EQUINE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING - Fred and Rowena Cook  

Retraining Racehorses, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Schooling

Email: Enquiries@equinetraining.co.uk or call 01780-740773

R e f e r e n c e s  F r o m  C l i e n t s


Typical feedback we receive from our Clients

 

 

Suzanne & Ngel Williams - Zed Recruitment and Newgate, Edinburgh ["Lorient Express" aka "Lorie"/"The Boy from Brazil" aka "Jasper"]

Our ex racehorse Lorient Express had a marvellous racing career earning over £100k in prize money and giving us some memorable days. When we decided to take him out of training, we sent him to a new home however unfortunately, ‘Lorie’ was not let down properly and began to get quite depressed since he was no longer racing and perhaps felt that he was no longer important.

We were extremely fortunate to be recommended to Fred & Rowena and after a long conversation and much advice, we decided that the best thing for Lorie was to send him to their Stamford yard since they would be able to offer him the support to settle from his racing career and re train for the next part of his life. When Lorie arrived at the Cooks’ he was quite down and as his owners, we were concerned to see him looking sad.

Within days of him arriving, Lorie was a new person and within several weeks the old Lorie was back with shining eyes and coat. Both Fred & Rowena had spent so much time with the horse that he quickly realised he was important and through their incredible knowledge and experience, Lorie began to interact with people again and was no longer withdrawn. He is now going through his re training programme and is a joy to see.

We were so delighted with Lorie’s progress that we also sent Jasper there. Jasper is a lightly raced 5 year old who did not enjoy racing and again he is about to undergo retraining so that he can enjoy a fulfilling new career.

We would urge anyone with a horse which requires to be retrained or who has any sort of behavioural issue to contact Fred or Rowena assisted by Binky dog! They are the most fantastic team and are true horse whisperers who have so much experience and above all so much patience both with the horses and when giving advice. They are able to offer assistance in a way which is easily understood especially to anyone who does not have their vast knowledge.   Their yard is a happy place and you can tell how relaxed all the horses are - equine utopia!

 

Simone Booty - CF Underwriting, Colchester ["Chance Card" aka "William"]

I happened to stumble across Fred and Rowena, thanks to Facebook, not realising I had actually contacted them via the ROR helpline when I first purchased William for biting advice.  From the moment I sent the email trying to explain ‘everything’ that had been diagnosed with William, I was always met by realistic, professional and truthful answers.  Even after reading the vet reports, there was never a mention of nope we can’t do this, they were willing to give him a chance and to work with him.  I had accepted in my mind this was William’s last journey as I had given up hope by this time, that anything could be done for him.  From the moment I arrived at the yard and seeing William settle immediately, my worries started to fade.  The yard was quiet, lovely haylage which he munched on as soon as he arrived (he struggled eating at home), it was like it he’d been there years!  From the initial look at him and comments, I felt more positive that they may be able to help him.  I was always kept updated with his progress and lots of calls/emails and visits, so much so 7 months seemed to fly by.   Watching the relationship unfold between the three of them was remarkable, one of which I didn’t think William was capable of forming.  He went from an anxious horse, to one that now wants to be ‘friends’ with everyone that crosses his path.  His gained so much confidence and his true personality is now very much in place.  The change in him has been amazing both ridden and on the ground.

I truly believe without William going to Fred and Rowena, he wouldn’t be here today.  The team they work with are the best I’ve ever seen and between them all have worked wonders on him.  I’ve been amazed by the results and how well he has looked on each visit.  He has come back home a different horse, far more powerful than his ever been and his personality is one of happiness and content. 

Aswell as helping Will, both have constantly been there for me, through all the emotions that this journey has taken, sudden lack of confidence on Will’s return and general reassurance that I can do this.  I know if I am the slightest bit worried I can speak to them and they will advise me on what I need to do.  Lincolnshire may be a few hours drive for us, but I feel I have two valuable people by my side and however small my worry is, they are always on hand to support me.

 

Helen Morgan and her very happy mare “Karla Kolumna” - Spain

 

I felt I just had to write a few words of thanks to you for all the help and advice that you have given me since the time I was lucky enough to come across your website. It isn’t often that on the pitfall filled road of finding the right saddle and horse accessories that a chance Internet click brings contact with someone who is not only a very knowledgeable and experienced horse person but who  personally tests the recommended products. After chats about the individual needs of my mare every single item which I purchased was ideal. It is just so reassuring to find someone who really cares that the choice is the correct one.  

I follow the rehabilitation progress of the horses on your yard via Facebook and I have to say hats off to you and your team for the incredible success which you have. I would never hesitate to recommend your yard – your horse management and training is excellent.

So often people only write to complain and throw brickbats – well here comes a well deserved “bouquet” your way!!

 

 

Wayne Morris - General Manager, Holiday Inn  ["Magic Gold" aka "Tilly"]

My previous instructor had sent a few horses to Fred & Rowena’s, and had only glowing comments on how well they trained, managed and supported the horses through their training.  I had bought a six month old chestnut filly, warm blood, who, by the time she was a two year old, had formed an opinion of what she was going to do, when she was going to do it, and how she was going to do it!  Dominant Mare! 

So, I quickly contacted Fred and Rowena to send Tilly to her first session of Boot Camp!  This lasted for eight weeks, and by the time the guys had finished with her, she was very different in her attitude towards work and in her general mannerisms.  She was a pleasure to be round, and certainly well mannered.  My Partner Andy (non-horsey!) started taking her to showing classes where she did very well in winning some pretty rosettes.  However, what was fantastic was the way she had been trained in hand to deliver a great partnership with Andy.  We agreed with Fred and Rowena that we would book Tilly back in as a three year old to be broken.  June 4th soon came around, and we dutifully set off to Stamford for Tilly’s second round of intensive Boot Camp.  (During the lead-up to this, I had been working with her on the ground, lunging her and popping a saddle on.) 

We originally agreed that Tilly would be in Stamford for eight weeks.  I didn’t see Tilly for a couple of weeks, but knew that I could pick up the phone and contact Fred and Rowena at any time with lots of questions, resulting in a comprehensive update.  Whilst Tilly is a big girl, she was quite weak behind and Fred and Rowena did a lot of work with trotting poles and loose jumping to develop strength behind the saddle. Within three weeks of Tilly arriving at Stamford, I was sitting on her whilst Fred had the lunge line, and I can only say what a picture she was.  It showed that the team could work miracles in producing a well grounded, balanced and forward-going three year old by channelling her energies and getting her to think more.  They work in what I can only describe is a calm and relaxed manner, but with clearly defined boundaries, which manifests itself into the horse being trained correctly. Tilly came back three weeks earlier than intended, as the team agreed there was no need for further training.  However, they did spend time with myself going through my own training about balance and contact to such a point that the reins have blue stickers on them to show me where my hands should be.  Fred and Rowena are always at the end of a telephone call for support, whether it’s to discuss what I should do with her over the winter months, or discuss photographs for improvement.

I can only say that they have been true and loyal supporters of both Tilly’s and my education, and would suggest, if anybody is struggling or needs real, down-to-earth, practical, horsey advice, these people are the “A” Team!

 

Janet Scott - Business Manager, Equestrian Retail [Pepper]

Having already got 2 ex-race horses, when I got Pepper I was expecting to be able to cope with his retraining fairly easily. Unfortunately after a few months things were going rapidly downhill with him being unhappy, nappy, difficult to keep weight on etc, etc.  I’d had all the normal checks done back, saddle, teeth etc, so I decided that I needed some help with him. I was unsure who to ask as I was sure that it wasn’t just naughtiness and needed somebody sympathetic who would be patient and find out what was troubling him, not just a matter of getting on and working him etc, as I believed this would make the situation worse. Thankfully I decided to look on the ROR website and saw Fred & Rowena’s details on there and found they were not too far away from me. After researching their website and a couple of conversations with Rowena I decided that this was the right place to send him as I believed if anybody could get to the bottom of what was going on then they would and I really liked their philosophy and ideas.

On arrival at the yard there was a very peaceful atmosphere, I was made to feel very welcome and Pepper settled in straight away. I was kept up to date as to how he was and their findings were very interesting and made total sense.

 I went up a few times to see how he was getting on and was so pleased with how he was going and looking. What a difference there was in him. I rode him a couple of times whilst he was there too and he was a much happier horse to ride. I was given lots of encouragement and help from Fred & Rowena.

With their guidance, since he’s come home he has come on really well. I know Fred & Rowena are at the end of the phone/email and have been a tremendous help and support and couldn’t have got as far as we’ve come without them. They have even given me the confidence to have a go at jumping again which I haven’t done for over 20 years! I feel that I now have a really lovely horse in the making thanks to them and look forward to doing lots of things with him, including showing classes and dressage. I cannot thank them enough and would recommend anybody, particularly with a young horse or facing difficulties with their horse, to contact them immediately.

 

Lyn Flannagan - Director, KorAgri Limited [Bob's Return]

I had ridden a friend’s ex racehorse and decided that when I was ready to get a horse this was what I wanted. I came across Bobbie quite by accident; she had been trained to race but never made it to the racetrack and had spent the last 4-5 years in a field. I decided it would be best to take her on loan initially. Although I had ridden a lot when I was younger, I was very much self taught and my riding had been intermittent throughout the last 20 years. I wanted to be sure her temperament was as sweet as her owner said it was and it wasn’t long before I fell for her lovely gentle nature. However, being a novice with thoroughbreds and especially one that hadn’t done anything for the last 4 years or more I turned to the ROR website and discovered Fred & Rowena so decided to give them a call for advice.

I called Rowena who immediately made me feel at ease even though I had so many questions. All the advice I received was explained clearly and in a very down to earth way, considering my lack of knowledge with what was effectively a youngster (as Fred & Rowena pointed out to me) their advice was un-bias and very practical and I spent a lot of time on the phone and emailing them. Their continued advice and support was fantastic prior and after I decided to buy Bobbie.
We went to visit Fred & Rowena and it came very clear they were the right people to train Bobbie. After having a look around their yard and being introduced to all the horses, all of which looked relaxed and happy with their environment, they answered all our questions and were willing to give us as much time as we needed.

The day came for Bobbie to go and on arrival Fred & Rowena were waiting, as we arrived they welcomed us and straight away focused on Bobbie and settling her in. As I left it felt good to know she was in safe hands and I had no worries at leaving her behind.

Fred & Rowena kept me up to date with her progress and didn’t mind me getting in touch regularly and seemed to have endless patience with my questioning! Prior to Bobbie being backed Fred & Rowena made sure all the relevant checks were done, teeth, back etc. The difference and transformation in Bobbie was amazing, proving Fred & Rowena clearly know what they are doing. Her overall condition improved dramatically and she went from a horse that didn’t want to move forward from the leg to very forward going from a slight leg aid. Fred & Rowena explained the importance of teaching and encouraging her to use her back more, especially as they discovered she had a rotated pelvis, due to a possible accident in previous years.

I went down to visit many times and rode her. I was very nervous the first time but Fred & Rowena’s manner gave me the confidence I needed to ride her; it felt amazing - I had actually ridden her! As the weeks went by she progressed and became very forward going, even going over some poles and a small jump. The whole time Rowena would walk by me and gave constant instruction and encouragement which was excellent and helped me enormously.

Bobbie is now at home and although she is very green and we still have a way to go, I have the knowledge and reassurance that the basics have been done correctly, we are learning together and it’s great to have Fred & Rowena to turn to for advice. They have done a fantastic job, they have not only taught Bobbie so much but me as well. I still can’t quite believe I’m already hacking!

I have only one regret however - that I was unable to convince Fred & Rowena to relocate to Cheshire! Thank you both so much for all that you’ve done, not just in the training of Bobbie and advice on feeding, tack, bits, but also the many different situations I’m likely to come across on my journey with Bobs. I know you are always at the end of a text, email or phone line and it’s good to get advice from someone who knows us both so well.

Sorry to write so much - and this is the edited version.


Tina Pearce - Independent Social Worker for Child Centric Limited [Another Jack]

I bought Jack in 2008 as a just broken 4 year old. At 16.3hh and a well-built young man, he was a lot of horse for me to hold together. Jack had the winter off after I lost my livery and he was also having problems with his back so I decided to rest him for a while. As a result Jack became what I can only describe as "feral". As Spring 2009 approached, I looked at bringing Jack back into work. Whilst I hold my BHSAI and have considerable of experience, my current occupation does not allow for me to have the time to offer Jack what he needed.

I saw Fred and Rowena's web site and sent a message asking for help. Rowena called the same night and I arranged to visit the yard. I was very impressed by the professional yet down to earth attitude that Fred and Rowena have. All of the horses on the yard looked relaxed and happy and after discussing Jack and his situation at length I booked him in for re-breaking; I felt very confident in leaving "my boy" with them.

Fred and Rowena kept me informed of Jack's progress via e mail and telephone calls. As I live in the same County I alsovisited on a regular basis. Fred and Rowena worked through issues in a systematic and thorough manner (i.e. Jack's back was checked over, his teeth re-checked). The result was Jack came back into work with good physical and mental health.

The work and training provided by Fred and Rowena was excellent and Jack is now a secure and confident 5 year old; he is making fantastic progress at home and has an army of admirers. We hope to be competing in September. Fred and Rowena offer excellent post-training support and I will be keeping in touch with them as they are also a fantastic couple.

I could have written all night but didn't want to hog their web page!!


Lizzie Drury - Senior Nutritionist, Saracen Horse Feeds [Murphy's Law]

Murphy is an ex-racehorse who quite clearly had suffered some bad experiences at some point in his life. The re-schooling that he needed meant that a considerable amount of time and patience was required as well as consistency of training. As I work full time I accepted that I just did not have the time, or indeed proper experience, to be able to put in the most important foundations of his re-schooling education and so I decided that I would send Murphy to Fred and Rowena.

It has been amazing to watch this horse change, not just in his ability to start working correctly but his whole outlook on life. One of the most satisfying things to see is him get over some of his worries, to see the confidence that he has developed in his own ability to do a job and to be good at it!

I now have Murphy back at home and we are continuing our dressage training but without the work and on-going support from Fred and Rowena I would not have been able to go to our first dressage outing and qualify for the Winter Master Dressage Finals!!!

Ex-racehorses are incredibly rewarding and can excel in other disciplines but never under estimate the long, and sometimes frustrating road, it can be to get them going on the right course. Seeking the advice and support from people like Fred and Rowena, who are experienced in what an ex racehorse is all about, is a must for anyone who really wants their horse to be what he really potentially has to offer.


Claudia Waters - Comm. Safety, Huntingdon DC [Parkways Don Sandro]

My trainer put me in touch with Fred and Rowena after I decided that I was going to be unable to back my 3 year old on my own. It wasn’t that he was naughty; it was the fact that I did not have anyone experienced that was able to help me on a daily basis. After speaking to Fred and Rowena, I felt that I had made the right decision and I was very excited about seeing how he progressed. Throughout the period that my horse was with Fred and Rowena, they kept me fully informed of the progress that he made and welcomed me going to watch them training him. I appreciated the transparent service and consistent communication that they provided and feel that they did an excellent job backing my young horse. He has only been under saddle since the beginning of the year but I am pleased to say that I have a confident, happy horse who is a pleasure to ride, I feel this is due to the fact that he had a pleasant experience whilst being backed by Fred and Rowena. Thank you to you both and I look forward to telling you all about our outings this summer!

 




To read what our Associates and Practitioners have to say, please click here

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