My parents, who were both riders, were always looking for new opportunities to learn. I thus grew up around horses in a world that was entirely devoted to them. From a very early age, I met riders of various schools, including the Cadre Noir in Saumur, and Master Nuno Oliveira from 1966.
I was eight when I first rode at Nuno Oliveira’s place in Portugal. I then attended all the clinics he held at our place twice a year until he died in 1989. Whenever possible, I also rode at his place in Avessada in Portugal.
When I was young, I was involved in the breaking and training of the young horses of our breeding. While I was in Columbia from 1987 to 1992, I broke and trained the horses of a bullfighting rider, which gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with the training of this art. I also taught there.
When I came back to Belgium, I carried on teaching and working horses looking for high quality riding characterized by harmony between horse and rider, straightness, fluid movements, correct requests, beauty of gesture:
• Mental and physical relaxation, first condition for a work done with respect for horses
• Quest for balance and lightness through progressive loosening exercises,
• Quest for forward movement while respecting the natural moves of each horse,
• Combination of rigor in carrying out exercises and quest for feeling
Horses of all ages moving freely, watching them, getting them used to man, then to the saddle, being physically and mentally bond, these are the strong feelings that marked my childhood.
Largely self-taught until I was 15, I then joined a sport-study section in horse-riding. In addition to the practice of numerous equestrian disciplines such as dressage, jumping, vaulting, liberty training, carriage driving, emphasis was laid on horse show. In this context, students could combine sport, artistic expression and complicity with their horse.
After I completed my Bachelor’s degree (section S), I joined in 2010 the CAVALIA ODYSSEO horse show. My relationship with horses is more intense. Every day, I observe and learn more about equestrian technique, sensations and the behavior of this animal that is wild by nature and with whom I am now sharing an extraordinary experience. A gesture is no longer a simple body movement, but a thought that is transformed. A horse shines on the stage when it is free, when its rider knows how to demand in a relaxed, correct and respectful manner.
After 5 years and more than 700 shows, life put Catherine LAURENTY on my way. This unhoped-for meeting has enabled me to answer questions I had been asking myself for a long time, new sensations, the feeling of not betraying horses.
The idea of creating a multidisciplinary school oriented towards Equestrian Arts, accessible from a very early age, came out. I followed a riding instructor course to orientate my teaching methods towards a global approach of the horse, the rider and horse riding, respect for self and others, accountability to horses, fluency that requires a certain level of control over the body and emotions…