The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can reach people all across the world and never have to leave home. Stina, who is Norwegian but lives on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, is a friend and student. Stina got in touch with me towards the end of 2007 and I started coaching her by phone and email. The results for her and her herd of wild horses have been astonishing, for which I must give Stina huge credit.
Stina was recently featured in Hesteliv, the main horse magazine in Norway. The magazine interviewed four Norwegian horse trainers including Stina and I thought it would be fun to show it to you and to read what Stina had to say. Do you think that we are seeing more interest and a change in approach towards how we keep and handle horses using more “alternative methods”? Yes, absolutely. More and more people can see how much we can learn from the horse. The horse is not just there for us, it has a much bigger meaning. I think many people have been in my situation, where they start to ask questions about why we should “fight” with our horses. When I took dressage lessons, the teacher told me to pull the reins harder so as to keep the horse’s head down. My arms were already tired; there was no logic to it. If a horse can feel a fly on its rear leg, which it can then gently sweep away with its tail, why should I have to tire out my arms to make the horse do what I want?. Later on, I got a mare which I looked forward to be with every day but she was not happy with me at all.
This signalled the start of a journey for Stina and after many courses, seminars and discussions, her path changed. New riding improved her seat; she changed the tack, dental care and food, as well as taking the horse’s shoes off and keeping him outside with the other horses 24/7. Slowly, Stina could see her horse change from being unhappy and shut down to happy and energetic. I think many people are looking for a good connection with their horse. They want their horse to speak to them and come to them in the paddock and to like the training they do and the goals they want to achieve. Many are looking for new methods to achieve happiness and find a good energy in cooperation with their horse. I think it is important to let people know that is it not so difficult to get this. But this depends on the rider/owner understanding the nature of the horse and deciding to learn new things.
It was a big challenge for me to train the herd of wild horses in the Caribbean, an almost “impossible” task but I wanted to find a method and a way to solve it. I thought I was pretty good with horses and had quite a lot of knowledge, but no, it did not work on these horses. So I went back to school after getting in contact with Carolyn Resnick and it has been very