What Wallace the Mule can teach us about overcoming adversity

In July 2018, Wallace the Great and his ride won their first British Dressage event in Gloucester. There’s nothing surprising about that, except that Wallace is a mule and he was competing against riders on horses.

Although he no longer competes, Wallace is a magnificent mule with an inspiring story that can teach us humans some valuable lessons about what it takes to beat the odds.

Use NLP to unlock your potential and achieve your dreams

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) teaches you to alter your view of life events and frees you up to achieve your dreams. A bit like Wallace beating the odds. We could all do with being a bit more Wallace, and sometimes we need a little help to get there.

As a mindset coach and NLP practitioner specialising in equestrian sport, I help riders to achieve their goals by changing the way they think. Every rider has their own idea of what success looks like. It could be anything from competing in the arena to rebuilding your confidence after a fall.     

What’s the secret to being more like Wallace?

 Wallace’s story combines many of the themes covered in NLP practitioner training. You’ll find a quick summary below, but if you’d like to dig deeper my next NLP Practitioner Certification Training programme online registration is open. You’ll find more details and booking info here:    

  • Overcome challenge
    Wallace’s is a real rags to riches story. Found wandering a village in County Antrim he was taken to a donkey sanctuary in Devon. A local mule-loving lady fell in love with him and took him home to join her herd. Despite there being lots of obstacles in his way, Wallace finally found himself in a place where he had the opportunity to fulfil his potential.
  • Find your competitive edge
    Wallace’s owner discovered his dressage potential when she took him to visit a horse whisperer. He told her Wallace was very intelligent and encouraged her to try him out in the ring. Like a horse whisperer studies the behaviour and psychology of horses, NLP studies the theory and practical application of mindset techniques. It’s life-changing learning that you can use and apply straight away.
  • Chase your dreams
    The product of a male donkey and a mare, up until 2018 British Dressage did not allow mules to compete in their events. Now, thanks to Wallace and his team’s campaigning, all animals born to a mare can take part in British Dressage events. Like Wallace, you can turn your dreams into reality by setting achievable goals.


  • Dare to show up
    It must’ve been daunting for Wallace and his ride to show up at that first competitive event, faced with a stable of horses. But they found the courage to turn up and they dared to dream.
  • Never give up
    Team Wallace didn’t take no for an answer. Not content with campaigning to change British Dressage rules, in 2019 they mounted a global petition to allow mules to compete across all events – and they succeeded! Wallace was at the heart of a worldwide media frenzy.
  • Dream even bigger
    Now known across the world as Wallace the Great, our favourite mule has no less than 10,000 followers on Facebook and is the subject of a screenplay that could potentially become a blockbuster film! If Wallace can achieve his dreams, you can too with the help of NLP.


How do you plan to focus your time and energies in 2023? Is there a riding goal you’d like to achieve? Could NLP training help you achieve your goal? 

It’s helped my clients Jane and Kerry. Take a look at what they have to say and contact me to learn more .

“Sandra, I wanted to say thank you because I knew I wasn’t going there to win and I didn’t care! It was a personal achievement. The poor pony is popping round a prelim at home having left her Machno mountain less than a year ago -but we found ourselves in the 5 year old final trying to navigate things I haven’t taught her yet. She was a dream to take and I had a blast.

The kind of show I would have normally backed down from would have been a walk in the park in comparison I cried when I came out because of the personal achievement of just having done it, and I said a little thank you to you in my head so thank you very much for helping me I am super grateful ! X

It’s a massive thing for me in terms of just how much my mindset has changed ! I was beating myself up about whether I should be going to regionals in February- by July I’m warming up with the greats and heading into the Hartpury arena without a care in the world ! xxx”  Kerry



“The artistic class was the best fun.

I don’t think I’ve ridden in front of more than 10 people in my life, never mind 150, but I managed to put that out of my mind and concentrate on enjoying it. I nearly let my nerves get the better of me but got my head back into it. I am really determined now.

I also managed 13th in the prelim (with over 30 entries) and walked away with the judges award for ‘Most promising not placed’. So something is working!” – Jane

Learn how goal setting with NLP can transform 2023 for you, Join one of my webinars with BD and BHS 

BD NW Proactive Planning Thursday 5th Jan 18.30[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22user_timeline%22%7D%2C%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22your_upcoming_events_unit%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22bookmark%22%7D]%2C%22ref_notif_type%22%3Anull%7D

BHS goal setting and getting   Monday 23rd Jan 19.00[0]=AT1iamJQJuw6UdCvxM3846PZFYcsSWpkYfVxcK1zZZ_7kQoCW2va0q18NVUaDYmPKqWhZypW90scgcz6dQ4XcNi3kmT4cv7lyj7Dn4Ep9xgD6wvHxyEGRl5ap5e5Nj6n6NypaKWjkTM_C1XE8mY_GW68UIDWpxKTlADgTlloXdejHFm5uUSniuIMccClKpWB_LVVcUtmxfVSnyOPe3LRBc42U-K6y34-06Y2

Do you doubt your ability to achieve your goals?

If you’re in need of a confidence boost, join my confident riding webinar  with BD NW, Thursday 26th Jan 18.30  and learn how to achieve that positive mindset and quieten that unhelpful self talk. 

I’m enrolling now for NLP practitioner training in March 2023. Experience a total personal overhaul whilst learning all the transformational techniques of NLP. Then watch this space for details of Hypnosis and Time Line TherapyTM trainings in April (NLP is a pre-requisite for Hypnosis and Time Line TherapyTM trainings) Contact me for further details or sign up here.

It’s never too early to plan for the future. Get ahead of the game in 2023. Be more Wallace, dare to dream and learn how to convert those dreams to achievable goals.

Remember, “A dream that stays in your head will always be a dream”.

Contact me now for an informal conversation.