Karuna Riding, what it means...
Karuna means "Compassion" in Sanskrit.
I strongly believe that as riders we need to feel very deep love and compassion, empathy for our horses. I fall in love with my horses, all the time, and I hope to help other feel the same with their horses.
As people we tend to come to the horse with an agenda, expectations, wants, needs and we forget the horse. Horses live in the here and now. they don't mull over yesterday or anticipate tomorrow. Because of this horses have offer us the wonderful opportunity to meet them in the "here and now". Riding truly can be a form of meditation, for the rider as well as for the horse. Shouldn't the horse feel happier and more comfortable after being ridden than before? If he does not, then from his poit of view, what 's the point of being ridden? I hope my horses can feel as much pleasure and enjoyment working/playing with me as I experience when I am with them... And I hope I can spread those amazing feelings and experiences
No Drama, No Judgment, No Pressure
I am a French Classical Trainer with a non-traditional approach, I am also a British Horse Society, certified instructor. Safety is very important to me.
Discover what French lightness and balance can do for you and your horse. Welcoming all breeds, ages and disciplines.
When we train with compassion, horse and rider can go beyond the human/animal divide and just unite as two sentient beings that found harmony together.
I am French, married to Scott Palmer (a fantastic and very horse supportive guy) and mother of a 13 year old daughter, Celeste, who is as horse crazy as her Mom!!! My family and I relocated to Northern California after spending 12 years in China.
My main interest, as a rider, is in French Classical Dressage which I started studying in France when I was 17, but I do love trail riding and even a bit of jumping here and there when I have the horse for it. I also trained one of my horses, Aladdin, at liberty to become a circus pony and performed a few shows with him.
I have been obsessed with horses all my life (my first drawings were of horses!). I started riding at 5 and my first summer job at 13 was to start young Connemara ponies under saddle for a breeder. I did that 3 or 4 summers, and when the breeder retired, I got another summer job driving tourists in a 2 horse carriage in my hometown of Senlis in Northern France, and taking care of those horses. The rest of the year I was studying law in Paris, which gave me the opportunity to come study in the US where I met my future husband Scott.
While working on my PhD, I started realizing I really did not want to become a lawyer and I wanted to work with horses full time. So I dropped my law studies and started training horses and managing stables full time.
In 2001 Scott, Celeste, and I moved to Hong Kong, where I carried on riding and training as much as I could. I taught a few Pony club camps while there, and took advantage of the strong British Horse Society presence there, to pass my BHS stages I, II, and III riding and horse care exams. I also passed the Practical Teaching Test to become a BHS certified riding teacher. I competed in dressage while there and got selected for the Hong Kong Dressage Team just as we moved to Beijing, China.
In Beijing, I worked for 3 years running the dressage and pony school section of a new and very large barn South of Beijing, the Beijing International Equestrian Club (BIEC). In this place I found and bought Alladin, a young and unbroken Arabian Stallion that I fell in love with. A few years later I got Goya, a then 7 year old Andalusian Stallion who in 6 months of work became a fantastic school master and show horse.
Working with, and keeping horses healthy in China has been quite a challenge. When we got there, there were no real horse vets, or farriers, chiropractors and so on. So to keep my horses healthy I had only myself to rely on. I thus embarked onto a very steep learning curve. I had to learn to trim my horses feet, spent several years studying horse nutrition. Then I formulated and mixed a custom horse mineral and vitamin supplements, so I could balance my horses feed, based on the hay analysis I would get after sending samples of the Chinese hay my horse were eating to an American lab about 2 to 3 times a year.
All this studying paid off. In 12 years of owning and looking after horses in China, none my horses ever coliqued or got lame. The only health issues we ever had, were a couple of colds when the horses had to change stables in the middle of winter (horse vaccines are not readily available in China…). My horses in China have remained maybe the healthiest that I have seen there, and most important, they were very happy campers.
I thrive to have healthy and happy horses and happy riders and owners. Ideally i want my horse to have as much pleasure and fun working with me that I have riding and playing with them. This is what I motivates me to train and teach... I want to pass on the shared happiness and joy that horses and riders can experience while doing dressage.
As Master Dominique Barbier expresses so well, dressage really is a meditation for two!