Today I went for a sunny run through my beloved mountains after a morning of studying. The dogs trotted along, dodging in and out of bushes and trees. I run in the mountains with only my dogs. It is a solitary and deeply fulfilling experience. Running through forests without trails, over boulders and through creeks reminds me of the path I have chosen with horses. The path is in my heart; it is not clear; it is not paved or well traveled. I have to go with the feel, stay strong.
I found the work of Alexander Nevzorov a couple years ago while searching for a deeper way to be with my horses. Everything I found in the school’s teaching was already in my heart. I had stopped using bits, bridles and saddles years ago, even stopped riding. Becoming a student of the school was like finding a long lost friend. I could finally breathe and be myself.
Now, I spend time just hanging with my horses; I let them come to me instead of going to get them. They are no longer tools or objects for my recreation. We stretch together, lay in the sun together, go on walks together, and play games. We work on simple cordeo (loose neck cord) turns and stops from the ground, pedestal exercises, tail (back) to hand, lift and hold the leg up. I trim their feet (no shoes), study Equine Anatomy and Physiology, and do a lot of reflecting on why I have horses in my life. I love the strength and beauty in them. I love the relationship. I no longer want to control them, and they know this. Now, they will do almost anything I ask of them. The difference is that now I ask. They, as individual beings, have a right to refuse. We have developed something that is rare and beautiful (and odd, I might add, to traditional horse people.) But that is the beauty of individuality and finding your own path.
Most of my life has been lived outside the mainstream. I am used to doing things differently and because of this I am always on the outskirts (literally and figuratively.) I live in a cabin in a secluded national forest valley nestled between two mountain ranges and wilderness areas. My family, my animal friends and this land are my best friends.