Marina Parris

Discovering Horses

I have always loved animals and grew up with a dog, rabbits and later two parakeets in southern California. However, my university studies in international business took me in another direction for quite some years and in 1993 I moved to Switzerland. It was a few years later that I recognized the potential of having humans interact with horses when I worked with handicapped kids and horses. When I lost my job in 2001 due to a company re-structuring, it was then that I decided to follow my childhood dream of working with animals.

Marina with wild horses
Marina riding Hummer

Learning about Horses

I spent the next three years on large ranches in France and the U.S. (Colorado, Nevada, Montana) learning about horses – how they think, act and behave. I spent a year working with young horses, introducing them to the saddle, working with cattle, going on trail rides and loading them into trailers. In Montana I had the treat of learning from true horsemen such as Ray Hunt and Ronnie Willis. I also worked as a wrangler in Death Valley taking people out on horseback rides and doing hay wagon rides with mules. In the end I brought a beautiful black Quarter Horse called Hummer, also known as “Black Diamond”, from Montana to Switzerland. I have also been to Bosnia-Hercogovina twice to observe wild horses, an experience that touched me deeply in many ways.

Coaching/Teaching with Horses

In 2007 I established Pferd als Partner GmbH to offer coaching sessions and riding lessons. My goal was to help people realize what was possible with horses, when we are open to learning from and with them in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. I later went back to the U.S. to learn from Linda Kohanov, a pioneer in equine-facilitated learning and best-selling author, to become a certified EponaQuest Instructor. I later established a second company that offers leadership and teambuilding with horses for companies (

Horse coaching session in forest

Your Teachers

You will have the opportunity to interact with different horses during your time on the ranch. These horses live outdoors all year-round on the 36-hectare property with lots of trees and a covered place to protect them from the elements. Here are some of the horses you will be interacting with.

Hummer “Black Diamond”

Hummer is a very wise and self-confident soul. He is used to “being asked” first before he considers doing something with you, otherwise he feels he is not taken seriously and clearly lets you know. He demands a heart-based connection else you cannot truly connect and collaborate with him.

Marina riding Hummer


Riverdance is a highly sensitive and very confident mare plus a true “lady”. Through her beauty she gets away with a lot. Riverdance requires clear communication and demands your full attention. If you drift off with your thoughts, she does the same and the connection is gone and she finds better things to do with her time. Riverdance really enjoys working with kids.


Saifur is an older stallion who is enjoying his retirement. He likes to get attention and also needs the freedom to be able to leave when he has had enough.

Horse Terral


Terral is quite a character who embodies the joy of life when he is in a playful mood. He is an expert at teaching people about boundaries and owning their own space.


Isungur is an older gelding, who is enjoying his retirement, but still happy to help people learn more about themselves.