The structure of our online academy

This academy is a collection of 50 years of working with horses. From being a little cowboy and playing Indian with the ponies of my dad to show jumping (15 years), to horsemanship (15 years) and to the Academic Art of Riding (10 years). From 1993 bitless riding has become a conscious choice. Partly out of respect for the horse, and partly because I see it as an extra challenge in reaching the highest level in the art of riding with a horse. Togetherness, communication, refinement and a bigger awareness in everything we do. For all of this we have developed a logical structure that everyone can make their own in his own way. Horse riding is to me to master everything that a horse likes and that makes a horse better. This everything we will show in word and video in this academy. We wish you a lot of learning pleasure!

Step 1: First groundwork & First riding

Recognise your horse. Who are you? Being together. Who are you in the eyes of your horse and who is the horse in your eyes?
When are you a friend?
When are you a caregiver?
When are you a trainer?
When are you a rider?
There has to be a good balance between for friendship and sympathy can be kept towards each other.

Meet your horse. Nothing is obliged, you don’t expect anything from your horse and your horse doesn’t expect anything of you. And knowing that your horse doesn’t expect anything from you is something you need to learn to see and feel. It is a state that you reach together if you do it on a regular basis and that is created when there is a balance between “being together” and “doing things together”.
There are different types of meetings, but the meeting that I’m talking about is a meeting of friendship. You are happy to see each other, but you don’t have expectations. You let it come over you. You give each other the space that is necessary.
You observe. You have empathy. You are open and you allow. You meet each other. You experience. You find each other.

Step 2: Basic groundwork & Basic riding

You teach your horse step-by-step and in a logical manner a way of communicating using different techniques. Techniques that are meant to create an emotional and mental basis to work with your horse. Your relationship is the foundation and needs to remain the most important element throughout the rest of the education. This ensures that your horse becomes and remains a calm, focused and happy horse. They are not about shaping the spine, but rather about stimulating the horse in its natural gaits - walk, trot and canter.
This set of techniques will first be taught from the ground and after your horse understands them, can be taught in riding. In that way we can build a communication based on mutual trust.
We take you through the elementary phase in which the following steps will be explained:
In the elementary phase the rider aids are taught separately so that the horse does not get confused. The primary aid is body language. The secondary aids are the physical aids which we have to refine.
Basic riding: how can I obtain a more refined control over the head, the forehand, the hindquarters and the bending.

  • Basic communication
  • Desensitisation
  • The necessary practical exercises
  • The rider aids
  • Basic riding

During this step awareness is growing. You become the teacher of your horse. But what kind of a teacher?

  • You will reach a better awareness
  • You will improve your timing
  • You will be able to refine
  • You will learn to be and/or stay consequent
  • You will be dedicated
  • You will learn to build up a realistic control

In your training sessions you will be aware of

  • How do I feel?
  • How is my horse feeling?
  • Can we both stay focused?
  • Are my wishes towards my horse realistic?

Step 3: Gymnastic groundwork & Gymnastic riding

The gymnastic phase consists of helping your horse to become more straight and supple. This phase consists of teaching your horse the six side movements in groundwork, handwork and advanced lunging, of course in different gaits.
These six side movements are:

  • Bended straight
  • Shoulder in
  • Quarter in
  • Traversale
  • Pirouette
  • Renvers

We work on the lateral and horizontal development of the muscles. A rounded topline. The horse becomes more beautiful, strong, elegant and proud.
After reaching this stage of development you'll feel that your horse starts to offer collection by itself. When you yourself are falling in love with collection you can move towards step 4, but know that also without collection you can keep your horse in a healthy state.

Step 4: Collected groundwork & Collected riding

In the collected phase you will help your horse to develop strength and power so that your horse can carry you. School walk, school trot and school canter are explained in this video series as well as how to teach your horse these exercises. When is your horse ready for it? And how often should you train these elements? These are questions that will be discussed as well.

It is important to understand that in order to execute these movements, a horse needs training and time. When riding bitless, a horse is able to tell you whether or not he is ready for it. You have to listen to your horse. When he’s ready, he will start offering it to you from the gymnastic work.

“It’s better to go slow and together, than fast and far away from each other"

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Contact details



De Bornehoeve | Asserweg 33 | B-3690 Zutendaal
Phone number: +32 478 36 24 45
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