My Human-Horse Bond
- October 19, 2020
My bond with horses story began at the age of three years. It was a time when I had not been influenced by TV, as we did not have one. I was too young to listen to the radio, but I was old enough to listen to my parent’s stories, see pictures of horses, unicorns, and Pegasus in books. My first book was Wish for a Pony, by Monica Edwards, that left me dreaming. Every night going to sleep in our London apartment, I was wishing for a pony and trying to imagine how I could keep him or her. From a noticeably young age I received presents of small china and wooden horses. One of these small horses was an orange Swedish horse that has remained with me to this day and has even entered my dreams. I was told if I kept the Swedish horse it would always bring me good luck.
Except for my little Swedish horse that I was told had belonged to my grandmother, no person in my world talked about horse bonding, or archetypes, images, and thoughts. However, the adults in my life did provide me with opportunities to read about horses and meet them in the flesh. These experiences provided me opportunities to develop powerful supportive ideas that would remain as a support for life.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be as one with a horse. The less equipment I had the better. When I started to ride, I would rather hold the mane than the reins, as this made me feel like Ricky who so elegantly rode the Wonder Horse. Even to this day I love to let my hand slip down and hold the mane for this very same reason. I prefer to ride without chaps, long boots, and spurs and all the other contraptions of horse apparel.
My Father used to love taking us on camping holidays in the U.K., or away for the weekends to the countryside. One time, we came to a farm in the Lake District in Cumbria, which was one mile outside of Broughton in Furness. He wanted to find a place to stay and put up our tent up for a few days. He asked the farmer if we could do this at his farm, and for some reason, unknown to me at the age of five, the farmer suggested we sleep in his horse lorry, which he added was clean and ready for the next horse trip.
This was my first experience of sleeping on straw and hay and breathing in the exquisite smell of hay and horses. That experience was hugely bonding, and as I write this note I am breathing more deeply, sucking in the air of that experience so many years ago.
In the morning I woke early to hear horses moving in their stables. They were making gentle blowing noises, waiting for the food to arrive. They were talking to each other, and I could hear that. I heard the birds, the horses and even the dogs on the farm.
I was close to nature, and even at that young age I was experiencing a healthy blast for my physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Coming from the urban city, living in the streets of London, I did not hear the birds sing or experience the sounds and smells of horses and a farm. Sleeping in the horse box I was so close to nature, it made me feel active and clean. The horse box was saturated with the smells of horses and I found this so relaxing. I know that my brother and parents felt the same, as we all recalibrated our senses from our urbane way of life. From early childhood till now horses have grounded me. Like so many people, I have gone through some difficult times, but horses were always there to restore my health and peace of mind. Whenever I have needed to reconnect to my world, I found myself drawn toward horses. I have been lucky enough to ride them since I was three years old and have the bonus that I can still ride them seventy years later. I know that having horses in my life has been extraordinary. I cannot thank them enough for listening to me in my hours of sadness and bringing back a smile to my face. Today, I still dream a lot, and often see horses in my dreams. They send me messages of hope. They symbolize my passion and drive, and desire for personal freedom. They maintain my motivation, and according to the psychologist, Freud, the horse dreams are my drive, power, and success.