felicity's individual approach involving The Alexander Technique, has enabled me to achieve a position, balance and confidence I had not imagined possible. These are improvements I would never have achieved with conventional lessons.

The simulator allows me to work on specific areas, for example, position, balance, co-ordination, and contact, repeating movements, and exercises without worrying about the possible unpredictability of the horse.

I do not compete in any horse activities. However, I have two horses (mother and son) and my wish is to ride as well and as confidently as I can. My young house was my reason for first contacting Felicity. In January bad weather, and a bored young house left me struggling. Consequently, I had convinced myself that he was difficult and I was not competent enough to ride him. In turn my confidence diminished to a point I did not want to ride.

However, thanks to Felicity and the simulator we are now going from strength to strength, happily hacking out alone and in company without any problems. My relationship with him has also improved, with an even greater bond developing as a result of my increased confidence.

The next progression is to have a few concentrated lessons of Alexander Technique without the simulater and eventually have some lessons with Felicity on my own horse. This is by far the best course of riding lessons I have ever embarked on and I would recommend them to anyone.