What our clients say...
Flora Watkins (News Editor Horse & Hound Magazine - UK) Becca has the gift of instilling tremendous confidence in her pupils. She is a real "kick on" kind of a teacher and had me and my horse pinging over decent fences in our first lesson with her (I'd done a little side saddle; the horse none at all). She knows a tremendous amount about the history of side saddle and her lessons are infused with fascinating snippets about it; I only wish she lived closer to us so we could see her regularly.
Millie Farrelly (Ireland) After watching the ladies of the Side Saddle Association of Ireland do a demonstration at Dublin Horse show, I decided to fulfill a childhood dream to learn to ride side saddle. So I arrived (terrified) at a side saddle "Have a Go Day" a few weeks later, and met with my instructor.. Becca Holland. I was immediately put at ease by Becca when she asked if I needed the loo, or if I was just nervous... My cross-legged stance could have been a sign of either!!!... I was nervous! I was soon legged up onto a lovely horse, and joined a group of other ladies also there for a lesson....My nerves melted away, as Becca put us all at ease with her great way of teaching.... in all of the photos of me from that day, I am smiling... I mean properly beaming from ear to ear! The other ladies and I walked, trotted and cantered, and before we knew it, a small jump went up, and under Becca's guidance, I was popping a small cross pole... side saddle! I have since had another great lesson with Becca, and it was equally great! I also had the pleasure of hunting along side her recently, and she was ever so helpful to everyone riding side saddle... giving words of encouragment to adults and children alike! Becca... you're a legend!!!
Holly Baker (UK) I cannot recommend Becca enough, not only as a sidesaddle instructor, but an astride teacher too. She has an amazing approach to training, with different exercises and techniques that are incredibly effective. I have never been one to enjoy lessons and have always struggled to understand instructors and their terminology, but Becca makes it enjoyable and easy to understand. She goes out of her way to help you, she has desensitized my pony to flags, umbrellas and all sorts. We’ve jumped bunting and so many other things I wouldn’t have thought possible since being under her instruction. It’s not just a lesson but an experience. I will always go away feeling like I’ve accomplished something in that small amount of time and I’m constantly seeing the improvement in my competition results. She is a fabulous instructor and a wonderful, wonderful lady.
Kathy Hipperson (UK) Becca is a very thoughtful and encouraging teacher. She gives you confidence to achieve far more than you thought yourself capable of. I can highly recommend her as a riding teacher whether astride or aside.
Izabela Pitcher (UK) I came to Becca as a novice in the art of riding side saddle - but her friendly and professional attitude worked wonders from the first minute. Calm explanation, valuable tips and correction whenever necessary got me completely hooked - and after the first lesson I booked many more. Soon, I felt confident and comfortable in the saddle at all paces and started the jumping tuition - and that's when the real fun started! The lessons were intense, but extremely enjoyable, and every single one would teach me something new, constantly boosting my confidence and developing my skills. When a few months later I got an a side saddle on the day of my wedding, on unknown horse, in a full Victorian wedding dress, I was able to canter away with my newly-wed husband, all that tuition paid off! Altogether, a first class instructor, knowledgeable, approachable and professional - highly recommended!
Lucy Amos (UK) Becca is the best teacher I've ever had! A gold mine of accumulated knowledge, you only need to spend 5 minutes with her to learn something new about horses, history and riding. She gave me my first ride on a sidesaddle and had me popping over a small pole in no time. She has excellent horse sense and has brought on the most difficult of horses to become calm and accepting of any task with her patient and consistent, kind manner. As a riding teacher, Becca can break down how to improve your position into manageable chunks and can explain how to alter the way you sit to improve balance - without making you feel stupid! She gave me a huge boost in confidence jumping over only a couple of sessions and I have loved XC ever since. Becca has the amazing ability to know when you are just feeling a little nervous and need a bit of encouragement to get over something and when you are genuinely scared and need to let it go, move on to build up confidence elsewhere and then return to the sticking point. Somehow she got me over some people scarers I thought I would never touch - and had me wondering why I was worried and grinning from ear to ear! At no point did Becca make me feel afraid or stupid and knowing that she wouldn't ask me to do something that I couldn't allowed me to improve hugely in a very short space of time. A fine art and truly what makes Becca great as a teacher. I would wholeheartedly recommend Becca as a teacher both for sidesaddle and astride - a world of fun awaits and you won't regret it!
Natalia Thorpe (UK) I used Becca for a one off side saddle lesson on my own horse. She came to my yard with a good selection of saddles to try and we found one that fitted. I had never tried side saddle before but Becca explained the techniques involved very clearly, and we had a great time, progressing in our session to cantering and jumping and had an awful lot of fun. Would highly advise booking a session with Becca to start side saddle, she really knows her stuff. Thanks for a fab time.
Tracey Bourke Shine (Ireland) I was persuaded to try out side saddle riding at a Becca Holland training day last October. I am a very nervous rider but Becca put me at ease straight away. I learnt loads and couldnt believe how much we did in the hours lesson, from correct fitting of the saddle, walk, trot, canter , and we even jumped some cross poles !! I wouldnt be a confident jumper astride! I left that day on a high and she inspired me to keep going with side saddle riding. I have gone on to buy a horse and TWO side saddles. So for any one thinking of giving it a go I would recommend Becca Holland as a fantastic side saddle instructor.
Emily Perrin (New Zealand) Becca introduced me to side saddle, right away I felt she had a really great teaching style, she made everything exciting and fun with simple and easy to follow explanations. She is very, VERY knowledgable and passionate about everything side saddle, including history and attire. I have also seen her at work with horses and she is a superb rider, with a great knack for giving a horse confidence without pushing it too hard/fast. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to anyone wanting lessons or training for their horse/themselves; whether astride or aside, mounted or dismounted!
Ann Rogerson (Scotland) Hi Becca,I just wanted to tell you I started riding side saddle a couple of years ago. I found your Flying Foxes website and some YouTube clips of you and set about teaching myself. In my first year competing I won the equitation points for the year for Scotland, then invested in a better saddle and team chased and hunted in the winter and spring then showed all summer. As you taught me to ride side saddle, I was honoured to be competing alongside you yesterday at the Dianas of the Chase. I owe you a massive thank you for getting me into this crazy sport that I love and I bet there are scores of others in the same boat. Mega huge thank you from all of your 'remote learning' pupils!
Susanna Forrest (UK - Author of "If Wishes Were Horses") I met Becca in 2012 when I was writing an article for The Daily Telegraph about side saddle and the Flying Foxes. In no time at all she had me up, trotting, cantering and even jumping for the first time in over a decade. She's funny, direct and an authority on side saddle history. Most importantly, even though I'm a nervous rider I trusted her fully – she gave me the confidence I lacked.