This blog is written by Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
Sandra studied Animal Management in The Netherlands, Europe. She graduated in 1999.
The key focus of this Bachelor program is the management of human-animal relationships and animal welfare. Ethics, animal welfare, behaviour and human-animal relationships were key topics of this curriculum, along with biology and management. She continues to study these topics with a focus on the communication between horses and humans.
Giving riding and groundwork lessons and training animals were always Sandra’s biggest passions. After completing her degree she worked as an editor at a publishing house which was specialized in animal books. Sandra has co-written and authored three animal books. She has published several articles about in magazines.
During this time she also continued her education as a teacher and became a certified riding instructor with the Royal Dutch Equestrian Sports Bond. At this point she stopped her full-time job as editor and became a full-time riding instructor and gave private riding lessons and horse training sessions in the Netherlands.
Sandra discovered Centered Riding in 2010 and in 2011 she became a level 1 Centered Riding instructor. She followed riding lessons with her own instructor who taught her the benefits of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques. Sandra uses NLP in her lessons to communicate effectively with her pupils and really knows how to find someone’s goals, divide them into achievable building blocks and motivate both people and horses to achieve them.
Building a lifelong bond with your horse
She loves to help horse enthusiasts improve their relationship with their horse in the saddle and on the ground. She prefers teaching private lessons because she feels riding is also ‘teaching the horse’ at the same time. In private lessons she has more time to explain not only the bio-mechanics of the rider, but also to explain the point of view of the horse and how he learns best (learning theory).
Sandra emigrated in 2012 with her husband, baby, two cats and her horse Kyra to Canada. Kyra was born in a nature reserve in The Netherlands and was feral when Sandra got her. She tamed Kyra with clicker training and started this blog. Initially this blog was to share her training methods and the process of taming her 11 month old filly and has grown into a repository of knowledge.
Now Sandra lives in Burnaby, BC, Vancouver and Kyra is boarded in a nearby stable in Delta. She is still passionate about sharing her knowledge about horse training and riding.