My teacher told me to “Kick my Horse”.

Rajasthan, India, 1993
Rajasthan, India, 1992

I meet my first horse when I was 10 years old and it was love at first sight. He was a big beautiful draft horse that used to plough the land. When I meet him he was living in a big field with lots of grass and was not working anymore because the farmer had bought a tractor. Every day after school I would go over and just spend time with him. His name was “Brunen” which means brown in Norwegian. Our relationship was so mutual and natural. I could brush “Brunen” all over. I could almost walk under him and would sit on his back for hours while he was grazing. All I wanted was his company, to smell his mane and feel his soft warm fur.

Later I worked with horses in different settings, like riding with Icelandic horse herds across the Norwegian mountains, training trotters for racing and took jumping lessons. During my world travels and work I continued to seek horses. I got to ride Marwari horses in the desert of Rajasthan, Lusitanos in Maputo and Arabic horses down the Moroccan beaches.

After some development work in refugee camps in war torn Angola, I returned to work in Europe and started to look for horses to be in my life again. Africa had changed my life, so when I started to take riding lessons nothing made sense anymore.
I saw that horses could feel a fly on their back legs which they gently swift away with their tales. Horses are very sensitive and here I was sitting on a horse having to use all my arm muscles to jerk the horses head down in a so called “dressage”.

Marocco, Africa 1994
Marocco, Africa 1994

I left the “dressage” lessons for western lessons where I could learn to ride on loose reins. At this point I had gotten a beautiful Andalusian mare called Evita. Evita would really try to do what I asked her. At the western lessons we could walk left and right, trot left and right and canter right. Evita did not want to canter left and at one lesson the western teacher told me to “kick” her. A big bell rang inside my head, this was not about willingness or laziness, there was a reason for why my Evita would not canter left and for sure the answer of kicking would not solve the problem. I took my feet out of the stirrups, slid down from the saddle and left the lesson to never return.
I no longer found myself enjoying riding horses because the horses did not enjoy me on their backs nor my company.

I searched new ways of horse training like clicker training, academic dressage and several varieties of horsemanship. I learnt a lot of new things about horses but something was still missing.

DSCN2385
Rajasthan, India 1992

What was missing I did not find before I had rescued this wild herd of horses in here St. Vincent. What I had learned about horses before did not work at all with the wild herd of horses. I searched the net for days to find someone who could help me and I came across “The Path of The Horse” by Stormy May. I got to study horses on a deeper level with several liberty trainers. My wild horses continued to challenge me and taught me an endless amount of lessons…and still do today…

Today I have however reached to the relationship of my dreams with all my horses.

The missing link is for me was the understanding of being equal beings and to treat the horse like you wanted to be treated yourself. Through Liberty Training I began to understand how a horse operates and what I needed to learn so I could connect with a horse and create a working partnership.

At the Sahaja 2015 clinic coming up in December we will work with understanding the language of horses, body language communication, exercises on the ground to connect with horses and how to apply these under saddle.

Looking forward to hear from you!

Stina

Elena, Jack, Darling, Spirit, Magic and Moonlight

Liberty Training Clinic in Lillehammer, Norway 2009
Liberty Training Clinic in Lillehammer, Norway 2009

 

Elena and Darling are ready to welcome you to Sahaja 2015!
Sign up now with stina@richmondvale.org

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristine says:

    I remember when I was little all I wanted was to be around horses like you Stina, with no agenda or purpose. I loved their smell and the sound of their hooves, when they were running wild and free. I felt such rush in my body that I got excited every time I heard them running. Of course at that age I didn’t know much about natural horse trainings and how horses communicated, so I went to jumping shows just to experience that thrill again 🙂 But as same as for you Stina, one day I realized that there has to be another way how to be with horses, so I started to look more into natural horse trainings and I never went back to horse competitions, cause I couldn’t bear to see them being in pain and almost with no free spirit left in them. And that’s how I found you Stina and my journey with horses started. I am so blessed for all the lessons you and horses taught me and I will be ready for more when December comes 🙂

    With love
    Kristine

    1. Stina says:

      Hi Kristine,
      I love the running free part.
      I can horse watch along time when the horses are running.
      You will enjoy meeting them again, they are the same but also changed. They developed alot through the riding and more exercise. Especially Jack, Darling and Elena – you will see when you get here.
      I did not do so much liberty work lately as we have focused on riding. The connection grew as we continued their education.
      Right now Elena is challenging Jack, Jack is tired of her and Jack has been chasing Darling away once Spirit is around…. But when Spirit goes to the big field with Moonlight and Magic, he gets interested in Darling again…. so a bit of drama …
      Kind regards Stina

  2. Jonna says:

    I think it’s amazing how horses can bring out your sences. We are so lucky that we are aware of this again, that we can appricate everything we see, smell and feel with them- just like when we were kids! Imagine what the horses have done for us in our daily life, how much they have affected the way we want to our lives. I’ve noticed lately that I’m much more aware about my sences here, maybe it’s the combination of the connection with the horses and the beautiful surronding. I’ve also noticed that I miss the horses very much as soon as I’m not with them, and everytime I see them, they put smile on my face!

    1. Stina says:

      Hi Jonna,

      I agree with you that horses are very good help us humans be more present. There are many benefits living more in the moment. Mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present.

      Becoming more mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts. You get an ability to observe your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them.

      Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.

      Cultivating a nonjudgmental awareness of the present can give many benefits. Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts immune system, reduces pain, lowers blood pressure. Spending a few minutes a day actively focusing on living in the moment reduces the risk of heart disease.
      Mindful people are happier, have more energy, are more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses.

      Looking forward to share you the new plans of exercising Darling in the trot and where.

      Kind regards Stina

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