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Arab gelding trotting in 12 acre field at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

Today I had the privilege of watching a new horse being introduced to the herd. It’s always a pleasure to see, but this was even more poignant than usual as this little horse is a rescue. Pip had mentioned to me some time ago that if she could have her choice of any horse, she would choose an Arab. I was surprised as I thought she would have wanted a Lusitano Stallion. She explained that she already had her two girls, two mares that she bred herself from her Spanish mare Zarca and her Lusitano Stallion Pifado and that she would like an Arab as they are really good for endurance, her preferred discipline.

Many months have passed since we had that conversation. Then a series of events unfolded that brought Neptune into Pip’s life. He had been rescued from a yard where he was starved and kept in a stable for 3 years. He came to an animal sanctuary where they spent a year nursing him and his stable mate back to health. Not only were they suffering from malnutrition but they were also agoraphobic having never been allowed outside. One of Pip’s clients happens to work with this sanctuary and mentioned the little fellow to Pip. A short time later, another former client of Pip got in touch to say that she had rescued an Arab and that there was another one at the sanctuary that she thought would be perfect for Pip. So, Pip got in touch with the sanctuary and went to meet this horse. He was absolutely stunning and moved well and many people had offered to take him on, but the sanctuary knew that he was a lot of horse and needed a very experienced person to bring him on.

It is a big responsibility, both financially and in time, taking on another horse and Pip knew she would only do it if she felt that it was right for both her and the horse. Having met him she felt the connection with him that for her was a must and after several visits to the sanctuary her mind was made up. She would give this horse a home and bring him on. He has never been backed and so far has only recently been lunged in a headcollar by the lady that was responsible for him at the sanctuary. Pip says they have done a wonderful job with him.

When I arrived at the yard today I saw him for the first time. Yes, I had seen photos but they really didn’t do him justice! He is utterly beautiful. I followed the ladies, horse and wolf dogs up the lane to the top field. Pip took off Neptune’s head collar and for the first time in his life he had 12 acres of open rolling field to explore and explore he did! He cantered around and the herd joined him. The sight of them all cantering around the field with such freedom made my heart full. To know that this horse had experienced such suffering and knowing that as of today his life has changed forever and he is now in the best of hands, was really moving.

As Neptune had been socialised at the sanctuary and the Pippsway herd are balanced and used to new horses coming and going, when they come for backing or rehabilitation, the excitement was short lived and very soon all the horses were grazing peacefully. I think Neptune has really landed on his hooves finding a home with Pip. Not only does he now get to live out with his herd all year round, which horses always prefer, he will live out his days with someone who knows what he is communicating at all times, who can bring him on in the way that will suit him best, always knowing when he is ready for the next thing. That is the real gift for the horses that live at Pippsway, they are truly understood.

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