Trainer for horsemanship: Mirjam Dunkel

Do you know the feeling when you and your horse are mentally connected? When you are not just a rider, but the two of you are a horse-human couple? That’s exactly how I want to teach you how to deal with your horse. That’s why I created Wildland Horsemanship, “The Positive Way of Horsetraining”.




Hours in the saddle

Teamwork is the be-all and end-all.

Build a relationship with your horse. That is the first step and also my philosophy. If your relationship is right, further training will be much easier and more lasting. You become a team during training. You need to build trust and understand each other. That’s how you both get ahead.

Little girl, big horses.

I grew up with three siblings in Meiringen – in the middle of the Swiss Alps and surrounded by animals. We kept chickens, rabbits, a cat and a dog, and I spent every spare minute with them. Every time the neighbor rode her horse past our house, I ran over and was allowed to stroke it. When I was six years old, my parents gave me my first riding lessons. I often saw that riding school horses were kept tied up in stalls and didn’t have a good life. I felt sorry for them. My love for horses grew, and year after year I wished for one of my own. But unfortunately, there was never a mare, stallion or gelding under our tree at Christmas. 

The horse ranch in the USA

A turning point in my life came at the age of 17. I was allowed to help out with a horse trainer in Arizona. There I learned how to train different horses. Some of the animals that came to us were traumatized – one even had an ingrown halter. You could see the helplessness in many of them. But with our help, they slowly got better. And when the worst was behind them, I felt great gratitude and genuine trust. That is what touches me deeply and what ultimately counts.

Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. That’s another reason why I constantly questioned my training. Little by little, I got better. However, new horses kept coming along that didn’t respond to my system. I kept at it and kept learning. In the meantime, I followed the call of my heart and returned to the ranch countless times. Over the years, I have been able to train several horses – both young and traumatized.

“Blutschi”, my first horse, cost 3 dollars.

“You need your own horse. You waste your time, if you don’t work with horses,” ranch owners Twister and Sandy Heller told me in 2011. I was allowed to choose one of their horses. And as I had no money, they let me have “Blutschi” for a symbolic three dollars!
This is our story:

You never stop learning, even when riding.

I can learn new things at any time. Provided I remain a beginner at my own level.

That’s why I’m interested in many types of training offered by different trainers around the world. For example, I completed the co-trainer program at Pro-Ride in Germany. I also won Swiss competitions in liberty dressage and was asked to work on various projects, such as films and horse shows. I was also a co-founder of Delfin-Horsetraining GmbH, which focuses on positive horse training. My specialty is the mental satisfaction of horses: If the mind follows, the body will follow. A well-trained horse has everything it needs to stay healthy in the long term. And so I learned and continue to learn from Manolo Oliva and Jeannette Jenny from Portugal.

There is something else …

I love being out in nature – as far away from civilization as possible. That’s why I haven’t saddled up a horse several times, but instead packed my rucksack and set off into the wilderness.

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