finding your own way...
All my teachers have been great role models to me. Each teacher gave me something different to take away with me on my path. I strive to be a role model for my own students now, and hope they find advice worth taking on their own journey.
There is always room for improvement, which is why I spend lot of time studying relevant books, training, taking lessons and exchanging views with collegues and experts.
Good leaders are confident
Why do horses obey us albeit being so much stronger than we are? The answer lies in their nature: They are herd animals. For them, submitting themselves to a trustworthy leader is not a bad thing, quite the contrary, it is a very good survival strategy. In the herd, a good leader keeps you safe and you don't need to question his/her position.
Finding this leading position is key to all work with horses. When students have trouble fulfilling their role as leaders, I often draw from my martial arts background to help them understand and feel leadership more easily. There are many elements in martial arts, both mental and physical, that apply to the concept of leadership, for example when answering to pressure by yielding instead of offering counterpressure.
Motivation, technique, and timing
A horse needs a good reason why it should work for you! The best reason you can give is praise (and a treat wouldn't go amiss either, thank you very much!) at the right time. Praising your horse for a step in the right direction at the perfect moment is the best way to make natural behaviour available on command, be it a dressage lesson or a circus trick.
putting theory into practice
In my lessons, I adapt my teaching style to my student's needs. Not all students learn the same way – some are very analytical, others learn best with body imagery as it is used in Sally Swift's or Feldenkrais technique. My goal is to teach my students how to be feeling and thinking riders, which is why I always include theoretical inputs in my riding lessons. This makes for concentrated, but calm, constructive sessions in which riders and horses have time to understand, rather than straining horses and riders with mindless drills.
training horses and students
Not many riders have the privilege of learning from a well-schooled horse. Usually, both riders and horses need to be trained. In my lessons, you and your horse won't be left to your own devices. If necessary, I will ride a horse for a few minutes to feel what is possible or to explain a new lesson. In my experience, a combination of professional training for both horse and rider proved the most successful for all parties concerned.
your goals, my flexibility – welcoming all breeds and disciplines
Are you preparing for a long distance trail? Do you want to use dressage lessons to keep your horse supple in winter? Are you dreaming of winning a Western Riding competition? Have you bought a young horse that needs training? Or would you like to teach your Haflinger half steps?
Whatever discipline you choose, every horse needs basic training and gymnastic development. In my lessons, I will support you by adapting the contents to suit your goal and help you make your riding dreams come true.