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About Me

Michael's Career

My professional career with horses began nearly four decades ago in 1984 when at the age of 16 I left school and enrolled on a course at the prestigious British Racing School in Newmarket. After completing my qualifications, I began an apprenticeship in the Racing Industry with 'Classic' winning trainers Michael Jarvis and Luca Cumani. Both trainers had successfully trained horses to win major races and working with them was a valuable opportunity for me.

During my three years in Newmarket, I had the privilege of riding, handling, and traveling with some of the UK's top race horses at home and abroad. This experience allowed me to hone my skills and taught me the level of professionalism that is required in such high-stakes environments.


As I grew older, I realized that I was too big to become a jockey and did not want to get stuck as a stable lad in Newmarket. To further my education, I enrolled on a three-year Stud and Stable Management course at West Oxfordshire College. Specifically designed for the Thoroughbred industry, The course covered everything from business and accounting, marketing, land husbandry, breeding and bloodstock management, foal handling, young horse starting, and racehorse training.


The course founder and director, John Onions, had access to an extensive network of professionals in the industry and  frequently arranged for us students to work on stud farms, racing yards, and prepare and consign yearlings for the sales at Tattersalls and Doncaster. This provided 'real world' experiences.

After completing the course, John encouraged me to take a placement he'd found with champion trainer Noel Hicky on his farm in Ocala, Florida, USA.

My role was as an exercise rider, starting young horses, educating 'babies' to the starting gate and getting horses fit and ready to join Noel's main string on the West coast at Golden Gate Fields in San Fransisco.

Two months later, one of Noel's track riders got injured on the track and I was flown out to replace him. This was a great experience albeit a baptism of fire. Riding 14 race-fit horses over a period of 3 hours each morning was exhilarating but exhausting and required me to learn a whole new depth of understanding. I learned to quickly adapt and adjust my riding to what ever individual was underneath me and soon became a valued member of the team. 


When my US visa expired, I headed straight to Australia to become a freelance track exercise rider there. The system was similar to the USA, but now I had to arrive at the track at 4:30 am to try to pick up rides from a variety of different trainers throughout the morning. I worked my way up the East coast before returning home 6 months later.

Back in the UK I got a job as Head Lad to National Hunt and Flat trainer Matt McCormack near Wantage. Here I was responsible for 40 horses and 12 stable staff which was quite a different role to anything I'd done before. More like a management role it lead me naturally towards what had always been my ultimate goal - to run my own business.

By now I'd gained a lot of experience of horses and the horse-world and more specifically had refined my horsemanship and honed my affinity for  young and problem horses.

I started with a small yard with just a few stables and in those early days to supplement my income I did some part time lecturing at my old college. As word got around and my new business and my reputation grew, I got invited to write regular features for one of the best selling monthly magazines in the UK, Your Horse Magazine. This really upped my profile.

Demand for clinics and demonstrations followed and a chance encounter and trip to Denmark saw me very quickly demonstrating my horsemanship skills to audiences in excess of 2000 people. It was surreal seeing people queuing around a building with tickets in hand just to come and see my work.

With so many features and articles written I was urged to compile all my thoughts into a book. My first book Think Like Your Horse sold so well that the publishers asked me to write more. They went on to publish two further books 'The 100% Horse' and 'QandA Guide to Understanding Your Horse'. These sold well too.

Now, 12 years after starting my career, I was able to buy my own place and found a piece of land in Oxfordshire, I got married, built a yard and a house, raised 3 children and its here I have been quietly settled and training horses for the past 25 years.


I've always insisted on keeping things small and manageable so with only 6 stables and just 3 to 4 horses in for training at any one time was able to ensure the quality of training that remains today.

In recent times and with the horse-world changing so rapidly we've changed how we do business.

With more owners now wishing to be involved and hands on with their horses's future training we made the decision recently to shut the barn down so that I could be out on the road visiting horses in their own environment.


Now owners can get the advice and training they need in their home without the stress of transporting their horse to me.


With each session being tailored to individual needs, you can book a session at a time that suits you.

We've trialled it for a year now and it seems to be working really well.

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