My name is Sonja Mandaiker and I lived near Berlin in Germany before I came here. I`m 26 years old and riding horses since I was 7 years old. Growing up in Switzerland I started at a trail riding school and then when we moved to south Germany when I was 10, I did some dressage and show jumping training at our local riding schools. But I always had the feeling that treating horses the way we were instructed to do so, wasn`t right. After a dressage training session I felt I had fought with the horse for the whole time. When I moved to Berlin with my family at the age of 16 I had the possibility to share an ex race horse gelding with a friend. With him I only went for trail rides, learned about Sally Swifts Centered Riding and Linda Tellington-Jones`TTouch and it was nice, but still I was searching for something else. After I finished school I went to Nebraska in the United States to work on a Ranch and learn about western riding. What I didn`t know was that this experience would change everything. They did Parelli Natural Horsemanship with the ranch horses and part of my chores was to study Level 1. I was instantly captivated by PNH and finished my time there with the Level 2 graduation. Sarah assesed my level 2 On Line Audition video (Sonja & Cactus). Back in Berlin I studied Social work and Equine Assisted Therapy, and next to that continued my Natural Horsemanship Journey with my lease horse there. I studied with the home school videos and with former 1* Parelli Instructor Aida Sabri and later with Parelli 3*** Instructor Klaudia Duif. Then in 2016 I did an internship at a therapeutical riding center for 6 months. They use Natural Horsemanship Concepts for training the therapeutic horses and in the therapy as well. It was an interesting experience and there I finished my Level 3 Certificate in the Parelli Program. When I came back to Berlin I had the feeling it was time for my first own horse. Since I helped to start a young horse at my internship, I felt confident to buy a three year old, which I did. Liam Fionn, my first own Pony. I started him under the rider with the Parelli Colt Start DVD`s and the help of Klaudia Duif. He progressed quite well through the Parelli program. We finished Level 4 in 3 savvys already and hope to do the Level 4 Finesse here at Suddene Park Farm.
My lovely Liam Fionn is a 6 yo Connemara Gelding I brought with me from Germany to England. He is so much more connected with me here! We are enjoying our really nice Liberty session here and are now even able to do a canter circling game free on the pasture. Such a lovely Pony. We are also hoping to learn more about Finesse and connecting Parelli Natural Horsemanship with the Art of Riding Dressage or Jumping here with Sarah. And boy we are! Liam and my Finesse has already improved a lot so that we are aiming on re-filming my final Parelli Level 4 Audition soon. We have mainly been playing with a more steady contact and a bit more impulsion in all gaits and the transitions. The lateral work is starting to get really precise and its a lot of fun. Also Liam is starting to show more collection, enabling us to get the Flying Lead Changes more often. They are not consistent yet but he is starting to really understand what I want him to do and he puts so much effort in, bless him! We are definitely learning a lot here at Suddene Park Farm and are enjoying our time here immensely :)
Ludo is at Suddene Park Farm for re-starting. He is 4 years old and a high spirited LBE. I'm used to playing with introverted horses so he is quite a challenge for me and with Sarah`s coaching we are both learning! Now that I know Ludo better its becoming really fun to play with him. We are working on his attitude towards work and introducing him to new challenges like hacking, schooling and obedience :)
Another horse I play with here at Suddene is Blue. He is a 7 yo Irish grey piebald. He is a high spirited RBI. He used to be very very anxious about everything and came here to learn about trust and confidence in the human and human environment. On hacks he used to spook a lot and in the school he was very tense. He has gone through an immense development already before I came here and in my 3 months here he has progressed even more. At the moment my goal with him is to prepare him for bridelless riding. We are playing with having him take on more responsibility and not to loose confidence over it. It's a lot of fun to work with this horse and see him getting more and more confident and relaxed with everything we ask of him.