I came from Belgium and arrived in the States two years ago. After a year without riding, I was looking for a place where I could fulfill my passion again. After the first lesson, I knew MQH was the right place for me. MQH is a positive and supportive place and being a researcher in positive psychology I could not find a better fit. It took me some time to get back into shape, and I really appreciated Laura’s patience and the good exercises she made me do for that purpose. Coming from Europe, I ride English style, but recently I have tried the Western saddle and really liked it too. Also, last summer I helped getting one of the baby and his mother out for the first time; that was so cute. I still cherish that memory.
EXPERIENCE WITH HORSES BEFORE COMING TO MQH
I started riding when I was 7. At 11 I started jumping competition with a Shetland pony that measured only 40 inches! I did not jump very high… but won a couple times. I continued jumping with other horses and then I had my own horse for a couple years. These were the best years! Entering college, I sold my horse but could not totally stop riding; I just love riding. I have had numerous instructors, and now definitely know that my style is not the yelling ones!
LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH RIDING
It feels like I learned two lessons at two different ages. When I was still at school, my horse was my best friend, we would have fun together, I would take care of him for hours. I learned how important it is to build a good relationship with your horse on a day-to-day basis and not let the competition take over that. Now that I work and that I experience the stress that goes with it, I feel like horses remind me about what is essential in life. Simply, they won’t do what I want if I ask too abruptly. Realizing twice a week that I have to relax and let go is very important for me.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT HORSES
I love the impression of freedom they can give you and the connection to nature that I feel when I am with them. It’s just so refreshing.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE WITH HORSES AND SHOWING
Doing jumping competition was so much fun but also very stressful for my horse and me. Unfortunately, my horse was very afraid of people clapping their hands. Not easy when people do that basically every 2 minutes during a competition! What I would do is go in the woods for a walk to let both of us relax and start our turn with more confidence.
FAVORITE ASPECTS OF MQH
Over the last year I have seen Laura and John taking care of the horses so well. One of my favorite aspects is simply to know that I go to a place where there is a profound respect of horses. I also love the fact that the horses that I ride know their job very well. This helps because we can focus more on me, improving my skills, and adjust everything so I can communicate better with the horse.
I would like to achieve easiness and the feeling of being in tune. My next biggest goal is to remain relaxed, attentive to my horse, and remain consistent.