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”.
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.
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!
Elena, Jack, Darling, Spirit, Magic and Moonlight
Elena and Darling are ready to welcome you to Sahaja 2015!
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