This is what Zwantjee from Amsterdam is writing about her experience at the course Natural Horsemanship.
“Hi, i’m 18 years old and have been riding since I was 10. I worked at my riding school so I know how to care for horses and teach kids how to ride. This makes me one of the ‘experienced’ students in the horse class. But I actually don’t feel that way since we do a lot of things that are new to me. Some things we do are the same as what I’m used to, like grooming the horses, leading them from one pasture to another and some of the riding.
But most things are new to me, for example the bitless bridles, the Hispanic and western saddles, and let’s not forget the fact that most of the horses are Icelandic horses. This is all easy to get used to, and I learned how to ride tult (special Icelandic horses pace) the first time we went on a trail ride.
When we started working with the horses in the roundpaddock I as really exited, because I had never done that before, but with an amazing teacher such as Anne it was no problem. We learn how to move horses around without touching them, no bridles, no ropes; nothing. Only your body language, your energy level and the horse.
One time I was in the roundpaddock with my horse; Vargur. After I asked him to do some exercises like going faster and slower again, and turning around to change the circles direction, I asked him to walk slower and walk up to me. So I walked a bit backwards, sat down and closed my eyes. It was a misty morning so all the sounds off the background faded. All I heard was our breathing and my horses footsteps. When I looked up his nose was maybe one meter away from me. I could see dewdrops in his whiskers and mane and his ears were pointed my way. We sat there for a while, listening and watching each other, before I got up and walked to his shoulder to reward him. That was one of the best moments, winning my horse’s trust.
It is a beautiful experience to get to know your horse that way.”