I was struggling with my event horse bolting with me. My first lesson with Nick was amazing. He realized the issue immediately and told me how to fix it. We never had that issue again.
As a novice rider who started lessons in my late forties, it was refreshing to find an instructor who was patient, explained things clearly and truly wanted success for both the horse and rider.
Susan W. (Anniston, AL.)
A little over a year ago I got a now 4 year old OTTB named Farley. Nick has been helping me handle anything and everything he throws at me, he always has an answer and a plan of attack for every problem I've come across.
Don't think I could find a better person to help me and Farley along. Definitely wouldn't be where I am today without Nick!
Samantha R. (Lexington, KY.)
Nick is a very knowledgeable horseman who provided me a correct foundation as a young rider which in turn has given me the tools to be a confident, effective, and successful adult amateur. Nick always puts the horse's well being at the top of his priority list. Aynsley S. (Albany, GA.)
I began riding with Nick in the summer of 1999. I spent the first part of that year trying to mentally recover after a XC incident that sidelined my OTTB, Rhett, for a couple of months and left us both with no confidence. At the time I knew I was afraid, I did not know he was as well. Many instructors failed to see his crippling fear. My first lesson with Nick was amazing, as he picked up on Rhett’s fear and lack of confidence almost immediately. Within a few weeks Rhett and I were well on our way to competing at training level again. With Nick’s coaching we eventually went preliminary together, my first time at that level. I rode with Nick consistently for 10 years. With Nick’s coaching and guidance, I was able to check off my adult amateur bucket list the completion of a Long Format CCI * on another pony, Charles In Charge. Although I do not ride with him consistently now, his lessons are ingrained and invaluable to me. I never walk a stadium or XC course without hearing his voice in my head. I call that good coaching!!
Laura D. (Atlanta, GA.)
Nick Larkin is an awesome instructor for beginners as well as high level riders. I was a very green beginner. He taught the mechanics of the horse for dressage and eventing. He weaves his humor through the lessons and makes it really fun. The confidence he built, I felt that I could accomplish anything I wanted to try with my horse Rebel.
Marianna M. (Stone Mountain, GA.)
I rode with Nick for many years and cannot overstate the impact that he and his wife, Jeannie, had on both my riding and horsemanship skills. Lessons were always insightful and down to earth. Nick always pushed me to be a strong, versatile rider so that I could thoughtfully ride a wide variety of horses. I have continued to use the practical knowledge and horsemanship skills as I have entered into veterinary school.
Amanda H. (Knoxville, TN.)
My horse and I have taken many lessons with Nick, and each lesson is a blast for both of us and I always learn something new that I continue to use almost every time I ride. Not only does he focus on rider position, mechanics and using aids properly, but he also comes up with interesting and creative exercises that work for both you and your horse to build confidence and achieve a desired result. I have a sensitive (dramatic?) OTTB, and Nick has been especially helpful in making me a more understanding rider to bring out the best in both of us! I always look forward to our next lesson!
Annie J. (Kingsport, TN.)
Nick Larkin is a total equestrian. He is able to evaluate rider and horse together and provide instruction to help them progress as a team. Nick does not provide "quick fixes" nor tricks, but tools for his students to use along their journey. He is passionate about the world of equine. Not only does he see a rider sitting on a horse, he is able to see the whole picture. Nick has taken it upon himself to learn about tack fitting, farrier work, nutrition, footing, jump construction, course construction, breeding ... Nick's enthusiasm makes you want to be a better all-around equestrian- from rider to care giver of our four-legged partners. He is an accomplished rider and horseman with the ability to teach in a very positive, encouraging, uplifting manner. Nick is an amazing role-model for young riders to adults. Thank you for encouraging us to learn more and be better! Becky B. (Milstadt, IL.)
My riding has improved drastically since I started taking lessons with Nick. His lessons are engaging and fun while still being incredibly informative and challenging. He has a unique ability to identify and address each horse and rider combination's issues and develop a strategy for solving them that is clear and easy to understand. I am so grateful to have found Nick - I only wish he was closer!
Shannon D. (Powhatan, VA.)
Brilliant. Nick Larkin is nothing short of brilliant as an event instructor and equestrian mentor. He has an uncanny way of making even the most complex movements on the most sensitive of horses understandable and within reach to both rider and horse. I have ridden with many top professionals over the years in clinics or as a working student and it wasn’t until I began riding with Nick that I transitioned from a “passenger” to a “rider” through his thoughtful and often humorous explanations of why, when and how each response or exercise worked to benefit the partnership… the true science behind the action. Nick understands the horse and has a knack for teaching what he knows to others. He is engaging, hilarious, patient and confidence building. I have watched him teach the most beginner of beginners as well as those at the highest levels and all have come away having learned something about both their equine partner and themselves. Nick Larkin is, hands down, my top choice for lessons and training.
Amy M. (Kenova, WV.)
I have known and taken lessons from Nick for about a decade. First and foremost, Nick is a fantastic horseman, and this is reflected in his teaching. The horse always comes first. As a parent who has a child who also takes lessons with Nick, the emphasis on doing what is best for the horse is especially important to me. He is also an exceptional teacher. He takes the time to explain the reasons behind what he asks riders to do, rather than just telling the rider what to do, and he always gives homework. His teaching style involves more than the typical level of humor, so lessons are always fun, but not at the expense of learning how to be a better rider. He has the ability to help riders with confidence issues to push themselves a little past their comfort zone with every ride. He is willing to teach riders at every level, and takes just as much interest in teaching riders taking a walk/trot lesson as those aspiring to the upper levels. He is also very good with kids as well as adults.
Jess D. (Louisa, VA.)