Founder’s journey – how it all began

When I first started experiencing and researching equine facilitated learning, I knew I had come across something extraordinary. As all discoveries, mine was a personal journey – one that began very early in life. I started taking leadership lessons from horses aged 9. As a small girl, I learned about boundaries: how to keep a 600 kg horse at bay to avoid being pushed during scuffles at the riding school. As a teenager, I learned how to give clear directions to my own summer riding school pupils and convince them to get back in the saddle when they fell off the naughty pony. And how to persuade others through empathy and assertiveness, as we cajoled the fearful rental horses to get into the sea with us and go for a swim. They had never even seen a beach before that.

h19 copyAs a seasoned professional, I continue to have my most profound insights when working with horses. It is not possible to hide who you are from them. Time again they remind me to be authentic and fully present, which is not easy.

As an example, my mare starts misbehaving the moment I pick up my cell phone on a walk with her. She responds readily when I give her clear directions with my body, even from several meters away. She starts rushing when I am nervous and try to hide it. It is as if she knows what my body is saying, before even I know it.
In my career as a psychologist, academic, coach and management consultant, I have delivered many methods of learning, and been a participant in many leadership programmes. For me, horse-guided learning stands out as having the most profound impact.

But don’t take my word for it, try for yourself.