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A lifelong journey
with horses.

Get to know Loes van Dijk


My journey with horses has been a lifelong adventure. I was fortunate to grow up with horses. My parents, brother and I lived on a property with my grandparents, where my grandpa used to have about fifteen horses. Many of them were ones that others had given up on, but he would give them another chance. Getting my very own pony at age five, my grandpa instilled in me a deep love for these magnificent creatures.

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Horse-human connections through a childs' intuition

This early foundation growing up with horses not only led me to an extraordinary bond, but also carried me through tough periods of my youth. My horses were my sanctuary; they supported me through my most vulnerable times, offering comfort without judgment.

Having experienced sleep deprivation for about 12 years, I remember countless afternoons spent dozing off on my horse’s back in the paddock, to wake up hours later and my horse still standing there, patiently waiting. It was in these moments that I discovered just how deep the mutual bond between a horse and human could be — a bond built around two entirely different beings learning to trust and care for one another.

A two-decade journey into Natural Horsemanship

These profound bonds guided me towards the path of Natural Horsemanship, a journey that began 20 years ago when I met Irene Smeets (Kings Crossing & Performance Horsemanship). Many things I did intuitively with my horses began to fall into place. I embarked on a journey to better understand horse behavior and how our energy and body language affected my horses. Back then I was studying at the School of Arts, and in one of my sketchbooks I wrote, ‘I want to become the best human a horse could wish for.’

From that moment, I started taking several lessons a week, attending clinics, reading books, and diving deeply into courses ranging from natural horsemanship to equine psychology. I studied and got inspired by various amazing horse trainers, such as Irene Smeets (Performance Horsemanship), Mark Rachid, Warwick Schiller (Attuned Horsemanship), Elsa Sinclair (Taming Wild) and many others. I've had amazing opportunities to work with a variety of horses, ranging from deeply traumatized to fairly green ones, all of whom I consider my greatest teachers.

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Innerbloom Horsemanship Horse Trainer Holistic Horse Farm South Africa - Loes van Dijk

Blooming from inside out

Over years of dedicated study and practice, I was able to shape my approach to training by focusing on empathy, patience, softness, and a deep respect for the authenticity of the horse. A style that has proven beneficial for traumatized horses, helping them rebuild trust and rediscover joy in their lives and relationships with humans. It’s not just about training horses; it’s about fostering a deep connection, that allow horses to feel safe, understood and valued for who they truly are. Being able to express themselves and be confident, even when facing challenges.

This approach has also shown to be remarkably effective with non-traumatized horses. By valuing the horse's authenticity, enabling their self-expression, and ensuring mutual consent, it transforms all interactions into the most natural experiences.

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Innerbloom Horsemanship - Loes van Dijk - Travel - Namibia

A journey of personal growth and professional enrichment

Every experience in life enriches my work with horses. In my daily life, I find delight in appreciating the smallest joys and at the same time I have a never-ending desire for setting things up for adventure and new experiences. 

My studies at School of Arts opened my eyes to see things differently, connect seemingly unrelated dots and intrigued me with the search for identity and authenticity. Training for my Private Pilot License, guided by a former F-16 fighter pilot have taught me the importance of trust, expanding comfort zones and the deep understanding and awareness of confidence. All things I do and experience have provided me with valuable perspectives and skills that I integrate into my work with horses. In my work with horses this leads regularly to new insights. I quickly see which challenges a horse faces and create a tailored approach for each individual horse.

In essence, my journey with horses commits to both personal and professional growth. It's not merely about reaching a destination; it's about a rich tapestry of experiences that reshapes how I explore and connect with the world around me. As a lifelong learner, I am open to new ideas and dedicated to enriching the lives of horses. I contribute to a vision of a world that prioritizes their mental well-being, embodying the belief that every interaction and insight can inspire positive change.

Studies and experiences

Over the last 20 years I've learned and studied from and with great trainers and horses. Underneath you find a highlight of the profounding studies and experiences I participated in.

Freedom Based Training by Taming Wild

2021 – 2023
Attended four four-day Freedom Based Training clinics with Elsa Sinclair – Taming Wild. In 2023, I attended the 10-week online course to deepen my understanding of Freedom Based Training.

Horse Trainer Holistic Horse Farm, South Africa

Worked with the amazing herd of Holistic Horse Farm. In two months, I trained five of their horses, from deeply traumatized to green ones. In my free time, I followed the herd as they roamed freely across their 150 hectares of nature reserve to learn from the herd dynamics.

Trust Technique

The Trust Technique is based on the theory that deepening the bond between people and animals can transform the lives of both. It uses mindfulness and focused presence techniques as a basis for resolving problems and enhancing communication.

Confident Rider by Jane Pike

JoyRide combines biomechanics, movement, and mindset skills with nervous system awareness to create emotional, mental, and physical adaptability & responsiveness, specifically for equestrians. Through JoyRide, I gained more awareness in my own body and the nervous system.

Equine Psychology Diploma

Distinction: 9,4
A course covering ethology, psychology, neuroscience, and the biology of horses. "A magnificent outcome; your answers highlighted your enthusiasm for this subject together with a depth of knowledge of the course. Your results in each assessment were reflective of your hard work. Congratulations, Loes."

Performance Horsemanship Academy

Passed my level 4 Performance Horsemanship Academy with a grade 9 for theory and an 'outstanding' for the practical exam in guiding through groundwork and riding exercises. Examined by Gerda Vis.

Calming Signals by Rachael Draaisma

Studied Calming Signals from the scientific research Rachael Draaisma conducted. Had a full day live workshop with Rachael Draaisma about her study, showing videos and sharing her knowledge.

Attuned Horsemanship by Warwick Schiller

2016 – 2022
I immersed myself in Warwick Schiller's Attunement Horsemanship principles, focusing intensively on mastering foundational groundwork before progressing to advanced riding exercises. Warwick's methodology has significantly enhanced my problem-solving skills. In 2019, my horse, Cadenza, and I participated in two of Warwick's clinics.

Demo's to inspire and give a glimpse into our training style

2012 – 2023
With my own horses and also with foreign horses, I've given several demos including horsemanship, liberty, and mental training. Performed at various locations like Kings Crossing, Mireille den Hoed, Landgoedfair Mariënwaerdt, and Equiday.

Horse travels and adventures

2009 – PRESENT
In 2009, my childhood dream came true: back to basic trekking through nature. Since then, I've embarked on multiple weekly treks with horses, even fairly untrained ones. These journeys, blending walking, riding, even restarting under saddle and facing various challenges, have enriched my training skills, emphasizing the value of a shared mission.

Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program

2007 – 2016
I've been studying the principles of the Parelli program by reading books, watching the DVDs together with the Pocket Guides, and attending the online course. This study has covered everything from the basics online to liberty and freestyle.

Considering the horse by Mark Rashid

2006 – 2020
Mark Rashid has inspired me right from the start of my horsemanship journey. Reading his books over and over, combined with lessons from his online classrooms, gave me a profound insight into how horses perceive the world, passive leadership, and gaining softness.

Lessons, bootcamps and clinics at Kings Crossing

2006 – 2019
Attended groundwork and riding lessons three times a week, horsemanship courses, clinics, and bootcamps with several horses and different trainers like Katie Richards and Mireille den Hoed. I was lucky to work with a several horses during this period of time: Prince (Arabian), Blue (Paint Horse), Shadow (Quarab), Irene's horse King (Quarter Horse), and my own horse Cadenza (P.R.E.). Working on a deep level with these different personalities gave me the opportunity to learn a variety of approaches and training styles.

Are you ready to transform your relationship with your horse?

Whether you're considering hosting a clinic, aiming to begin or refresh your horse's training, in search of engaging on-the-go instruction, or desiring guided horsemanship adventures, we customize our programs to fit your specific needs.

Embark on a journey of exploration and strengthen your connection with your horse. Reach out to us today to design the ideal journey for you and your equine companion.

Innerbloom Horses
Loes van Dijk
Phone: +316 22 89 20 86
Message me via WhatsApp

Please contact me via e-mail or WhatsApp,
as I am unable to answer calls during horse sessions or clinics.