Isa; I’ve been in contact with horses for my whole life. I’ve always been passionate, loving, and willing to do good in general and even better with horses. I’ve been riding, training, grooming them for such a long time now. These tasks were a routine for me, I was not really thinking about the way I was executing them. It was natural for me to come to the horse I was taking care of and ride her whenever I wanted to. I had never thought that I could have been wrong for so long in my way of practicing one of my main passions.
It is really hard to admit that we’re wrong, especially after starting to become « good » at what you do. I was starting to become « good » at riding horses that way, the way I had learned in riding schools, at a professional rider’s stables, hiking with horses in Nature…
Young riders learn that they need to control horses by teaching them to obey to humans. They learn that horses are like kids, that sometimes they do wrong, and therefore that humans have to correct them with punishments. They learn that when the horse does what its master wanted, it gets a reward, that the animal has to learn how to please its owner.
Can we train horses like we teach kids? Adults teach children how to grow up and understand their environment. Children need to be taught how to survive in our society, or how to get out of it. Do horses need to be taught how to survive by humans? Of course not. Horses DO NOT NEED humans, WE decide to get horses for our own entertainment. Why should we try to format them, then? Are we that selfish?
Coming here, I learned how to accept my mistakes. I’ve always known that what classical horseback riding classes taught me was wrong. I always felt terrible after forcing a horse to jump, to gallop, to stay in a box for days… Here, I can finally do what I love without guilt! No teacher tells me to hit my horse anymore. Moreover, I have to learn everything from the beginning again- a new language, a new way of thinking, new lessons! My main teachers are the horses themselves, who have completely distinct personalities. Their character is fully developed and it is such a pleasure to get to know each of them better.
My human teacher is Stina, the woman who found and adopted these four horses. One of the first lessons was learning how to walk with a horse. It sounds terribly simple -just take a rope and use it as a leach. It is not. It becomes natural and simple, after studying horses for so long and learning how to think as they think, but the first tries are difficult.
Jack, who I had to walk with, chose several times to simply abandon the class and go eat grass. It was my job to try to get him to focus on me again, and on what was going on. Not using force obliged me to suddenly find something else to make him listen to me, and this was not that simple.
Thank you Isa for sharing your lesson with us and thank you for taking so good care of my horses. Every working student just bring something very special to our center.
Hope you all enjoy Isa’s story.
We still have places for the 5 day Sahaja Clinic 3rd of December.
Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish a place or more info.
Much sunshine from St. Vincent
Stina and Isa.