‘To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved’

Do you always do, what’s best for you? 🤔

I always did the things that seemed right for me, or at least I thought were fun, or would be a good experience for me. But people never seemed to get that, they were only interested in the labels you’d get.

Like back when I did modeling after school (while already running my boarding stable), people started treating me differently. They couldn’t seem to understand that – though modeling also used to be one of my passions – I was still able to work with horses, train them or untrain all the stupid shit people teach their horses. They started seeing me as shallow, arrogant, egocentric like that’s how all models suddenly become.
They made fun of me.

They said I was “that little girl” (I was sixteen at the time) that never got over her “I love horses” phase. And years later (when I started freestyle riding) they said the only reason I ride without tack is because I don’t know how to properly ride with one 😑
And when I joined a – what’s supposed to be a good – riding school with three different horses, two of them with a difficult history, they wanted to me to pull/kick/spur/argue with my horses. Do all the stuff that made them so f*kced up in the first place. And when I stood up for not just me, but also my horses, I got into a huge fight with my instructors and left🗣🖕🏼👋🏼🏃‍♀️

Today, after more than three years have passed, I’m still not able to compete in The Netherlands. The Dutch equine federation has prevented me from competing in equestrian sports because of me stepping up to my riding school instead of letting them bully my horses. But yeah, for that too people looked at me like it was MY fault 🤷🏻‍♀️ I guess crazy stupid shit has to happen before you finally realize, it’s not you at all!

Sure every horse owner tries to do what’s best for the horse, but what you think might be the best thing, isn’t always the best thing for the horse. I’m highly convinced kicking/beating up your horse doesn’t work, and eventually will do more damage than you think.

My point: Don’t let anyone bully or talk you into doing something with or to your horse that you don’t think is the right thing to do. I’m sure you know your horse and know what’s best for him, so always make sure they know you respect them and that way you will win not just their love but also their trust.

Love, Zoë

Me & Rachid – one of the horses they advised me to ‘bully’ – after a few months of training on our own

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