A lifelong horseman who grew up foxhunting and eventing in the UK, Rupert came to dressage through observing that his autistic son Rowan began to communicate in the saddle in front of him when they rode horses together in collection. This led Rupert to they therapeutic technique now known Horse Boy Method, but he also realized that to really understand collection in order to serve an autistic kid well, he had to learn about dressage. So he went on a quest – to Portugal, France and the UK, riding with different mentors but always finding that they were at least 50% confusing no matter how useful their exercises and techniques were. He became frustrated that no one could explain the overall structure and system in a way that was coherent and immediately doable.He then started to study the old masters writing, spent hundreds of hours going through online instructional videos and also kept riding with good mentors. Little by little he put together the beginnings of our Stress Free Dressage course and system. When he then discovered the extraordinary Valenca family in Portugal and Christian Bachinger in Austria the whole picture at last fell into place.
So if you want to understand how the whole picture fits together, how you and your horse will get from your current point to where you want to go, then Rupert can explain it in a way that – because of his day job as a journalist – will make you finally go ‘Oh I get it!’. He is also your man for really learning the in hand work and how to establish everything you are going to do under saddle in hand first – at walk, trot and even canter – so that the riding becomes fluid and easy. He is also your dude for learning the pillars, the airs and establishing the piaffe. But for him, because of the background with autism, the main thing is to make everything clear, empathetic and fun so that the learning comes in a way that is stress free – the only way the human or equine brain can really take in information.