"The Mongol Derby was a transforming adventure. My left ankle and perception of horses, will never be the same again"
- Cathrine Fodstad
Do you want to become one with your horse? Ride effortlessly with hind-leg engagement and natural self-carriage, without having to micromanage your horse? I do too!
It has not always been like this. From when I started riding at the age of 9, until a few years back, then main focus was to control horses rather than to connect with them.
Countless riding lessons, courses, years of working with horses plus a trainer and riding instructor degree, taught me a lot of technical stuff but not how to make my idea the horse`s idea. I had to find that elsewhere.
The quest brought me to Mongolia and the world’s longest and toughest horse race. It was a transforming 1000 km adventure.
During the Mongol Derby, I had a revealing experience of unity with horses.
It was the Mongolian horses who trained me as opposed to me training them. Sure-footed and semi-wild; the essential part of getting through was to partner with them.
At the finish line, I was a different person than when signing up. From that moment on, I knew that connecting with horses was possible.
When I got back to our farm in Norway, I discovered that my left ankle (because of spraining it half way through the race) and perception of horses had changed.
As a result, I began to do things differently and not by the book.
I found myself connecting with horses instead of schooling them; with less focus on obedience and more focus on partnership and choices in the training.
Since then, I have helped hundreds of horse owners connect with their horses.
It’s amazing to experience how much horses give back and willingly cooperate when we are present, use our body language and give choices.
When given the chance, horses are capable of controlling themselves and form strong bonds with their owners. They are also capable of using their bodies in a functional way, with hind-leg engagement, without being micromanaged.
This is because the mind of the horse affects how they use their body. When their mind is happy and relaxed, their bodies take a functional shape with natural self-carriage and hind leg engagement, coming from self.
This makes riding a whole lot easier for us and much healthier for the horse.
Best part is you don`t have to be a fit and technically good rider to achieve this. When your horse is relaxed, forward and wants to be where he or she is, riding and handling becomes easy!