Follyfoot is home to Nicole, her unwaveringly supportive partner, Shayne, the twins, Luke and Sophia, Beau, our 80lbs of love senior dog and Smudge and Elsa, our two senior cats. Luke's interests are fixing anything mechanical and electrical, both of which he is an absolute whiz at! Sophia is starting to follow in her mom's footsteps and is the proud teammate of Petunia.
Nicole grew up as a horse crazy kid in Wales riding and reading everything she could. Moving to Canada in 1981, Nicole rode western for three years and started her first horse. Life and university took her away from horses until one fateful day at the Saanich Fair, she realized what had been missing from her life for far too long. With 32 years of experience with horses, Nicole has experienced a little bit of everything. From the British Pony Club and gymkhanas to the hunter/jumper world, eventing, dressage, working equitation, trail riding and wilderness guide training.
Unfortunately, for the pocketbook, Nicole has a bit of a soft spot for animals in need. Consequently, several of the animals here were once, or are ongoing, rehabilitation cases. Nothing brings Nicole more happiness than watching animals thrive under proper nutrition, care and love. Nicole is an insured CHA certified english and western instructor, Equine Canada Rider Level 8 and also has her NCCP Equine Coaching Theory 1 and Standard First Aid. She has extensive experience with varying personalities and training levels of many different horses, and with riders of different confidence levels and varying backgrounds. Nicole believes that horses are our best teachers and it is our duty to listen carefully to what they are sharing with us. As such, her coaching and riding journey has led her to Equitation Science and she is embarking upon the extensive path towards a Diploma in Equitation Science. While there are many sound principles of classical horsemanship, there are often profound inconsistencies in how we deliver our requests. Anthropomorphism and emotiveness can further cloud what we ask and expect of horses and consequently, the horse can suffer mentally and/or physically. Conflict behaviours such as bucking, teeth grinding or even rushing at jumps are often a result of ineffective communication.
Over the years, Nicole has regularly pursued her own riding education through local and off island competitions, clinics, seminars and workshops with elites such as Beth Underhill, William Fox-Pitt, Jimmy Wofford and high performance psychologist, Dave Freeze and lessons with Jane Stone. Jane holds her Diploma in Equitation Science and is an Equine Canada certified High Performance 1/Level 3 Eventing coach. Nicole's background combined with her friendly nature and sense of humour make her a fun, safe and knowledgeable coach. Whether you would like to further your skills in dressage or jumping or would just like to learn how to enjoy your horse out on a safe and enjoyable trail ride, solid equitation and horse handling skills are taught with an emphasis on safety and fun.