How Kristien Became a Horse Trainer And Traveling Trail Guide
Kristien is a multi-passionate woman with a bachelor degree in Psychology and a master in Theatre and Film. She first started...
Kristien is a multi-passionate woman with a bachelor degree in Psychology and a master in Theatre and Film. She first started out working in marketing and PR and later decided to specialize in fashion. Although Kristien seemed to follow her interests and come across engaging opportunities; she soon realized being stuck in an office all day staring at a computer screen wasn’t for her.
To find a job to match her talents turned out to be a challenge. Something always felt a bit off. That’s when I met Kristien. I’d coached Kristien’s sister, and after a successful coaching series with her she asked me if I could coach her sister.
Strengthened by the support of coaching Kristien realized her childhood dream of working with horses and being in touch with Nature was still very much alive. By the end of her 3 months of coaching she secured her first job as a horse trail guide, and was off to live out her life’s adventure.
Today, Kristien has two magnificent experiences under her belt, respectively in Hungary and South Africa, both working as a Trail Guide with horses. Soon she’s headed for Portugal where she’ll be working with Lusitanos, a proud Portuguese breed of horses.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
Life works in strange ways; you grow up and all kinds of things become important that weren’t before: what others think, what’s cool (especially when puberty kicks in), (first) love … Those things can easily side-track you from what you really want and soon I found myself lost and trying all kinds of studies and career choices that didn’t seem to fulfill me. I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted anymore. I pursued different things and lost my calling.
Finally I met you; in my opinion at the perfect time. I knew something had to give and I was open to receive the help that I knew I somehow (despite all of my enthusiasm) needed. What I truly craved for was someone who told me it was OK to change direction, to dig deep and disregard what all others desired of me and most of all to have someone by my side who believed in me.
It was only then that I could realize what my big dream was: working with horses and living an adventurous life.
Did you always had this dream?
Since I was young I just loved Nature, animals in particular. It was my escape from the human world, going into the woods and discovering the magical realm that lies beyond. I always felt that connection to Nature but that didn’t mean I listened to my gut feeling.
What was one of the first thing you did to get you started?
A life changer was the reading and workbook material you recommended to me.
When I started my sessions with you I wanted to start my own styling business – believe it or not. What the material did for me was to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do with my life. I was taken back to my childhood, I had to dig deep and think about my own style and what truly makes me happy in life.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
What’s still a major hurdle, is the opinion of others. Let’s face it, 90% of the people who surround us lead traditional lives. When someone suddenly breaks out of the regular way of doing things people take notice and will have an opinion about it.
Reactions I faced for example were: ‘Oh poor girl, she’s still finding her way, she’ll realize how life works eventually’. Also within my family it was hard to be taken seriously. That being said, I couldn’t have undertaken this journey without their love and support. In general though, it seems that whenever you take a different path, you’ll have to find a way to prove yourself even more.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
The only regret I have is not doing this earlier!
Sometimes I wonder: what would my life have been like if I followed my true passion earlier? How much further would I have been reaching my goals? Of course I realise a lot of things happen for a reason and my guess is I probably wasn’t ready yet and still had some lessons to learn.
My life has always been interesting so I can’t complain too much but I do feel everything makes more sense now I know what I’m working towards. So my advice is don’t let your life drag on, let it take the right direction in which everything naturally flows!
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
Absolutely … NOT! And thank goodness for that, it’s so much fun to keep on learning and growing. It will take time but time I have. As they say, it’s all about the process.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
An open mind, can do attitude, and the energy and willingness to change my life. Career coaching sessions with you, and the support of (a) special someone(s).
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Don’t be afraid when your goal starts to change over time. At first I wanted my experience to be all about Natural Horsemanship. But when I was at a horse festival in Portugal I suddenly thought: wow, this is where I want to be, these are the majestic horses I want to work with, this is the culture I want to experience … and when suddenly the opportunity arose, I simply took it. Although it wasn’t what I initially saw for myself.
Be ready to be flexible with your dreams. Before you know it your initial dream will come knocking at the door again and it all will seem to intertwine naturally.
More about Kristien
Kristien is a multi-passionate horse trainer and traveling trail guide with a Natural Horsemanship perspective. Her next stop is Portugal, but who knows where her big dreams will lead her next?
You can follow Kristien’s travels, and adventures on Instagram @fiery_manes
Kristien’s favorite quote:
People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages.
– Alain de Botton
Kristien’s big dream for the world:
For horses to be treated as the magnificent creatures they are, with the respect they deserve. For animals in general to not be used for our never ending need of consumption anymore – I’m aiming to become a vegetarian. For people to believe in themselves and others instead of a higher power.
And of course … world peace ;)!
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.