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Riding for competition or for pleasure can be the most exhilarating feeling in the world. When things go well, all is right with the world.

But, when things go wrong it can be extremely frustrating, leading us to doubt ability and knocking our confidence - fear or anxiety get the better of us, making us tense. We end up trying too hard and mentally beating ourselves up. If you're a nervous rider, it can be so frustrating when your nerves get the better of you.

We know we want to go to the next level - whether it be dressage, x-country, show jumping, polo, endurance, driving or simply hacking - yet our 'mental blocks' stop us moving forward.  

What We Do

Negative experiences, like a fall or a refusal, can create 'limiting beliefs' about ourselves. Our brains constantly look out for similar situations in order to avoid them, protecting us from harm. It creates negative emotions and generates certain [unhelpful] behaviours, like automatic responses, in an attempt to stop us riding, and so avoiding danger.

At IRS we help clear away those limiting beliefs, negative emotions and unhelpful behaviours using proven techniques including: NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy and Time Line Therapy.

Once your emotional baggage is gone, you free yourself from old patterns of behaviour, allowing you to do the things you've held yourself back from.

Does It Work

Absolutely! Vicky Smith heads up a very experienced team at IRS and was herself a nervous rider for over 20 years, eventually confining herself to the indoor school as she was too nervous to hack out, or compete.

She was able to completely overcome her fears after using these techniques. She freed herself and her very bored horse, Ted, from the indoor school and now gallops along beaches, canters across open fields, competes at Medium level dressage and fulfilled her lifelong dream of jumping a x-country course.

She has successfully been working with nervous riders for over 8 years, helping them to surpass their own dreams.

As seen in British Dressage and Your Horse magazines!

IRS Case Studies

Take a look at some of our clients and how they have benefitted from our 1-2-1 service and workshops. These case studies are amazing examples of the changes that you can make to your riding.


I came to Vicky at IRS for some sessions I think at the end of 2010 as I wanted some help with my nerves and emotions regarding competing, to try to help me to perform better. In 2011 my bay mare Nachtigall and I finished the BE eventing season as top BE100 horse and rider in the whole country – in our first season! We also qualified for the British Eventing BE100 Grassroots Championships at Badminton 2012 – which has now been postponed to 2013. William Fox-Pitt presented 2 British Eventing trophies to me at the Event Riders Association ball in January of this year (2012), for 2011 top foundation point horse and top foundation point rider. In 2012 we moved up to Novice, and I started competing a new horse Iron Maiden. We are just finishing the 2012 season, and have had numerous fantastic results, and now Nachtigall is almost out of Novice she has so many points. She has two qualifications for the Novice regional finals for next year. Next weekend I am taking both mares to our first CIC* international FEI competition. To my great surprise I think it is very likely that the 3 of us will start competing at Intermediate level next season – something that I never thought that I would do in my 40s! I am absolutely sure that the sessions I had with Vicky at IRS have been extremely influential in our success. I no longer suffer from the self-doubt or the nerves that were so crippling. And furthermore, when I do have success I enjoy it to the full, feel proud of both myself and my horses, and do not feel embarrassed or unworthy. I enjoy every second of competing my horses, and if I do ever have any worries I still think back to our sessions to help me overcome them. I have recommended IRS and their services many times, and will continue to do so.

S Eggleton Equine Travel Agency