“After gaining my MA in the social sciences (Cultural Anthropology, Development Sociology, Leiden University) back in 2015, I was very “booksmart”. I had studied, done research and lived on four continents, and was pursuing a career in the humanitarian and academic world. But I missed horses. Horses had been the most important thing to me as I was growing up, but they hadn’t been a part of my life since I was 21, when I worked on a Caribbean guest ranch as a mounted tourguide.”

“Meanwhile I wasn’t as fit as I would like, and had suffered a herniated disc due to my seated, desk- and computer-oriented, deadline-filled lifestyle. Even though I was only 26, back pain was a daily reality, as was stress. I knew I was completely out-of-touch with my body, and realised that I had some lessons to learn about body-mind balance. I decided I’d take a sabbatical, put the career and the ambition on hold and spend a year outside, with horses, learning about this thing called “natural horsemanship” that I’d always been curious about.”

“Before I knew it I found myself in beautiful Devon, England. This working studentship set off a journey that didn’t stop after a year. Four months in England were followed by over a year apprenticing in Belgium fulltime, then another year parttime. Then, in 2018, I had the opportunity to study under Mindy Bower, a well-respected horsewoman based in Colorado, and a direct student of Ray Hunt.”

“The months of mentorship and life on the ranch, immersing myself completely in the horsemanship principles as first brought to the public by Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt and the Dorrances, were instrumental in developing my horsemanship further, and helped me realise that the sabbatical wasn’t a sabbatical anymore, but had become a way of life which had grown on me, and which I wasn’t going to give up. This was when I decided I’d commit to horsemanship professionally. I went back to Mindy’s Uh Oh Ranch for another stretch of training in 2019. Currently I divide my time between Estonia, where I am starting untouched horses born in the forest, and Belgium/the Netherlands, to teach horsemanship courses. A unique combination of progressing my own horsemanship and working with both humans & horses.”

Mandy is a young horse educator. She focuses on starting horses under saddle, helping horses with problems, and educating owners about horsemanship. She is a certified Horsemanship Instructor and Centered Riding Instructor. She commits to her own further education and development by riding under well-known horsemen and –women, auditing and riding in a variety of clinics every year. Want to know more? Click here for Mandy’s ‘Horsemanship CV.


Interviews in the Belgian CAP Magazine. You can access the articles here and here.

Interview in Hoefslag Magazine 2020, accessible here.

Interview in Hoefslag Magazine 2021, accessible here.

Mandy regularly blogs for the American Eclectic Horseman Magazine. You can read some of her articles here!


Mandy’s latest Eclectic Horseman article “Lessons from 100 Untouched Horses” is available here.