IH Trainer Jessica Pryor, based within a 50 mile radius Edinburgh (to be arranged). She is passionate about improving the lives of horses and humans. Through the use of using non-violent and compassionate training methods she has helped many overcome a wide range of behaviour problems. Jessica has shared her skills and knowledge across the world; working with horses in UK, Spain, Canada, Australia and The Falklands Islands.
In addition to her training work, Jessica has helped guide students on the IH Courses including the 5-Day foundation. Finding pleasure in working with likeminded people.
🏆 Jessica participates in the ‘IH Awards’.
A Q&A with IH Trainer Jessica Pryor
(The Intelligent Horsemanship Magazine)
How long have you been involved with horses?
I have been involved with horses since I was 10, mostly during mid-term breaks. We would go to this great place near Dumfries. There was a small riding school where my family learnt to ride and fill hay nets. One winter, we loaned three Highlands and spent the weekends up the field with a little caravan. I was immediately hooked but living in central Edinburgh made it a tricky passion to pursue. Since leaving education and, coincidentally, the city, horses have been in my life most days.
Why did you decide to qualify as an IH Trainer?
My parents have always told me I should choose a job I enjoy, and then it will never feel like work. Despite growing up in a city, I love being outside, and horses have always had a very calming effect on me. In 2006, aged 19, I spent a year mustering cattle on horseback in Australia and became set on a career with equines. Around that same time, I heard that Monty was on tour at Gleneagles, so I popped along. Seeing how Monty
built a relationship with the horse and how thankful the owners were for his help made me want to do the same; I wanted to help horses and their owners and was thirsty to learn. Fast forward to 2012, after a degree in theatre design and production (not at all connected!), during my 5-Day Foundation Course, I recall having a conversation with Kelly about how I should hurry up and become an IH Trainer, as IH really needed one in Scotland.
What is a typical day for you?
I’m a mum to two amazing boys who are four and one (plus four chickens), so as much as I’d like to start my day with horses, it happily starts with
sorting their breakfast, collecting eggs, then double-checking where I am heading out for the day. I normally see two or three clients a day. I’ll review the last session to check areas that needed more work and make several plans for the session, so that I can react if training is going better or not as well as we had hoped. I always start a session with a revision of the horse and owner’s head spaces and see what training was retained. Recently I have been heading out to see: a very sweet rocky mountain two-year-old for groundwork, a retired ex-eventer that has become a bit jittery, and an Icelandic horse who, whilst quite explosive in the past, is calming down with the help of acceptance work.
What’s important to you when you see an owner and their horse for the first time?
It’s vital to understand what sort of help the client is looking for and to set realistic expectations. Often, I find when owners are getting in contact, I could be their last resort; they’ve run out of ideas. That’s important for me to log personally; the owner is going to be emotional, but sadly, sometimes can expect a lot from that first session. I will always tailor my sessions to individual needs but try to make sure that the owner knows there’s no magic wand. Goal setting is important to the relationship for me to establish what we are working towards before doing some work
with the horse to assess the starting point and evolve the plan moving forward. The horse’s welfare always comes first for me.
IH Trainer Jessica Pryor is based near Edinburgh.