I first met Sharon in the winter of 2017, when she came to help me to teach a youngster to load. She very soon solved that problem, and moved on to teach another home-bred some much needed basic manners. Since then she has continued to solve my horse problems as they have arisen.
We have become good friends over the years and recently decided to take on a joint project, in the shape of an eleven year old Andalucian stallion, whose owner wanted him to have a ‘forever’ home. During the few months that we have had him he has settled in well, but without Sharon’s sophisticated knowledge and huge experience I would not have been able to cope with the challenge. Her horsemanship skills are of the highest order; these together with her deep understanding of how horses think and her kind and thoughtful nature make her an excellent trainer of both horse and rider. “
Venetia Morrison. Devizes. April 2020
Having been brought up on riding school ponies, competing and hunting on a regular basis and now a student at the Royal Agricultural University, I have had a fairly traditional education in horses. Parelli and natural horsemanship is not something that I have ever had any experience of and like many traditionally “horsey” people, I believed it to have a bad name and did not respect it as a way of working with horses. I did not take the time to find out for myself about Parelli, instead listening to those I respected bad mouthing natural horsemanship and assuming that they were correct.
Like many people I believed that Parelli was something you did, almost as if it were a discipline as dressage and eventing are and I didn’t have time for that. Sharon has opened my eyes to the fact that Parelli is not something you do, but the way that you do everything and that by making just small changes to your everyday routine it can cause great changes to the relationship that you have with your horse. Having handled and ridden what could be perceived as difficult or problem horses, I now wish that I had been more open minded to the idea that the relationship that you have with your horse is everything. So often, if you own a horse that performs when needed in the show ring, you let the other things go. Like the fact that it takes half an hour to load him or that bringing him in from the field is an everyday struggle. Because he does his job when it matters, those things are put up with. But actually, those things are so important and make a huge difference in everything else.
I know now that had I worked more on my relationship with my horses, under the guidelines of Parelli, not only would I have had an easier time of it at home but because of my strengthened relationship with my horse I would have had an even better time competing.
Grace Jutton - Work Placement Student from Royal Agriculture University. May 2015
Sharon has been such a massive help with my youngster, he was only 5 months old when I got him and was a dominant, precocious little chap. He was always such a challenge and I was very lost with what to do with him but my lessons with Sharon gave us so much confidence and the ability to move on. Sharon has been a constant source of wisdom, encouragement and praise (now at 3 1/2 he is coming along very well). I can honestly say that without Sharon’s help and guidance we would have still been having massive issues and I would have probably ended up having to admit defeat.
Sophie O' Leary and "Inca" Jan 2016
I have owned horses for over 35 years and thought I knew how to manage horses well, until I got my new coblet! I had never experienced so many challenges from one pony! He bit, kicked front and back, would stubbornly refuse to go forward when ridden or lead and when trying to mount, spun round, knocking me over. Everything I tried got me nowhere but I refused to engage with other people's suggestions that I send him back or I beat him to show him who was boss. There had to be a better way!
I knew I needed help but that a conventional trainer who would tell me to sit up straight and push my heels down was not the answer and so I started researching natural horsemanship on the internet and found Sharon. In the six weeks that I had owned Pip I was in a very low place, I didn't feel safe and he had stripped me of every ounce of confidence I had ever had. She has restored me, kept me safe and sane!!
Sharon's style of teaching is hugely encouraging and positive she is always immensely calm, even when the pony chooses to jump 6 feet over the post and rail surrounding the ménage!! She explains everything very carefully, uses the right words and draws on great analogies that help you to see things so much more clearly.
That first session with Sharon taught me that Pip is not being personal, he's just being a horse! I had no idea till I started parelli how much we can influence our relationship with our horses through positive ground work. Whilst we play the games with Pip it is really me that is being trained to be an effective leader (strange when you think that I used to be a Headteacher!) and her patience with me is unstinting. I always look forward to my sessions with Sharon, I know that I will learn something new, will always finish with a great sense of achievement, feel that I have topped up my bank of good will with Pip and I guess best of all we have some good fun!
Sharon is inspirational! I have started on a journey that is not just between Pip and myself but has opened up a whole new world for me, significantly helping me to understand horses and develop a different and more positive attitude towards them. I had no idea until I met her how little I knew! I look forward to continuing on the journey wherever it will take me and my horses.
Jeanette Turner and "Pip" Oct 2017
"When I was introduced to Sharon, and the Parelli program, I was looking for a better way to train my horses. A way to not compromise them as horses and a way to achieve excellence. I believe in Parelli Natural Horsemanship I have found this. It is early days for me still in my efforts to revolutionise my systems and habits, but just in those first few months working with Sharon I started to see dramatic improvements in aspects of my horses and myself. Sharon put a lot of time and effort in with me and helped me to start to see what could be achieved and for this I will always be grateful. To anyone who is looking to improve their horses, their relationships with them or just themselves, I cannot recommend Sharon highly enough."
Eden Ormerod (Professional Polo Player) 2015
I have worked with Sharon over a period of many years and love her method of clarity and explanation when teaching.
Of late though my WHW rescue mare decided she did not want to load, although she had no obvious bad experience when travelling.
Sharon showed me how to quickly remedy all the moves that Topsy had acquired and how to keep myself safe in the process.
This gave me a confidence and as such I have now purchased a new trailer with a positive outlook to take Topsy out and about this year.
I am just so pleased to have Sharon as a huge part of my horsemanship journey. The follow up that Sharon offers is invaluable too.
Sharon Smith Sept 2018