Classical Training & Marcia
Classical Training
Marcia's Ethos

"I can help you to perfect your horses way of going, improve your riding position, using lots of different techniques to suite horse and rider. I enjoy the challenge of a difficult horses or ponies and any breed will benefit from my training techniques. Many people have come to me when they have been struggling for a long time and now have happy horses that enjoy their work and are safer to ride". Marcia will travel to your yard and teach you on your own horse. Or you can visit Marcia's yard by arrangement and ride one of her school masters. Marcia will also take horses in for training. Marcia also regularly gives clinics in Classical Riding and Working Equitation in the UK. Please click here for a link of latest events.

Marcia Wakeman is a classically trained instructor who has been freelance for over 3 years. Marcia regularly trains with the top riders in Portugal and the UK and is highly respected for her riding ability and sense of feel. Marcia competes on the national and international scene showing in Portugal and the UK and is a member if the GB Working Equitation team. Marcia regularly has lessons with top dressage trainers and attends various clinics in the UK and Portugal throughout the year. Marcia firmly believes in constantly learning new techniques and reviewing the basics to ensure that her horses, her clients and their horses are getting only the highest level of expertise available and are constantly evolving with new challenges.

Marcia has had many successes and currently shows her clients and her own loan horse Tostao. Marcia was a member of the Great British Working Equitation Team that won a Bronze Medal at the European Championships this year. Marcia has already won 3 major showing titles this year in the Lusitano world, being placed 1st already in 2009 at Windsor (Quilate), Herts (Soneto), Suffolk (Quilate). Plus Marcia's clients have been competing with continued successes, Helen Barlow won the parade class at Windsor on Quebres-Nozes.

Please visit the testimonial page and the before and after gallery to see some of Marcia's amazing transformations and hear from happy clients (and horses alike)

Marcia taking a lesson on Soneto

Marcia works very closely with both you and your horse schooling each of you in feel and developing contact and rhythm. Marcia seeks to help you to understand each other and will help to translate what she sees in the whole relationship not just instruct you how to ride classically. Using the classical principles Marcia will help you to develop a toolkit of techniques. Key to this foundation will correct muscle development and carriage so that your horse is able to progress comfortably in his training with the right amount of flexibility and gymnasticism. Flexibility, rhythm and suppleness are key to Marcia's approach and you will be introduced in how to develop and build these key components in your regular riding.

Marcia's training is not just around correctness but producing happy and well balanced horses who whether they compete or not are completely produced. Marcia's ethos is achieving harmony and lightness for rider and horse based on the classical principles which applies not only to how we ride but how we approach our horses in all that we do. Lessons include long reining and lunging (if your horse is safe enough), schooling in-hand, and ridden lesson where Marcia will instruct you both and also ride to feel how your horse is developing over time. Marcia also teaches based on the classical principles and takes all levels from Novice to Advanced. In-hand work can be taken from lateral work to shoulder in, leg-yield, Spanish walk and Piaffe etc..

Marcia with Oasis

Classical Riding has been developed over thousands of years, the basic principles being that everything is achieved in partnership and harmony with the horse without fear or force. It is about establishing open lines of communication and trust, learning how to truly listen to your horse and understanding how the slightest movement of body and breath can be refined to the most subtle of aids. It is an art form where the responsibility lies with you the rider to take the time every day to understand your horses and how you can work with him to help him achieve his most natural and easiest way of going. Allowing him or her to be free and happy in their movements and in the best physical health. Classical riding is foremost concerned with the development of a classical seat and a well balanced and flexible horse. You the ride must learn how to achieve a feeling seat. Seat and contact relates to the feel of the hosres and how you body works with the horse. Your seat refers to the seat bones, abdominal and back muscles, pubic arch, thighs, shoulders, legs and contact or feel through the whole system with light hands. Abdominal muscles are key and it is usually recommended that you embark upon fitness of your own core strength through exercises such as Pilates, Alexander Technique, Yoga and Feldenkras. Classical riders develop wonderfully light, responsive horses because they ride from their "centre". The horse is ridden from the seat first, then the legs and into the hands. "The hands receive what the leg puts into them - no more, no less" - Dr Thomas Ritter. The emphasis is placed on you, the rider, to learn about your own body and how even slight variations in the way you hold yourself affect the way the horse moves beneath you. It is the most rewarding way to ride akin to learning a martial art in tandem with dancing with a vibrant powerful animal. It is an art where you will never stop learning about your horse and yourself and where you will be truly rewarded every single day.
Lesson Type Price for Single Pupil Price per person for 2 or more Pupils
1 hour Private Lesson
Ridden or Lunge-In-Hand
£55 £50
45 Minute Private Lesson
Ridden or Lunge-In-Hand
£45 £40
30 Minute Private Lesson
Ridden or Lunge-In-Hand
£35 £30
1 Hour Semi-Private Lesson
Ridden or Lunge-In-Hand
£30 per person

Fuel costs may be added depending on the distance Marcia needs to travel to you.

Nicky Lattimer & Val Ansel, Josie, Tui and Purdy

Both Val and I have been training with Marcia now for just under 3 years. Over the course of that time Marcia has taken both Val and I and our horses on an incredible transformation. Marcia has helped us to slowly build up our horses, using exercises to help gymnasticise them and strengthen their backs and to allow them to be working over from back to front properly. The changes in their physiology and mental attitude have been amazing. Marcia has a great talent for communicating feel to you and allowing you and your horses to experience this together. Marcia never dictates from the ground but translates what she can see in such a way that you as a partnership can put it in to effect together. This is very important as there is no one size fits all approach just a regular re-assessment of progress and understanding as to what is right for you and the horse at the time, with challenges to constantly develop you thrown in.

Marcia has supported us and our horses through injury and rehabilitation and we have found that the foundation work they have gained has always enabled them to come back into work fitter and stronger than before without loss of muscle tone. Purdy was a very green Thoroughbred, who it appears did not had much training in early life and came to me as an 8 year old through a dealer. She was an inveterate and constant head shaker who had no muscle and could not work in an outline. With Marcia's help we have transformed her with great patience into a very well balanced and beautifully moving horse. Sadly Purdy had an illness last year and then injured her tendon. As we bought her back into work after such a long time it was obvious she was not going properly as soon as she reached trot work. With further investigation she has been diagnosed with Kissing Spines. I am convinced that our training previously had enabled her to work more comfortably and it was only after such a prolonged period of rest and loss of use that she found working too sore. After treatment she is now back in work for just a week to date looking better than ever and moving better than ever. She has not forgotten her training and all the exercises Marcia has given us have stood her in good stead for re-building those muscles again and meaning that she can have a working ridden career with careful support.

Marcia has also worked with Val on Tui and Josie. Tui is Lusitano who came over from Portugal aged 6 having been turned away for some time the year previously. With Marcia's help Val has transformed Tui into a well rounded and well balanced horse. Again Tui has gone through some muscle and developmental issues which without Marcia's help and grounding would have been much more difficult to overcome. Marcia's training focuses on the best kind of work to help support and promote good health in everything that they do. This year we took Tui to his first show where he was placed 4th in-hand and in his ridden classes. Marcia has been invaluable in helping us to understand how to best ride and produce Lusitano's. As we have progressed Tui's sensitivity has developed and this requires very quiet and thoughtful classical riding in order not to interfere with the horses natural way of going. Without Marcia, I think that some times we would have struggled to get them to go forward and we would certainly not have learnt to be able to listen and communicate in such a subtle way. Jose is a 33 year old ex-polo pony, a triumph in demonstrating what good training and schooling can do. She is now supremely responsive, in excellent health, loving her work and supremely flexible and supple. This year Josie lead a Musical ride at Film and TV Horses Show demonstrating fabulous paces and wonderful flair. All of the horses are a joy to ride and a pleasure to own and much much happier in themselves. We look forward to many more years of learning and growing and we highly recommend Marcia to anyone who truly wants to form a partnership with their horse and gain a great classical foundation.
Purdy Before & After
Marcia is based in Wiltshire in the Swindon area and travels to her clients around Berks, Bucks and Hertfordshire.

Marcia will work closely with you to understand where both you and your horse are
and how she can help you progress in partnership together.

Intensive training/Short term livery also offered for those 2/3 day or week stays where you really want to brush up on your skills and make huge improvements in a short amount of time.

Marcia will work with you to develop a programme for both your horse and you. The focus can be across several different areas including, in-hand, groundwork such as long reining and lunging, classical riding, lunge lessons and Working Equitation. Ideal if you are focusing on a dressage competition or other showing. Marcia can also provide guidance on turnout for showing, plaiting and presentation and ringcraft (mainly Iberian focused). Please contact Marcia to discuss your requirements further

Marcia Wakeman Classical Dressage
Forthcoming Clinics & Events

Working Equitation, Dressage and In-Hand Clinics throughout 2014
dates to be announced
Marcia will be running clinics throughout the year. If you are interested in holding a clinic at your location please contact Marcia for further information. Watch this space for forthcoming clinic details and call 07709 023204; or email Marcia at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for further details and to book.

Ashgrove Animal Osteopathy Sponsors Marcia Wakeman