From those who have trained with Zana
Both myself and my 12 year old daughter have been lucky enough to have received coaching from Zana. Her relaxed style immediately puts you at ease and allows you to really begin to build a strong partnership with your horse which in turn enhances not only your riding skills but also your confidence. She is incredibly intuitive and gets the best out of both you and your horse. I cannot recommend her enough.
Hazel Robbins, UK
I can’t speak highly enough of Zana’s teaching methods. She along with her kind, patient, beautiful Dales ponies, turned me from a novice clinging to my neckstrap into a galloping trail rider! What I really love is that we are taught to ride with the utmost consideration for our ponies. Holidays at Zana’s are just great fun. She has a knack for giving each individual a wonderful riding experience suited to their level of confidence and competence. Ponies, food and hospitality are all 5 star. Treasured memories guaranteed.
Donna Scott, UK
I have been lucky enough to be able to ride wonderful Dales ponies with Zana for more than twenty years. I cannot recommend her or the ponies highly enough. Her approach is pretty unique. Zana is intuitive and I found her to be really good at working out exactly how far to push my learning as well as my physical prowess. Countless times she enabled me to achieve things I would have thought impossible; things I would have tensed up about and been reluctant to try without her careful and sensitive teaching.
My lessons were always all about achieving good balance and an understanding how to work with the ponies’ natural paces and individual personalities. Each lesson evolved according to how I was doing, how the pony was doing and how the two of us were able to work together on the day. Sometimes I would finish feeling that I had really accomplished something technical (yay – leg yield in trot!) and other times, like I had had an amazing de-stressing yoga session for me – and my equine partner. All the schooling means that you get well balanced, sure footed, responsive rides when out hacking. That makes all the difference – I always felt safe on one of Zana’s Dales!
Whether cantering about over the gorgeous Yorkshire Moors, playfully doing quadrille to music with eight ponies in the arena, or learning a dressage test, or having a lesson working on tight muscles in me and the steed – I always felt so blessed to have the chance to ride these brilliant ponies.
Lorna Kook, UK
Zana began schooling Shadow after he had been out of work for 6 weeks recovering from a serious case of colic. She needed to re-teach Shadow how to work and what muscles to use in order for him to re-engage his form and mobility. After lots of ground work with Shadow, Zana began to work on Lily and her riding position.
Using Zana’s expertise and technique Shadow and Lily ‘clicked’. Zana transformed Lily from a ‘riding school novice’ into a competent dressage competitor.
We could not have wished for a more helpful, professional and positive role model to inspire our daughter. I would recommend Zana without hesitation to any rider, at any age and at any level. In Lily’s words “Zana is magic!”
Chrisi and H Stebbings, UK
Zana has been my riding instructor since I was 8 years old. She helped me to school my Dales Pony, Flash from the basics to an advanced schoolmaster. Zana is a wonderful trainer who helps you train for any type of competition, helping me to win the Open Championships at the Dales Performance show in 2015.
She also introduced me to the world of TREC when we rode as pairs in my first TREC competition. Since then I have progressed through the levels of TREC and with her help made the leap to International level. I have now been on the GB Young Riders TREC squad for 4 years and have ridden in 3 international competitions including one World Championships in Italy.
She is a patient and unique instructor and trains her horses with consistency (which helps when you want to experience a feel on one of hers that you can then work on with your own horse). I have nothing but praise for her lessons and methods as she has worked with me to build a partnership with Flash that I know will last a lifetime.
Caitlin Crossley, UK
Zana was my first proper riding instructor who worked wonders on improving my, self-taught riding technique. She encourages positive, even tension (relaxation) throughout the whole body so to avoid blocking any of the horses movement.
I had come to a bit of a dead end with my riding before I came across Zana, yet she was able to take me up to those higher levels of riding which we all dream about. I would highly recommend her as an instructor to anyone that wants to reach new heights as a rider.
Jasmine Jackson-Lloyd, UK
I cannot speak highly enough of Zana and her teaching methods. She has shown my children how to be fair and kind to their pony, how to ride sympathetically and in balance whilst getting the very best from him. She explains ‘why’ in a clear and concise way so that they understand and begin to apply that teaching.
She has taught them to question everything they do and to analyse whether or not it is right for this rider, pony or situation. This has enabled them to have a greater understanding of Zeus on both a mental and physical level. She often has a great story to tell too!
Overall Zana has given my children the confidence to go on and enjoy their pony more than ever. I firmly believe she has given them the foundations to go on to bigger and better horsey things!
Leigh Honeyball, UK
I first met Zana in 2010 when I wanted to gain more experience of Dales Ponies. Having lessons on her well behaved ponies cemented my desire to own one myself. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of different trainers, but can honestly say I feel I’ve progressed further under Zana’s tutelage than anyone elses.
Her classically inspired tuition is clearly explained and she breaks exercises into manageable chunks – I’ve never felt I couldn’t ask daft questions! It all just makes sense, and I’ve had many ‘ahh….the penny drops’ moments. Her focus on balance of pony and rider, together and individually, aligns with my belief in improving my position as a rider in order to better influence my pony.
I feel that Zana sees the long-term goal, there are no short-term fixes. While I am stretched in lessons, I never feel pressurised too far beyond my comfort zone. I always come away with a clear idea of areas to focus on and exercises to work with on my own.
Fiona Page, UK
When I was wanting to breed from my pony I was so pleased Zana was within reasonable distance. Not only did she have a stunning and well bred stallion, but I knew I could trust her to look after Sammy 100%.
Having worked for Zana as a school girl I knew her handling and facilities would be safe and exactly where I would be happy to leave my pony. I also knew it was the perfect opportunity for her to benefit from Zana’s excellent and sympathetic way of training and riding, and she took into consideration old injuries to gently school my mare and teach her lateral work with a positive approach.
I noticed an interesting change in attitude in my mare, she really enjoyed her stay, looked improved in top line within a few weeks and she remembers everything even after being turned out for the winter. I wish Zana was still close by for some follow up training!
Victoria Shepherd, UK
I rode with Zana at a riding school she was running nearly 20 years ago. I went there to see what the Dales ponies, native to that area, were like to ride. I was only going as a one-off trip.
Zana changed my life and made my dreams come true. She does the same for many people, all the time ensuring individuals feel valued. Her horsemanship and communication skills, as well as her sense of fun and adventure, ensure she nurtures the very best in the people she helps and in the horses she trains. Confident, well-mannered, willing, soft and responsive horses and capable, sympathetic riders are the result.
Zana helped me build the confidence and skills to own, train and breed my own horses. She was there when I needed help, and has been an inspiration to me in the way she handles significant challenges.
20 years after I first met Zana, I am proud to call her my friend. She is an amazing person, an excellent trainer and I would trust her with any horse of mine.
Sarah Kay, UK
I have been taking riding lessons for quite some time now with Zana and could not be more pleased! I had been away from horses for ~10 years and Zana has been wonderful in building back my confidence. I am learning techniques that help me ride in tune with my horse that I have never learned before. Zana has also been incredible in working with my horse too, in training in areas that he needs work on! She has also been very flexible in scheduling lessons around my work. I cannot recommend her enough!
Tracy Baggett, Florida, USA