Journey Into The Horses World

We humans feel the need to be together with animals. For thousands of years, animals have helped us in our growth. The horse especially was of great importance. It has helped us in winning wars, the transport of heavy loads and the main: work force in agriculture. When machines were invented, the importance of the horse in our daily lives was lost. Now the only reason we want to be with horses is for our own pleasure.

When the importance of the horse decreased, the knowledge of how to be with horses was forgotten. Nowadays, because we do not know enough of the horse, they suffer a lot from us. The existing schooling systems are unable to fill the gap caused by lack of knowledge. The emphasis is on making the horse jump higher, or performs more spectacular movements in the dressage. The objective: prizes, honor and money.

Piet Nibbelink, Judy Cross-Strehlke and Sarah Jane Clarke recognized the problem and decided that something must be done.

The Journey is an unique co-operation between three internatinal instructors, each experts in their own fields. It is a three year training program, which covers the essential elements that come together with working with horses. Piet Nibbelink will guide you through the first part of the program, where you will learn about communication between horse and human. Judy Cross-Strekhle (USA) is a level IV Centered Riding instructor and will guide you through part two, which is about body awareness and effective movement in riding. The third and last part will be guided by Sarah Jane Clarke, a classical dressage specialist trained by the riding school in Jerez. She will teach you about training horses.

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Who are we?

Together, we have planned a trip into the world of horses, so that when you arrive, you can, together with your horse, travel where ever you want.

Piet Nibbelink owns a center for better communication with horses in the Netherlands. With his knowledge and experience he guides his student toward a harmony with horses.

In his view this can be achieved by truly knowing yourself, your state of mind and your body language.

Only then can you become aware of the unconscious processes that constantly influence the horse, and change so that you tell the horse what you meant to tell.

Judy Cross Strehlke's home is in Maine USA where she has her own riding center.

Her path with horses led her in many different directions, from University studies to the competition world of Dressage and Three day Eventing to Western Riding, to horses for therapeutic riding

When she met Sally Swift and studied Centered Riding, she found a place to rest in the philosophy of softness and awareness for the rider.

She is a Level IV Advanced Centered Riding Clinician and an advanced instructor for PATH Int', USA.

Her specialty is understanding how the Brain/Body learning connection can enhance riding for all disciplines.

She teaches instructors and students in Europe and the USA.

Originally from England, Sarah Jane Clarke moved to Spain at age eighteen, in search of the Spanish horse.

Today, she owns a dressage stable in Sanlucar.

She trains her Spanish horses according to the principles of the classical dressage, with a lot of patience and respect for the horse.

She is a Level IV Advanced Centered Riding Clinician and an advanced instructor for PATH Int', USA.

Also, she is an expert on the field of Spanish horses, and a professional intermediary for everyone who wants to buy his/her dream horse.

What will we do?

We cannot expect a horse to go in our world to try to understand us. If we want to be with horses, we have to go into the world of the horse. We have to learn what the horse needs in order to feel good. This means it is not only food and a stable, but also the mental wellbeing.

Communication among horses mainly goes through body language. If we want the horse to understand us, we need to be very aware of our own body language, which is subconsciously controlled by our state of mind. The first part of the Journey into the Horse's World is a journey to our self. Who are you, and what is your impact on the horse? Self-awareness is the key word. When you know what you do and where that comes from, you will be able to change it. Then the horse will understand you in the purest way possible. No tricks, only you and the horse.

Also, you will need to know what the horse is telling you through its body language. For this, you need all the senses you have at your disposal, seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting. When you can use all these at the same time, you can consider this your 'sixth sense'.

In the second part of the journey, you will discover how this new body awareness applies to riding. You can learn to use your body in such a way that you do not bother the horse more than necessary when riding. This will make clear what you ask, so that the horse is always able to respond. It also helps to understand the horse's body language while riding.

When you are fully aware of what you can do with your body and mind, the third part of the journey starts. This is all about how we can train the horse's body in such a way that a horse is able to carry us without getting any physical problems. We often forget that horses are not made for riding. Their natural balance is perfectly apt for the life they lead without humans around. However, when we sit on the horse, we disturb this balance. It is our responsibility to make sure that the horse changes its natural balance to another balance, in order to carry us without pain and injury.

What will it do for you?

     This journey will:

  • help you to awaken your senses.
  • make you aware of your state of mind and how to positively influence it.
  • give you insight in to the state of mind of the horse and how to positively influence it.;
  • teach you to use your body language on the ground and on horseback.
  • teach you to read the body language of the horse on the ground and while riding.
  • give you a secure seat on the horse which creates a subtle and clear communication.
  • teach to you see the importance of a healthy way of training horses.
  • give you insight and experience in creating strong horses so they can carry you.

     Why is it important? :

If you can give your horse what it needs, life becomes a lot easier and better for the both of you. The contact with your horse will become more intense, and the friendship deeper.

How will it be arranged?

     The journey consists of three parts:

1. Communication on the ground based on body language by Piet Nibbelink:

  • 6 meetings of 4 days each 
  • One of the meetings will take place in the Netherlands (Piet’s place) 

2. Horseback riding based on Centered Riding and body language on the horse by Judy Cross:

  • 6 meetings of 4 days each (brings you to Centered Riding Instructor Level 1) 
  • One of the meetings will take place in Maine US (Judy’s place) 

3. Classical Dressage (body building of horses) by Sarah Jane Clarke:

  • 6 meetings of 4 days each 
  • One of the meetings will take place in Spain (Sarah Jane’s place)

When and where?

Who is accepted for this Journey?

The one who is interested to join this journey must be able to look within themselves and put time and effort in this travelling. Before one starts on this path, there will be an interview with the organizers of this journey.

When Does It Start?

As soon as we have 8 participants we will start planning the dates for the experience. The maximum number of travelers is 12.

Where does it take place?

Total there are 18 meetings of 4 days. 15 of them will take place in Finland. The participants are asked to organize a place where it can be done.

What does it cost?

The costs are € 500 per 4 days. It has to be paid in 3 times € 3,000 three weeks before that part of the journey starts.

If you pay at once on forehand you get a discount of € 500, then you pay € 8,500

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