I've been lucky enough to have had horses in my life since birth and I have always been extremely passionate about horses. The plastic figurines and My Little Pony's that used to have the run of my room have now become porcelain statues and paintings. The Saddle Club books and Horse and Pony stories have now become a collection of DVDs and books from the horse trainers around the world who inspire me most.
After competing extensively in Showing, Dressage, Equitation and Show Jumping throughout my riding career, in 2010 I bought and read the book "Tug of War: Classical versus Modern Dressage" and it opened my eyes to the physical damage that is done when training is forced or rushed and when healthy biomechanics are ignored. I started exploring classical methods of training; buying dvd's and books by Anja Beran, Richard Hinrich, Sylvia Loch, Mary Wanless, Heather Moffet, Jenny Rolfe, Philippe Karl and Bent Branderup. At the same time I came across a dvd called "Path of the Horse" and it opened my mind and my heart to something more than just doing exercises. It showed a way of being with horses that was artful - empowering horses to really dance with their riders. I explored the dvds and books by Mark Rashid, Carolyn Resnick, Linda Kohanov, Imke Spilker, Jutta Wiemers, Alexander Nevzorov, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Liz Mitten Ryan, Karen Rolf, Leslie Desmond, Karen Musson and the work of Robin Gates, Frederic and Jean-Francois Pignon, Farah DeJohnette, Mosie Trewhitt and many more. I attended a course in Cape Town that same year with Vanessa Malvicini and her herd of horses, who challenged my ways of thinking and being, showing me how to let go of the control of the ego and create new pathways of spontaneous thought and feeling. It broke through all my preconceptions of horses, the horse-human relationship and what horses have to offer us in our emotional and spiritual journey. It changed my relationship with horses forever. I attended two courses with Loesje Jacobs, Body Talk for animals and Linking Awareness. It was an incredible experience and opened my eyes even more to the subtle connections and communications that are possible when our hearts are open with awareness.
In my search for a balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, I finally found Marijke de Jong® and the Straightness Training® Academy.
In 2011 I enrolled in Marijke de Jong®'s Straightness Training® Home Study course because I had finally found a program which was holistic in its training pillars - educating the horse and human in Groundwork, Longeing, Work in hand, Riding, and Liberty - as well as encompassing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas of both horse and human.
In 2013 I excitedly enrolled in Marijke de Jong®'s very first Straightness Training® Mastery Coaching course to really dive into the world of Straightness Training®. At the end of 2014, I had the amazing honour of being invited into Marijke de Jong®'s 2015 ST Instructor Program® in which I am now a Licensed ST Instructor®. My horsemanship journey has been on a rocket ship of growth ever since!
On this path of self-mastery, I have experienced over and over again how authenticity and awareness along with an understanding of heart, mind, body, and spirit are the way to dancing in harmony with our horses. So this is my focus when I am with my own horses or when I am with a student and their horse. Everything starts and ends with this awareness and in refining our communication through this awareness. Then with an understanding of the essence of the exercises or 'dance steps', we can find balance in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of both horse and rider.