Horses were a passion for me right from the start even though I did not spend any amount of time around or near them until grade 10. Growing up in the middle of the city without access to a car or someone who knows how to drive one greatly limited my chances to be around and work with horses. Aside from a pony ride if a fair came to town that had one and one wonderful trail ride that a friend took me on for my birthday one year I did not so much as touch a horse. The dream remained strong though and I submersed myself in books about horses instead.
In grade 10 a friend and I noticed a program note in the Halifax Recreation fall guide about horseback riding lessons as a stable about half an hour away. After much talk I convinced my parents to let me take them thanks to a neighbor who gave up his time to drive me out to the once weekly lessons. I quickly fell even further in love with the horses and my passion was solidified. For the next three years I rode in once weekly lessons, helped out with lessons for others, helped with camp, mucked out stalls and spent every minute I could around those majestic creatures.
During those three years I quickly built up my knowledge/abilities and I started riding any horse I could – usually these were horses at the stables who for one reason or another could not be used in the lesson program (usually because they were too hot or spooky). The horses were my life, my release and gave me the strength I needed to get through the day to day life of high school. My only wish was that there were more hours in the week that I could spend out at the barn with the horses though with so many other things going on that was not to be.
When I started university I was immediately drawn to others who had a similar passion in their lives and joined both the equestrian club and the equestrian team. Actual physical time spent with real horses during this time was minimal as I was in a new place and was not the most confident person so I did not go out seeking ways to be around horses for fear of rejection and not wanting to talk to many people. I went home to the barn every opportunity that I could to ride and be with the horses and as soon as the school year was over I was back at the barn every chance I could get.
As the second year of university started a friend contacted me and asked if I would be interested in leasing a horse – I jumped at the opportunity even though I was worried about biting off more than I could chew, I knew how to be around horses and how to ride but was not confidant in the mechanics or the behind the scenes care they required. Sandy proved to be a great learning experience and the time we shared together was a great gift though a challenging journey at times. It was when I was leasing Sandy that I had my first introduction to Natural Horsemanship and Parelli.
The spring of second year I bought my first horse, my Natural Horsemanship journey really began and I have never looked back. Tia and I had a love/hate relationship… well I loved her though wanted to kill her from time to time and she hated humans in general. With the help of Parelli and lots of time our relationship grew as we discovered how to speak to each other and developed our bond.
Since then I have acquired two more horses, both 2004 AQHA palomino mares who both have a strong desire to be with people, learn new things and to be amazing partners but who couldn’t be more different. Dessi is a sweet, loving LBI mare who’s favorite thing is to be loved on and groomed. She is a wonderful mother and has helped me experience the world of raising foals. Dessi has also been teaching me how to be light and particular at the same time, persistent while keeping it interesting and has provided hours or exploration and fun on the trails.
Ori is a cautious, caring, sensitive RBE mare who is skeptical of everything at first but with whom you can create one of the deepest horse/human partnership bonds imaginable once a true trusting foundation has been established. Among other things Ori is teaching me lightness, how to change my body energy with a breathe, how to be reassuring yet particular, and how to be the leading rock that she needs.
In 2009 I graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College with my BSc, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Business. I have also done the Distance Education courses through the University of Guelph and completed my Equine Science Certificate and Equine Studies Diploma. I have one more course to take for the Equine Business Certificate. Where I studeied the following topics:
Management of the Equine Environment
Health & Disease Prevention
Stewardship of the Equine Environment
Growth & Development
Equine Business Management
Marketing & Communications in the Equine Industry
Finance & Risk Management
I have continued on my Parelli journey with a great interest in horse behaviour and “horseanality” and have greatly treasured and love the skills, tools, mindset and way of thinking that I have come to know. In 2009 I completed and assessed both my Parelli Level 1 and Level 2 and am working my way towards Level 3 with hopes to assess both my Level 3 Online and Liberty.