Art of Hacking Testimonials

"I think the course is absolutely excellent and very relevant to anything people do with their horses... I wished I had something like this with my previous horses ...... I and my horses would have been very much happier for it”


"'Systematically unpicks and assesses the seemingly elusive ingredients of a good hacking horse, so that each component can be clearly understood, absorbed, taught, and then re-combined. Also gives thought-provoking suggestions about what it takes to become the trainer and rider that your horse needs”


"This course has made me be in the moment, being present and with my horse has made all the difference”


"So many riders (I include myself) have trouble finding the courage to fulfil their dream of hacking their horse solo and therefore miss out on, in my opinion, the best part of enjoying their horses‘ company and Trust out and about. Here finally is a course with simple and practical tips and examples to overcome your fears and build the confidence and partnership to enjoy the freedom of just tacking up and go, knowing you can deal with whatever you might encounter. All you have to do is put in the time and work!”


General Testimonials

"Having come to being with my own horses later on in life, I’m in catch up mode and I’m like a sponge. This has led me to explore many aspects of the horse / human partnership ranging from health of the horse through to one’s own emotional balance when around these wonderful beings. I have also been searching for a riding principle that helps not only me, but my horses and sits within my ethical boundaries.

In short, I have tested a lot of instructors, a lot of methods and subsequently got very confused, shut down and lacking confidence in myself. Then I met Kate when I attended one of her clinics in 2020. In Kate I have found a kindred spirit, someone who seeks peace and harmony in her horsemanship. Not only that, Kate has a wide skill set, an open mind, and a wonderful sense of humour. Her ability to know exactly what a horse needs at any given moment in time is testament to her level of experience and skill with horse and rider. The part of Kate I value most is her clarity of message. She has a way with words that works for me and her knowledge is second to none.

Thank you Kate for bringing the School of Legerete to us. I have finally found a system, an approach and a principle that works for me and more importantly my horses. And for that, I am very grateful to you.”

"It's taken me nearly five decades to find someone who understands horses and people in ways that make perfect sense not only of what we can do to weave closer relationships with our horses, but also why we're doing it. I have loved every part of Kate's teaching - never felt patronised, always felt heard and supported. It's magical!"
"Kate’s lessons leave me feeling upbeat and enthusiastic, with a clearer idea of how feel can be developed . The groups questions and videos of experiments in applying the lessons are a valuable resource where the true spirit of learning is cherished . Helpful advice from Kate who is a very experienced horsewoman can always be relied on , often with a dose of philosophy and humour."
"Since meeting Kate I have learnt the importance of clarity, both for the horse (super important) and myself. I have previously floundered around, reading this and that, having lessons over the years that left me more confused than before and basically relying on what I learnt as a child but wanting to have better relationships with the numerous horses I have ridden. I ended up with more ‘tricky’ horses and I came unstuck. I still have much more to learn but have gained some confidence in what I can do to help the horse and myself since attending Kate’s clinics and reading her words of wisdom "
"Since meeting Kate I have learnt the importance of clarity, both for the horse (super important) and myself. I have previously floundered around, reading this and that, having lessons over the years that left me more confused than before and basically relying on what I learnt as a child but wanting to have better relationships with the numerous horses I have ridden. I ended up with more ‘tricky’ horses and I came unstuck. I still have much more to learn but have gained some confidence in what I can do to help the horse and myself since attending Kate’s clinics and reading her words of wisdom - Di When I first met Kate, I was pretty much at an all-time low in terms of my confidence in what I was achieving with my current equine. I had bought a young mule, who turned out to be a whole lot more ‘character’ than I had bargained for. She challenged me in ways that made me feel completely inept and had me questioning everything I thought I knew. Kate started to help me out of that hole I had dug for myself, offering some much needed clarity, while acknowledging that it was going to be a bumpy road ahead. I’m still on the learning curve with my mule, but so much further along than I would have been without Kate’s encouragement. Alongside the clinics, I have also participated in some online learning with Kate. Here I found the basics explained and presented in short, helpful video clips, offering details I had not considered before; more layers to the onion, if you like – new ways of finding softness and relaxation and attention from the horse. I really enjoy learning in this way too – in digestible, bite-sized chunks that I can take away, assimilate and try out with my horses in my own time, week on week. The horses really seem to respond well to this gentle, incremental approach as well "
"As someone who had a very traditional background in terms of training ie BHSAI I found Kate's approach & knowledge a breath of fresh air. It hugely widened my understanding and experience of how to train horses in a way that puts their wellbeing as paramount with a thorough understanding of horse "mental health" and biomechanics at its foundation. Some of this may run counter to what you might have learned in more traditional settings but I can thoroughly recommend keeping an open mind: you will come out of it a much more rounded horseperson having learnt a lot about yourself and your horses! It may not suit if you are keen for quick fixes but you will find in this training a holistic, individually tailored & realistic pathway for you and your horse to achieve your goals "
"Experienced or not, confident or not, this approach is for you if your genuine priority is for your horse(s) to be happy in your world. Just be prepared to open your mind and step in to the world of horsemanship that Kate offers to you. Would you like any or all of the following?

1. For people to admire and envy the relationship, closeness (emotional not toe squashy) and connection with your horse

2. To achieve stuff with your horse because he has chosen to do something willingly and happily that you have suggested to him

3. A horse that welcomes you, that delivers through choice and understanding

4. A toolkit full of ideas, suggestions and remedies for most situations and behaviours

5. To increase your knowledge of biomechanics both you and horse and the impact of one on the other

6. To look forward to every lesson, coming having achieved so much and grinning like Cheshire cats (both of you)

7. All achieved with a supportive, knowledgeable, fun trainer who gives you her all without question, then this magical world is for you

8. Anyone with a live for horses can benefit from the ever-stylish, bobble-hatted, duct-tapes fashionista aka Kate.

We (horses and humans) are all in your debt my wonderful friend and trainer. "

"Kate is an energetic and thoughtful teacher. She notices where the gaps are without ever making the student feel anxious and as a result lessons with Kate feel more like a collaboration. She is absolutely committed to helping people get the best from their horse. Highly recommended. "
"Kate has the utmost respect for our equine friends - their well being is paramount in her approach-and that virtue shines through in her teaching skills which includes wonderful people skills - making us feel at ease and confident with her humour and her humble and inclusive attitude.

I think what I admire most about Kate is her ability to listen.I feel this is the key that unlocks the doors to relationship - with the horse, with the human, with life. . .and horsemanship is a wonderful way to learn about relationship and life. Kate listens to the horse. She really listens.And then she speaks to the horse in response to what she learnt while she listened. . .a truly beautiful thing to witness.

Long may my journey with the horses continue and long may it include Kate. "

"I'd highly recommend Kate, she the best riding trainer/teacher I've had the pleasure to work with. Kate has helped me develop a better relationship with my horse, that's NOT dependent on physical force, gadgets or punitive techniques. Encouraged me to improve my 'feel' and taught exercises ridden and in-hand to help my horse develop the posture and attitude she needs to carry me and stay healthy and sound. Kate teaches with a gentle and positive style, that makes learning easy "
"Looking at things from the horses perspective and striving to build a 2 way relationship was a refreshing change from traditional lessons I had as a child. Kate is a kind and dedicated teacher, she helped me to help my horse. Together we learned to ride without a brace and how to develop core strength and flexibility. Along the way we re-discovered some long lost brakes and a much better working relationship. "

Membership Testimonials

"I have enjoyed being a member of Kate’s Soft and Sound Membership Group SO much! The clarity of Kate’s teaching is outstanding and she gives such helpful and supportive feedback along the way, taking you through core training in such clear steps. Your horse will love you for joining this group!"
"I’ve known Kate for at least 10 years, firstly at Tom and Sarah Widdicombe’s farm and now as a Premium Coaching member within the Soft and Sound group. Kate is knowledgable- and if she doesn’t know she says so - a brilliant and patient teacher no matter what level of learning you are at. Her zoom meetings and discussion groups are inspirational. Everything she does is for the benefit of the horse."
"The Soft and Sound membership has transformed our learning! And it's a lovely supportive group of mad horse people too! Best thing I have done for my horse in a very long time - come and join us!"
"I've been around horses for over 50 years. I've ridden them, I've been their vet, newly, I'm their homoeopath or healer. I've read pretty much every text going and stopped going to clinics because I didn't like what I was seeing. Kate's approach in Soft and Sound has helped me back to a place where I feel I can dance with the ponies - where we're in reciprocal relationship and where - crucially - I understand why we're doing what we're doing"
"The membership group works really well for me on more than one level. Firstly, Kate is such a knowledgeable and humble person that you can ask her absolutely anything and she will have a very relevant answer.

Secondly, the different teaching methods used for the group are excellent, including both group sessions and individual plans.

Thirdly, this way of teaching is brilliant because you can always return to it and go over it as many times as you like. When you have a lesson in person, very often you can forget some of the information, but with this you can just go back over it again at your leisure.

Finally, if the new intake are as lucky as we are, they will be really supported and encouraged by the rest of the group....even when you feel a bit daft or lacking in knowledge you are never knocked for it or criticised. It’s the best training experience for all"

"I joined the Soft and Sound membership group as I was supposed to be attending a clinic with Kate which was cancelled due to COVID-19, I was a little unsure what to expect at first, but I can thoroughly recommend the group, I have worked with horses since I was 16 and am now 43! The horse I have at the moment is very different to any I have come across, so I was looking for a different way to work with him. I am truly amazed what a difference this group has made to us both, I used to struggle to put on his tack and I was always wary around him as he used to bite. I can’t believe how much we have learnt in the past few months, I am absolutely loving it and wish I had found Kate years ago!

Kate’s videos are brilliant as they aren’t too long and very easy to follow, also you can keep looking back to them as they are all easy to find on the Soft and Sound website and Facebook page.

I can not thank Kate enough for all her help and also making us think for ourselves, it’s not easy at first watching the videos of yourself but it’s so useful. The members in the group are very helpful and supportive to each other and it is lovely to watch people’s progress and also learn from their horses Thank you"

Kathryn Gillings & Archie
"I have known Kate for about 6 years now and have always got huge benefit from my lessons with her. She is knowledgable, patient and absolutely puts the horse first. During the pandemic Kate set up an online group which she has developed into an inspirational learning hub. The knowledge Kate shares in this group has provided a way for me to keep training with my horse at home in a structured and confident way. The group has also provided an interactive and supportive community of interesting and knowledgeable people during the isolation of lock down"
"Being part of the Soft & Sound Membership Group is proving to be both beneficial and enjoyable for me.

It’s a warm and friendly place, with kind, supportive and wise members. Kate works hard to ensure everyone gets the tailored help they need and we can work through her excellent instructional videos and presentations at our own pace, receiving encouragement and constructive feedback where it is needed. More than anything, with Kate at the helm, you know you’re in a very safe pair of hands."

"Golly! This opportunity is giving us keys in progressing how your 'presence' can bring out the best in your horse whatever level you are at. Really helps to upskill your "feel" & presentation to the hore, taking his nature into account. S&S dialogue encourages you to do the "work" and enjoy the journey - Go For It !!"
"I'm loving the group; I'm gaining so much from being in the Soft and Sound membership group - motivation, clarification, self-development, connecting with like-minded people, a safe environment to learn to name but a few. The improvements in my horse showed up pretty quickly and he's already feeling more balanced and stronger. I love having a focus for our sessions and a plan for where we are headed. Kate is excellent at presenting the information in a clear, concise way which can be applied to all levels of horsemanship. I absolutely recommend joining the group."
"Joining the Soft and Sound membership group has really inspired me to keep working towards my goals with my mare, Nessie, and not take the easy option of giving up when life with my horse doesn’t quite go according to plan. The advice and support provided by Kate is invaluable, and the video demonstrations and online presentations are a fantastic learning resource to help you practice the various exercises with your own equine.

Thank you Kate and the other Soft and Sounders for helping me to start believing that I am enough for my horse and if we keep working at it, we can achieve some great things together and continue to grow our partnership.

I’m really enjoying the journey and for the first time in a long time, feel excited for the future with my horse. "

"I have been involved with the Légèreté program since 2014. Since COVID-19 I spent time looking for on line coaching. That met my needs. When I found Soft and Sound I found exactly what I was looking for.

Kate has a wonderful format that provides video, lecture and Guest lectures. Kate has a brilliant teaching style that is clear and concise. She provides an easy to use format, and easy access for questions.

I feel so fortunate to be a student of Soft and Sound. Thank you Kate! "