The importance of second chances

The first time I rode a horse was almost 10 years ago. It was in a very nice landscape in La Calera, a village in Colombia where people usually make horse rides within groups. Chapagne was the name of the horse that was taking me. She was white and had a beautiful blondish hair. After few minutes, Champagne started to run really fast, having me on top of her back. She had bolted, so I could control her, making me lose the stability.

After this experience, I hadn’t had the chance to be close enough to any horse, and to be honest, I didn’t feel like searching for a second time either. That was until the past two weeks when I arrived to Richmond Vale Academy where nature is the mail character of the scenario. Among others animals I found horses. Not one, but five, and the first thing that made me curious about them was that they were out in the garden, like pets. They didn’t’ have strings attached and they were totally used to people, dogs and cats, all going around. That called my attention and decided to have a one on one class with them and Stina, from whom I had heard the special relationship and language she shares with them.

When the day finally came I felt anxious and nervous. We went to see the girls: Magic, Moonlight and Elena. At first it was quite intimidating because the three of them started to walk upon us and I didn’t expect that. But after making them know who had the control of the situation, without making any harm or aggressive manner, I realized the importance of using a proper body language.

IMG_1264Elena was my favorite. She behaved like a princess: polite and discreet. She made eye contact with us and approached in a very nice way, ready to smell my hand and recognize who was standing in front of her. Then I understood the importance of having a mutual empathy with animals. Just like it works with humans, we both have a specific energy and feeling with the ones whom which we interact, and they also need to take time to feel you and accept you, no matter if the interlocutor turns to be an animal or a human. It works like a rebound effect: if you introduce yourself diplomatically, the horses will do so. But if you present yourself aggressively and challenging, the payback will not be quite good.

After this first approach, we went even more bold: pamper her. At first it was quite intimidating because her head was huge. I’m a petite person whose height is 1.50 meters, so I felt really small compared to her size. But when I started to tickle her, she showed the joy with her mouth just like when a child gets to see a candy. Even it was unbelievable to see how she reacted if I stopped rubbing her hair: she asked for more twisting her head towards Stina’s chest.

Elena was my favorite. She behaved like a princess: polite and discreet. She made eye contact with us and approached in a very nice way, ready to smell my hand and recognize who was standing in front of her. Then I understood the importance of having a mutual empathy with animals. Just like it works with humans, we both have a specific energy and feeling with the ones whom which we interact, and they also need to take time to feel you and accept you, no matter if the interlocutor turns to be an animal or a human. It works like a rebound effect: if you introduce yourself diplomatically, the horses will do so. But if you present yourself aggressively and challenging, the payback will not be quite good.

After this first approach, we went even more bold: pamper her. At first it was quite intimidating because her head was huge. I’m a petite person whose height is 1.50 meters, so I felt really small compared to her size. But when I started to tickle her, she showed the joy with her mouth just like when a child gets to see a candy. Even it was unbelievable to see how she reacted if I stopped rubbing her hair: she asked for more twisting her head towards Stina’s chest.

IMG_1275

And like if this was not enough surprising, the class finished giving Elena a ride from one garden to another. She was put a collar and a rope, just like an owner who takes his dog to the park, and stared walking. At first she wanted to make a stop every two steps to eat some grass, and it was fine. But after a while that I was staying behind from Moonlight and Magic, I understood by Stina that we have to show them who’s in charge of the situation and whom should follow who. Elena understood that easily and then she continued the path without any problem.

After this three main corporal expression: hand’s smell, tickles or rubbing and walking, I understood the importance of making a presentation and a calm first approach with animals, specially horses. Now I understand that I probably did something incorrect the day I met Champagne and that’s why she reacted aggressively. Now I understand the importance of giving second chances, especially when it comes to animals like horses, which have a heart as big as their corporal body.

Awww Maria, what a wonderful experience you had with the lesson, it was a pleasure to introduce you to your second chance with horses and look forward to the third, forth and more ones.

Kind regards Stina

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6 Comments Add yours

    1. Stina says:

      Thanks – it’s a beautiful experience to rediscover horses like how you initially remember and dreamed about them. Horses are so kind and sensitive, we just need to learn a few simple steps how to connect with them, one of the keys is just to treat them like you would with your friends.

  1. Anna says:

    Sounds like a really great second experience, another person “converted” into liking horses 🙂

    1. Stina says:

      Hello Anna, Thanks for your comment, when you grow up you dream of and even experience the beautiful relationship with horses as friends. Then you join a riding school where your dreams are systematically crushed. There is no introduction to who the horses is, no learning how to greet, no spending time just being together, little love and plenty of demands.
      So here you have it, another chance to get to know the real horse and follow your real dream of being with them.
      Much love from St. Vincent.

      Stina

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