When I was seven years old, my father took me and my brother on a holiday with a horse and carriage. We spent a week travelling from farm to farm with the horse and carriage. I fell in love with horses right away and i told my parents i would love to start riding lessons.
Growing up in Amsterdam in the Netherlands my parents could afford one hour of riding lessons per week. But i always spent as much time around the stables as i could, just to be near the horses because it made me feel so good! From the age of sixteen I became an instructor at a pony camp in the south of the Netherlands, which gave me the opportunity to spend my whole summers around the herd of 30 Icelandic horses. Riding all day in nature, working with the young horses and teaching the kids how to ride i got to be around horses most my holidays and i loved it.
One of my friends bought a horse there and brought it to the Amsterdam area. We took care of the young Icelandic stallion for years together. Teaching him everything from the beginning; bonding & trust, grooming, lunging and groundwork. Until, finally we could ride him. Only now, in retrospect, i realize how much this horse actually taught us. When at that time, we were thinking we were teaching him…
At the age of 27, due to circumstances, i decided to take a break from horses and concentrate on other things in my life. By that time i had graduated from university of Amsterdam as a psychologist and was working for a youth care organization. Helping troubled families, kids and adolescences all over the Amsterdam area. In my free time i was training Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. Combining music, dance, balance and strength and learning to play several instruments. I travelled to many Capoeira workshops in Europe and visited Brazil several times. Learning lots about Brazilian culture including the Portuguese language.
On my 30th birthday, I went to the Cavalia horse show in Belgium. While watching Frederic Pignon work with his stallions at liberty, my heart skipped a beat. For days after i kept dreaming about horses and i realized I wanted them back in my life. Searching the internet (without knowing exactly what i was looking for..) i signed up for several natural horsemanship workshops. I learned some new skills and enjoyed to be around horses again. But i felt there was something more... After reading Linda Kohanov's book the Tao of Equus, i came across Kathy Pike's work; Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFLC).
After following Level 1 of Kathy's program, I knew this was what I was looking for. Combining my passion for horses, with my degree in psychology, the EFLC work offerers a way to help people to reach their full potential. I travelled to the United States several times and graduated as a Equine Facilitated Coach at the Academy for Coaching with Horses in 2011.
After graduation, I facilitated several EFLC sessions and workshops at different locations in the Netherlands. But there was something inside of me yearning for more 'horse-time'. I moved to France in 2013 and lived for a year and a half, all by myself, on a large estate taking care of a herd of five horses. Facilitating individual coaching sessions with the horses and organizing workshops on the beautiful property. I was living my dream.
With over 30 years of experience around horses, i am skilled at reading the communication of horses thru their bodies. As a coach in the EFLC work, I facilitate the learning of my clients assisted by horses. Every time again, i am amazed by what horses have to offer. How they can help people to heal, to learn and to grow. I am very passionate about offering this experience to anyone who is interested in experiencing this type of coaching. I am currently living in Amsterdam & working in Zaandam, but i can facilitated sessions and workshops at different locations in the Netherlands (or elsewhere in Europe if proper location available).