So many of us share that elusive goal... Being at one with our horse.
When I first came back to riding, after a 20 year break, my goals weren’t quite so lofty. I was delighted to be around horses again and threw myself into lessons and hacks with great gusto. I experienced the ‘arrive and drive’ way of riding so popular in riding schools these days. To fill the gaps I rode a lovely horse for a local lady twice a week. That allowed me to enjoy grooming, mucking out, sweeping the yard and generally having a fabulous time.
It soon became clear however that everything was not as it should be.
The horse I was riding didn’t want to be caught, had to be tied up to be groomed and was always much happier on the way home than the way out. In my lessons I was being taught nothing new and even things that I knew to be wrong. Far from horsemanship having evolved, it seemed the lessons I was having now were no different to those I had enjoyed as a child. I knew there were people in the world riding in a different way and after six weeks of trying different trainers and schools I was determined to find someone who could show me how to ride ‘properly’. That is when I discovered Pippsway in Wellington, Somerset, near Devon.
In my first lesson with Pip I learned more about horses than I have ever known. Sure I knew how to groom, ride and care for horses. I had even owned my own horse! But this was different. This was learning about the true nature of the horse. For the first time I was learning how to enter a stable properly. How important our body language, energy and intention is. I saw horses responding to Pip and then myself in ways I had never experienced. For the first time ever I groomed an untethered horse with the stable door open using only my energy and body language instead of relying on doors, lead ropes and headcollars.
I drove away from the yard that day knowing I had finally found what I was looking for. In Pip I had found someone who truly understood horses and could teach me what I was so desperate to know...
How to really be at one with a horse.