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Horse cantering in the menage at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

At Pippsway, Pip and her horses work together to teach her clients all it is they need to know. I had never experienced someone standing back and letting the horse do the teaching before. It has been such a wonderful experience, if at times a steep learning curve! I originally thought I was going to be learning ‘how to ride properly’ but boy oh boy I’ve learned so much more than that…..

Amber taught me that the sky is indeed the limit but if I get cross or frustrated it’s all over. When frustration comes, rather than embracing it and allowing it to consume me, I have to have an awareness of the frustration and use it merely as a signpost to change something and then let it go. As long as I do that we can continue working together. If I allow the frustration to consume me I will be unbalanced and there’s not a chance that my horse will listen to me. We might as well pack up and go home! Watching emotions arise and pass whilst remaining separate from them is something I had been trying to learn to do for years with meditation. Amber taught me how to do that in a matter of lessons!

Pizarra taught me that it is not enough to demand that our horse do a thing. First we must inspire his confidence in both us and himself. We have to believe in him and give him the courage to know he can indeed do what we are asking. She also taught me that to effect the greatest of change in our horse and his way of going we need only to address our own energy, our own posture and our intention. When we address what we need to within ourselves, then our horse will respond. She showed me this when we were freeschooling and that such a transformation was possible when we were in no physical contact blew me away.

Bronson taught me that I can prevail. Rather than feeling diminished when a horse challenges me I can instead respond in such a way that he will accept my leadership and in so doing he will actually be more relaxed and happy than if I were to leave him in charge. He has nurtured my confidence. He planted the seeds of my self belief and waters them every time we meet.

Maia gave me the beautiful gift of experiencing the ecstasy that is being at one with our horse. She chose to do this very early on in my horsemanship journey. It lasted mere moments, but it was the greatest gift because she showed me what is possible. Why committing myself to this path was going to be worth it no matter how hard it was at times, no matter how difficult learning the requisite skills would be, no matter how long it took.

Spartaca showed me that the true starting point for all this work was within. That if I were to succeed then I needed to address my inner world, my perception of myself, that I needed to develop confidence and self worth.

These are only some of the lessons I have been given. All in all what Pip’s horses have taught me is that if we are to honour our horse, to become the person he requires us to be, then we will be on a path of constant self improvement. If we embrace all he has to teach us it will not only improve our relationship with our horses but every aspect of our lives. My world is a very different place since I came to Pippsway and I will be forever indebted to Pip and her horses.

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