My Partner in Crime: JB, Cash & Gus
If you ask me who I am…
I will tell you that I’m a SOLUTION FINDER and PUZZLE SOLVER!
Having grown up during World War II, my mom created what I call a 'Disney childhood' for me. I got to eat my favorite chocolate cake in bed, and my mom removed every obstacle, every little pebble, out of my way, so I could have a smooth ride as a kiddo.
This created, for the most part, a blissful childhood for me, and left me with no problem solving skills as an adult - who also could not set any boundaries.
So my life's journey - as you will find out below - gave me no other choice but to solve puzzles and find solutions.
I preferred the ones that were and are built on Connections:
Connections between human and horse & Connections between human and human
My life story has given me amazing learning opportunities to grow, to reach my optimal state of being in each moment of time - and to find solutions when I thought I couldn’t go further.
My never-ending goal is to expand on connections, happiness, peace, love & understanding.
Living life WholeHeartedly to me means: You can CHANGE your relationships for the better (whether it's with your horse or another human), you CAN transform your life - and therefore you WILL have a positive impact on the entire world! Ripple Effect...
Our life can be an amazing journey - no matter what comes our way!
I grew up in Germany as a horse crazy kid in a non-horsey family. Even at an early age, I realized that traditional horsemanship was about dominating the horse instead of finding understanding and lightness in communication. I turned to alternative training methods and volunteered at a horse rescue for several years.
Eventually, I started a small boarding facility, shared my knowledge with others and continued to learn more about what makes horses and humans really tick.
My parents owned and managed one of the largest Jaguar, Honda, Rover and Land Rover car dealerships in Germany. With 50 employees, I was also part of the administration and management with varying responsibilities in accounting, financing, marketing, sales and business planning for eight years until my departure to the United States.
I came here because I had a dream: I wanted to make a positive difference for horses and humans. I also wanted to live closer to nature and in a less crowded environment, with more sunshine!
Along the journey, life threw in a few pebbles, boulders and mountains to climb…
We invested every penny of our savings into buying a working cattle guest ranch in Colorado. Shortly thereafter, our business partner committed fraud, and we lost our total investment, almost a quarter million dollars.
Loosing everything took a toll
However, we decided to stay and try again. We saw a market niche and opened up a computer store. With zero start-up capital, I wrote a business plan, and we were able to borrow $5000 from a local bank. Meanwhile, my passion - horses - had to take a sideline!
I had not planned to work yet again behind a desk (after all, that was one of my reasons to leave Germany)… but our plan succeeded financially. As co-owner and founder of Computer Edge, I was a vital part of achieving profit within the first year, tripling store size within three years and grossing over $800,000 in the 4th year. Our store achieved the status of the only Intel Premier Provider in Southern Colorado, with only about 100 IPP’s in the whole US.
While the business grew, my health failed. I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, an autoimmune dis-ease where the lining of the bladder dissolves. To make a VERY long story KINDA short: While sitting in my doctor’s waiting room, I found Louise Hay’s book “You can Heal your Life”.
My health issues and this book sent me on a quest to fix what needed to be fixed, to learn how to say NO, to find my wholistic balance and - in the end - I found happiness again.
My marriage fell apart, and my horses became my teachers
Relationships that didn’t serve me any longer dissolved, new ones were formed. There were lots of tough lessons I had to learn. I moved from a 3500 sqft home into a 25ft travel trailer. My friends helped me to buy hay so I could keep my horses. I made one step at a time. I dug myself out of the hole and waded through the muck I had created in my life...
Along my way, I had a scary accident with one of my horses. My journey to Living & Riding with Confidence changed my life and created the foundation to what I teach nowadays!
After struggling for years with traditional training methods and advice, more trial and error and several additional scary experiences, I realized that most horsemanship training methods are based on controlling the horse (no matter how kind we do it) - and the thought that we can control a thousand pound animal that does not want to be with us is a bunch of baloney, and no fun for horse and human - plus it's the reason why accidents happen in the first place!
As always, at the end of the tunnel, there was light...
As Brené Brown says so perfectly:
"I became healthier, more joyful, and more grateful than I had ever felt. I felt calmer and grounded, and significantly less anxious… I learned how to worry more about how I felt and less about 'what people might think'."
My horses taught me how to set healthy boundaries, how to create connection versus using control... I began to let go of my need to please, perform and perfect.
I started saying no rather than sure - and being resentful and pissed off later!
While digging deep to heal my life, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor. After 17 weeks of Continued Education, I was listed as one of the top two 2Star Instructors out of about 120 Parelli Professionals.
As a Parelli student for almost two decades and a Parelli Instructor for over three years, I gained a thorough understanding of Humanality, a system that is built on finding your personal strengths by understanding yourself, your horse – and other humans.
After my parents passed away in 2011 and 2012, I took another hard look at what I wanted to achieve in my life. What was it that I wanted to do and be? In the end, I resigned as a Parelli Instructor. I just wanted to be “me”. I wanted to follow my own bliss. No strings attached!
My One Week Program on the Navajo Rez to prevent suicide, drug abuse & domestic violence on the Reservation: Voted best program of the year, by clients and counselors - Cash & JB
Along my journey I met Dr. Patrick Handley, co-creator of Humanality. As psychologist and personality assessment expert, Dr. Handley founded Insight Institute, an organization dedicated to helping people integrate their personality strengths into their work and personal relationships. In 2013, I became certified as INSIGHT INVENTORY® Instructor by Dr. Handley personally and eventually the Administrator and Producer of his Relationship Transformation Online Courses.
Over the next years, I created my own program called GENUINE CONNECTIONS HorseManShip and my Project LIVE & RIDE with CONFIDENCE
After all, how we do anything, we do everything. What shows up in our HorseManShip is part of our EveryDayLife. That's why I created my step-by-step process, the Happy Horse Inventory, and my 'Confidence for Horse & Human' and 'Relationship Restart' Course Programs.
And so I continue to write my story. My latest stop is in Southern Arizona where I bought my SoulFire Farm, an old irrigated homestead. A green oasis in the desert where I grow a kitchen garden, practice permaculture & sustainable farming and where I host Transformational Retreats for individuals and small groups up to 4 students.
I have learned, lived and laughed my way through my life so far, I have climbed mountains while sometimes scraping my knees and shedding tears in the process, just to get back up and try again. Loving those around me and loving myself while setting healthy boundaries has become an important part of my story.
It’s my love for life and creatures of all kind, including humans, that brought me to wanting to make a difference for horses and humans alike. It’s my story that has enabled me to become a solution finder & puzzle solver.
I have been there. I’ve done it. If I can do it, so can you AND: I am here for YOU!
Finding Solutions is my Business… Teaching HorseManShip and EveryDay Life Skills is my Passion. Helping this world become a better place for all living beings is my MISSION by helping YOU to transform YOUR life and relationships to what you’ve always dreamed about...
It's a ripple effect... and so it is!
Much love to you and yours,
because LOVE makes everything better,
including our HorseManShip.
Providing Positive Solutions
for Humans & Horses