I’m currently residing in the Welsh countryside where I was offered an opportunity that I couldn’t possibly refuse… to work and study the art of horsemanship alongside people and horses of a very high calibre: Robert Pring, Jo Jarett and a collection of finely bred Andalusians.
Though I believe that a growing interest in the principles of classical dressage is a part of the natural progression of any serious horse person, I had always placed this sort of education as far beyond my reach as the true masters who can provide the correct education are few and far between. I think that is why I’ve barely felt able to breathe news of this opportunity out to the world… it feels like the strong desire I’ve had for this kind of education was locked away in a place in my heart that I protected as I believed it to be an unachievable goal. But, as I’ve said before, what is for you won’t go by you.
I’m nearing the end of my second month here, and as I grow more settled I am beginning to join together many dots that have been swimming around my head for years. I’m feeling increasingly charmed by the day whilst at the same time slightly daunted by the scale of the mountain of intricacy and depth of knowledge that I’m merely at the foot of.
As refined as classical riding may be, so long as I continue to interact with horses I will always be interacting with the wild. You see, I don’t believe you can ever truly tame a horse. No matter how well-handled and schooled they may be, there will always be an element of their true wild nature at the very core of their being that no amount of submission can weaken. This is what fascinates me. I like to think there is a bit of that within all of us, too. I love to play with the balance.
Life here may not be particularly glamorous or as adventurous as some of my past endeavours. I’d say that for every new spark that ignites in my brain I am probably shovelling quite a bit of shit. The days are long and my muscles are prone to aching but I can honestly say I’ve never known the satisfaction of having my brain tickled in such a stimulating way before. I am growing addicted to the fleeting moments of magic that bring me to life when something else clicks into place. You’d say I was already a horse addict before, so I am not sure what that makes me now… possibly nuts. But we all knew that anyway!
Looking forward to sharing some of the knowledge I’m gaining here in due course. In the mean time, I will leave you with a photo of lovely quotation that is framed on the wall of the loo at Tullich Farm. I believe it captures the essence of devoted horsemanship. It was Shuna Shaw of Tullich that connected me with Jo and Robert, and I really can’t thank her enough.
Love to all. Lizzie (& Faolan & Ossian, who have joined me here too)