In March of 2008 I came across an offer for a shared horse lease. I neither had the extra funds nor the time, as I was in the midst of high school teacher training. So why even consider this? Well, the magic word “Arabian” caught my eye…
I have always been a great admirer of this breed, their grace, speed, and intelligence. I decided to meet this Anglo-Arabian mare, whom I aptly named Princess. Unfortunately, the mare was neither physically nor emotionally capable of being ridden. She was too weak to carry a rider and showed little interest in dealing with humans. She had, as so many horses, endured too many bad experiences. Taking her on just did not make sense!
Here she was being lunged shortly after I first met her in April 2008.
You can easily see her dire condition.
But I just could not get her out of my head…
So I returned – and I signed up for the shared lease. The question was what to do with a horse I could not ride. I had only had basic equitation training since I was nine years old. I was familiar with hacking out, some dressage and jumping. I had read a little bit about groundwork, but I had no idea how to apply it.
While searching the web for information I came across the Lungeing Course by Babette Teschen and Tania Konnerth. I was immediately drawn to this method and recognized a clear path for our journey together from lungeing all the way to riding.
The first Lungeing Clinic
On the spur of the moment I joined my first lungeing clinic with Babette. It was so exciting and emotional. What I saw was a completely different way of working with horses. It was so supportive, building on trust and gentleness. This way of training spoke to me and has become my own goal in all my dealings with horses.
Over the following years I often participated in Babette’s clinics or even organized one myself. In conjunction with our training I restructured everything around the Princess: She was moved to full turnout, got expert hoof care, a new saddle, and many sessions with an osteopath. All of it helped restore her inner and outer balance.
She has developed a lovely self carriage on the lunge. She now actively uses her hind quarters, raises her back and has a light forward reaching front end. Even her ability to collect has developed nicely.
All Round Development
The most important change, however, was her emotional development. Without this her physical development would not have been possible.
The Princess began to enjoy the work. She rediscovered her joie de vivre and showed curiosity which made her much more confident and calm. We got to know each other better and better and the Princess became my true soul horse. Two years ago she officially became mine on paper, too.
Even today I am touched every time she nickers or neighs when she greets me. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of riding her out, passing scary objects, galloping across the fields, riding miles of clear beat trot. She had once been a bolter!
I cry with joy when we get to run free together and she rears or bursts into gallop only to rejoin me, eagerly waiting to continue the games even though I am breathless. We bring this joy into all our training, whatever we are working on. I am still mesmerized that so much has changed positively. I am eternally grateful for this amazing horse.
The Lungeing Course was the most important tool in the process of finding each other. We became a team through our horse-human bond. Following the clear path from lungeing to riding, I was able, on my own, to train my Princess from leading to lateral work under saddle to today’s progress in a relatively short time.
My life would have been so different had I not met my soul horse.
Although I finished my teaching studies I jumped at the opportunity to become a lungeing instructor when Babette offered it to me. By now I have traveled all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland for over 10 years to share my knowledge with likeminded people.
To delve deeper into the physical problems of each horse and to apply this to my teaching knowledge, I completed my education as an equine physiotherapist several years ago. This was a perfect complement to my training. I have embraced many opportunities for continued education in the areas of hoof care, feeding, husbandry, treatment methods and various training styles. I aptly named my homepage “all-round horse gymnastics” which is how I approach all horses. It is not simply training, but all the other aspects of the horse-human bond as well.
To complete my journey and to provide my Princess with an optimal permanent home, I acquired a small farm in 2018. Here I can give courses in a relaxed setting, offer single and group lessons and take in horses for training or rehab.
Dear Babette, dearest Princess, you have helped me in so many ways. Without you I would not be where I am today. Thank you for the opportunity to find my passion and live it.
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