Meet the Team
Arran Parker – Owner and creator of Student of the Horse / Horsemanship Coach.
Arran's fascination with horses started at an early age, hungry to learn everything he could about horses, he had attended most of the riding schools in the area within a couple of years. By the age of twelve he had secured weekend work at competition yards.
Arran says, "The thrill of riding talented horses from a variety of spheres brought with it exposure to extremes of horse behaviour, which further fuelled my desire to understand horses better."
"I began to relate to horses on a very personal level." As a dyslexic, Arran often felt at school that people were simply speaking a foreign language. He saw a comparison between his own frustration with academic study and horses being 'trained' from a human perspective in a language completely unnatural to them. He began to question some of the interpretations of the horses behaviour commonly practised.
"It seemed that well meaning people were using fear and intimidation, through lack of understanding of the horse. Often short-term training solutions were creating long-term problems because the emphasis was on changing the horse's behaviour rather than changing its mind."
At sixteen, Arran left academic education for a different sort of education; the study of the horse. Here began a lifelong journey that has already taken him to places as far flung as Turkey, America, Canada and Spain to study with some of the most highly regarded natural horsemen. With the help of important human mentors, Arran realised that to become a horseman his true mentors had to be his horses.
His former weekend hobby has now turned into a full time occupation. He runs the appropriately named business, 'Student of the Horse', which helps others to understand their horses better.
The methods Arran uses is based on extensive study with natural horsemanship pioneers. However, it is his own unique way of evolving and applying these principles that make 'Student of The Horse' so effective. The approach is underpinned by horse psychology and the way in which horses interact with each other. It takes a very practical, logical and understandable form. A combination of both ground and ridden work helps develop the relationship between horse and human and emphasis is placed on learning to care for the horse's mind as much as for its physical needs.
The work Arran does goes beyond building stronger bonds and clearer communication between horse and human. Through his own journey into horsemanship and through helping many others he has seen the profound effect that learning to understand horses can have on people's whole lives.
11 years old
Appaloosa x hannovarioan
Even as a young foal, Oakley would leave his mother all the time and always had his own ideas and opinions on everything. It was his independence and ability for original thought and interpretation that attracted Arran to him.
Fran Absell-Maurice – Horsemanship Coach
Fran has been passionate about horses from an early age. Her teenage years were spent working in a riding school and then a rescue centre, competing in showing and dressage, and riding any horse she could get her hands on. After finishing University she decided to dedicate herself to full time work with horses. Having had a fortunately timed introduction to Natural Horsemanship, she has spent the past five years learning and developing her own horsemanship skills. This has included time spent studying abroad and at home with some talented horsemen. Fran's really excited to be part of the Student of the Horse team. Without a doubt Arran's method of teaching has helped her and her horse Nipper develop way beyond her own expectations. She would love to help open that door to other students and their horses