Straight from the horse’s mouth
I’ve been horse-obsessed ever since I can remember.
In fact one of my earliest memories is being in hospital at the age of five, to have my tonsils out, and my father coming to visit and reading me Black Beauty – and both of us crying when Ginger died.
Half a century on I live with a small herd of horses in the Byron Bay hinterland, and over the past fifty years, they have taught me so much about love, life and even death, that I will be forever grateful to every horse that has passed through my life.
Even though I have ridden and been involved with horses most of my life, it wasn’t until my then six-year-old son got bitten by the riding bug that I began to think that I had to seriously raise my horse skills – even if it was only to keep up with him!
I became interested in natural horsemanship, and later in energy work with horses, and over the years discovered that I had a skill for re-training difficult horses on the ground, and finding them good homes.
We rescued a few horses, re-habilitated a few from the race-track, were given a few, began to give lessons, and I started to learn that if you really love horses, it’s not always about the riding.
We had some tragedies, including the death of my son’s beautiful black horse Fox, from pneumonia, which touched us all. I watched in despair the night he was dying, as he paced around our arena and all the other horses touched his nose with theirs as he went past them. His closest friend raced up and down his paddock until we let him into a corridor beside Fox where he too could touch him and say good-bye to him on this final, terrible journey.
Even seeing how the horses responded to what was happening was in way, magical – I would never have imagined they could have that level of ‘knowing’.
We’ve had some comedies too – usually involving Sally-the-Boy, our small round fat black Shetland gelding renamed Sally for our then three-year-old daughter. Sally is a break-out artist of the first order, and has been responsible for most of the naughty business that occurs on the property. He also thinks he is a large horse, and throws himself at the other horses kneecaps on a regular basis.
As I became more knowledgeable and surer of myself, I decided to ‘start’ my two-year-old Palomino filly Jewel, and she took it all in her stride, with a calmness and lack of concern that suggested whatever we were doing it was o.k! More recently we’ve started her younger half-brother, Storm, a beautiful paint gelding who was born on the property, and he too, took it in his stride.
You can read all about the horses in our lives - and in other peoples’ lives too - in my anthology, The Infinite Magic of Horses.
May the horse be with you!
|© Candida Baker 2010|