Zoe Chipman aka EquineMediator
Zoe Chipman, based in Farnham, Surry, has been an IH trainer since 2003, after starting her IH journey 5 years prior, like many… with one of Monty Roberts books. She now uses her skills to improve and strengthen all sorts of horse-human relationships under her ‘mediating‘ ethos.
Specializing in working with reluctant loaders, Zoe also works with tricky foals, the difficult to mount, nappy, clipper or farrier-shy horses. Using the knowledge she has gained in over 50 years of working with horses in many disciplines, Zoe offers constructive, non-judgemental advice and hands-on help with whatever issues you may be having.
Zoe has also been be featured various published magazine articles in articles in “Your Horse”, “Horse” and the “IH‘ magazines.
Zoe say ‘I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the horses and people who I have worked with over the years. Each one has taught me something, and each new acquaintance, both equine and human, continues to teach me something new.’
Q&A with IH Trainer Zoe Chipman
(The Intelligent Horsemanship Magazine – Autumn 2021)
What are the common challenges you face in your work as an RT?
I think the biggest challenge, and sadly quite a common one, is probably having to point out to an owner that the yard that the horse is on is either causing or exacerbating the issues that I have been asked to help with. Actually, the bigger challenge is having to point out that both the owner and the horse could be happier if they parted company, but thankfully, that’s not too common. Getting to the very bottom of an issue can be tricky, too. So many factors can be involved, and the manifested behaviours are frequently a symptom of an underlying cause – be that pain, or an emotional block in either the horse or the owner.
What is the most common issue you have to deal with when working with horses?
The most common work I have is helping owners with reluctant loaders. It’s literally my bread and butter. I absolutely LOVE teaching the horses how to feel confident loading and teaching the owners how to work with their horses if the horse has a little wobbly moment at the bottom of the ramp in the future.
What are your plans for the future?
I shall continue as an IH RT as long as I’m physically able. Without horses in my life, I am nothing.
What three things should everyone practice with their horses?
Patience, consistency, and empathy. Don’t expect miracles when working with your horse – nobody ever learned everything they need to know in half an hour. Be VERY consistent and clear in your requests – if you ask in a different way each time, you will never achieve a consistent result. And look at everything from the horse’s perspective at every move – how can you make it easier for the horse to see what you are asking as a good idea?
What has been the proudest moment/biggest achievement in your career?
This may sound glib, but I can honestly say that I regard every single success that I have with a horse and owner to be a huge achievement. And becoming an IH RT was probably one of the happiest days of my life. Giving other people the opportunity to expand their love of horses in every way is a massive buzz. IH Courses are, literally, life changing. The learning is transferable to absolutely any walk of life where one is interacting with another sentient being.
IH Trainer Zoe Chipman is based in Farnham, Surry.