I first had the odd lesson with Liz when I was member of the North Cornwall Pony Club and always thoroughly enjoyed them and learnt a lot. Some 20 years later I was looking for a trainer for some 1 to 1 flatwork/dressage lessons to improve my riding and my horses way of going and we haven’t looked back since!
Whilst injuries have resulted in a few horse changes, Liz has continued to help me immensely in her straight forward, no nonsense Dutch style! Liz’s empathy for welfare and the correct way of going for the long term health and happiness of my horses always shines through and her lessons are always fun! You always know when you get it right as she shrieks with excitement from the other end of the school! Liz has a great way of explaining why and how certain exercises work, and she seems to instinctively know what will and what won’t work in any given situation. She is firm, yet kind and patient, with a great sense of humour that is backed up by knowledge and experience, and she is never welded to a particular horsey ‘camp’ and always tries to bridge the gap, taking the bits that work; be that from classical dressage to show jumping to natural horsemanship. I am really looking forward to what we can achieve this year!
My first knowledge of Liz was as a Pony Club guest instructor, when she came to teach the “Top Ride”. My mum had witnessed some of it and held Liz in very high esteem. Everyone wanted a lesson with Liz, but I was never that lucky (or good?!). Skip forward several years, I was looking for an Instructor and Liz came to mind. A bit of internet research and I found her.
It took me a week to summon the courage to call. Surely she wouldn’t want to teach me and my scruffy 13.3hh, home schooled, moor pony? How wrong I was! We had a wonderful first lesson and I knew immediately I had made the right decision. Liz is friendly, direct and so knowledgeable. She comes up with something new to try every lesson and you see constant progress. Jacob has come on amazingly (it must be three years now since that first lesson). Most importantly, I know Liz would never EVER suggest I swap my feisty little moor pony for a Warmblood to do “real dressage”. I think she loves him nearly as much as I do, I know he loves her (or is that the polos?) and he definitely loves her lessons. Thanks Liz!
Several years ago my friend and I went to an event together and she was raving about her dressage trainer Liz Barclay, saying how her dressage marks had improved dramatically since having her. I decided to contact Liz, as I wanted my scores to be up there with my friends, and that is what has happened.
Since having lessons with Liz, not only have my horses improved considerably but so has my riding and position. I look forward to my dressage lessons as Liz has an amazing ability to make me laugh and always manages to cheer me up after a stressful day at work as well as encouraging me to work hard and push myself and my horse throughout the lesson. My horses also love them and always improve due to Liz creating appropriate exercises for them that she breaks down into manageable chunks. With Liz’s help and support, we now consistently get placed in the top 10, which we definitely weren’t before. I honestly can’t thank you enough Liz for what you have done for me and my horses over the years – I’m already looking forward to my next lesson with you!
This is my first year training with Liz on a regular basis, and the amount that she has taught me in this time is immense. Liz has literally become the voice in my ear. I had been looking for someone with real knowledge, passion and love for dressage, and with Liz, that is exactly what I got.
I initially needed help with left canter. Well, who would have thought that giving a little scratch on his neck would sort that in just one lesson! I knew after that first lesson that I had found someone who could really help me understand the mechanics of riding, but most importantly the mentality of the horse and someone that in just a year I have learnt to trust 100%.
Liz has been endlessly patient and understanding and has given me so much confidence, not only in riding Joey, but in most aspects of life. She has taught me a different way to look at problems and that there will always be a solution although it might not be instant.
Liz has been working on getting Joey to relax in his work and in doing so has been teaching me to relax and how to breathe to help him. Our best achievement so far has been a free walk on a long rein, and a softening in canter, which was something we could only dream of a year ago.
Liz is always very clear in her instructions; fully explains why you are doing an exercise and will always add extra information to be stored in your mind for future use. Liz has always been encouraging and in recent months we finally did our first affiliated competition. The best bit was handing the score sheet to Liz to see her reaction and note the very dramatic improvement in marks and comments. I have had a fabulous year with Liz and can’t wait to see what I can achieve with her help next year and will never be able to thank her enough for completely changing my way of thinking. Liz has truly become my inspiration, role model and a friend that I can believe in.
I started having lessons with Liz after quite a gap with any regular training as my horse had been side-lined with injury. I was ‘stuck in a rut’ and needed some direction. Liz was incredible at helping me get the most out of my veteran event horse; she carefully helped retrain his way of going resulting in our eventing scores improving greatly. After winding down from eventing, Liz encouraged me to keep competing at dressage. In our lessons we accomplished movements I never thought I would be able to do. We ended up going to both the novice area and regional finals and eventually competing at medium level. There is no doubt that Liz helped prolong my horses career and I’m so grateful to her for helping me get the most out of my lovely horse and teach him new things even in his 20s. I would not hesitate to recommend Liz to anyone.
Liz ‘Sparkle’ as we call her ( a nickname that has stuck due to one of my daughters not being able to say ‘Barclay’, has been teaching the Turriff family for over 9 years.
As a complete amateur to dressage, Liz patiently taught me how to get my handsome boy William, an 18hh thoroughbred X who hardly knew I was on his back…. to work correctly, engage and actually go ‘on the bit’.
What she was able to get me to do on him was magic. I never thought we would be able to do half of the lateral work we accomplished, counter canter, half passes etc
Liz makes lessons exciting and you know you’ve done well when she screams at you with delight !!
All three of my girls Liz taught from a very young age and all went on to do well in different equestrian fields, how lucky were they to get such a great instructor from such a young age.. Poppy my youngest who’s 6 can’t wait to start with Liz Sparkle!
My most recent accomplishment was with my ‘quirky, warmblood hunt horse, Lux. Liz helped get Lux and I ‘in the groove’, he went from a head shaking, heavy in your hand, hunt horse to a forward, light, uphill, forward thinker. In 2013 we won the Working Hunter at The Royal Cornwall show and qualified for HOYS. What a dream come true… Liz helped me on the flat in between the jumping and helped me mentally prepare for the biggest horse show in England and we did well!
Liz is a superb trainer and friend…
Liz Barclay makes us all ‘Sparkley !!!
I have been having regular lessons with Liz Barclay for the last few years with the aim of improving my dressage scores for affiliated eventing. Now not only have my scores consistently improved beyond recognition, and are continuing to do so, but I also have a more supple, balanced and correctly muscled horse, and he loves his lessons too! Liz has an intuitive way of looking at a horse and working out what makes him (and his rider!) tick and seems to know instinctively what will work for that individual to solve a problem or achieve a certain movement or pace. I certainly feel I get my moneys worth as she works us hard, which is essential to get results, but never overdoes it or risks pushing the horse out of his comfort zone. There's no trotting or cantering around endlessly in circles but inventive exercises which keep me and my horse focused. I have achieved movements with my horse that I didn't think were possible, and I now feel excited about dressage, not that it's just the formality before the jumping. Liz has not only provided me with the physical tools and techniques to improve my dressage, but, having competed herself, has given psychological support and insight into competitive riding which has helped me in all three phases.
I have been trained by Liz on numerous horses for the past five years.
She has helped me to produce horses from novice to advanced level and were continuing to work together as I aim for an even higher level of competition.
The training I have received is also essential to my academic life, as I work towards my BHSI and a Bsc in Equine Science.
Liz's insight, knowledge and vast experience have helped me to shape my career, she is as invaluable a teacher as she is a friend and would be an asset to any aspiring equestrian.
I first met Liz a number of years ago after I bought Paddy, a 17.2 IDxTB gelding, as a horse to have fun hacking out and to do a bit of schooling on. Turned out he knew more about dressage than I did and was not a great hacker! A friend suggested I try Liz to see if she could help me improve my dressage skills - she has done far more than that. After realising that I had a horse with "issues", Liz has helped me and Paddy through some seriously tricky times following a riding accident whilst pregnant to having confidence issues after my son (now 4) was born. I have to say that if Liz had not helped us through those times, I would have had to find him another home. Now, I still have a horse with some "quirks", but he is a happier, more rounded and relaxed animal and with Liz's continued training and sometimes direct approach, we are enjoying life. Thanks Liz for your continuing support and help.
I have been training with Liz for approaching 12 months. During that short time she has taken a very enthusiastic, but very green, combination and started to mould us into a focused partnership. Liz can see so much more of us as a combination than what is in front of her for that hour once a week during our lessons. She has an incredible understanding of the bio-mechanics of horse and rider and can tell in an instant how to achieve the improvements you are looking for without ‘quick fixes’ and gadgets. Liz explains things clearly & helps you to understand fully ‘why’ you are doing things. She is endlessly patient, knowledgeable, supportive and best of all has a great sense of humour. She has a wonderful empathy with both horses and people, developing a real understanding of us both as individuals. We see real improvement week on week, both my horse and myself enjoy our lessons and look forward to the next one. I wholeheartedly recommend Liz as a trainer, not only of dressage horses, but of real horsemanship.
Liz and I met when I was 15 years old. I was spending three months oft the summer in Cornwall and was desperate to get back in the saddle. I had been riding at home for a long time. Since I could not afford riding lessons Liz let me help her with the farm and the animals, and in return gave me riding lessons. We started of with sitting lessons. I was allowed to ride and care for Peer, a tall, impressive moving black beauty, bred by Liz herself. Every once in a while I was even allowed to ride her dressage horse Marie. Liz taught me over the summer with a lot of patience, energy and compassion. We would talk things through theoretically, I would watch her train her horses and discuss techniques. I enjoyed this time of intense training and learning about horses and their management so much that I have been returning since. I have been visiting Liz during my holidays, she would teach me, we would travel to shows and I would watch her give riding lessons. Liz has provided me with a fantastic dressage seat. She has not only been teaching me about dressage, but about horses in general and how to keep and treat them with care and awareness. She has shown me how professional horse management should be performed and I remember that every day. I am convinced that this is a big part of why I am successful with my career as an equine veterinarian. Thank you Liz ever so much.
Liz is undoubtedly one the main reasons I became interested in horses.
Being Liz’s god-daughter I was lucky enough to be introduced to horses at her farm, Wringford, at a very young age. When I was old enough, Liz taught me the basics on the neighbour’s pony, who I immediately renamed Sunshine Georgia (nobody knows why I choose that name) and I remember feeling really happy riding up and down the lanes around Wringford.
When my parents decided to move back to the Netherlands when I was eight, I made them promise I could have riding lessons there, otherwise I wouldn’t come with them. Luckily, we spent most off our school holidays returning to Cornwall and staying at Wringford.
Liz continued to teach me and now I was also interested in dressage. I still enjoyed lovely hacks around the farm, but I also loved riding in Liz’s outside arena.
The experience of riding Liz’s Prix St. Georges horse, Marie, was absolutely amazing. I have been lucky enough to be allowed to ride not only Liz’s own horse, but also one of the other horses stabled at Wringford.
On this horse, Mr. Frost, I have had the best of times and I was enormously sad when he passed away.
Being around horses has taught me to take the good with the bad and I definitely owe a large part of that knowledge to Liz!
After having lost my first ex racehorse due to an old injury I was still quite raw when I bought my next ex racehorse who was a National Hunt racehorse from Ireland and completely untrained. He gave me a good feeling when I bought him but having never re trained a horse before I took very baby steps with him in the beginning but still didn't really feel I was connecting with him both mentally and physically. I had heard the name Liz Barclay when talking 'horses' to people in the area but had thought that I was not really in her 'league'! However, I called her up and immediately felt like finally I was talking to someone who understood the complexities of not only horses but the people who ride them.
Liz came and assessed us both and within the first lesson had corrected my leg position back to where it used to be all those years ago when I was young and fit and so passionate about my dressage. From that moment on, things started to move forwards with a speed I couldn't believe. Merlin, my lovely 16.3hh TB and I started to gel together and begin to understand each other which has made us the best of friends both in the saddle and on the ground. The most important gift that Liz has given me in the time she has been training us is that she truly believes in both of us.
Liz has been incredibly understanding of my frustration of being older than I want to be and has been that sensible voice that I sometimes don't want to take any notice of when it comes from anybody else, but my respect for Liz keeps me in check when I need to remember that safety is more important than anything.
I first had a lesson with Liz when I was producing a young thoroughbred a few years ago. She gave me some very valuable tips and improved my dressage scores - we started being placed at BE100 after our first lesson! I then spent a year working with a very tricky mare who had many problems both physically and emotionally. Liz helped me over a six month period to change her frame and rhythm plus engage her and encourage her to enjoy her work. Her dressage marks improved from a 49 to a 23 over these months at BE100 and she is now working well and will look to move up to Novice in the future. Recently I bought a little warmblood X four year old and again Liz has very kindly driven a further distance to help me with her. She is quite sharp but bright and Liz has been brilliant at helping me understand more of the psychological aspects of schooling a young horse. In the future any horse I work with I will ask Liz for advice and know that I will learn something at every lesson.
About Liz Barclay
Her love for horses together with her dedication made her into the trainer and dressage rider she is, today. She is versatile and inventive and likes a challenge; whether it is a technical training question, a confidence issue or a problem involving the management of the horse or pony.
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