In a fly by the seat of my pants decision, I decided to fly to Holland! Two weeks beforehand I was gripped by the urge to travel to the land of the tulip to learn horse training as well as spend time with family.
This post has a gallery slider. Click on the arrows in the photo above and scroll through the pictures. In the pictures you will find images of myself giving a liberty demonstration in Holland with Lucie Klassen’s gorgeous stallion, Seni, pictures of Lucie and Carola’s clinic which I attended, pictures of a few of the horses working at the Straightness Training Live Event and some random tourist pics (for when you get tired of horses.)
I loved Holland! I pedalled a bicycle (embracing one of my favourite aspects of the Dutch lifestyle) through the pouring rain to visit a massive rose garden as part of my many sight seeing adventures. The roses were covered in rain drops and I got some awesome pictures.
I spent two whole weeks in Holland learning horse training and sight seeing. That’s 336 hours of Euro adventure, 36 of those hours I spent lost in a car. Well it felt like I spent 36 hours lost in a car. I even had a GPS, but somehow I ended up bouncing down a bike path in my cousin’s Volvo on the way to a lesson and going the wrong way in a barricaded bus lane after a clinic. Elvis’s crooning kept me somewhat relaxed on the five lane highways though.
I went to Europe to learn from the three day Live Event as part of the Straightness Training course I’m taking online. I enjoyed seeing the horses come into suppleness, relaxation and collection through the session in the Live Event. As conversation and connections blossomed, there was a natural flow into learning hands on in lessons after the event.
I met a fellow Vancouver Islander (who lives only 2 hours from me in Canada) and we shared a lesson with ST instructor Kim in Amstelveen. Kim gave me an excellent first experience in coaching me through ST. I worked with Kim’s lovely gelding, Belicimo. He offered me the half pass on the ground (although I was supposed to be practicing haunches in) and it was incredible to feel what a developed and supple horse will give!
The next day I headed to Arnhem to join in part of Lucie and Carola’s ST clinic. Lucie and Carola are very patient and thorough instructors. I was able to work with two different horses and practice very different, yet beneficial exercises which have helped me immensely with my horses at home.
In Arnhem Lucie invited me to give a liberty demonstration with her gorgeous PRE Stallion! Seni was incredible to play with and he offered me fabulous connection.
The liberty demonstration was so much fun! We were all laughing through it and Seni brought out the best in my presentation. Every time I connect with a horse it lights a spark in me. I feel honoured that the horses have given me their time and attention.
It is my intention that the people learning can take pieces of the demonstration
home to practice with their own horses and to inspire those horses to want to connect and learn with them too. (If you are looking for an experience even deeper and more inclusive than a demo please come to one of my workshops this fall! If you want to come, but can’t bring your horse you can email me to get set up with borrowing a horse or you can attend as a participant without a horse.)
The following morning after my demo Lucie and I played in a field with Lucie’s horses and photographer, Christa Balk, took some amazing pictures.
A few of her pictures are in the slider above. More pictures will be revealed at a later date along with some exciting news!
My trip was fabulous and I’m very grateful for my cousins for hosting me and showing me a great time. I taught little Jakey to blow bubbles (he was better at it than I was) and also to play hide and seek (Jake needs some serious work on staying in his hiding spot.) It was lovely to share dinners with my cousin Liz and to go exploring on foot and on bicycle with my cousin, Kevin, just like we used to do as kids.