Msc Politcal Science
Horse Horse Dissections
Equine Anatomy & Biomechanics
Sports Massage & Fascial release
Veterinary assessment & medicine
The Classical Art of Riding
Equine Rehabilitation Training
Growing up in a non-horse family, Thirza had to nurture her hobby all by herself. She started taking traditional lessons at the age of 12. In the weekends, she was allowed to do stable jobs. She always had a great eye for detail and spend all her free tree time with the horses. Her dedication didn't go unnoticed and she was offered to train a sport horse for a private owner. As such, At the age of 16, Thirza started to succesfully compete and added basic teaching to her experience.
By the age of 18, she started studying Political Science at Leiden University, leaving the horses
as just a hobby and pursuing her other great interest: traveling.
Upon returning to The Netherlands, Thirza applied for a student job at a local riding club. Under special cirumstances, Thirza bought her own first horse - Acaliena - as a rescue case.
Acaliena appeared to have many issues and led Thirza to a different path of looking at horses. It was through Acaliena that Thirza found out that traditional riding practices were often harming horses and did not take biomechanics into account.
In a quest to save her horse from slaughter, Thirza spend most of her free time in reading books from the library and googling all kinds of research. In her journey, she came across classical training techniques and pioneers in the field of equine biomechanics research.
Especially the science trigger her academic mind and when she was offered an opportunity for a whole horse dissection, she took it with both hands - despite having zero anatomical knowledge of the horse.
After this experience, the fascination only grew. Thirza applied for studies in the field of equine science and classical horse training which helped her to successfully rehabilitate Acaliena beyond imagination. The horse that was given up by multiple vets became a majestic creature. The feeling of immense change and connection with such a powerful animal was sensational.
Thirza's results and renewed passion didn't go unnoticed which led to more and more people struggling with the same situations asking her
help and advice.
In 2015, she took a leap of faith and started her own business Classical Horse Training. By now, Thirza has helped rehabiliating over more than 50 horses world wide and teaches all over the world including Europe, Asia, Northern America & Australia.
The philosophy of Classical Horse training is defined by looking at the horse from an 'inside-out' perspective as derived from whole horse dissections. As such, Classical Horse Training does not adhere to any training methods, but only to the truth of the horse.
By doing so, the aim of Classical Horse Training is two fold:
Restoring functionality of body and mind
Allowing maximal efficiency with minimal effort
The first aim is toward setting up, managing and executing an effective rehabilitation program in the case of anatomical and/or biomechanical challenges and implications that your horse might be facing. As such, movement can be considered a therapeutical tool for the horse.
In order to provide the best service possible and to be able to 'think outside the box', Thirza continues to conduct scientific research through Whole Horse Dissections to stay on top of the latest developments.
The second aim is toward optimizing efficiency so that a horse can move with minimal effort in balance and self-carriage - or in other words: lightness. At is at this stage where science and art emerge together - a place where horse riding becomes poetry in motion. In the words of Nuno di Oliveira:
‘to practice Equestrian Art is to establish a conversation on a higher level with the horse. A dialogue of courtesy and finesse. It is not the exhibition of a great deal of different movements, but rather the conversation and the horse’s enjoyment during the movements, which calls for comparison with the finest ballet.’‘
Thirza Hendriks is a professional horse trainer and functional biomechanics specialist based in The Netherlands.