“I always had a dream to be a horse trainer and help special horses in need,” Feather Light Academy founder Yvet Blokesch tells POLO LADY. Being around horses all her life, the passion and personal connection with these four-legged beasts have led her to an advocacy that assists fellow horse lovers in understanding their string better.
Before Yvet built her online empire with a number of clientele from all over the world, the affinity for horses has always been with her since her early days. “Ever since I was little, something attracted me to horses. I always felt a strong love for the special ones—the ones that nobody seemed to like because they were a bit too difficult to handle. I could sit for hours just watching them,” the horse trainer recalls.
It was at age five, during one of her one-evening-per-week attendance in a riding school, where she met the horse that changed her life. The pony is named Hiawatha, with brown painted color, whom she isn’t seeing just to ride her, but just to spend time with her. It’s the beginning of a love affair.
Fast forward to adulthood and living on her own, Yvet finally bought her first horse—Mella, two years old and, in her words, difficult to handle. “But I loved her,” she says.
Mella was quite a special horse, and when people started to see how they grew together, people began approaching her to ask for her help with their horses. “This grew out into me being a horse trainer helping 20 horses a day. The stable became full, and the waiting list for horses in training grew longer and longer, up to the point that I closed the waiting list. There were still lots of horses who needed to be helped, and since a lot of their issues come from being misunderstood by people, I started developing an online academy,” Yvet explains.
That’s how Feather Light Academy was born. She created subscriptions where members can gain access to stock as well as new videos on the platform. Providing training, inspiration, and other horse-related learning, Yvet publishes content that offers various approaches for every kind of horse.
“I offer many different courses. It all starts with the core elements of my training, in which I explain and show you all about the things I value and teach the basic understandings someone needs to be able to follow the courses. From that, you can choose to start with any course you’d like—from starting young horses under the saddle to problem-solving cases, groundwork, riding, trailer loading, liberty training, individual cases to watching me help members with the issues they face with their horses,” the horse whisperer relates.
Taking everything from her years of coaching, we asked her for some advice on how to handle a horse properly—and Yvet offered some great conditioning wisdom that you can apply to build your relationship further with your partner.
1. Be good and live good. “Working with horses is a lifestyle; they will get the best out of you if you let them. To be good with our horses, we need to be good in life. We need to value them for who they are and respect their feelings. As good mentors, it is our responsibility to let them fall in love with the things we ask from them. We need to give them a feeling of security, proudness, and happiness in life to become the best version of themselves if they want to. And I believe horses are never ‘naughty,’ as a lot of people like to say. We just have to find another way to ask the question more understandable. Again, that comes down to working on ourselves instead of working on our horses.”
2. Do the groundwork. “By starting on the ground, you have a chance to explain and introduce yourself in a way the horse can understand. Many people think of groundwork as individual exercises, and unfortunately, they don’t really understand its essence. We always need to keep in mind that we are not teaching our horses exercises of groundwork, but we’re teaching them principles. We’re teaching them valuable lessons of life. We’re teaching them how to get their mindset right, and we achieve that by finding a way to communicate. It could be through the groundwork or exercises, but we only do it to find a way to explain ourselves and to develop a true connection. So NEVER do groundwork without focusing on that true connection from which you can both grow in life. This way is much more difficult because it is never the same for any horse, but it is the only way your groundwork exercises can be of use for the future you can have together.”
3. Be in sync. “Go with the horse. Go with his movement, be free in your own body to allow the horse to be free as well. What I always like to keep in mind is to feel if the thing that I am doing would be possible if I let go of all the reins. Only then, I feel it is getting closer to something I would love it to be.”
Learn more about Feather Light Academy at featherlightacademy.com.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.