Walking for horses
A recurring theme in my horse career has been walking, many miles to be in the company of horses. I did not acquire the skill of driving a vehicle till later in my life so what I had to propel me was my heart, desire and legs.
In my teens I used to walk along a hwy that that would wind around the riding facility I would form fond memories in. Up the busy Hwy in all weather to get home and back down again to get to the horses.
Then in my twenties I would take multiple buses with my daughter Hudson, pushing her stroller up some of the craziest roads, again to have the opportunity to be near.
I knew horses from a different perspective than most I associated with, during those times of being with horses would be in a group situation. I had to work hard for the time and the opportunity and I never took any moment for granted.
Many miles were clocked in walking to have moments..
Then the dream started to take shape as did learning. As a teen and into my 20’s there was an intense drive and yearning yet my real education into a spiritual philosophy did not really come to be until 5 years ago.
Some where with in me I knew I had to take each and every one of those steps to be where I am today.
Just like the horses I had relationships with, that I grew with, and brought my babies along with. Each horse was impeccably timed to be present at the times in my life their energy and values were needed.
One thing for certain in my life so far with horses was that I was never a keen rider. Horses were not a vehicle for me, I did ride like the other teenagers that surrounded me in the barns of Burnaby Horseman’s Association. I knew I was not mentally designed or financially set up to be a “rider” of horses, rather I would come to fine tune my skill of being a watcher.
Opportunities that I would discover and found were exciting in my twenties were when I had the ability to be with horses that were living lives that enabled them to keep “their” societal roles. When I say this I mean that all the horses that would reside on a property were given routine opportunity to be turned out together as a herd. I feel horses can have their roles if kept segregated in paddocks yet my greater learning came when I saw horses mingling as a herd and this first experience came to me with little Hudson. In my teens it was a rare sight to turn the horses loose together in the riding ring, partly because of policies at B.H.A. and a lot to do with liability and the value of some of the horses I had known.
To be so close to this natural state of horse socialisation, (as natural as one can be in this unnatural world) was so amazing and educating to me. It was the key I had been missing yet my experience with horses was always in city environments so space would play an issue.
This environment was at a local trail riding business (offer tours of a local lake by horse back to tourists), I tried my luck offering a hand as I had Hudson with me and I knew I would not be well received for wanting to be with horses with her in tow. I was swept up in a heart beat and I soon discovered my niche.
As I was offering to clean and feed the string of horses I did not understand how much of an asset I was to this small business that was never breaking even and had many a horse mouth to feed. I volunteered my time and yet these days were filled with endless learning more valuable than any dollar bills.
Both Hudson and I were part of the herd, even at her young age she was aware as did I learn the who’s who of the horse’s hierarchy. A system that one horse is a lead and the rest have a place there after, we would learn and regard the subtle communication the horses would give to each other. We learned the nuances of horse space, it was a beautiful time full of long hours and hard work yet I paid close attention.
I have had great moments in barns, backyard paddocks, tucked away properties, mainstream stables, back to backyard paddocks then to Equestrian centers and by far my best horse time has been anytime I have had the opportunity to do what I know, to follow my intuition.
My confidence in my gut grew and I would soon find myself in partnership with a young Arabian mare Khayla. I will write further at another point about our relationship yet my point was that she inspired me to start a small mobile specified grooming service called “FORTHEBOYS”.
For 4 years I was taken on a journey I could never have expected. I offered my service as a Professional Sheath cleaner and I was honoured by the many boys that stood and tried their hardest as I went about doing my service for them. I learned so much about energy, a human’s state of mind, how it affects a horse and being present in the moment. As I have a background in hair design the nature of the business was as much councillor and from that understanding I found a commonality between the two businesses and the services I offered were a compliment to my nature.
At the time I did not have a great relationship with my own mare Khayla yet she helped me see others relationships with their equine friends with different eyes. At the time I felt I was such a failure to her and yet now looking back it was because of her I am now succeeding.
Today to be here and with Terabithia surpasses any of my wildest dreams. Simply looking out my window the herd has furthered my education in their ways. I am seeing the bigger picture these days; I have had too many experiences that I challenge the words coincidence. There is greater learning for us all.
Now a days instead of walking we put in the extra horse work during the cold winter months because we know our horses need us that much more. Summer is a time of fun and relaxing, enjoying the moment, always.
I have had my greatest learning thanks be to Terabithia, she will not go unnoticed as she became the classroom so to speak for me.