About me II
My own horse
At my last ‘lease’ address I ran into my current horse, Noa (born May 21, 1997). After I had first taken care of him and was allowed to experience what a wonderful horse he was. After my move from Brabant to South Limburg, I called the owner and on 5 March 2005 I was able to pick him up. From that moment on I was a horse owner and I could decide everything myself. Which was tricky … I never had to think about some things just a caretaker. Now I had to decide for myself what kind of food I gave and whether I would let my horse wear shoes…. After a few years, for example, I was busy with my second saddle, third farrier, third instructor, feed from the fifth manufacturer and third stable.
Trial and error provided better preconditions and care for my horse, but what I missed was a way to get a better relationship with my horse, I wanted a real connection! I read books and watched DVDs including those of Monty Roberts and Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Emiel Voest, Chris Irwin and Parelli.
Reading and discovering all this, I have been able to improve the bond and communication with my horse through natural horsemanship.
Gradually I noticed that as a person I mainly changed because of my dealings with horses. I have gained a lot more patience, learned to think first and then act and can use the ideas outside the horses. For my horse this resulted in more confidence and focus in me. This made him, for example, more inquisitive. He can now effortlessly go over obstacles (goes easily in the trailer), takes an obstacle with pleasure and I can go on a trailride alone. I can also practice / “play” with him in complete liberty.
This made my dream of a real connection with my horse come true and I can still learn from my own professor every day.
Take biomechanics into account
Although I had a real connection and band with my horse, my horse became injured. Having a connection with your horse naturally does not insure you of an injury-free horse. Due to the injury, I started to study the biomechanics of the horse and how we, as owner / rider, deal with this. In the end the injury of my horse turned out not to be related to “my use” or my riding, but it did make me realize how much suffering can be saved by taking in account the biomechanics of the horse.
For example, I learned that every horse is ‘crooked’ just like every human. And has a clear preference for the use of the front and hind legs (just like people are left-handed or right-handed). Also the muscles on one side of the body are short and strong and on the other side long and weak. In freedom and without our weight as an addition, the horse is not bothered by this, but with us on it, these crookedness can lead to many problems, such as horses being cranky, irritated and not willing to cooperate and eventually resulting in body compensation and lameness.
Once I realized this, I decided to stop taking regular instruction and start with “real” dressage; academic / classical riding art. After taking lessons for about half a year, in 2013 I attended the third-degree Academic Riding Art Instructor course via the Professional Program ‘Paardenbegrijpen’. From that moment on I have continued to take classes and since then I have delved deeper into the Academic and Classical Art of Riding.
In 2016 I became a certified instructor Timeless Art of Riding and I started coaching others on a small scale. This path has since led to many “ow sooo ?!” moments for me and a much flexibel and stronger body for my horse and the horses that I was allowed to guide on my way.