Lesley is one of the Co-Founders of the BALANCE organisation, which formed back in 1993. Her roles include:
Trainer of horses, riders and saddling professionals
Designer of most of the BALANCE products;
Writer and editor of the majority of BALANCE articles,
Managing the content of the BALANCE websites and social media content;
Technical support where needed;
Assessing Test Ride Packs that get sent into the office
Dealing with the day to day management of the BALANCE Company business.
Lesley started her career with horses at the age of 16 when she went as a working pupil to train for her BHSAI qualification at Radnage House Riding School in Buckinghamshire. Then run by Fellow of the BHS, Pat Smallwood.
Radnage House was considered to be one of the best training facilitates for young people who wanted to work with horses at that time. In addition to having the the benefit of learning from Pat Smallwood, the 'head girl' and chief instructor at the time was no less than Gill Watson. So, Lesley was fortunate to be trained and influenced by extraordinary people, right at the start of her life with horses.
She quickly gained her BHSAI exam, followed by her Pony Club A Test and BHS Intermediate Instructors qualification.
She was on a fast track to then take the full BHSI exam and would have been one of the youngest people at that time to take it, when the BHS changed their policy and increased the minimum age that it was possible to apply.
At that point, Lesley decided that it would be better to leave Radnage House and gain experience of running a riding school and yard and set off to do just that.
Two years later, she got the opportunity to travel to the USA and ended up teaching, training horses and helping with the day to day running of an eventing facility in New England. Managing working students during the summer months.
She got the opportunity to compete young horses in combined training, and also trained horses and riders competing at advanced level, 3 day eventing.
After returning to the UK, Lesley started to become disillusioned with the horse industry and what seemed to be a gradual erosion of good practice in the welfare of horses, particularly in riding schools, so she turned her back on working with horses and did something completely different for several years.
Commuting on the train every day into the West End of London, to work at The Film Stock Centre in Wardour Street. Dealing with admin. and then getting involved in sales.
It was a very steep learning curve and a completely different life, but Lesley considered it a very valuable experience and time.
The company was owned by Maureen Bartlett and this led to a friendship and a mutual love of horses that eventually resulted in Lesley and Maureen joining forces with Carol Brett to form the BALANCE Organisation.
Being able to move in a powerful, balanced and engaged way, without restriction or discomfort, is every horse’s birth-right and essential in order for him to be able to carry the unnatural weight of a rider, without doing harm to himself.