This Is Our Story
Lisa Calder was born and raised in Northern California.
From rough beginnings and a non-horse family, she was always reminded that her big dreams were reserved for those “born into the horse world”. Growing up in severe poverty with a drug addict father and a mother always at work, Lisa and her little sister were left to figure life out for themselves. Lisa and her love for horses grew despite the constant reminding that she was not “born into the horse world”. Lisa could easily be found after school feeding the neighbors horses her apple from the school lunch.
By 12 years old, Lisa and her family were homeless and lived in tents in the redwood forest. As difficult as living in tents was, being in the redwood forest became a deeply connecting time for Lisa. Regardless of these challenges she created her own opportunities with horses.
Being fueled by her desire she let no one decide her fate and chased her love for horses anyways. At 14 she took a job cleaning stalls for lessons at a local dressage barn. While many young horse girls do this, it was different for Lisa. She was looking for connection in the only place she had ever found it: the horse. While there her connection and love for horses grew.
One day Lisa was asked by the owner to lunge the “husbands little Arabian” simply for exercise. Lisa took the little Arabian out to the round pen and turned her loose. At this time, Lisa had never experienced being in a round pen with a loose horse, let alone heard of liberty work nor had ever seen it. Yet, something inside Lisa told her to let the horse loose. After a few laps Lisa began to get a feel for how to move the horse with just her body as if she was speaking to the little Arabian through body language. The young Lisa began playing with changes of direction with just her body. Soon, Lisa found herself playing with the energy between her and the horse. With her energy and body language she brought the horse down to a walk and then into her. Before too long, the little Arabian was following her around and they played mimicking cutting. Back and fourth they would go as if the other was a cow they were cutting off. While the young Lisa didn’t fully understand the “what and why” to the experience, she did understand the connection and the spark in her that would later turn into her love for liberty work, one of the specialties for which she is highly regarded. She knew now horses were her life.
They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear, and he did. After a few years Lisa met and began studying under Personal Development Coach and Natural Horsemanship specialist Ezra Marrow. She had no idea what she was about to learn. On the outside, it was horsemanship, on the inside...It was about finding herself. Making shifts in herself caused growth in exponential ways! She soaked up Ezras Knowledge and wisdom of personal development every moment she could.
As she continued to attend his coaching workshops, studying under Ezras, her personal development began to become her way of life. With Ezras encouragement, Lisa's desire to venture out and begin her horse training career on her own as a Horsemanship Coach began. Through her business, Mindful Horsemanship, Lisa trains horses and people with a personal growth approach
Lisa says her essence lives in her “WHY”.
Why horses? “They saved me. Unconditional love, the only love I ever felt as a child came from horses. Without them I would have never known what it was like to be seen, to feel worthy, whole, and complete. The horse taught me to love myself, to create boundaries, open my heart, soften up, and let go of the things that no longer served me.”
Lisa feels indebted to the horse, to help the people shift their stuck beliefs, the closed hearts, the unconscious behaviors, and to open the space for connection between the horse and owner. Ultimately guide people to a transformational place that affects every aspect of their life through developing their horsemanship.
Currently, in addition to her business Mindful Horsemanship, Lisa is studying Cowboy Dressage as assistant to Eitan Beth Halachmey, founder and creator of Cowboy Dressage. Under Eitan Lisa has become a Certified Cowboy Dressage clinician and teaches Cowboy Dressage and Garrocha clinics around the country. In addition, Lisa has most recently, joined Heart of the Horse with JP Dyal Horsemanship to present clinics and workshops together across the country.