Customized Training for Horse and Rider
My name is Lisette Zandvoort and I am owner and founder of LZ Horse Training. Born and raised in The Netherlands, I have always been a horse crazy child and started riding at age 12. Classical trained in dressage and show jumping I took every opportunity in my spare time to ride a horse, riding for friends, farmers and trading stables. More than 16 years ago I travelled to the USA, my goal was to travel for a year, explore new cultures, see new things and learn the basics of the Western Riding disciplines. My passion for horses kept me in Colorado when I had the opportunity to live and work on a horse ranch in Watkins, Colorado, first for room and board and later as assistant trainer and instructor. In 2004 I founded LZ Horse Training and since then I do what I love most… working with and for horses.
After 16 years of living and thriving in Colorado, USA, personal reasons brought me back to The Netherlands in January 2018. I am so excited to bring my passion and knowledge to The Netherlands and help Dutch horses and riders understand each other better and to learn to communicate with each other in a way that creates a partnership that is based upon respect and trust.
I have been influenced by a lot of different people in the horse world. Horsemanship pioneers as Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and Monty Roberts, who have laid the foundation of horsemanship as we know it. Who opened my eyes to another way of working with and teaching horses.
Popular people as Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Buck Brannaman and Mark Rashid with their more modern interpretation of horsemanship who taught me to refine my thought process, to communicate more clearly and showed me the rewards of working with ‘problem’ horses.
Others as Julie Goodnight, Sally Swift, Wendy Murdock and old masters as Walter Zettl who taught me to see how the riders balance and fluidity can influence the horses’, but also how the human body works in a riding position and the different ways riders learn.
Local trainers as Janice Green, Darren Miller and Terry Wagener who took me under their wing and taught me the ‘ropes’ of western and gave me the opportunity to ride some very nice horses.
I have learned a tremendous amount from my students who always challenge me with questions. They taught me and continue to teach me to communicate clearly, to break down complex concepts, maneuvers and exercises but also the mechanics of communicating with horses under saddle and on the ground.
Most of all I have learned from the horses I have worked with. Someone once told me that every horse has a lesson to teach and that has been the truest statement. I have worked with countless horses and I still know them all and remember each lesson. It is the horse that taught me to step up my leadership when they needed my help. It is the horse that taught me to be kind and understanding when they needed me to teach and it is the horse that humbled me when they needed me to learn. It is also the horse that has taught me to teach the rider for the horse will tell me what the rider is doing.
I love everything I do, but if you would ask me to name the 3 things that motivate and drive me I’d say:
Competition Riding. This motivates me to keep building and challenges me to become a better rider and guide for my horse. This only with a soft and supple horse that is not only physically but also emotionally balanced. In my mind this is the only way horses will stay sound under the current requirements of top sport. I have a personal passion for the Arabian horse and have shown many as well as coached rider and horse combinations to competitive level in reining, ranch versatility, trail and western pleasure. In my book I never loose. I either win or learn, and that’s what I try to instill in my students as well.
Train the Trainer. Every rider is the trainer of their own horse as a horse learns something every time it is pulled out of their pasture or stall. Whether it is standing still at the tie rail or performing a sliding stop, my goal is to teach the rider to communicate with their horse in a way that creates a partnership. For me it is important that riders know what to do and how to handle when things don’t go ‘according plan’, to have the knowledge and skill to help the horse when it is scared or troubled will create a safer environment for both horse and rider.
Teach the young horse. The first 90 days of your horse’s career are the most important days in your horse’s life. It lays the foundation for a lifetime regardless of the discipline or job you have in mind for your horse. I have started many horses under saddle and will spend the extra time to make sure that after the basis of trust and respect has been founded, the horse will accept and truly understand what is asked of him. WE choose to have horses in our life so I feel it our responsibility to show the horse how to cope with the ‘human’ world.