Christa enjoys working with horses of all levels to develop their confidence, fitness, balance and their passion for their job through classical ideas and the use of balance and signal as used in the traditions of Californio Bridlehorse development.
She also finds great joy in helping owners to develop this in their own horses, for themselves through her own brand of horsemanship she calls Horsemanship from the Heart.
Book a consultation with Christa to find out how she can help you to achieve your goals with your horse today!
Founder/Owner - Horsemanship from the Heart
CHA Certified Equine Facility Manager: Level 4
CHA Certified Instructor: Level 3 Western Horsemanship
CHA Certified Instructor: Level 1 English Horsemanship
Working with horses was not something that Christa ever decided to do. It wasn't really a choice but more like her life's path. For as long as she can remember, she's felt drawn to the beauty, power and grace of the horse, starting out at just 3 or 4 years old. Once she got a taste for time in the saddle, that was it, she was hooked for life!
As a young woman, Christa volunteered during the summers, as a wrangler at a ranch camp in Alberta, playing the part of Riding Director, Wrangler and Trail Guide. It was there that she acquired many of her back country skills and gained experience packing and running large groups as well as managing a large herd. It was also where she started her first horse at the age of 14, a skill that would become a passion in the years to come.
Colt starting and problem solving with challenging horses has been a big part of Christa's work over the past two decades and something she still enjoys, but her true passion has become learning and sharing what she can about the Old Californio system of hackamore and bridle horse development. She continues her education by working with and learning from master horsemen such as Mark Rashid, Daryl Gibb, Bruce Sandifer, Stefanie Travers and Miles Kingdon as often as possible.
Christa also learns and studies the works of the late greats like Alois Podhajsky, Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance as well as being an anatomy and bio-mechanics junkie, reading and learning as much as she can about how the horse's mind and body works. She looks forward to any and all opportunities to further her knowledge and develop her skills.
This led her to the study of both barefoot trimming and the art of Tai Chi. since 2009, Christa has been responsible for the hoof care of The Rock'n Star's herd as well as a number of privately owned horses. This responsibility has helped her to gain even more knowledge about how horses move and what they need and has led to her role as the Hoof Care and Saddle Fit instructor for Kheiron Collage of Equine Therapy.
Through her study of Martial Arts, Christa has used Tai Chi to develop her own self control, feel, balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. She's gained skills in Qi Gong, Chi Coil, Tai Chi, Tai Chi Chuan and a number of weapons forms such as Broad Sword, Long Sword, and Staff. She feels that these skills have helped her in her horsemanship exponentially.
Christa, also an author, has written H.E.A.R.T., A Mindful Collection Vol 1 and A Mindful Collection: A Little Further Down the Trail; three books that offer readers a glimpse at both her experience and her perspective around working with horses of all levels and backgrounds. She has also been contributing a monthly article to Saddle Up magazine since 2012.
Her goal is to facilitate horses and humans developing the same kind of relationships, based on trust, respect, compassion and fun that she's developed with so many of her own amazing equine teachers using her own unique perspectives on horsemanship, a perspective she calls Horsemanship from the Heart.
What is Horsemanship from the Heart?
In 2009, with the help and inspiration of Christa's two most influential horses, a gelding named Oliver and a mare named Carlotta, Christa developed the following guiding principles, which she teaches and works from every time she's working with a horse:
Have respect for your horse as an individual with a right to comfort, security and to be heard.
Every idea must be presented with patience and in a way your horse can understand.
Accept every attempt given and reward their efforts
Remember that every horse learns at their own rate.
Trust your instincts and stay sensitive to your horses level of stress and ability to learn.