A little bit about me and my journey…
These days, as I travel around teaching, I get to meet so many interesting and dedicated people and so many wonderful horses. I feel like I have the best job in the world! 🙂
From the earliest age, horses captivated me. My very first mesmerising encounter happened around the age of three, when I was taken to the stables by my mum and introduced to my Aunts pony Zachary. The story goes that I disappeared, and after some frantic searching I was found standing blissfully outside Zacharie’s stable grinning as he craned his elegant dun neck over the stable door chewing the buttons off my coat. From this moment on I was in love…
For all of my enthusiasm I don’t think I’ve ever really been the most naturally gifted rider in an academic or physical sense, having sustained a good few injuries and dysfunctions in my body over the years and with my aforementioned propensity towards perfectionism, it’s fair to say that I’ve have had to work hard to be in the place I am now. What place is that? You might ask. Well, I don’t compete at Grand Prix or own a string of fancy horses or have any claims to fame at all, but I have come to a place in my life of peace, where for many happy years now, horses have been a wondrous mystery to unravel rather than a problem to be solved. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I find there is more for me to learn which in turn opens up a whole new world again with the horse that I didn’t even know existed. This has not always been the case though.
I feel sure that like me the greater percentage of horse riders and handlers are seeking nothing less than a peaceful and harmonious relationship with their horse. At the same time most of us also want our horse’s to do what we want them to and it can be in this place that conflict dwells. These days we are presented with a plethora of alleged pathways to attain the results we desire, from the ‘Horse Whisperers’ that seem to possess magical powers, the like of which we could never hope to achieve to the gifted dressage riders who’s silent promise is that if you train with their name you may become as good as them through a process of osmosis, to the gadgets and widgets that offer the gift of submission, and basically everything in-between. I think I have probably tried them all at least once, such has been my desperation over the years.
Each new journey started with the hope that perhaps ‘this thing’ was going to be the answer, but it seemed that each time, although ending with some vague feelings of creeping closer to something, I was more often more often than not left with more questions that I had answers. When I compared, honestly what I was doing with what I saw in riders I admired, I had to concede that it did not in any way compare.
There were times over the years when I was able to push this whole sense of questioning to the back of my mind. I forged ahead with a steely determination that I would learn how to make horses do what I needed them to do come what may and to some degree I achieved this. I have rosettes to prove it! And then there were times when I wasn’t. These times even ended in me giving up horses all together for a time because I conceded that if I couldn’t do it in a way which sat well in my heart then I would have to stop altogether. Then as time went by I seemed to notice a somewhat eerie parallel between areas in my life that lacked harmony and my inability to find the it with horses. We often hear the phrase, or one similar, that horses are a mirror to our own self, and if this is true, then for many years I had to concede that I’m not sure I liked what I was seeing, hence the giving up possibly? In the end however, the child who refused to stop crying until she could have her own pony won over, and I set off on one more journey to discover what this was all about. And thank goodness I did 🙂
I think it is true to say that when you are really ready to learn, the right teacher appears and this was certainly true for me in the shape of two very special people in my life. One who showed me where I needed to look and the other who took me there. For those two people I, and I’m sure all the horses I’ve subsequently dealt with are eternally grateful.
In this Blog I’m just going to share stuff… Practical information together with some more heart centred experiences from my past and present, and it’s my hope that this might be of use to anyone who’s interested, on their journey to a place of greater harmony and fulfilment with their horses.
I have learned, that whether in a chosen discipline or just hanging out in the pasture, a successful, rewarding and harmonious relationship with the horse doesn’t have to remain mythical, something only others can do, or dwell only in dreams; However I have also learned, often times the hard way, that the answers rarely lay where we hoped or expected… 😉