Bridget Colston aka. CompleteHorsemanship
Bridget is an inspiring and natural teacher, passionate about helping horses and their owners. At the heart of her training is a desire to make it easy and pleasant for the horse to want to work with us. Always motivated by the well-being of the horse; Bridget draws on a variety of techniques in order to make it easy for the horse to do the right thing. She doesn’t necessarily follow a set system, but will adapt her techniques to each horse and its owner to find the best outcomes.
With a vast wealth of knowledge built up over a number of years; Bridget will cover everything from the horse’s physical and mental health, its environment, management and feeding. As good with people as she is with horses Bridget will leave owners with ‘homework’ that allow horse and owner to progress with confidence.
Bridget has been a full time IH Trainer of Intelligent Horsemanship since 2010 and became a member of Monty Roberts UK Tour Team in 2011. In more recent years Bridget has furthered her training and moved towards Classical Dressage techniques, she is an Enlightened Equitation Teacher, as well as a Straightness Training Mastery student.
Find out more about Bridget on her own website.
Q&A with IH Trainer Trainer Bridget Colston
(The Intelligent Horsemanship Magazine – Spring 2020)
How long have you been involved with horses? And how did you get involved with them?
I started nagging my parents for riding lessons at age 3. No-one knew where this desire came from as my family aren’t horsey and we lived in London. The only horse I saw was the rag and bone man! They gave in when I was 6 years old and by 8 years old I was helping out at a riding school every weekend and school holidays!
Why did you decide to qualify as a Recommended Trainer?
Because I met Sandra Williams! I had always wanted to work with horses but having worked in riding schools, livery yards, for a showjumper etc I just didn’t feel I fit in to the conventional horsey world so I went off and got a ‘proper job’ and kept horses as a hobby. However, in 2006 I went out and bought a ‘project pony’ a rising 7-year-old Welsh Section D named Rebel. Having got Rebel home I realised that he was a little bit more of a project than I had bargained on! I sought help and met IHRT Sandra Williams. It might sound clichéd, but I literally realised that day, that this is what I am supposed to do with my life! I resigned from my job a month later and set about re-training.
What’s important to you when you see an owner and their horse for the first time?
I want to leave with both the owner and their horse feeling that I have ‘listened’ to them and what they need. I also hope to have explained a little of my philosophy and some of the psychology behind the way we work in IH. A first session should be a positive experience for everyone and so I tend to be quite conservative with what I might try and achieve. For instance, I try and encourage owners of horses who have problems with loading to book a pure groundwork session with me before we go ahead and attempt to work with loading problems.
If you could change one thing in the world of horses what would it be, and why?
I would love it to be common knowledge that horses ARE NOT NAUGHTY! I wish that the horse world at large understood that ‘behaviour’ is communication and I wish that everyone would automatically look to eliminate pain or physical problems as being a root cause of problem behaviour before assuming that it’s a training issue or a ‘bad’ horse.
Have you taken IH to any other parts of the world?
Yes, I travelled to Kenya in 2019 to pass on the IH techniques. This was a wonderful experience.
IH Trainer Bridget Colston is based in Suffolk.