When I rescued my herd in 2007, they were too wild to have any working student to help me take care of them. First of all I had to learn to handle and connect with them myself. In 2010, the first working student came to our horse school and that was Margrete from Norway. I carefully selected her as she had an extensive background in positive horse training. Since Margrete, there has been quite a few working students where some had experiences while others were quite “green”. Margrete and I spent alot of time bonding taking long walks with the herd in the rainforest.
Today, Margrete has her own Horse Business called HesteGlede. Check it out here. In the end of April, Jonna arrived and today she has these experiences to share with us;
The forgotten way to be with horses I came to St. Vincent and Richmond Vale Academy ten days ago. The first days was alot of awakeinings moments for me. I’ve been around horses since I was little and when I came here, I almost felt embarrassed of how little I know about the communication of the horse. Memories from my childhood keeps coming to my mind. In that time, it was all about having fun with the horses. I remembered I used to see my horse as my best friend and that we always did things both me and my horse enjoyed. Alot of the time we spent just hanging out with eachother- just like friends do. And then I grew up and somewhere along the way the focus got more and more on what I wanted to do and my horses opinion didn’t matter the same way anymore. But I wasn’t really aware of this of course, I thought I was communicating with my horse and that we had a good relationship. I just realize now that well- we didn’t! And I do feel bad about it but in the same way- I’m actually here to do something about it.
I’m so lucky I found this very spot to develop my relationship with horses- It’s just amazing. Everywhere you look there are stunning views- just wow! I’ve just started off really slowly with the horses since I have to get used to this way of being with them and build up a relationship with each one of them. Just the simple ways of observing and being aware of the horse at all times, opened up my eyes to see horses in a new perspective. Stina often compares the communication with the horses with communication with people. Alot is actually just about good manners. I don’t speak when you are trying to tell me something, I listen to what you have got to say and then I answer. I spend time with my friends just chatting, or eating something nice and sometimes we also do exercising or cleaning together.
Same with the horse. If the horse sees a banana on the ground a bit further away and I don’t see the banana and want my horse to come my way and pull the rope- well our communication is not very good. If we only spend time exercising together or doing stuff we “have ” to do, then it’s not strange that the horse doesn’t always come when you call. Everything just makes so much sense and can be really easy!
So I’m not only learning about the horses but so many other important things in life. About communication in general, to get around problems with focusing on what is working, to be clear on what I mean with voice and bodylanguage, to be mindful and most important to have fun and enjoy life!
I will end this text with a quote from Stina;
“Once you have the connection, you don’t need the training”
Looking forward to my time here in St Vincent!
Jonna Jonsson from Sweden
Thank you Jonna for writing and staying here with us. I have to say I learn from every working student. I am very happy that you found us and took the courage to travel across the world to study the language of horses and help me develop my new riding program. Working students stay from 3-6 months and from the fall I have a placement for one with a solid background in dressage.
Have a happy weekend everyone!
Kind regards Stina