About the Author

My name is Andy Moody. I am an equestrian coach, a student of classical equitation and an independent classical arts scholar. I currently train and teach with my riding mentor Minette Rice-Edwards, based at Ham House Stables in London, UK.

Before coming to classical equitation, I followed a rather meandering pathway with horses. Looking back on it now, I realise that this was because I was searching for something in my horsemanship. At the time, I couldn’t explain in words what that something was. I was simply being guided by a feeling of deep resolve within my heart and soul, that would simply let me know that I hadn’t found it yet. There were many times when I tried to ignore this feeling, but it never worked out well when I did. As time went on, I learned to go with it, and trust it.

I began riding and working as a groom in the Lincolnshire countryside when I was young. From the beginning, whenever I looked into the eyes of a horse, I would see an empathic soul looking back at me; a deep pool of mystery that I wanted to better understand. This initially manifested in a keen passion in the study of natural horsemanship, and going on to read BSc Animal Behaviour at university. Afterwards, I was at a crossroads in my life, finding I had many unresolved moral and ethical questions as a horseman. Needing to take some time to reflect, I took a couple of years out to work in nature conservation.


After ‘wandering in the wilderness’, I came to work for three years at The Royal Mews in London, which acted like a traditional apprenticeship in carriage driving and postillion riding. This began to open my eyes to the ancient heritage and tradition that travels through our culture as equestrians. In turn, these insights guided me into working for several years with heavy horses in nature conservation and ancient woodland management, applying the use of traditional skills. I later qualified as a carriage driving instructor. And yet, the knowing heart was still guiding me onwards. What was I searching for?

I began to explore ways to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of working harness horses. I trained in equine massage therapy, and on the recommendation of a dear friend, started to study classical riding and in-hand work. The more I learned about classical equitation, the more its wisdom revealed itself, and so I decided to devote all my time to learning all I could. This essentially meant I had to completely relearn how to ride from the fundamentals upward, which was an immensely challenging and deeply rewarding process. As this new apprenticeship blossomed, there were many times when I would hear classical riding being described as an art. I would also speak about it in these terms to my students, and yet, I realised I didn’t know what this really meant. “What is the meaning of art in riding?” I began to ask myself.


Unable to ignore this question, I chose to embark on a quest to try to discover an answer. I began by searching for a tutor to teach me music. I had so little spare funds, so I had to work with the natural instrument of the voice. It wasn’t long before I was also reconnecting with fine art drawing, something I loved in my youth, and again finding a tutor to teach me. He in turn recommended that in order for my art to have correct context, I needed to study ancient philosophy. Step by step, I gradually found myself entering onto the very pathway that was traditionally undertaken by classical riders; that is, a scholarship in the classical arts. As time went on, other subjects were added; Renaissance and Baroque dance; playing the Viola da Gamba; and study of ancient equestrian cultures. 

What I am increasingly discovering is that, far from detracting from my development as a rider and coach, the learning of each of these arts is deeply enriching my work, weaving together everything in my life that has led me thus far. The searching in my heart and soul has become focused and steadfast, like a steady rudder holding its course. I realise that it has been a certain way of life that I have been seeking as a horseman; a path of artistry, traditional culture and classical scholarship. It is a continually unfolding and truly beautiful process. Recognising that this scholarship in the arts is rarely encouraged now in the modern equestrian world, I began to want to share my work with others in the hope of offering inspiration and insight. Hence, Equitation and the Arts was created.


And finally, for nearly twenty years of this journey, my life and work has been profoundly shaped and influenced by Falun Dafa, an ancient spiritual cultivation practice which teaches the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. It flows like a carrying stream through everything I do.