Groundwork and riding
Horses have brought me much closer to who I am. I have become a softer and at the same time more powerful human being. There also lies the core of what I offer in my lessons: what is necessary for you to reach your own inner power. To live your life in a more effortless and relaxed way. How does that reflect on your activities with horses, where can you deepen your connection and improve your balance in riding.
And what is necessary for the development of the horse? When does he feel he has been seen for who he truly is, when will he feel he can safely and in freedom be with you? The essence for me here lies in authenticity, being in the here-and-now, body awareness, freedom and equality.
Groundwork starts at the moment that you are outside the meadow looking at the horse: what do you see? What feeling does the horse evoke? At the same time the horse is observing you. And then: how do you approach the horse in the meadow? What do you see in the body language of the horse and what does your attitude reveal about your intentions and leadership? How does the horse react to the way you approach him? Together we will explore what is necessary in that situation at that moment, with you and the horse as elements. It might be that we make a walk with the horse on a long rope, we might do some groundwork. While doing that, how to you take in your space, what are you focused on, how do you ground yourself? How do you provide clarity for the horse? When does he want to be with you in freedom, how do you create togetherness in your interaction?
I also do groundwork with horses alone. Here the key question is: what is at this moment necessary for the well being or development of this horse? My focus is on the communication, not on the form: what is possible in terms of communication with this horse, now, in this situation? That requires for me to be ‘empty’, without a plan or goal, but with an open heart and open senses to hear and feel. From there the exploring starts, in which I am time and again touched by the purity of what horses show. During the work or afterwards I share with you what I have seen in the horse and what could be next steps.
In my riding lessons I pay a lot of attention to safety, balance and communication. A horse is a flight animal; what qualities can you introduce to make it feel safe? What do you need to be really balanced on the horse, to feel the connection with the horse beneath you? Then you start moving together, from a pure intention and clear but subtle body language. How do you do that? How do you indicate the direction? Where is your focus? Wat do you observe of the balance and movement of the horse? While you walk together I guide you in all these questions. Only when there is enough safety, balance and communication while you are walking together do we proceed to trotting. In my experience the happiest moments while riding occur when you feel totally one with the horse and seemingly float together.
Suzanne Jongerius and Bagheera
Previously I learned to ride with a bit and a whip. That was the way to ‘control’ the horse. I am very happy that through your lessons I have developed a totally different view and I appreciate a lot how you teach me to work together with Bagheera in calmness and freedom. Your explanations are always very clarifying. Bagheera and I have grown enormously thanks to you. I am very grateful to you and I hope to take lessons from you for a long time to come!