My Philosophy

My philosophy

When I work with a horse - whether it's my own or in lessons with students' horses - it's important to me to work on a basis of mutual trust.

The first step then is to develop and strengthen trust and to work in such a way with the horse that the trust can continuously deepen. I try very hard to understand the horse – how does the horse tick, what is its attitude towards human and life in general, what are basic structures of its character, what are learned ways of responding based on previous experiences? When we do take a horse and want to ride it there is development necessary so that the horse can become competent, strong and durable with the rider on its back. It is up to me to formulate the tasks I set up for this horse in such a way that it can do them happily and successful. If a horse cannot comply I search for the reason. Is a part of the basic education missing or does something need to be more clarified? Is the horse able mentally and physically to do what I think it ought to do, or do I need to change my idea? What are the possibilities today? How can I help more effectively?

With these questions in mind regarding the horse, I can adjust my approach, my energy level, and any expectations accordingly. Therefore, I see it as my responsibility to work with the horse in a way that the tasks I set for it can be successfully completed. If the horse cannot perform something, it is my duty to determine why. If it has not understood a basic requirement, is it physically and mentally capable of doing what I would like, and if not, why not.

Classical teachings offer different techniques for the further dressage education of the horse: lunging, double lunging, work in hand or – based on that – work on the long rein. In addition there are other ways of spending fruitful time together – be it in liberty work or shared adventures on the trails.
Learning only happens - and this applies to both two-legged and four-legged creatures alike - when one is relaxed and cheerful, not under stress. Then balance (both physical and emotional) and lightness are possible.

So it is very important to me to create an atmosphere of joyful learning.

Horse and rider in balance together - this is the goal but also the path to follow..

And this holds for starting the green horse as well as for the mature upper level horse working on the high-level exercises.

The various techniques in classical riding - whether it's groundwork, lungeing (with a cavesson or double lunge), work under saddle, or long rein work - are all systematically structured and therefore provide a rich resource with which I can accompany and advance the individual training path of each horse.

Other forms of collaborative work are also very meaningful, such as liberty work - certainly immensely beneficial for building trust - or exploring the outside world together, on foot and later under saddle.

Nuno Oliveira said: 'Ride your horse to happiness.'  This is a wonderful guideline I like to follow.

This joyful atmosphere that is so important for the horses is just of equal importance for the riders’ quest to be a good partner for their horse and to develop a cultivated cooperation with their mount.

I do meet my students where they are at – be it beginners or people with more experience. My goal is to point out effective ways for them to continually optimize their riding. And it is my pleasure to accompany them on this often rather individual path.

For the riders that means to develop over time a supple seat and from there riders’ aids that truly communicate with the horse.

Just as it is important to me with horses that we do not impose exercises on them from the outside - often exploiting their talents - but rather develop beautiful movements with the horse from the inside out, it is important to me with riders that they leave my lessons with tools that become their own, allowing them to independently shape and improve their work with their horses. Finding their own questions and then gradually being able to work out more and more solutions themselves - that is my goal for my students.

Mistakes, detours and sometimes wrong turns in the road should be seen as learning opportunities and chances for improvement. Out of that a culture of riding can develop that finds joy in the shared explorations of horse and rider and is not solely intended for achieving measurable end results. As we are living creatures there is no such thing as an end result anyway. All is in constant flow - always. And out of this movements arise that shine with harmony and lightness.