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WIOLA GRABOWSKA

Freelance Coach

MSc BHSAI/INT'T

Biomechanics & Wellness Focused

British Horse Society qualified coach (BHSAI INT'T)

Fully Insured for coaching and training horses

Teaching since 1996 - UK, Norway, Poland, Portugal

Equine Specific First Aid Certificate

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I couldn't tell you why a child from a non-horsey family decided that she wanted to ride and later work with horses but I can tell you exactly when I discovered my passion for teaching others to fall in love with this whole equestrian sport thing! 

 

In 1996, after a fabulous summer of training with Polish Olympic show jumper and competing with my first horse representing one of the biggest Polish stallion depots - BKJ Boguslawice - I found myself sidelined with a knee injury and a prospect of lenghty rehabilitation. Out of boredom and frustration I started helping other riders and when one of them began improving beyond expectations, I was hooked.

There really arent's many things that bring me more professional satisfaction than seeing riders getting the best out of themselves and their horses regardless whether it's competition results, better relationship, basic riding skills or rehabilitation they are after. 

 

Apart from spending every waking hour of my teens in the stables I also trained Athletics at school and a local Club, representing my region in long-distance running. This has given me an insight into the value of progressive, professional, comprehensive training programmes for young athletes and how important quality coaching is in any sport.

I visited London in the summer of 2003 immediately after finishing my marketing degree with an exciting plan to travel to various European countries to gain skills and knowledge to set up a training centre and a riding academy in Poland. In 2004 I met my partner, Richard, and the plan took a very different shape! I made the decision to develop the riding and coaching career here in the UK. 

 

Arrival to the UK gave me many chances to improve my riding and coaching further. I passed the BHS coaching exams up to the BHS Intermediate Teaching Certificate and built my freelance teaching in London and Home Counties. In early 2008 I got shortlisted for semi-finals of the BHS Young Instructor of The Year Award and had a great learning experience at the South East qualifier receiving some very good feedback on my coaching.

 

Later that year I also applied and got selected for the Hendelah Waley Equestrian Fund and was chosen as a receipient of one of the training grants. It was during the conversation with the panel of judges at the selection trials that I mentioned my Aspire Academy plans for the first time! 

 

In 2009 I got given a fantastic opportunity to learn from an international Dressage rider & trainer, Anna Ross, and out of interest in science of coaching I also enrolled to Hartpury College on part-time BSc Equine Sports Science.  

I've always been a knowledge junkie and believe we never stop learning, certainly not when it comes to horses, riding and teaching. In 2011 one of my amazing clients sponsored a very valuable training trip for me to Portugal which later culminated in me spending a year working and training at a beautifully set up Hippikos Equestrian Centre near Porto. After years of teaching I was once again immersed in daily riding and training of many different horses including Hippikos' immaculately produced Lusitano stallions. My time in Portugal, as well as experiences with a young Irish Sports Horse - Kingsley - with many soundness issues, taught me the importance of in-hand work and groundwork that develops the horse from basic level to Grand Prix. 

 

Teaching at Aspire Clinic in North Yorkshire - 2014 (above) and training in Portugal - 2012/13 (below)

While at Hippikos I also had an opportunity to train daily with Antonio Carneiro, Portuguese National Champion (Show Jumping) and 2006 World Equestrian Games rider whose tactful riding, attention to detail and methodical approach to jump training are the skills I hugely admire. 

 

Since coming back from Portugal in 2013 I dedicated myself to full-time teaching again with a goal to continue developing quality coaching opportunities for as many riders as possible.