Meet Darcy

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

– Dr. Seuss, From One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Darcy has 20 years of experience in the equestrian industry as a professional trainer, professional groom, facility manager, academic, and volunteer. Lead Change Coaching and Consultancy is inspired by her PhD research on horse ownership motivation, which she combines with her years of experience educating others about horse behaviour, nutrition, and performance.

Originally from the Iowa, USA. Darcy’s passion for horses has always been present (perplexing her parents greatly) and she followed her passion professionally from age 14 when she got her first paid job as a yard assistant. By 17 she was qualified as an instructor with her own client book. Aged 22, Darcy achieved her BSc from Lake Erie College, Ohio, USA focusing on equestrian teaching and training. While there, she purchased and competed her beloved horse Joker (pictured upper/lower right) and placed as reserve champion at National Championships with her intercollegiate team. Darcy worked as a professional groom for dressage rider Nancy Smith and Havensafe Farm before taking up a post in Florida as a facility manager. There she handled stud farm operations and showing of Welsh ponies and cobs, as well as livery and riding lessons.

In 2009 Darcy moved to the UK and completed a Masters course in Equine Science from the world class Hartpury University and she progressed to lecture and course lead there. In 2019 Darcy developed a novel theory for horse ownership motivation through her PhD research. It inspires her vision to help horse enthusiasts on their equestrian journeys. She recognises their passion and fosters their desire to care for and participate in activities with their horses. Darcy takes her excellence in teaching, international practical experience to the wider community helping equestrians and business owners alike.

Darcy is an Accredited Professional Coach with the British Horse Society and volunteers with her local Riding for the Disabled Association. Her coaching philosophy centres on achievement motivation and developing positive motivation cycles. Darcy is capable of helping equestrians at various levels achieve their goals, by empowering them through skill development, whether that is communicating with their horse when riding, on the ground, or general day-to-day activities. Having experience in a wide variety of facilities, with a countless number of horses (she lost count after 180 in 2006), Darcy has the skills to coach riders ranging from beginner to advanced. As a result of Darcy’s experience and philosophy, her coaching approach aims to help clients up-skill, build confidence, perform competitively, and develop ‘whole horse solutions’ with the welfare of the horse paramount.

Darcy’s business aims centre on helping horse people achieve their business goals. She understands the demands of equestrian careers and business. The horse industry has a unique structure and largely comprised of clusters of semi-professionals, sole traders, micro businesses, and small businesses. This makes learning about and reaching your clients more time consuming, especially as society adapts to progressing technology. The digitalisation of communication is becoming ever more critical to business success and sometimes requires learning a whole new ‘tech’ language. Whether someone needs help with updating their website, develop website content, or social media marketing there is likely something Darcy can do to support you and your business.