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

Horse awareness event
23 January 2020

Centered Riding Belgium will be present at the Horse Awareness Event on Sunday 5 April. I will not be there myself, but you can go to some of my colleagues for bodywork, or you can come and watch the demo. 

 

Wallonie Equestre Event 
23 January 2020

Easter weekend (11, 12 and 13 April) we will be present with an interactive stand at the Wallonie Equestre Event in Libramont. Everyone is welcome for some bodywork.

Workshop : Clickertraining with horses, where do I start? 
23 January 2020

Clicker training is used with dolphins, zoo animals, dogs, and more, but is also super efficient for getting something explained to your horse.It is training with food rewards, but you have to know how to do this properly. Applying training principles consistently and learning your horse to behave around food are a must in the beginning.

In this workshop we see theory about the basic principles and the exercises you should start with. We will also practice with each other so that we can develop the necessary motor skills before we do it with our horses. This is followed by separate sessions where everyone, in turn, can work with their horse.

This workshop takes place in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw on Sunday 28 June (all day). Price: € 70 (water, coffee and bread lunch included). It is best to bring your own horse or pony. If this is  not possible, I have 2 horses where one can work with (for an additional €10). But bringing your own horse is highly recommended because that way I’ll be able to help you on you way while keeping the specific characteristics of your horse in mind.

Enlist by mail to francoise@horsesmind.com

Registration is final upon receipt of either the full €70 or an advance of €30.

Workshop body awareness for riders 
23 January 2020

Develop a greater awareness of your body so that your posture on horseback and therefore also the independence of your aides become better.

This is a 3-hour workshop where you will experience the centered riding basics, in addition to a number of Thai chi and Alexander Technique exercises. The goal is to give you the tools that you can use to improve your posture and freedom of movement.

This workshop takes place without horses.

This workshop will take place at my home (Sint-Pieters-Leeuw) on Sunday 12 July. Price: € 35

Enlist by mail to francoise@horsesmind.com

Registration is final upon receipt of either the full €35 or an advance of €20.

And further :
23 January 2020

-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.

-At the end of April I will update my Centered Riding knowledge again under the guidance of Peggy Brown.

– In August 2020 I’m going to ISES 16th Equitation Science Conference. 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.

-Centered Riding Belgium will organize a number of training courses in the autumn:

  • 5/6 September Open Clinic with Margreet Bouwmeester. Info about the location will follow
  • 18/19/20 September + 19/20/21/22 November instructor training, also with Margreet Bouwmeester

-15/16/17/18 a HorseBoostCamp is taking place. This is a clicker training docamp organized by Inge Teblick where, in addition to Inge, there are also a number of guest teachers (including me 😉). More info

Keep me posted about updates


(We won't spam you, promised.)



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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