Elaine Butler has been working with Mary Wanless since 2000 and is a certified coach of the Ride With Your Mind method. She works as a freelance trainer as part of the RWYM Network, working with riders and horses of any age or experience. Clinics are available on a regular basis through the year in UK and Europe. There are existing regular clinics in England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Spain and Poland.

About Elaine Butler:

Elaine was born in Bournemouth in the South of England. After school she studied languages and left to make a career in sales and marketing in Germany and later in UK.  In 2000, after twenty years in this high-profile career she made a voluntary decision to leave her job and follow a childhood dream: to work with horses.

Although she had been pony-mad and ridden a few times as a child there had been no opportunity to follow it through, sadly. This journey was re-started in 1988 when she learned to ride again in Germany. Her first horse called Garfield, was purchased in 1990.

Garfield, then 6 years old, had been chosen for Elaine by her riding instructor. However he proved to be a highly-strung and sensitive animal, and had suffered some traumatic experiences in his previous home. Elaine was determined to help this horse lead a normal life, and in the course of this journey she made several explorations into holistic health therapies, saddle-fitting, natural horsemanship etc.

The first issue that arose however was that the horse was unhappy to be mounted and regularly reared up, throwing his rider. Being over-sensitive in the mouth, in his back and over-reacting to any contact with the rider’s leg, he also tended to accelerate and decelerate extremely quickly and unpredictably.  Elaine very quickly came to the realisation that her riding skills, which had been rather good on calm riding school horses, were severely inadequate when it came to a performance horse with these tendencies! Her childhood dream of owning a horse and living happily ever after soon became a nightmare where on some days she was too scared to ride her own horse.

In particular her balance was challenged, and no matter how hard she tried, she could not find out how to sit quietly in all paces so that she would not upset the horse. To her immense frustration Elaine’s riding instructor was totally unable to offer any good advice! He could control her horse in most respects but was unable to show her or explain to her how he did so. Everyone at the Riding Club told her the horse was unrideable, dangerous and far too difficult for her. She was advised to sell the horse and buy an older, easier one. However, she refused to give up on her horse of a lifetime. She knew that most of the serious problems could be solved by changing her balance.

It was through this situation that she went off independently in search of other teachers, so that she might learn how to control her body, balance and aids and gain a happier horse. None of the books appeared to explain in enough detail how to improve her riding, just what or what not to do. By chance she found a book that changed all of this; ‘Ride With Your Mind’ by Mary Wanless. She enrolled in her first RWYM course in 1996, was instantly convinced (as was her horse) and has been progressively more and more involved ever since.

The horse and rider went on to develop a wonderful partnership in every respect, competed at dressage and took part in many other events including Riding to Music displays. The horse is still fit and well, now 25 years old and still ridden regularly!

Elaine has also competed at show jumping and one-day eventing but due to injury concentrates on dressage with her younger horses, when teaching allows. She has three horses at her own yard that are also available for riding lessons. She teaches Ridden Clinics regularly in England and also at several locations throughout Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Poland and Norway.

In her “spare time” she works with 2-3 other “rescued” horses each year who have been traumatised or have other difficulties. These are then re-homed with suitably experienced people when they are happy to be normal riding horses. Ex-racehorses are her speciality. For the past five years since starting this scheme, she has achieved a 100% success rate, working with 20 different horses and ponies with many physical, mental and emotional problems.  

Elaine loves seeing both horses and riders improve and watching all the misunderstandings “magically” disappear. She aims to make learning an interesting, inspiring and fun experience for everyone.  She works with riders from complete beginner to Grand Prix level. She also employs methods from other equestrian specialists, including Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli, Linda Tellington-Jones, Alexandra Kurland, Andrew McLean, Philippe Karl, Ben Hart, Margrit Coates, and others.

For more Information:
Elaine Butler
Appletree Cottage, Cat Street
East Hendred, Wantage
OX12 8JT

Telephone: (+44) 1235 833223
Mobile phone: (+44) 797 95 92 970

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