Whilst I have certainly had lessons at Pippsway that were just a joy and all went well, there have been many more where things have not gone quite to plan! At the time it can feel so frustrating, disappointing and I’ve even had moments where I’ve wondered if I will ever ‘get there’...
Reflecting back on my experiences thus far I have to say that every single lesson I’ve had has been exactly the lesson I needed. I’ve learned so much from every time that things have gone right and even more from when they have gone wrong! Pip’s horses have been teaching me what they need from me and, with her on hand to interpret what I cannot yet understand, I have learned all the ingredients I need to be a responsible horsewoman. I may not have mastered it! But they have shown me what to aim for.
When I first met Pip and discussed the experiences I had been having in the previous 6 weeks at other riding schools, she explained that I wasn’t ready to ride yet; that we needed to start at the beginning and master the groundwork. Initially I thought ‘Ok!’ but expected that after a few lessons I would indeed be riding. Thankfully I trusted Pip’s judgement and as events unfolded and I began to understand the enormity of learning the Art of Horsemanship I forgot about riding entirely and threw myself into learning how to communicate with the horses and more importantly understand what they were saying to me.
I’m so grateful that instead of trying to jump ahead I have trusted Pip and had patience with the process….it has been far more rewarding than I could ever have dreamed! A whole new way of being with horses has opened up to me and I’ve learned so much. Knowing the level of communication that is possible when you take the time to learn has been a revelation and I know that when I do eventually ride it will be a far better experience for both myself and my horse! Riding now seems like just a small part of what it is to be with horses…..don’t get me wrong, I’m very much looking forward to it! But only when I have mastered my skills on the ground and have achieved the requisite level of fitness to be able to balance myself, will I be ready and willing to take on the challenge of becoming a rider.
When I first came to Pippsway I wanted to be a better rider so that my horse could understand me and do my bidding….I feel mortified by that now!!! Now my goal is to truly understand horses and their every need so that I can be a responsible owner and know that every interaction I have with my horse honors him. That I can enjoy spending time with my horse both in the saddle and on the ground knowing that I am respecting him every step of the way. Thanks to Pip the relationship I will be able to achieve with my horse is way beyond what I deemed to be possible!