Testimonials - Kersbrook Equestrian Centre


After a tough 12 months with my horse, and not being sure just how much longer I was going to be able to ride him for,I decided to buy Dusty,a 3 yr old minimally handled colt. I was confident to train him to a basic level, but I plan on having this horse for the rest of his life, so I really didn't want to make any mistakes. That's why I decided to move to Kersbrook Equestrian Centre and train under Nicki's guidance.

I really wanted to be the one "breaking" Dusty in, to be the first to sit on him and basically be the one who did it all and the one he respected, also I wanted the process to be as gentle and subtle as possible. Under no circumstances was I prepared to have my horse forced into submission, forced into anything he wasn't ready for.

I had heard good reports from friends who regularly train with Nicki, and had done some research into her methods but had not actually had any lessons prior to moving there. I did however soon find out that everything Nicki taught and the way in which she taught was exactly what I had been looking for.

The thing I like about the methods Nicki uses is that there is literally an answer for everything. It doesn't matter what the problem is there is a very simple way of fixing it. Every step is broken down into miniscule steps, so that the next step up is hardly even noticed.

The error free learning approach Nicki has used while teaching me and Dusty has been very easy to follow and he's taken each step of the process in his stride. It was such a gradual step into backing him he literally did not bat an eye lid when he had his first sit.

I also liked that I could get the feel for what we were learning on the school horses and then knew what it was I was trying to teach Dusty. I have learned so much in the past few months and am reaping the rewards from my well mannered easy to do anything with horse.

Nicki is very approachable, communicates what she is trying to teach you in a way that is understandable and does not make you feel inadequate in any way. She has such a fine eye for detail unlike any of the many instructors I have had in the past. She is kind and gentle and has an amazing understanding of horses in all ways. I plan on continuing my lessons with Nicki for a long time yet and where and when ever possible I have been recommending her to everyone I know.


Our association with Nicki Stuart and Kersbrook Equestrian Centre began in 2003 when my daughter began lessons on the school ponies with both Nicki and her sister Andree. We have very fond memories of the school horses, many of whom are still living happy lives in work or retirement. We have always found KEC offers a wonderful welcoming environment; with safety and the care of the horses always paramount, my daughter learned not only how to ride but how to care for a pony.

Nicki has teaching skills that are not found in every instructor with empathy for her students and a calm but effective way of getting across the skills required. The effort her students put into their "homework" each week is testimony to their belief in her methods!

The timing of Nicki's return to Australia couldn't have been better for us having a new young pony who my daughter is training under Nicki's instruction from the basic level of "stop/go" to now training Novice level dressage. KEC is a place that we love to visit each week with contented horses in the paddocks and stables and staff that greet you in the old fashioned way - with a smile!


My horse and I enjoyed a short stay at the Kersbrook Equestrian Centre during which both of us enjoyed ourselves immensely. The first impression as you enter the property is how relaxed and content the paddocked horses are, under Nicki's more natural shared paddock philosophy. The facilities are excellent, with a friendly atmosphere, stables, an indoor and two lovely outdoor arenas, as well as paddocks to ride over and a forest next door.

We are very fortunate in SA to have an instructor so thoroughly grounded in the McLean training principles. Nicki has an astute understanding of bringing on young horses and an acute eye, combined with a great sense of humour and a relaxed manner to which horses and riders respond immediately.

I found our lessons to be so much fun and very satisfying when at the end your horse has improved, and you as a rider understand what you did to gain that improvement. Using proven training methods that are based on how horses actually learn (rather than the traditional "submission" system) your horse relaxes, develops softness, rhythm and "trainability". As I benefitted from Nicki 's knowledge and experience, each lesson was another confirmation of what works and how to apply it.

If you're into suppleness and lightness, I thoroughly recommend the McLean method as practised at KEC by Nicki; to produce a harmonious partnership built on a correct foundation, either to enjoy a safe hack out or as a basis for a competitive career.


After having 2 and a half yrs of lessons with Nicki with my current horse, I purchased my first young, untrained horse, Peppi. There was no question as to how I wanted to start Peppi, using the Academic Horse Training methods.

Nicki has ensured I have been involved the entire time and that I have an understanding of the process as it has unfolded. The results have been amazing; Peppi has been exposed to a lot of situations and has handled them all very well.

Nicki's calm manner has ensured, even if there was a "scary" situation for him, he has been able to complete the task without stress. I could not be happier and would recommend Nicki without hesitation.