Our Natural Horsemanship Instructor

One beautiful morning, Mareike showed up at the establo with her dog, Captain, and ESR has been a smoother-running and happier place ever since. Within moments of meeting Mareike, her love for horses – and all animals – is apparent, as is her kind and patient manner toward her fellow humans.

Although she was new to the establo, Mareike was by no means a newcomer to riding or horsemanship. From the time her parents first put her on a horse in early childhood, Mareike was hooked. Staring her horse activities mainly in vaulting (and proceeding this sport for 10 years), she soon trained in several styles of riding, including English, “Native American” (after Markus and Andrea Eschbach), Western, École de Légèreté, Centered Riding, Trick riding, and Parelli. As her interest in horsemanship deepened, Mareike realized she wanted different, more organic ways to engage with horses. Reading a book about Monty Roberts helped her realize that there were, indeed, other ways.

As Brenda’s assistant at ESR, Mareike plays many vital roles in the day-to-day operations of running both the front and back ends of the establo. Mareike works closely with our guests and work-trade interns, teaching ground games, overseeing riding lessons, and leading trail rides. She manages much of the care of our horses, feeding the animals, giving them attention and care, and keeping them fit. Mareike was instrumental in starting our youngest horse, Neytiri. Mareike also helps with various other business-related goings-on, like answering our phone, writing posts for our blog, helping with the website, internet presence and social media. She is our secret ingredient!

Experience and Training

Mareike came to ESR with an impressive history of training and work experience. Some of the highlights of her curriculum vitae (CV) include:

  • Finca Verde (Tenerife) clinics in Natural Horsemanship with Markus and Andrea Eschbach
  • Finca Verde internship (Tenerife), where she helped with classes, groundwork, and the riding and ground work of new rescue horses
  • Several internships at Tinkerhof (Switzerland), where she deepened her understanding of Natural Horsemanship, started young Gypsy Vanner horses, and worked with “problem horses”
  • Internship at Eschbach Horsemanship (Switzerland) where Mareike taught children and teenagers basic games on lead rope and in the roundpen during clinics
  • Internship at Peter Pfister und Steffi Schade (Germany), during which time Mareike learned other natural horsemanship styles, liberty, circus tricks, Centered Riding, Legerete, and trick riding
  • Work exchange at Finca Soley (Costa Rica), organizing the barn, leading trail rides, and helping with natural horsemanship classes

Mareike also possesses formal education and training in equine-related topics. After completing four semesters of Horse Management at CAH Dronten (Netherlands), Mareike completed a Bachelor’s degree in Horse Economy at HfWU Nürtingen (Germany). Her Bachelor’s thesis, which earned the highest marks possible, focused on the training of and performance diagnostics in endurance horses. Throughout her grade school and university years, Mareike worked and volunteered at a therapy barn (Reiterhof Kinderhilfe E.V. in Ludwigshafen, Germany), and during her time in the Netherlands she did an internship semester at Veldstar Stables (Netherlands) to get a better insight into the dressage, jumping and trading sector.

Languages

  • German – fluent in spoken and written (native speaker)
  • English – fluent in spoken and written
  • Dutch – fluent in spoken and written
  • Spanish – currently practicing spoken and written language in Costa Rica
  • French – second foreign language learned at school
  • Latin – attended a one-year long class at school as a third language
  • Horse – work in progress

Influences

Mareike’s horsemanship has been influenced by (in chronological order):
The horses she has spent time with, Monty Roberts, Andrea and Markus Eschbach, Michael Geitner, Rick Gore, Mark Rashid, Peter and Meggi Pfister, Steffi and Christoph Schade, Philippe Karl, Parelli, Brenda Nasse

Her main influences today include:
The horses she has spent time with, Eschbach Horsemanship, Peter Pfister and Steffi Schade, Parelli, and Brenda.

A note from Captain

This is the Captain speaking.
For research purposes the Captain would like to provide you with random information about my human.
It be very important to know, that her favourite way of walking tends to be rather silly. Don’t be worried like me. My human is not limping. Just enjoys a very inefficient way of walking. They call them the Silly-Walk and the Scotsman’s Walk.
My human calls me many, many names. But it really is just Captain. Captain Jane T. Kirk… And potatoe.
Neytiri claims that she is a popsicle.
Whereas Brenda fondly referres to her as Dr. Who. I don’t know what that means. I should have a doctor on my ship.
She likes sharkies. I have never seen them. Fishies they are, she says. Probably like our Odo. Very cute. Probably tasty.
Has many not so secret talents. Like making stranges noises and faces. Is confusing at times. Her hand can do horsey dressage and jumping on the table. Much saver than climbing on a real horse, me thinks.
She climbed on Neytiri’s back via an old tv on their first ride out.

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