This blog was born not only out of my enduring passion for all things equine, but as a way to chronicle my own journey into the mysterious art and science of horsemanship. It’s about the trials of learning to ride as an adult, seeking out training methods that transcend traditional horsemanship, and always searching for that pure connection between horse and human.
A little about me: My name is Zoë, I’m British but live in rural France and spend large parts of my time on the road as part of my ‘day job’ as a travel writer and guidebook researcher. In-between writing assignments, most of my time is spent training youngsters at a local barb stud farm, or training my own two horses – Sabine, an 11-year-old Barb mare, and Ckaliq, a 5-year-old Barb gelding who I started under saddle last year. My main passion lies in dressage, liberty work, and starting young horses under saddle, but I also dabble in amateur showjumping competitions, compete in TREC and endurance, and am always looking for a new challenge.
I’ve been influenced by everyone from Ray Hunt to Sally Swift to Philippe Karl; achieved my Monty Roberts Certificate of Horsemanship; and attended clinics with the likes of Jason Webb, Elsa Sinclair, and Pat Parelli. Most importantly, I’ve had the fortune to work with a range of young and difficult horses, each of which has taught me more than any book ever could. After a long time romanticising about becoming a ‘horse whisperer’, I’ve since realised that it’s the horses that do the whispering. For me, true horsemanship is more about listening.
So this blog is devoted to seeking out the answers and discovering new methods, not only of teaching, training and riding, but of understanding our horses and finding ourselves through horsemanship. That’s why it’s called Horsemanship with Heart – because of the heart that we put into the journey and the truth that we find out about ourselves along the way.