My passion for horses now spans over 5 decades, Horse Agility has played a large part in the last 2 of them.
Even when I was quite young, I was not a very brave rider. I much preferred riding around on my ponies bareback with just a headcollar, and mostly with no hat. Whole days were spent just messing about with them.
With the help of my family, back in the 1980's, I started a small riding school. We had over 20 horses and ponies and mostly taught children. When I look back now to those days, it is in awe of what we where allowed to do then. The children mostly came and spent the whole day at the stables, we organised small shows, camping holidays and had lots of FUN. The ponies were fun. I loved it as much as the children did !
Later in life things were more serious, I had a proper job working in the horse racing industry, never riding out, just working in the yard doing the everyday "stuff". I was lucky, I worked for the very successful trainer Henrietta Knight, who trained some wonderful horses.
I learnt a lot from those horses and Hen, they were very informative days. Even then though, there was still that nagging doubt in my mind that horses weren't born to be ridden. Fear and pain can be an every day occurrence for a ridden horse and that didn't sit well with me, but of course there's no getting away from the fact that majority of people have horses to ride them !
Bringing things up to date. With all the information that is now available via the internet, and through research and meeting some very interesting people, I now have chosen not to ride horses anymore, and I feel very comfortable with that.
I am not anti riding and it is purely a personal choice not too, however by choosing not to ride, it has opened up a whole new perspective for me, that of the world of ground work training and of course Horse Agility.
The relationship with a horse on the ground, working and communicating together, for me far exceeds the one that I could have sitting on his back. As I've got older, I feel I want to have the same sort of relationship with my horses and ponies as I want with the people in my life, simple without fuss and drama but also fulfilling and meaningful and I'm sure of course, my horses, want the same.