Loretta Van Buuren

Our beautiful Spanish goddess. She is kind, gentle, loving and definitely a founding member of the ‘Grannies Club’ here. She is well into her 20s’ and judging by the state of her dipped back has been used as a baby making machine in her past. The brand she has burned into her leg says that she used to belong to the state of Spain. This was confirmed by the Spanish microchip she had, she was chipped but the chip was never registered. I guess the owners didn’t care enough….

She has been ridden harshly in her past and she used to be quite anxious about rides. Mounting was not at all her favourite thing, we confirmed there was no pain, the memory of the pains was just very strong.

We ride her bitless and interestingly she still sometimes responds to slowing down cues by opening and closing her mouth, as if the pain of the bit was still there. Also when removing the head collar/bridle we have ridden with, she opens her mouth as if to let the bit drop.

I don’t know what kind of bit she was used to, but all these responses tell us it definitely left a lasting memory for her.

These days Loretta is mainly enjoying chilled out retirement days, teaching people a lot about mindfulness and clicker training but she still loves coming out on relaxed rides on the hills . She is a super granny with some serious power to march up hills! Once she gets going, there’s almost no stopping her, the fiesty Spaniard that she is! She still enjoys a fun gallop on occasion.

In the herd she is very calm and has a very knowledgeable vibe about her. She is a great therapist and a great listener! She is also Bolinha´s best buddy, these two are almost inseparable.

Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.