Alexandra grew up in the Caribbean on the little French island of Martinique. For her 5th birthday, she got every girl’s dream, a little white Shetland Pony that lived at home with her. She lived to spend time with her pony and her parents’ horses, and when she wasn’t with them, she was playing pretend horse with her sister.
She knew she wanted a future that revolved around horses and her vision took many different forms over the years: from trick training, to colt starting, to problem solving, to dressage, and so on. She tried pretty much anything she could think of that involved horses.
When she was 18, she traveled to Spain to work on a P.R.E. breeding farm for 4 months starting colts and riding dressage. She also assisted with some breeding. The following year she met Kevin Wescott, a natural horsemanship clinician and friend of Tom Dorrance. She had the opportunity to spend a month with him and his daughter, assisting with clinics on the east coast. While she was studying towards her bachelor’s degree in psychology she started training horses. She felt something was missing so she went searching for more technique. She played with different forms of natural horsemanship, dressage, liberty training and more. In 2009, she spent a month in Denmark with Klaus Hempfling participating in his compact schooling. She realized while there, a missing piece in her search, was personal development, so she took a break from training to explore a more integrated approach of mind and body.
During that sabbatical, she heard about Mark Rashid and had the opportunity to audit one of his clinics. She realized there was more going on than she understood, unsure of what that was. Time passed and she continued with different jobs in the equine field. For a year and a half, she worked at an equine rehabilitation facility. She then did a year long program with Shelley Rosenberg and Linda Kohanov to become a riding focused equine facilitated instructor. She learned to listen to the subtle feedback she was getting from herself and horses and realized she wanted to work with horses again, still unclear of the path.
About 3 1/2 years ago, she audited another Mark Rashid clinic. Again she still had the feeling that there was more to what she was seeing, so she decided to attend as many of his clinics as she could. Through working with Mark and his wife Crissi, Alex found what she was looking for. All this time she had been trying to learn how to help horses change, she now realized that she could change to help horses. She was introduced to Aibado which is Aikido for horsemen, an art which Mark Rashid has developed. It’s a practice of centering, softening, connecting, blending, redirecting, breathing, compassion, being mindful and intentional, and trying to find balance in what we do, which we bring to our work with horses. Learning how to implement those changes is a daily practice.
Alexandra is honored to have been asked, this past summer, by Mark and Crissi, if she wanted to be one of their student instructors. While she continues to learn from horses and people, which she believes will be a lifelong journey, she wants to share with others what she has been learning.