Russell Higgins

Russell Higgins


Being fortunate enough to grow up on a farm where his parents had formerly operated a horse trekking business, horses were always around and a part of Russell’s life from an early age.

On leaving school and entering employment in the “real’ world Russell’s involvement with horses stopped as more “sensible” life pursuits and pathways prevailed.

After 7 years of that enough was enough and Russell sought to reconnect with horses again. This led to a number of deliberate life-changing decisions and soon led to an Equine qualification gained after full-time study at the Waikato Polytechnic, during which time he discovered Natural Horsemanship.

His pursuit into studying Natural Horsemanship saw him move to Australia and then to American to study directly with the man who coined the phrase Natural Horsemanship. What followed was both an amazing experience and adventure with his hard working natural being as much an asset as his passion for horses.

Russell has been teaching horsemanship clinics and starting young horses professionally since 1999. Starting out as one of Pat Parelli’s apprentices in Colorado Russell has continued his education with other great horsemen such as Buck Brannaman and Martin Black as well as professionals from other disciplines.

To date he has taught in 17 different countries and started young horses on four continents. In New Zealand Russell has been a clinician and in the night shows at Equidays and Equitana Auckland, judged the Kaimanawa Challenge at Horse of the Year Show, been the winner of a top talent competition for equine professionals, had horsemanship articles published in the NZ Horse and Pony and Natural Horse Management magazines as well as featuring on Country Calendar.

Education Sessions

The art of Bridle-less riding

4.45pm - 5.30pm Saturday, 23rd November | Demo Arena - Hall 1

Preparation for bridle-less The four factors of bride-less riding Yields with no reins True seat connection Combining the yields Transitions with no reins Combining the isolations Bridle-less riding in all gaits Lateral moves with no reins Creating the buttons needed for Finesse and collected riding

Liberty - Communication with no strings attached

12.45pm - 1.30pm Sunday, 24th November | Demo Arena - Hall 1

Preparations and prerequisites for starting out at Liberty Reasons for developing your horse at Liberty How to start out Things that create "draw" versus things that create "drive" The sequence for developing Liberty Advancing manoeuvres at Liberty Exploring the possibilities of Liberty