Debbie Barke


Although there were no horses in her family, Debbie started out riding in Kenya at age 10 with a local riding school. She credits the naughty Shetland ponies and the fabulous pony club on the outskirts of Nairobi near the Nairobi game park that lead her passion for ponies and riding amongst wildlife and then onto re-training racehorses into sport horses. 

Attending boarding school in Dorset saw Debbie start her coaching training gaining her first BHS qualifications. She went on to eventing and producing young horses for Broadstone Stud in the UK whilst gaining her BHSI and BA(Hons) degree in amongst working with the British Paralympic team. 
The British Paralympic team eventually took Debbie to the Atlanta Paralympics as a volunteer and the World Champs in Denmark and Sydney Paralympics as joint Team GB Coach. From Sydney, she moved to New Zealand married her husband Peter in 2001. Peter and Debbie had a shared love of horses and although he was still eventing when they were first married her wonderful Mzungu had come into their lives and dressage shows were taking up their time. With Peter breaking his pelvis, dressage became a big part of his recuperation the dressage bug got him and they began to specialise in dressage horse breeding from the sport horses they had bred. 

Now alongside a small farm rearing beef they both coach and breed dressage horses. RM Stud was set up to help them into more modern dressage horses, and because Debbie had breeding and foaling experience from my College and previous jobs they do all the work breeding and foaling and rearing and starting the horses. They are currently preparing for their 22nd foal. Having produced an FEI level Dressage horse in England, they have now also produced 2 Grand Prix horses in NZ and another couple of FEI level horses. Their current team of horses is very exciting, with 7 homebred horses and with 3 more lined up in the paddocks!

Over the 3 days Debbie will present her system of developing the horses to be mentally and physically able to enjoy and develop on the journey we have planned for them. From a young horse at his first outing to horses just about to embark on their FEI level competitions. 

Key learnings to take away from Debbie's sessions:

  •  Confirmation, personality, type and all the other factors that make horses, riders and combinations unique.
  • Demystifying some of the terminology and lateral exercises to show how we must learn to look and see what all our horses need and then be better able to understand how the exercises will help the horses be more able to progress. 
  • Debbie has picked a variety of horses so everyone can relate and we can all learn the technical requirements of our sport but learn how to adapt and apply it to our unique partnership.
  • Competition may be your goal, but the journey with your horses is the most important thing competition goals or not, Debbie can help you have a more successful journey.

Jody Hartstone on horse

Connect with Debbie


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