I was born in the last days of a revolution in Nicaragua to a German mother and a Panamanian father who were political activists, so the desire to change what I render unjust in the world runs deeply in my veins. At age three we moved to Costa Rica where I lived until I was ten. Then we moved to Berlin, Germany where I spent most of my adolescence. Travel is a big part of my life and on one of those journeys I encountered a love that brought me to California. This is home. This is where I am.
My love and adoration for horses began when I was only six months old, on my Grandmother’s family ranch. For many years the equestrian world was my happy place – until the innocence with which I experienced this world was eclipsed by the sad reality that most horses, in the competitive equestrian wold, were not treated according to my standards of well-being. Unable to reconcile the unfair treatment of horses, I parted ways with them for many years. I am unspeakably grateful to be given the opportunity to explore the horse-human connection in a way that is fully aligned with my beliefs.
Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Meditation entered my life in a time when I desperately needed it. I was living with depression, feeling isolated and empty. It was through the wisdom of yoga that I remembered that I had everything I needed to turn my life into the life I wanted. Through yoga and meditation and with the help of my teachers I reconnected to myself, my passion for life. In 2015 I met my teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker and began deepening my studies of Yoga in the lineage of Sri Vidya. I am incredibly grateful to be sharing these empowering tools with others.
When I was twelve years old, fate brought me to my soul mate here on earth, a dapple-grey mare named Annie; it was love at first sight. It was not your typical, pairing – a 12 and 3 year old new to the equestrian world. We had no trainer to tell us how to be together, so instead we learned from each other.
When I was a bit older, I was exposed to more of the “traditional” horse world when I started taking an interest in jumping and dressage. At first, I was looked down upon for my gentle approach to horsemanship and lack of traditional training. Meanwhile, I felt very uncomfortable about what I was seeing at the barn and in lessons. I started to question the methods we were using to control the horses we love and really ask myself: are these horses happy?
I also noticed that most people did not have the relationship they were looking for with their horses. Something was missing, leaving the horses feel unheard and the humans feeling unfulfilled. All of these realizations made me question my own methods with Annie. As I peeled back the layers and started to see the force I was using, I went through a bit of an identity crisis questioning everything and dropping all force looking for another way of relating to horses.
With the guidance of Annie and other horses, my horsemanship transformed into what I now call “Liberty Horsemanship”. I teach lessons, clinics, and workshops to horse lovers looking to deepen their relationship and connection with the horses in their lives, by giving horses choice and voice.
It has been a dream of mine to ask the question: what is the nature of the horse/human relationship when all force, coercion, and desire to use the other is out of the question? I am so grateful for the opportunity to maybe find an answer with the incredible horses at the sanctuary – wild horses who are free to choose and live as they please.