Success Stories


“Doris Worcester has made as positive an impact on my teaching and competitive riding as
anything else I have encountered. By asking me all the right questions, and softly guiding me
in the right directions, she has drawn out of me more confidence that I have ever realized I had.
She has been a tremendous help, both to my students, and more importantly, myself.

Doris has helped both myself and my students not only with our competitive riding, but with out overall experience. She has an amazing ability to draw out our own innate strengths and help us use them in our everyday life. After speaking with Doris, I always feel great about myself and eager to face the world. She does this with a style that is simple, down to earth, and a lot of fun.
I always look forward to our conversations.

My biggest fear of using a sport psychologist was that I would hear a lot of high level mumbo jumbo that I wouldn’t understand or be able to use. After having worked with Doris at different times over several years, I realize now, I had nothing to fear. My experience with Doris has been nothing but a great pleasure and a tremendous help.”

Geoff Teall
Professional Hunter/Jumper Rider, Trainer and Judge
2006 Show Hunter Horseman of the Year
USHJA Vice President
Wellington, Florida

"Equestrian sports psychology is not like other sport psychology.  When you deal in this area, you are dealing with two beings and their relationship.  You are also dealing with previous relationships.

Doris has been there and done that, she understands the nature of the relationships between human and equine and she is skilled at directing the necessary conversations to deal with the current situation or something unresolved that you are carrying around. She understands the right questions to ask.

I had a pretty clear cut problem with fear and anxiety around rehabbing my horse - I had two sessions with Doris and am now happy, content and relaxed and carrying out my horse's rehab. I went from needing my trainer to lead line me to trot... to totally not caring if my horse spooks a bit or steps inadvertently into a canter - I feel normal.

As I said to my trainer more than once when she commented on my relaxed attitude, "psychology is a wonderful thing". I stand by my statement, but I also stand by the fact that Doris has the necessary background to go with the skills to bring about transformation for the rider.

I have recommended Doris to several people and would be happy to speak to anyone about this."

Laura Strassman
Amateur Adult Eventer

"Hi Doris!

I just wanted to thank you so much for all that you’ve helped me with. Ever since I talked to you, I’ve been doing so much better, and my confidence in myself and my ability has risen.  Floyd and I finished our first show last weekend and we ended up winning the Children’s Hunters. It was the best time of my life.  Floyd is the best and I love him so much! Thank you so much. I don’t know how I would have been so confident and successful without you.

Love, Kasia and Floyd
Thank you so much!"

Kasia O'Brien

"Hi Doris,

I just wanted to let you know that Jordan and Logan were spectacular this weekend at Saratoga! They won a big Taylor Harris and were 7th in a really competitive USEF medal, beating a lot of kids with far more 3'6" experience. I've never seen her ride so confidently, and Logan responded with equal brillance. Thank you so much for your help, as always."

Jen Stiller

"Hi Doris! I know I haven’t seen you for a while, but I was the one that suffered from multiple riding accidents!  I wanted to send you an email to update you on everything.  During the past year, I’ve had a tremendous show season, becoming very successful in the 3’ equitation and hunters, and also pinning in a few finals!  I am moving up to the Big Eq next year and got a second in my first Maclay class!  A year ago, I couldn’t even imagine being where I am now, and I just wanted to thank you for all your help, for you are a huge part of my success. I have truly found the love of riding again, and have overcome all my fears."

Thank you so much for everything!
Jane Chiavelli

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Things have been going SO well for me since I last talked to you.

I worked really hard in learning how to talk with my trainers. I was finally able to tell them what was going on and what I needed and they both said yes right away. This made all the difference in my lessons. I have been moving forward – and actually having fun – ever since then. So far, there have been absolutely no setbacks, and I feel like I have a plan that actually works, and will keep working even if something goes wrong. I have been going to a lot of horse shows and have been consistently successful. I think the shows have been so successful because my confidence is not tied to anyone but myself. I don’t feel like I need my coach to hold my hand anymore. And – I’ve been winning – I’ve gotten a first or second place at every show I’ve been to. For the first time ever, at my last show, I wasn’t nervous AT ALL!

Thanks so much for getting me to this point. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Kate Bakkala

"Doris put together a phenomenal workshop for our group of adult riders at various stages of their showing careers.  Everyone in the group – from our trainer on down – felt like they got an incredible amount of pertinent information and actionable ideas from the day, and they all raved about how capable and convincing Doris was, and how much fun they had participating.

Doris’ winning combination of deep expertise in her professional field and years of competition experience allows her to offer workable recommendations, tailored specifically for the nuances of the horse show world.  Because she has been in the show ring – and the schooling area – herself, she’s experienced what you’ve experienced, and can offer vivid examples that make the concepts she describes humorous, memorable, and real.

With a great ability to listen and then to channel the discussion toward the topics that were of most value, Doris put a tremendous amount of effort and enthusiasm into her day with us, and we could all feel it.  After working with Doris, I was incredibly eager to go to a show and put some of the concepts we discussed into action, confident that they will positively impact my riding over both the short and long term."

Lisa Hankin
Equitation and Hunter/Jumper Rider
Dorset, VT and NYC, NY

I initially called Doris because I needed to address fear and confidence issues that had been exacerbated by my horse’s recent dangerous behavior.  Although my vet had determined that the problem was physical, and therefore the behavior could probably be eliminated with treatment, I still increasingly dreaded going to the barn during my horse’s rehab.  In addition to the never-ending anxiety, I was also very frustrated that I could not control my feelings and rationalize my way out of the fear. I arrived in Doris’ office feeling helpless.

I was happily surprised when I left my first session with Doris feeling like a dark cloud had lifted … Doris made me feel capable of making significant changes in myself, empowered to make some tough decisions about my horse, and, more importantly, hopeful that I could begin to enjoy riding again. 

Now just after a few more sessions, I have learned so much about myself, my riding, and my horse.  I have made substantial progress towards feeling positive and confident in every interaction with my horse – both on the ground and under saddle – and my relationship with him is truly at a new level.

I can’t say enough about my experience with Doris.  Her expertise, her riding background, her patience, and her positive energy are a powerful combination that can facilitate real change very quickly.  My expectations were far, far exceeded, and I look forward to continuing to work with Doris to see what more we can achieve!

Abbey Lombardi
Dressage Rider
Sudbury, MA

“According to Isaac Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That action could be a spooky horse, a fearful rider, or someone who performs great at home, but panics at horseshows. Working with Doris taught me how to become aware of my thoughts, feelings, actions, and communications and to learn how to change them – to produce the results I wanted – for myself and my horse. My coaching experience was clear, direct and simple. And the process was quick too! I saw dramatic results after my first visit and didn’t need to come back after my fourth. The principals I learned in my riding I apply to all areas of my life, with extremely favorable outcomes!”

Megan Zidle
Hunter/Jumper Competitor
Dover, MA

“The best way for me to describe my coaching experience with Doris is that it was fully collaborative and a true partnership. My learning felt like a distinctly creative process that originated from me, with Doris guiding me. Through this process I learned many things: I ride my horse regularly and enjoy it thoroughly; I trailer my horse, by myself whenever I choose, and I am relaxed and confident about it; I ride in front of other people without feeling self-conscious, even when the eyes of others may be critical and judging. I feel a sense of peace and well-being in my life as a whole.

Doris was able to share specific tools and methods that, frankly, I was not aware of anywhere, and since I am an information fanatic, this pleasantly surprised me! Doris not only “connected the dots” in my life, she also taught me how to connect the dots myself. Horsemanship – riding, training, and keeping horses – has always been a huge part and passion in my life that was sometimes a disappointment. Now it is a part of my life that is so much richer and deeper and more meaningful than I would have imagined. Now the saying “When it’s good, it’s great and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good” comes to mind when I think about my life with horses – and actually, other areas of my life as well.

I recently read an acronym: “D.P.A.A. + H”. It stands for Dramatic Personal Achievement in the face of Adversity + Humor. That phrase sums up my experience with Doris, a gifted healer and coach.”

Maureen Vanderstad
Dressage Rider and Student of Natural Horsemanship
East Haddam, CT


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