Here is my little story about how I got in contact with ST and Marijke de Jong.
I grew up with two Welsh Ponys my parents bought for my sister and me. Since we did not have much experience we just sat on them, rode in the fields and tried not to fall off.
We had the stable right next to our house, so we learned early how to take care of them, which worked out pretty good but the riding skills and how to train a horse were far from good.
I attended many trail rides and just loved to be with horses out in the nature having the adventure feeling. I guess I watched too many western as a child, but to be honest I just loved it and this is where I can just be myself and let everything out. In fact looking back it became a little tradition to make trail rides which brought me also in other countries like e.g. USA and Morocco where I had the pleasure to be a few times for really unforgettable experiences.
In between training I do trail rides today with Misfit too, just spend time together without any pressure or having training plans in mind or even go for a two day trail ride here in our lovely region.
In my twenties I began to take riding lessons on different horses to seriously start expanding my skills and experiences.
In 2001 I bought Misfit, a Welsh Cob section D, as a four year old, who was not trained or ridden. The first years I struggled with him, because not having much knowledge and experience of training horses myself, we had many ups and downs.
So Misfit and me tried from TTEAM (Linda Tellington -Jones) to Sally Swift, Michael Geitner and other German horse trainers to find a way to get more in harmony with each other. We were able to take out of them what we needed most at that time.
In 2007 I got in contact with the Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderup and things seemed to work out better. The principles of the academic art of riding made more sense to me and I found myself comfortable with its approach how to train a horse.
I attended as a spectator a few Bent Branderup clinics and was a rider once myself.
But Misfit and me barely had lessons on a continuous and progressing base, so our development was slow and there came a time where I decided to search further for something else what would suit us better.
In 2011 I found it: I joined the Home Study Course of Marijke de Jong and I was amazed by the lightness and harmony Marijke and her horses demonstrated, setting a clear target for me: to reach exactly what she transmits not only in riding but also from the ground.
Further I loved the concept to have access at any time to different themes. The HSC was very good explained and I could watch the movies over and over again, which I did. The webinars were very helpful too and I tried to find the “togetherness” Marijke shows in her work with her horses.
I took the opportunity to strongly intensify ST with the ST Mastery Online Course, webinars and clinics going deep into details with the five components Groundwork, Lunging, Work in Hand, Riding and Liberty getting personal feedback and assistance from Marijke de Jong®. All that helped me to grow personally and to find harmony with Misfit again, getting awareness of what we do, understanding the why’s, how’s and when’s in training horses.
I am very grateful that we could qualify in 2014 to be in the instructor program of Marijke de Jong® and became one of fifteen worldwide officially licensed ST Instructors® by Marijke de Jong® in Grade 3.
Thank you Marijke for giving me the chance to spread this wonderful method among many others.