A COWGAL from the North-East has become qualified to teach folks to ride their ‘hoss’ western-style.

Alison Johnson, 40, from East Hedleyhope, near Crook, in County Durham, believes she is only instructor north of Derbyshire to teach American cowboy horse-riding sessions.

She plans to expand her horsemanship business at Low Hedleyhope Hall to include western experiences in the future, but is currently able to visit people at private stables.

Mrs Johnson, who is also a qualified recommended associate for intelligent horsemanship, or horse whisperer, said: “English riding techniques are very different to western riding techniques.

“Western riding is a lot to do pressure and release so we use that.

“It is so much easier and a much more logical way of riding than the traditional English way. It is addictive and easier to pick up if you are new to riding. But you would never wear a set of spurs or a Stetson hat.”

Western riding classes cost around £30. For more information log on to alisonjohnsonhorsemanship.co.uk or call 01388-731177.