Riding instructor takes a natural approach


Natural horsemanship instructor Brenda Korevaar generally rides her horse Chit Chat bareback and bridle-free.

She and Chit Chat can do anything a saddled and bridled horse and rider can do: jump, hack out - they've even debuted on the hunt field.

It's not so much the lack of bridle and saddle that sets Brenda and her mare apart, she says, but the relationship they have built that allows them to communicate with minimal saddlery and strapping.

Brenda, originally from South Africa, fell in love with horses when she was just 2 years old.

She rode, then showjumped, using traditional English riding techniques until she came to New Zealand and settled in Auckland.

"There, I didn't have horses and I missed them.

"When the chance came up to move to Gisborne and have land and horses again I was delighted."

In Gisborne, Brenda established a horse trekking business and began to teach riding.

Along the way, she also discovered natural horsemanship.

"It was like a breath of fresh air.

"It made so much sense to teach things in a way that the horse understands.

"I became passionate about it, especially when I found I could now teach my horses something in a fraction of the time it took using the old methods I used to use.

"I became a bit too passionate at times," she laughs.

"I had to bite my tongue sometimes because I wanted to tell other riders and trainers 'you should be doing it this way' and I must have come across as pushy!"

So Brenda says she decided she would let her actions and her horses' actions speak for themselves.

She qualified as a natural horsemanship instructor six months ago, began her business Equi-u & Us Ltd and began to hold demonstrations.

"The response has been great. People come along because they are curious or sceptical and we show them what we do. Online work, liberty, freestyle riding and 'imaginative' float loading.

"Most people are keen to learn more and many sign up for a clinic."

Brenda stresses that people from all riding disciplines can benefit from natural horsemanship - it's not just bitless and bareback, nor it it solely for Western riders.

"Everyone can benefit from having a better relationship with their horse, from the ground up.

"That's where we start, with exercises on the ground, because if your horse doesn't listen to you when you are on the ground there's little chance of things improving once you are on board.

"I see people's horse walk all over them and I wonder how do you ride that?"APN News & Media

- Hamilton News

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