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Holistic Horse Training

About Caroline Beste

Professional Biography

With over 25 years of experience working with thousands of wild and domesticated horses, Caroline understands horses, and from the inside out.

Caroline’s training system offers an infusion of holism, classical training, and science-based practices. When combined they create a well-rounded horse and rider, and a partnership that is confident, connected, and happy.

Her method works so well because it focuses on a holistic approach that considers the whole horse and rider’s well-being during the learning and training process. This includes nervous system regulation. Without a regulated nervous system horses don’t feel safe which means they can’t connect to their person or training.

The classical training centers on working with the horse’s natural movements to increase strength, flexibility, balance, and true self-carriage. As a Working Equitation Trainer, Caroline’s training system is founded on classical principles, and horsemanship. Her training specializes in movement with a focus on developing the horse and rider together and on the ground first. This way the horse’s movement is developed while the rider learns how to embody the movement. This is how Caroline teaches riders to ride, from the ground first.

The science behind Caroline’s method is regulation. An unregulated horse is a disconnected horse - in heart, mind, and body. Caroline’s training system teaches advanced knowledge in the science of movement, behavioral research, and neuroscience, providing you with a comprehensive education in equine behavior, psychology, instincts, and physiology.

As a result of Caroline’s experience and expertise, her Riding as One™ program was created, a model she pioneered in 2008 and now teaches online in her Mastery Relationship, Ground & Riding Foundation Program.

Caroline offers the largest and most comprehensive and holistic online educational platforms, The Tao of Horsemanship Academy, hosting a variety of courses and in-person programs produced and personally taught by Caroline and her school masters.

Additionally, you will find her podcastEverything Horses & More! just as informative, engaging, filled with heart-warming stories, nuggets of wisdom and inspiration. 

Caroline was a featured clinician from 2009-2015 at the major horse world expos. She has also had published articles and is featured as Feedspots top 50 podcasters.

Caroline lives with her husband, stepson, and animal family on their 20-acre farm where they enjoy cooking, gardening and nature.


About Caroline Beste

Personal Journey & Transformation

Welcome to my world of horses, healing, and transformation. 

I started riding horses at the age of 3. I got my love of horses from my dad and my love of animals from both my parents.


My dad grew up with horses and spent his youth schooling his cousin’s OTTB’s for the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). 

He swore to me he never fell off a horse, and he owned and rode some of the craziest OTTB’s. 

I believed him and was amazed by him. He had a natural, intuitive, and calming way about him when he was with his animals, especially horses.

There were five in our family, my mom, dad, and me and my two older brothers. They too love animals and are excellent horseman. We grew up with nature, animals, art, family, fun and food. Our lives were full, educational, creative, spontaneous, and filled with love, light, and laughter.

That’s until we moved to Chagrin Falls, OH in 1978. Everything changed and we wouldn’t understand why until 37 years later.

Our family began to fall apart then. Mostly because the nucleus of our family structure was disintegrating. The nucleus being my dad and the happy home and life we knew. 

My dad worked for a big corporation back then and was promoted and transferred every so many years. Ohio was his next promotion and our chance to regroup as a family.

We left behind my beloved pony Muffin, a few trying times with teenage boys and a beautiful life in West Chester, PA. And, things were changing then that would become the catalyst for the new life in Ohio.

My dad had promised me he would get us a horse when we settled into our new home, and he made good on his promise.

It took about a year of searching before we found out special horse Brandy. He’s the sorrel Quarter Horse in the backyard pics with me.

We leased him for about 5 months before we brought him home to live in his new backyard barn and paddock.

There’s so much to tell and not enough time but just know that I learned so much from Brandy, He is the horse that helped shape me personally and professionally. The areas I teach today were inspired by our relationship and riding as one together.

He was 7 when I found him, and I was 9. He was born and raised on the farm where we leased him. Even though his mom lived on the farm with him, he was bottled fed and brought into the house by his human family. He was supposed to be their daughter’s horse, but she went away to college and well, you know how that goes sometimes, kids lose interest.

He was affectionate and spoiled. They waited until he was 7 to send him away to be trained. When he came home from training, they ran an ad in our local feed and tack store and that’s how my dad found him.

I remember meeting him and thinking he’s not as grand as some of the highstrung and beautiful Arabians we had been looking at. And, he was so sweet, calm and kind. 

He was very buddy and barn sour and learning how to change that would be my first lessons in consensual partnership that I teach today. How to make your relationship with your horse the most important relationship to your horse. As I often say today, “what’s in for the horse?”

I can’t tell you how many times he ran me back into the barn when I would go visit and ride him in the pasture. He was attached to one young filly and the property and anytime I asked him to go away from either, he would plant his feet or blow up and bolt.

Befriending him was my mission. I wanted to be just as important as his girlfriend and his home and I was determined to figure out how and willing to take the time to do so.

I was told to put his curb bit, with a 6-inch shank and metal chin strap on him to control him. I had no idea how cruel and useless they would be until I used them. 

The first time I rode him out, he reared, spun, leapt, and bucked me off as he ran back home. The second time I thought I’d outsmart him and use the bit combined with my brute strength to stop him. He still bolted back. I stayed on and his mouth and chin were bloody. I cried and threw up and vowed to never use that type of force again.

That’s when I came up with a plan. I would spend so many days/eves with him and we would spend time away from the horses, just the two of us. I realized quickly that they couldn’t be out of his site for long, so I worked on separating but not isolating him. Little did I realize I was respecting his needs by working within his emotional thresholds. I was also learning when and how to push him without pushing him over the edge.

Soon, we were able to walk away from the barn and out on the trail. When I say walk, I mean me walking him on a lead line and halter. I still could not ride him without him stressing out and imploding. But it didn’t take long for these walks combined with time spent loving on him and grazing him to work their magic.

When he was eager and happy to go on walks with me, I started tacking him up with his saddle and halter and lead rope tied into a rein. I would walk him out, about a mile and we would spend time together just being before I would mount up and ride him further.

It wasn’t perfect and he would definitely “test” me when I was on him because he knew he could overpower me, but he cared about me enough to not escalate, ditch me, or bolt home.

It wasn’t long before he would be coming home to our backyard. I knew the separation from the home, life, and friends he knew would be devastating but I only knew what I knew and didn’t know what I didn’t know.

That the worst and best were yet to come.

Since we couldn’t get him into the trailer and his farm was 10 miles from my house, I decided to ride him to his new home, my home.

Most of the ride was open farmland, back country roads and woods. We took our time and Brandy took care of me. We had never been trail riding together, only hand walking and mounting a short distance from where he lived his entire life, maybe 2-3 miles away.

He knew what was going on and had a “pep to his step” as we embarked on this new journey together. He was connected, eager, excited, and safe. We had never ridden near cars or bikes or any kind of normal activity outside the usual farm life. I just couldn’t believe his courage, confidence, and attitude.

When we arrived at my house, and his new home, he was in for a shock. While I thought he would be ok with me, his new barn and home, I didn’t realize that what he really missed and needed were his friends, familiarity, and freedom.

He started running up and down the paddock and charging the corner fence. He was screaming and acting crazy. We had never seen this behavior before, so we were all in shock. I put him back in his halter and lead while my dad and brothers reinforced the split fence railings and posts.


We had no idea horses could get so upset, feel so much loss. I was learning and listening and quickly came up with a plan for him to feel better. I knew how buddy sour back he was at his birth place and I was determined then to become just as important to him as his equine family. Now I had to  figure out how to help him feel just as good at his new home with all of us. 

My new plan consisted of daily walks in-hand in the 500-acre hay fields behind our home. I would hand graze him, and spend as much time as I could with him so he would connect and want to be with me. I did everything I could to make him happy so he would feel good with me.


It worked and only took a week! ​I'm sure bonding with him the months prior at his birth place helped. Brandy stopped screaming, pacing, and charging the fence. ​He began waiting at the corner of his pasture every day for the bus to drop me off. 

I was faithful to Brandy every day of his life during our 10 years in Ohio. I took care of him every morning, day, and night and especially during the brutal Lake Erie winters. Nothing could keep me from him or make me happier taking care of him.

We were so close (see the pic of me lying up against him reading while he was lying down in his paddock) that he was like a big dog. He spent most of his time with his human family, untethered and free and spent all his time lose running free with me in the 500-acres of hay fields during the summer.

I rode him bitless, bridle-less, and bareback. I taught him how to bow, lie down on cue, wait for me, run to me, you name it we did it. I did it all through love, friendship and feeling of and for him. He knew how much I loved him and cared about him. We swam and we read together, and we rode out all day exploring the country. We were best friends.

A few years pass and times start changing in our household. Lots of drinking, fighting and reckless behavior. This continues for a couple of years before it worsens. I begin suffering from acute panic attacks. 

They were so debilitating that I would pass out, black out, in school. Not to mention I would break out in rashes all over my body and sweat profusely. I was literally a nervous wreck.

My mom was already in therapy and decided to have me evaluated emotionally, physically, and mentally. I went through every test there was to determine if I had a tumor, head injury, epilepsy, or a mental condition. 

Believe me, it was hell. It was hell living in my house with all the crazy and it was hell living in my mind with all the confusion. The only thing that kept me going was my Brandy. He was my sanity and saving grace. Like all horses, Brandy gave me unconditional love and support. I didn't realize at the time how healing his heart-coherence and nervous system were. All I knew was how amazing it felt to be with him.

It wasn’t long before I was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. Trust me when I say, it was the best thing that could have happened to me, and for me.


For one, it was my body, my mind and my spirit's way of protecting itself. Because my nervous system was so stressed (dysregulated) and for many years, I went into the self-preservation mode of freeze. The freeze mode enabled me to emotionally and mentally check out so I could survive.

While the breakdown broke me, broke my spirit, it was temporary, just like it can be for all sentient beings. When given the resources and path to heal, we can heal and come back even stronger.

Thanks to a wonderful therapist, I began the rebuilding process, one day, one therapy session and one ride, at a time. ​​I am grateful to this day for the perspective, and skill sets, I gained during that time, skill sets that inspired me, and empowered me.

My amazing therapist helped me dig my way out of my hell. I could not speak for months without passing out, so she gave me my first book on Eastern Philosophy, Chinese Medicine, and meditation. Meditation gave me back my life. It not only taught me how to regulate my nervous system, it taught me how to release trapped emotions and heal. 

I soon became a practicing Taoist; hence Tao of Horsemanship was born 22 years later.

While my therapist gave me the tools to understand the message behind my emotions, meditation taught me how navigate those stressful and scary places.

During all this time, my horse was my rock and my best friend for 25 years, until he passed away at the age of 32. 


Click here to learn more about my life with my horses as my soul mates and teachers.

Read more about Caroline here

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