About us

Horse’s Mind was born out of a hobby of mine. The result of a passion for horses and teaching others. I’m a recreational riding who values good riding skills and having a good connection with your horse. I enjoy spending time with horses, both with my feet on the ground as with me riding on their back, so much so that it has now become my primary occupation.

Videos that illustrate what I do with clickertraining and with Centered Riding can be found on my YouTube channel

Here you will find an overview of all the courses I’ve followed.

Follow me on Facebook to see what I’m doing and read the articles I share.

Groundwork & Clickertraining

I will explain you how you can teach your horse various things while you are besides him with your feet on the ground. For this I use the classic horsemanship techniques of pressure and release. To that I add in clickertraining. With clickertraining the desired behaviour gets marked with a specific signal. The horse then knows that after said signal he will get a treat. This technique is an extremely powerful tool to tell your horse what it is you want him to do.

 

Centered Riding

Centered Riding is based on the teachings of Sally Swift. It’s an alternative way to give riding lessons where the focus lies on the rider instead of the horse. Through an increased awareness of yourself and your horse, and through the use of imaginary things happening around and in you you will learn exactly what to do with your body and when. This is something “good riders” do out of their own instincts, but is hard to explain.

Since November 2017 I am officially recognized as a level 2 Centered Riding instructor.

Possibilities

My horses are not available for rent, therefor you will need to have your own horse if you want to take lesson with me.

My lessons costs €35/hr and can happen at my home or any other location. Should you decide to follow the lesson somewhere other than my home, additional travel costs may be applied depending on the distance.

Because I prefer to focus my attention entirely on my student, I only have one-on-one sessions. Group lessons are unavailable unless it’s a clinic.

For Centered Riding lessons I will require a riding arena, though in the summer a flat field will suffice.

For groundwork and clicker training, the horse in question must me able to be isolated from others. Clicker training can also happen in a box (for horses who can’t go outside due to an injury, for example).

I can come teach on a clinic revolving around clickertraining or posture and seat if you organise one yourself.

In a clickertraining clinic the first day is always half a day theory and exercises without horses. Then follow training sessions with the horses in the afternoon. This is the 1 day introduction. After that, a number of follow-up days can be given where we will take 2 sessions with every horse, with some potential theory weaved in. 

Regarding the “Posture and seat” clinics, there are a number of options:

– Half a day (roughly 3hrs) “workshop about body awareness for riders” where you will experience the Centered Riding basics, in addition to a number of Thai chi and Alexander Technique exercises. This workshop takes place without horses.

– Body awareness on the ground and on the horse can also be combined in a 1 or 2 day clinic. This starts every day with 2 hours of bodywork to explain and experience the Centered Riding basics, followed by individual/small group lessons on horseback. Individual lessons are really specific to the needs of that horse and rider, while the lessons in small groups will be much more general. 

I can do this alone or together with a colleague Centered Riding instructor. The advantage here is that either 2 individual lessons can be given simultaneously (more riders possible), or that the colleague can explain to the audience what the other instructor (who is focusing on his rider) is doing in his lesson. This is clearer and more instructive for the audience.

If you are within 30min driving distance from my home I will displace myself for free. Should you happen to be outside of that range it would be best if you’d contact me to ask how much the displacement fees will be. Lessons on the other side of the ring around Brussels I preferably do on Sundays or outside of the rush hours.

My lessons at home (outside arena) cost at the normal rate €35/hr. There is a parking with plenty of room to turn with a horsevan.

Ik heb thuis een gedraineerde buitenpiste. U kan deze huren om te komen rijden (zonder lesgever) aan 5€/u .

I have a drained arena at my home which you can rent for €5/hr (this will be without an instructor, centered riding or otherwise).

Portfolio

My horses

Capitaine

Capitaine du Pous is a horse from the French Camargue region born in 2013. Until he was 5 years old he lived in total freedom in the swamps nearby Arles. Since May 2017 he lives with me.
He was saddlebroken here and together we are discovering the world. He's a fast learner, is very curious and despite the calmth in his head he is pretty forward. An easy horse you'd think, but he doesn't let himself be fooled around : an unfriendly rider will be thrown off without warning. With calm guidance however he will go anywhere for you.
Capitaine was the model for Horse's Mind's logo. His name is in honor of another Camargue horse who was named Capitaine aswell, who played with Fernandel in the film "Heureux qui comme Ulysse".

Zenghi

Zenghi is a halfblood Arab horse. born in 1997 and is the reason why I can do the things I do today with horses.
He's is an enormous drama queen, clumsy, hypermobile, and panicky. There was a time where everyone declared me insane for no selling him, especially after he reared and threw me off, resulting in me landing on my head. But I'm stubborn and went looking for solutions to better my relationship with him.
At the end of his career we could do anything any recreational rider should be able to do, except that with Zenghi everything had to be taught. He now enjoys his retirement life in my back yard.

Bronco

Bronco van de Molenstede is my Shetland stallion. I've had him since he was 1 year old and we have a really good connection.
My original purpose was to go to demo's with him, which is why he knows so many little tricks (and enjoys showing these off).
His primary job today is being a garden ornament and ocasionally trying to convice Capitaine he is the leader of the pack. Capitaine, having lived 5 years in an actual herd in the wild, isn't easily impressed by a 70cm tall stallion.

Events & News

Start Buttons 
17 March 2021

A start button is a cue from the horse that indicates he is ok with something the handler is going to do. So instead of just starting to spray with the fly spray, you can wait until your horse indicates that he is ok with the fact that you are going to do so and only then you start spraying.

To be honest, I had a lot of reservations about this. But I have tried this technique and I was amazed with the results.

Because he really threatened with his hind leg if I wanted to wash his quiver, I applied start buttons to this.

Read all about my resistance, what I tried and how it worked out in the following document (dutch)

Uncertain times 
17 March 2021

These are uncertain times. That is why I just wanted to clarify what position I take in this crisis. Government rules are followed and the advice of Paardensport Vlaanderen for my lessons in Flanders and of the Ligue Equestre Wallonie Bruxelles for my activities in Brussels and Wallonia are followed. So if you want to know how things are at any time, use these websites as reference.

Currently it is the case that :

  • Riding lessons in an outdoor track are allowed (max 3 people)
  • Groundwork lessons (1 on 1) can continue, but not in spaces that are too small (not in a box, for example)
  • Clinics are canceled
  • Although I have already had corona, it is still possible to get infected a second time and pass on this ugly bug. So let’s be careful. When it is my turn, I will definitely get vaccinated.
  • Every time I get into my car, I disinfect my hands. In this way I hope to counteract the propagation of both corona and rhino
  • When I leave in the morning, I have cleanly washed clothes on. When I get home, my teaching clothes are taken off and I go with my horses with different clothes. But when I have to move from one stable to another, it is of course very difficult to change clothes in between.

Centered Riding Open Clinic : 19-20 June 2021

17 March 2021

A Centered Riding Open Clinic is open to all riders of all levels and disciplines. This will be given by Margreet Bouwmeester (level IV, the Netherlands) and will take place in PCT in Koningshooikt.
More information : centeredridingbelgium@gmail.com

Minimum 1 Open Clinic is a requirement for those who want to follow the instructor course.

HorseBoostCamp 2021 : 14, 15, 16 and 17 Oktober
17 March 2021

This clicker training docamp organized by Inge Teblick where, in addition to Inge, there are also a number of guest teachers (including me 😉), is taking place in Moerstraten (NL).More information here

Workshops  
18 December 2020

This summer 2 workshops were organized at my home : “Starting with clicker training” and “Body awareness for riders”. 

Whether there will be workshops next summer depends on the sanitary situation (corona) and the demand for workshops.

These are possible workshops that I can organise at my home:

  • Clickertraining (starting or advanced)
  • Body awareness for riders
  • Alexander Technique
  • Feldenkreis
  • Thai Chi

If you are interested in following one of these workshops in July or August 2021, please let us know. It will be organized if there are enough participants.

Because I teach everything about clicker training and body awareness myself, these workshops can also take place at your stable, if you can warm up some friends for this. More info: francoise@horsesmind.com

And further :
17 March 202

-Capitaine and I are now focusing on Working Equitation. This seems like an ideal discipline in which we can combine dressage and clicker training. Of course we also want to do all this from our center.  I’m wondering how it will work out. 

Centered Riding Belgium is busy making short films about the 4 basics of Centered Riding. Soon there will be some episodes around breathing available for free. Keep an eye on the website and facebook.

Due to coronavirus delayed but not canceled :
17 March 2021

– The 16th Equitation Science Conference, scheduled to take place at Hartpury University in the UK in August 2020, has been postponed for one year. I am already registered for the 2021 edition.
ISES is an organisation that aims to foster research into the behaviour, training and management of horses to improve welfare and the horse-human relationship. During 3 days researchers, practitioners, students, veterinary professionals, equine organisations and industry leaders from across the globe are going to talk abouts what’s new around the theme of “Succeed with Science”. You can find more info about this seminar here.

Flanders Horse Expo will take place this year on October 30, 31, and November 1st. I will probably be present with Centered Riding Belgium.



Facebook Feed

1 week ago

Horse's Mind
Even voorstellen: Francoise DecosterHet team van de Clickeracademie is divers! Naast experts in verschillende manieren om vanaf de grond te werken, is er ook de nodige expertise aanwezig over het rijden met gevoel en verstand. Vandaag stelt Centered Riding docente Francoise zich voor:"Toen ik in 2004 voor het eerst in contact kwam met clickertraining had ik een paard (Zenghi) dat Speedy Gonzales was onder had zadel, niet respectvol aan de grond (bijten, steigeren, ...), bang was van alles en daarenboven gevaarlijke reacties had uit schrik. Maar het was mijn paard, en zoals alle dieren die ik aankoop ; eens ze er zijn, doe ik ze niet meer wegVóór clickertraining had ik een aantal andere technieken geprobeerd en ik heb van elke van hen zeker een aantal waardevolle zaken geleerd. Met clickertraining zeg je heel duidelijk aan je paard dat hetgeen hij juist deed goed is, en het is precies dit dat een ommekeer in het gedrag van Zenghi heeft teweeggebracht.Zenghi heeft mij verplicht om beter te worden, zowel in mijn handigheid rondom paarden, als wat betreft mijn theoretische kennis over wat er allemaal mogelijk is en welke mechanismen er spelen (want ik kon echt alles gebruiken om toch een beetje met hem weg te kunnen).Nu ben ik een paard verder, en heb ik al mijn kennis gebruikt om mijn nieuw paardje vanaf het begin op te voeden tot een fijne partner. We spelen samen aan de grond, gaan overal op wandeling (bos, zee, thuis), volgen regelmatig dressuurles en zijn van plan om ons debuut in Working Equitation te maken.Ik wil absoluut rijden op mijn paard, maar ik wil dit doen op een zo paardvriendelijk mogelijke manier. Vandaar dat ik mij ook gespecialiseerd heb in Centered Riding® . Centered Riding® helpt je om je paard niet in de weg te zitten tijdens het rijden, waardoor je paard makkelijker het goede gedrag zal vertonen onder het zadel, en dit goede gedrag ga ik dan uiteraard clicken en belonen.Mijn doel is mijn klanten te begeleiden om een zo goed mogelijke band te hebben met hun paard in al wat ze met hem wensen te doen. Daar is clickertraining en heel het gedachtengoed daarrond een essentieel onderdeel van, zowel wat betreft grondwerk, als in het rijden." ... See MoreSee Less
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Contact

If you have any further questions or wish to book a lesson, feel free to contact me.

Halleweg 6
1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
Belgium

+32 478 66 07 84
francoise@horsesmind.com