One of the things that brings me greatest joy in life is horses. Many of us have a passion- something that we get totally lost in, that interests us deeply, and over time becomes part of our identity. For me, that is horses. I started riding as a child when I was about 6 or 7, something I wanted badly to do and that my wonderful, intuitive mother thought might boost my self confidence as a shy, introverted kid.
I loved the horses and the promise of riding, but I am not athletically gifted and sometimes riding scared me. I have a reasonable sense of self preservation and am not competitive by nature, and so I had to learn to persevere and be tough sometimes. I am glad that I did, because I found a love of the connection with the horse, valuable friendships, and a sense that I could push through fear.
About 12 years ago i started studying natural horsemanship and found Ron Pyne and The Horseman’s Way I have been lucky enough to have Ron as my teacher since, and have embarked on a journey of learning to communicate effectively and naturally with my horses, keeping my horses as naturally as possible, and even learning to do my own hoof care!
Along the way, me and my horse Calvin (pictured above) have had some amazing opportunities for fun and development of our partnership, from showing at the Royal Winter Fair in the Cup Classes to overnight horse camping with friends to bridleless riding with Pat Parelli in his Canadian Masterclass in 2016.
Horsing is a very important part of my own Practical Balance, and since having kids I have struggled to have as much time as I want for it. as my kids grow, my goal is to get out and reconnect with this source of play, joy and connection that has followed me through so many stages of my life. I hope to savor the good horsing brings me by sharing some of it in this section of this blog.
“There is nothing better for the inside of a man then the outside of a horse”
So much of what we do to keep ourselves well is about building a solid foundation- and horsemanship is all about solid foundation as well. But for me, it is through building the foundation of my horsemanship that I get the “icing on the cake” of my life- added joy challenge and connection.