Empathy, Lightness & Joy
When we train with compassion and love, the horse and the rider can find a true state of union.
I am available for training of horses of all levels and origins. I have quite a bit of experience working with Lusitanos and PRE (Pura Raza Espanola, Spanish horses) as well as Arabians and have a special fondness for those three breeds. I also have worked with numerous warmbloods, thoroughbreds, ponies and all kind of horses.
I am also available to teach during the week and week ends, either at Karuna Stables or at your barn.
I believe that the most important in riding is not the hands or the legs or the back. The most important in riding is the state of mind in which you come to the horse and in which you ride.
A long time ago I was working with a very spirited and hot little Morgan mare. This is the horse that really made me realize how important the state of mind is. I could not ride her or even longe her if I was in a bad mood or even just unnerved. For a while I though it was her. Then one day I was lunging her and she was just running around me, pretty much uncontrollable, even on a tiny circle, head towards me, haunches just skidding out, and I was just completely aggravated. I threw the lunge line at my friend and trainer Lynn Bergh, who in exactly 2 seconds had the mare in a very nice cadenced trot, in the proper position, and very much in tune with her.
I realized the problem was me, not Secret. I was in a emotional turmoil and she just reflected it.
She taught me meditation on horse back. If my brain was not like a the surface of placid lake, we could not do anything. If I was calm and happy, everything was possible and just wonderful!
When we approach the horses in this open and happy mind the horses enjoy the time together as much as we do. They thrive on it!
A friend recently noticed that the horses I work with are all happy to go to work, and readily come out of their stall, paddock or turn out to get groomed and go to work.
I don't do very many different things with them. We work in the arena and practice our scales mostly, like musicians do. When we have a bit extra time we go for a stroll around the place and enjoy the great views, or if I am very lucky, I manage to take one of my horses out on the trail with a friend. That is a bit rare though, because of lack of time... But somehow, the horses don't get bored, or sour, with the work, even though on the outside it does not look very different from day to day. I think it is because when the horses are allowed to completely connect with us, and are allowed to join in the conversation, they get as interested and curious about the training journey as we are. Then practicing scales becomes quite fascinating to them as well.
If we can meet them and ride our horses with love and empathy, they will truly blossom, and us with them.
Maybe riding is another path to enlightment.... For sure I find true and complete happiness with and on my horses :-).