I have trained with Kirstin Kelly for nearly ten years now, since I came back to riding as an adult, after a long time away from horses.
I was jumping around 95cm – not very confidently and not very well – when I met Kirstin, and she coached me all the way to eventing successfully at two-star level, as well as show jumping at 1.20m, which was far beyond what I had ever thought was possible.
As I have never had the financial means to purchase well-trained, established schoolmasters or even straight-forward horses, Kirstin has helped me to achieve results with quirky mounts that other people had rejected as too difficult. She maintains a positive and encouraging approach, and has a huge range of tools and techniques to work with a variety of problems, from nutrition, fitness and behaviour issues as well as both dressage and jumping training.
Now that my top horse has retired, I have started from scratch with two younger horses, and Kirstin has been instrumental in producing them, and they have both had wins and placings in their respective grades.
In my capacity as editor of NZ Horse & Pony magazine, I have attended clinics and lessons with a large number of trainers, both local and international, and I believe there are very few who are close to Kirstin in terms of her ability as a coach. She knows exactly when to push riders, and when they need more gentle encouraging, and her energy and enthusiasm never seem to wane, no matter what level, age or ability of rider and horse.
Kirstin Kelly has been my jumping trainer for a number of years (more than I want to count.)
She is always positive, and has the same degree of enthusiasm and encouragement, regardless of the level one is riding at. I have a big-moving, athletic warmblood horse that I bred – perhaps not the ideal mount for an amateur rider in her 60s - and when it was time for him to start his jumping career, Kirstin taught him from poles on the ground through to cross-country. Once he knew what to do, she then taught me how to do it with him.
It’s always great fun with Kirstin. My horse and I returned from a two-year injury lay off last year (both of us were out of action) and started again over cross-poles, gradually working bad to eventing at 95cm level.
Kirstin makes no concession for my age; she just tries to help me ride with correct technique so that my horse can keep me happy and safe.
I always come away feeling positive from a lesson with Kirstin, and with the sense that if I can’t do it perfectly now, I eventually will… maybe with just a bit more practice.
'Five Strategies to Ditch Fear and Self-Doubt and Build a Positive Mindset'
Kirstin effortlessly made the learning accessible and fun for all ages
As a Pony Club it hasn't been uncommon for us to see a parent or a coach struggle to support a child who has had a fright, who has a mental block or can't find a way to manage their fears.
We often focus, within rallies, on physical riding abilities and Kirstin's virtual workshops helped our kids, parents and coaches (our team) to explore how important mindset is. The workshops offered our team very different tools - tools they have at their disposal everyday - to support their development as equestrians (and in life more generally). Added bonus the sessions we participated in are all recorded and come with fantastic resources so we can reflect and revisit all our learning!
With primary and secondary school kids on the calls Kirstin effortlessly made the learning accessible and fun for all ages. Her knowledge and experience in all things equestrian helped to make tangible connections the kids can relate to for all the mind skills and concepts she introduced us to.
Mindset matters, psychology matters and I am thrilled our kids have been introduced to these concepts by such a fun, knowledgeable and passionate trainer.
These steps have definitely helped me to be more confident and brave out on the cross country
Last season I was competing at 95cm events, we had a ditch problem and having silly stops due to nerves on the cross country. This season after doing Kirstin’s ‘5 simple steps to make positive change in your riding’ I have competed in a 95cm event placing second on our dressage score. We then competed in our first ever 105 going double clear and placing second in our class. We are having the best season ever!
These steps have definitely helped me to be more confident and brave out on the cross country!
Kirstin delivers the material in a way that even they could understand and start putting into practice straight away
We attended a seminar with Kirstin Kelly desperate to find help - my daughter had had an accident 12 months ago and it affected her mindset to a crippling state when it came to her riding! We had endured a year of tears during 99% of her rides! It was heart breaking for her, for me and her coaches!
We attended the seminar, took away and did the homework, watched the follow up Video, took part in the follow up zoom Call - all happening within about 2 weeks from the initial seminar! I am overjoyed to say that she has not had 1 tear since we attended the first seminar - she also felt confident enough to attend her first competition in about 5 months - the icing on the cake was that she placed in the two rounds she rode!
It really has been a life changer for the both of us - and it has also given me a few basic tools to help her in her day to day riding! Both my kids 8 and 11 yrs enjoyed the seminar, Kirstin delivers the material in a way that even they could understand and start putting into practice straight away! We are excited to work with Kirstin in the future! Thankyou!!!