Testimonials

Testimonials

I would like to thank for a lovely break.When i arrived I had a basic riding skill in trotting and cantering after my time with you I had a much deeper understanding of the horses movements and my own.I found you to be a patient and pleasant teacher you who treats her animals and guests very well , I feel I am a much better rider now as you filled in the gaps on what I already knew.                            All the best and see you again soon.                       Karl Dempsey, Ireland June 2013

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Karl Dempsey, | June 2013

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I spent a wonderful time at Centro Ecuestre La Luz. Susan was a calm, patient and understanding teacher to me, she was any time present and aware of the moment. The liberty work was a surprising experience for me, I haven’t done it before and thought that it must be quite difficult to learn. I had the feeling that there are not so many things to learn about it (at least not for starting to do it), the essence for me was: how do I feel in this situation, do I trust myself, is my heart open to the horse, am I completely aware, present, motivated and focused in this moment. I experienced that well-known saying that horses are a mirror to yourself.   In the riding lessons Susan gave me great input about how to work on my body posture and I have an idea now about how fluent and joyful riding can be. The key for me is to let go, to relax, to keep breathing and then the door opens for feeling a connection with the horse and responding to each other begins. Susan created a relaxed, open and entirely positive (learning) atmosphere.   Susan and her family made me feel very welcomed and accepted at their place which is situated in an awesome beautiful nature and stillness. The room in which I stayed was very beautiful and cosy, as well as the “salita”, a kind of living room where you can prepare your breakfast (and meals if you wish). The meals offered by Alex and Paul are so very delicious.   I also really enjoyed to just BE there, without doing anything, sitting on the veranda, watching the horses and dogs. It is a wonderful place for relaxing and connecting with yourself, the horses and nature.   I am very much looking forward to my next stay there!   Annabell, May 2013

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Annabel Ruczka, | May 2013

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The combination of beautiful Spanish horses, simple , well thought out and comfortable accommodation , wonderful food and relaxed learning make for a really special riding holiday – the clue is in the name ! Testimonial from Bev Holles 17th may 2013                                             

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Bev Holles, | May 2013

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Susan has created a center of equine excellence which delivers a rich and fresh experience of learning about all kinds of horse topics which I did not know that I needed to know. I only hope that I can retain the level of practical and theoretical improvement after my return to England and that I can return again for further progress. Jim Holles 17th may 2013  

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Jim Holles, | May 2013

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Having read a lot about horse-wellbeing, this absolutely gets into practice at La Luz! In my live, I've never seen such happy and relaxed horses, which are so lovely to work with. Many horse people who think they have all experience they need, should reconsider and take a look at this. I stayed with Susan and her family in mid April 2013 for 3 days/4 nights and I had an amazing experience. Working with horses in a respectful and loving way, while focusing on confidence/trust, balance and relaxation was absolutely what I was looking for and which I have not found in my own area so far. At La Luz, it was there. Being the only guest, I got Susan's full attention, which was great. She is very skilled and experienced and learned me a lot about how a balanced body and mind can positively influence horses and dealing with them. Really interesting and above all: true. With respect to the accommodation I need to say that there was absolutely nothing I missed. Having had my own clean cozy room, including a cute tasteful bathroom with nice Spanish tiles, a separate small living room and a spacious terrace with a lovely view on horses and landscape, this was an excellent place for relaxation. Only thing you hear are birds and snoring horses. Meals were all fresh and very tasty so I was well taken care of from a culinary perspective as well. An absolute pearl to discover, this place, so if you are looking for a place to work with horses while working on yourself... send a mail to Susan and book your trip. You won't regret.....

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Barbara Soggiu, | April 2013

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What I have experienced during my week stay at Centro Ecuestre La Luz is beyond my expectations. I came in with a fear of being close around horses. Gradually Susan helped me build up trust with the help of a shetland pony and  three other horses. Each of them giving me exactly what I needed next. It was Susan´s fine tuning into me that made the right choices of what to do with each horse in each  unique moment . Her directions, feeling what was needed, like when I forgot to breathe freely when riding or relax certain parts of my body that helped me enjoy riding again. Even trotting on a big horse. Gaining trust little by little. It was great fun playing with Galileo who completely tuned into me on the ground. Running together, turning together and then following me everywhere. The guest house felt like my home and with the horses around and 4 lovely dogs I felt safe. The whole family took me in as a welcome guest. Thankyou Paul for your delicious dinners, thank you Alba and Lucia for your friendly kindness making me feel at home and part of your family. And above all thank you Susan for your guidance, love, care and sharing, you feel like a sister.                                                                                                                                                                    Lots of love Lydia, Holland, April 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lydia later sent me this beautiful story of her experience here at LA LUZ                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       My special experience with the sensitive Spanish horses of Susan Harden - The loving intuitive guide who supported my healing process. "I'll be on the airport when you arrive with your name on a sign and I am tall and thin." That was my reassurance when I nervously started my adventure to interact with horses, to be able to regainsome trust being with them, for a week somewhere in the hills of the south of Spain. As a teenager I used to be very natural with horses. I was totally connected with my power with them feeling asfree as a bird riding with them. When the years passed slowly the natural way of interacting with them vanished.Fear of the unpredictable and their power sneaked in. "Who am I to tell them what to do!" It happened after seeing a movie during a meeting with Isha Judd where she was galloping through the natureof Uruguay totally centred in her power free as a bird (with her wild bird free with her)in joy, that I was deeplymoved. It did overwhelm me unexpectedly.I recognised myself in her. Inside I felt a cry "I want that part of meback!" Now I that have turned 60 it is about time to give this gift to myself! Earlier on I got a tip from a Cranio Sacral therapist who worked with horses. She told me how she experiencedgreat help to regain the natural confidence around and with horses in her own pace with the guidance of SusanHarden at Centro de La Luz. It did sound good to me. And I took a leap of faith. When I arrived at Malaga airport There she was. Exactly how she described herself with a friendly laughing facethat immediately made me feel at ease. We walked towards her Nancy. An old car who would have been takenof the road in Holland. She was being praised abundantly because she never fails while other cars get stuck onthe mud die roads. We talked as if we just continued where we once said goodbye. Like meeting family after along time catching up. With similar interests and insights working through life experience that we could go onand on. It did feel familiar. On the way home we picked up her daughters in the village nearby from school who shared their daysexperience in English while they could speak Spanish. They too gave me the feeling of being welcome in a very natural way. Susan told me that she being born and raised in Scotland ended up in Spain quite unexpected.When she came in contact with the Spanish horses, while being in Spain wasn't her first choice, she was sotouched that she decided to stay and work with them. She followed her passion.Now many years later she lives with her family on beautiful peace of land in the hills of Andalusia. What oncewas a bare piece of land now made with their own hands into a beautiful place like a healing cocoon. Wherepeople while experiencing the special loving way of communicating with the horses, under the intuitive guidanceof Susan each and everyone can find peaces of themselves in their own unique pace. With the help of thesesuper sensitive beautiful horses willing to assist you. The place feels timeless and safe. I did surprise myself sleeping as a rose, being the only guest at the time in acozy simple room with bathroom what used to be a stable.It did feel at home. With fresh picked flowers in a vase and on the bed with a lovely scent.A little living room next-door with a sofa and some kitchen tools. Books and music.And horses in the meadow in front and the stables behind. Plus four lovely dogs who would great you everytime as a long lost friend. That same day in the afternoon Susan suggested that I would start making contact with the horses already.She started with Tony the pony. There is no way anyone could be scared of Tony. With him I got the feelinghow it is to hold the reigns in your hands. Walking behind his legs on the open space court with the amazinglandscape view surrounding. Without being scared he might kick I learned that it takes subtle change ofintention body language and energy to show him what it is you want him to do. Tony understands andperformed in his best behaviour. With me behind his legs with a big smile on my face. After Tony it was time to introduce Anelka "Nelly". A beautiful white horse. He was big and I stayed on arespectable distance. I got a brush in my hands with the suggestion that it was a nice way to make contact withhim. That was a step to get closer and actually brushing him and petting. In the meanwhile Susan started toclean his hooves and kept me in her conversation in her calm reassuring way. Soon I was brushing and pettingNelly without being aware of it as like I did in my teens. That conscious feeling came back to me.We walked with Nelly towards the practise court where I learned to be able to have a horse move with the body language, energy and intention towards him. With no leach nor rope attached whatsoever.That was a great experience to be able to do that and feel the connection with the horse while Susan wasaround in her easy going way. The horse teaches you that you have to be clear and singular with intention bodymovement and energy, otherwise he gets confused. He walked fast or slow in response to my energy started totrot and stop and turned the other way around just by clear suggestion in energy towards him. Until he walked straight towards me in order to tell me I accept you leading me. From that moment on when I turned my backtowards him and start walking he followed me like a companion in every way I wanted. That was an amazingexperience!! To feel such a connection and a big horse accepting you as his leader. The calm reassuringpresence of Susan made it possible for me to feel the trust to participate. That was a first impressive step for me that day. It felt I began the journey opening up a part of me neglectedfor a long time. That evening I was invited to have dinner with the family and they all made me feel verywelcome. Paul her husband had made a delicious meal with special care which tasted delicious. No surprisethat I slept like a baby that night in total surrender. The following days every day was a step further then the day we left of. We started with Nelly again and soonhe would come towards me in order to follow me around. It was time for the next step on the horse.Without a saddle I sat on a cheap skin with a leather handle in front to hold on to. Susan was leading Nelly andshowed/helped me to relax my legs more and more finding out that clinging my jaw doesn't help being able torelax my hips. Feeling into the motion of the horse as if he pas part of my body like a centaur.This was what I wanted to experience! To be able to trust myself and the horse conscious relaxing in motioninstead of "surviving" a ride on a horse.I learned how you can tell the horse to turn just by body movement and intention synchrony. Again I needed tobe clear and steady asking him what I wanted. With Susan's relaxed way of guiding I soon felt comfortableenough to trot without her holding a reign. Again a step forward.Nelly's energy when he followed me was as I experienced a powerful male horse who decided to follow me but Ifelt if he would choose to decide different he could run me over without me being able to stop him. It wasn't fearbut I felt his power and "hey let's go" energy following but also leading a bit. Time for a different approach. Unica the mare also lovingly called "the Tank" because she was big.She had an independent calm and confident character. Also being taken care of in the loving conscious way shewas sensitive to this way of communication.It felt clearly different when she accepted me leading her and followed me in a more respectful energy distance.With her calm confident gentle strength. With her I rode in a saddle. Again like it was a first time I experiencedhow to sit in a saddle in a relaxed way (as possible) and how body language and energy give more informationto the horse then we realise. No need for pulling the reigns in a way I used to do. How to tell him to stopchanging your energy and weight. Connecting with his body movement in a conscious way. It was all new to me. That evening in my cozy room I did realise that it would be impossible for me to regain the fearless power I hadin my teens. I was a different me a mother and grandmother, no way I could possible be the tomboy I used tobe. Didn't want to be anyway. Unica showed me the female independent caring power that I recognised within.It was the clear calm singular intention and gentle firmness, that was the power I was looking for. And feltreflecting. She gave me natural confidence to escort her into her stable and helping her holster off. Respecting each others space in trust. Every morning it happened that Susan had tuned into what would be the next step that it was exactly what I feltwas what I wanted myself. As an extra she got me into some boxing cloves experiencing how it feels like givingsome real full blow punches on a boxing sack. That was fun. One morning Galileo was being taken out. He was a male smaller horse and had a super sensitive character.Working with him brought out shear joy with me. I found myself running around with him with a big joyful smileenjoying playing with him. He was totally connected and participating. When I looked at the pictures Susanmade of us later on I saw my body language was quite different. She had taken a lot of pictures of the holeprocess and put them on a stick as a special memory to take home.That was the err joy I was looking for being able to play in total connection. he brought that out in me. Theenergy in my hands was radiating it did feel like a flow of electricity. I could use that energy to tell him how to goand in what way. Soon he showed me that he was willing to follow me around. He felt very different then theother horses. Super sensitive male energy with modest respect and more dependent on me to lead the way.I felt ageless and forgot all about Susan, who was taking pictures in a corner, running around with him.When I sat in the saddle with Galileo it was easier to connect myself with his body movements and earthbecause he was smaller then the other horses. And I was more in a playful relaxed contact with him at thatmoment. Susan pointed out that my body posture was different and the energy between us was. It does help tomake that a conscious feeling when some one does notice and points it out to you.She does play an importuned role, guiding as well horse and rider in her intuitive calm way. It did help me to allow more trust in my body to be able to relax and feel my strength. This wonderful place does feel as a healing place. What used to be a bare piece of land in the south Spanishhills they found years ago. Where they single handed build up a beautiful home for their family horses andguests. A place where healing can manifest surrounded by the loving energy of nature and the horses.Being in contact with the lovely horses giving their unique share. The warm joyful welcome of the family. andabove all the guidance of Susan during these days have helped me to open up trust. Because of her loving wayof being around the horses and guests there is no space for fear to manifest. It has started a change in me that cannot be reversed. Thank you Susan for your loving care and guidance. You feel like a sister to me. natural way.  

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Lydia Frankenhuis, | April 2013

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Susan’s gentle and integrative approach relaxes both horse and rider when needed and encourages the emergence of confidence. I began to take pleasure again in being on and with a horse.

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Em Farrell, London | April 2012

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Great place to relax and dive into natural horsemanship. Susan is a teacher who truly loves and respects her horses. In the one week I stayed at La Luz I learned to ride with more understanding and feeling of their nature.The dinners cooked by maître Paul were delicious.

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Michaela Coenraad, Holland | March 2012

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Thank you for a most enjoyable stay. I compliment you on both your horse wisdom and your people skills.

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Peter de Buse, Australia | March 2012

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Thanks to the infinite advice from Susan, who always manages to say the right thing at the right moment, I became aware of loosining my legs and managed to loosen my body. My seat now feels much more safe and relaxed. In my opinion, the atmosphere could not be better. It was warm, relaxing and with an overwhelming hospitality. The food was excellent! Your cook Alex must come from heaven!! I loved the horses, I am surprised that I loved lounging and playing with them so much! I am very happy with my progess and hope to continue learning. I still have a lot to learn so I will definitely be coming back to continue our lessons. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart! I admire you and the way you treat your horses. I will most definitely be telling people at home about you and everything that you have done. Now let´s see if we can practise these lessons on a dutch horse!

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Rini Prys, Holland | March 2012

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