Covered rides in Manege Zonder Drembels: ‘We now offer over 110 rides per week’


Bencom The sun is high over Bennekomse Manege without thresholds. In the spacious Paddock Paradise, the horses enjoy the peace and freedom that they are offered there. Horses also radiate this calm when harnessed to ride in covered beds, where people with severe multiple disabilities can relax and enjoy the horses and their movements while riding. Martine Liefstingh, who has worked for many years at Manege Zonder Drempels, offers insight into the ins and outs of a covered bed ride.

by Dick Martins

Our horses are the core of the riding school. The essence is the relationship between horses and those lying on the hood. Horses must be able to do this both physically and mentally. My first job here was to train horses. I had specific ideas about how to train horses and management took care of that as well.”

Martin’s love for horses was spoon-fed. My mother used to talk about “golden horses with a blond man”. Over 40 years ago I bought my first horse (Icelandic) and then, when we moved to Bennekom, KWPN horses (Koninklijk Warmblood Paard Nederland) and Tinker were added for my mom. I have always been very respectful of horses and find the relationship between my horses and myself important: I want them to enjoy doing something together. This is how my research on “How you can treat horses with respect in a different way” began.

It is mainly worked with Tinkers, because they often have calm personalities, a wide back and a calm stride

open minded “I came across Parelli Natural Horsemanship, which is a suitable and effective equine training method based on the natural behavior of horses,” continues Liefstingh. , you learn to communicate better with the horse, in the “horse language”, where the mental part is very important. Even though I chose Parelli at the time, I think I should always keep an “open mind”. It’s good to be open to other ideas and to think differently. As mentioned earlier, horses in an equestrian center have an essential function and high demands are placed on them. Walking under a canopy bed is very unnatural for a horse, especially when you realize that horses naturally suffer from claustrophobia. They are completely locked into such a framework. Our job is to teach them that this is a beautiful place to sink in.”

exercise This also makes the Martine a nice bridge for horse training. “I am responsible for ensuring that horses are physically and mentally able to walk under the hood in a comfortable and safe way. We want our horses to be 100 percent reliable and enjoy their work, because we demand a lot from them. There are weak people on the hood bed, so we want it to be a bed. The hood is comfortable and safe for them. So a lot of time is spent training the horses.”

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Enjoying horses in Manege without thresholds. – Emile Nejs

“We buy our horses when they are two or three years old and it takes two years to train them. The work is mainly done with Tinkers, because they often have calm personalities, a wide back and a calm stride. This is necessary, because everything happens with us. Horses here have a beautiful Paddock Paradise, where they can Being “ordinary horses.” They live together in a stable herd and have plenty of space. We try to make their lives as enjoyable as possible. “We” are not only the permanent staff of Manege, but also more than 50 volunteers, most of whom are committed to very diverse areas of expertise for years. Without their efforts, the riding school’s social contribution would be impossible.”

In addition to fun and relaxation, riding in a covered bed improves various bodily functions. It is good for children and adults

natural massage The canopy bed is a frame on wheels, a cloth is stretched on the backs of the horses, on which customers lie. Then they receive some kind of natural massage and move to the rhythm of the horses. “They feel every movement. This movement and the warmth of the horses provides relaxation in their bodies,” continues Leifsting. “In addition to having fun and relaxing, driving on a covered bed improves various bodily functions. It is good for children and adults.”

This philosophy is then put into practice when the first “Wednesday Afternoon Tours” are about to begin. The customers on the hooded bed and Martin and her colleagues are clearly enjoying it. The smile on everyone’s face is the remarkable evidence. It is a weekly outing for a number of clients. “When others are involved in football and gymnastics, this target group will be riding covered beds, which are both recreational and therapeutic. It is also good for parents and supervisors to meet each other.”

Some families combine a visit with a stay in one of the four guest houses. “The Manege name Zonder Drempels means that we also make it possible to offer a covered bed ride without a financial limit,” explains its chairperson, Marijke te Ronde. Therefore the rides are affordable. At €13, this is well below the cost price. We do not receive any structural subsidies, which is why we are making extensive efforts to continue to make tilting possible by recruiting gifts and donations.”

open day Manege Zonder Drempels has been around for over 35 years now. “This happy fact will not go unnoticed,” adds Marieke. Save the date, because we’re doing it on a festive open day on Saturday 10th September from 11am-4pm. A unique opportunity for everyone to take a look behind the scenes and celebrate this achievement together. We will keep the special interpretation of the day a secret for a while. We’re really going to “unpack” and “move without thresholds”. I can already tell you that it’s worth coming.”

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