Horses and Me; all you need to know in a nutshell
I love to perform. That’s no secret, I told my dad he would watch me jump at the Olympics one day because all I ever wanted to do was jumping. That was until the Universe (I am highly convinced of that) kept sending me difficult and challenging horses. At that time, all that I saw around me was people fighting with their horse, pulling their heads and kicking them. Making them heavy and even more difficult. And they advised me to the same to my horses.
Earlier in life (I must have been twelve or so) I secretly began to do my own research, starting with doing my homework in the pasture while watching their communication and behavior as a herd. Then I started looking for books, and as I got older also clinics, dvd’s. Back then we didn’t have Facebook or other easy ways to connect with people who inspire you and learn from that, so I gathered everything I could find, work with that and then start searching for new stuff again.
Seeing how it (slowly) changed the way how my horses reacted to me, accepting my suggestions instead of tolerating them and becoming willing to work, I knew this was the way I wanted to do it from now on.
Fast forward a few years and I (by coincidence, thank you Universe!) had started boarding horses. I began with five horses, two of them were mine. In the ten years that followed (from 2007 – 2017) my little stable had grown out to a nice little boarding and training/rehab facility with room to house 11 horses maximum. I worked with some of the boarding horses and used them with my horses in children’s lessons, I combined this with running the stable and rescuing/rehabilitating horses on my own.
Because my ‘methods’ weren’t exactly popular, I became a bit of a “funny” girl to everyone in town. Comments that the people made varied from admitting they just don’t really understand it, to personal attacks like “she only rides without a bridle because she doesn’t know how to ride wìth one”. It didn’t hold me back – obviously – but getting to the next level with so little resources, became harder with every effort.
Then, I came across footage of old cowboy clinics, where a real-life cowboy was standing in an arena with a horse that had been called “crazy”. In just a few minutes – without emotionally or physically over-pressuring the horse – he was cantering on it’s back like they were a team. To me, that wasn’t the weird thing. The weird thing was that cowboy had been doing the same things I had been doing and saying the things I truly believed in. Since then, my obsession for the cowboy named Buck Brannaman and many others like Tom Dorrance, Mark Rashid and Jean Francois Pigñon has grown and grown.
As you may expect, moving to California was a dream come true. Not long after I settled in, I found a horse rescue just three minutes away from home – thanks to a friend of my sister’s, who had both been living there for about five years. This June, I’ve been volunteering at the rescue for two years already, and it will be my last since we’re moving back to The Netherlands by the end of 2019.
It will be sad to leave so many beautiful things, places and souls behind but I am already thankful for everything the last two years have given me. I am looking forward to another amazing year, hoping to learn new things and slowly say goodbye to an amazing life in America.
But first, I will write new blogs about everything horse-related! Including working with horses at two rescues and my studies. From time to time I will need guinea pigs to practice my tarot readings with or an Integrated Energy Therapy for you and/or your pet.
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