Ever since I was a child, horses have been my passion and in this sense, I followed in my father’s footsteps.
When I was sixteen I entered the show jumping world. When I was a child I dreamed of riding horses in an open plain, galloping in freedom, without a bridle, without a saddle. For this dream, there was no room in the horse world as I knew it back then. The aspect of “winning” and everything around it was more important than the comfort of the horses.
Later Karen, my daughter, confronted me with my dream again. From then on I’ve started to approach horses in a different way. For example, I started riding without a bit. Soon I discovered some essential factors that promote this approach, such as nutrition, an understandable way of communicating and flight- and herd-instinct.
Since 1993 I’ve started to look for answers to questions that arise during my mission to ride horses on a loose rein (read: how to collect the horse bitless).
In 2002 I dared to take the step towards starting my own business in coaching human and horse. I will be forever thankful to Inge and Jos for this. They have supported me during this important step.
In 2007 I have been lucky enough to encounter my current wife, Pascale. She took on the entire administrative part so that I can focus for 100% on everything that is my passion. I am a happy man :-).
Since 2010 I have started to educate myself about the academic art of riding in a bitless way. From this, the BAR cavemore and BAR cavesal have been developed so that I can stay true to my philosophy.
Awareness, knowledge of body language and bitless riding will lead you to the Bitless Art of Riding.
Many behavioral- and health problems are due to the fact that riding horses are born asymmetrically (more bent towards the left or the right). In addition, the point of gravity of the horse is naturally more towards the front legs. Bitless art of riding teaches us using straightness training (lateral flexion) and gymnastic exercises (the side movements) to bend the horse as easily to the left as to the right. The horse is taught in a slow process to move his point of weight towards his hindquarters. The result of this is that he becomes stronger so that he can better carry a rider. The education of a horse (starting from birth) takes on average 12 years. Bitless art of riding is not a discipline in itself. It supports horses in whichever discipline to find a healthy balance between body and mind.
Performing higher-level classical dressage exercises on a bitless, academic and harmonic way is the goal of the Bitless Art of Riding.
For my personal education in the Academic Art of Riding, I go to Bent Branderup in Denmark.
The BAR structure is developed to become aware of movement and intention, your parallel line and knowledge of body language. You ride bitless in the moment.
You will learn to train your horse in a physical as well as in a mental way. This makes sure that a horse develops emotional balance.