THE north of England’s first holistic horse camp is aiming to help riders with their confidence and how they communicate with their horse.

The camp, which is being held from the evening of July 13 to July 15 at Askham Bryan College, is being organised by a duo of local entrepreneurs - reiki master Deane Musharbash and classical instructor Laura Rafferty-Trow.

Such summer camps are usually focused around specific disciplines, the pair said, such as dressage, eventing or jumping. But they said they have identified a gap in the market for a more holistic approach, encompassing “the communication channels between horse and rider, relaxation and whole horse management”.

Their camp covers the whole horse and its relationship with the rider using relaxation techniques such as pilates and centuries-old riding exercises, as well as theory sessions on equine behaviour and demos from equine physio and nutritionist Melanie Watson.

“There are a lot of riders out there struggling with their confidence,” said instructor Laura, who has been helping riders with their confidence for 15 years. “Work, life and social media just adds to the feelings of inadequacy.”

The camp aims to give riders of all abilities a chance to detach from the stresses of everyday life and the pressures they place on themselves to improve their riding and communication with their horses, and their confidence as a result.

Deane added: “Whatever level they are riding at, all riders and horses can benefit from these age old methods, and a little time to focus solely on them and their equine partner.”

More details can be found on Facebook or at