Calendar Girl – November!

Another month has passed and the colourful leaves are turning brown.  Autumn starts to make its way towards Winter – the days become shorter and the nights longer.  Woodsmoke fills the air and warming fires will be lit in the grates. Soon the frosty mornings will be with us and the landscape changes once again.

This month I would like to introduce you to Tessa and her Icelandic mare, Freydis.

First of all would you please tell me a little about your horse – breed, age, size?

Freydis (Noble Fairy Goddess) is a 13.3 little Icelandic Mare born on 26th April 2011. Her Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandmother were my last Icelandic’s father and grand mother – what a small world. I felt something was there when we first met on 31st Oct 2016 but didn’t know until now. When she was about 15 months old she ran in a large herd of other Icelandic horses until she was 5 when she started her training for 6 months. After loosing my lovely Ljosvaki (Keeper of the Light) in September 2016 this little one came to me on 4th November –  2 years ago age 5 and half.

First meeting between Tessa and Freydis -31st Oct 2016

And a bit about your own experience with horses?

Horses have always been on my mind and I loved them from an early age. My first ride was when I was 5 in Oxford I then started to talk and dreamt of having my own Morgan horse where I lived in upper New York State. For 15 years I rode at the local riding school on Brownie and then Uncle Fester who I was about to buy but then we moved to Madrid Spain. For several years I just hacked out now and again then after 40 years of not proper riding I acquired Mr. B  (Liosvaki) who made a huge change in my life. What a wonderful journey of learning we had together for 11 and half years. Having your own horse and riding a school horse totally different I learnt and for this I am so grateful to Mr. B. Not only did he help me to understand horses but several young children who had problems, cancer, loosing their father and fear of being who they wanted to be. My journey began again with another beautiful Icy and the wonderful team St.Bernard (home of Elaine Coxon and her great team)  together with the ST programme.

An early photo of Tessa showing her about to go out on her ‘first big hack’!


Why did you start Straightness Training with her?

After acquiring Freydis I felt I had to find something to not only to help us both in our relationship but a very structural program which I could follow and help her to develop in her body, mind and spirit. I had already started ST with my old Icy which I saw the benefit coming but sadly it was only for 6 months. The mini series came out 2017 and so I spent hours watching it and thought yes this will help Freydis. Being 5 gaited she was very unbalanced and wasn’t sure where her feet were and had a huge left shoulder and solid under neck. After enrolling as a mastery student, and doing my first assignment of working out her asymmetry and having lessons with my fabulous ST instructor, I then realised that no way could I ride her straight away. Me being not a good rider and her not knowing what to expect, we would counter balance each so we were both on the right track with the ST Programme.

What changes have you seen in her – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual?

Her ST journey has been an insight in watching her change over the past 2 years. She has become more balance in finding her 5 gaits out in the field, more confident in herself, in dealing with me and other horses around her and wanting to learn more each day, Most of all our relationship has grown to a depth which I am learning to appreciate, love, understand and honour. Learning to trust and communicate with each other, learning to accept what happens as a lesson for us both either being “wow” or “how interesting”.


What changes have you made in yourself?
This beautiful little mare has been teaching me to try and have a strong focus, since both of us have butterfly brains, which sometimes can get us into interesting situations. I have had to dig deep the last few years to change, learning to ground myself and understand situations after it happens to let go but learn from it. I have been trying to forget the
pantomimes which sometimes develop without me knowing which my Little One can read and pick up even before we start working together. I am learning to be in the moment and not in the past or future but together, enjoying the journey.
What do you think has been the biggest benefit of being a Mastery student?

Being a Mastery Student has not only opened so many doors for Little One and myself and was worth the investment. I find it fun, the structural learning modules are so helpful and useful for a dyslectic person like myself, who gets things back to front and you can follow the program all in your own time. The ST people who think the same, are friendly, always there to learn from and new information being launched each week by the wonderful instructors and Marijke herself. My first and second evaluations I found a bit daunting but now I love them as not only do I learn something new for us both, I have found that it is not a competition and no pressure but a wonderful learning project for us to grow on our journey together in becoming united.

Anything else you would like to say?
I would like to say one thing – there is so much more than riding and trying to control a horse – communication, trust, understand and learning that what you get on the ground you can get in the saddle. These wonderful species were here well before us and can teach us so much, so don’t you think we should have the responsibility to be the best for them? So big ‘thank yous’ to ST programme, team St. Bernard and my wonderful little Mare. I will never stop learning.

Many thanks to Tessa for sharing her journey that began with her horse Mr B and now by sheer coincidence she continues on her journey with her lovely mare Freydis – who turns out to be related!   Tessa is one of life’s positive people – and even though she is recovering from a nasty injury with damaged knee due to an accident with her over-enthusiastic dog! – she still remains upbeat and looking for the best out of all situations.  I really enjoy helping you and Freydis on your journey of discoveries and wish you a speedy and full recovery from your injury.  ‘Team St Bernard’ look forward to seeing you again very soon. 


51 thoughts on “Calendar Girl – November!”

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