I sit in the soft sand alongside a horse who came from nothing and has given me everything. She rests her long body in the dirt, thankful for this time of silence. A month ago, when she first learned to lie down at my request, she would rest for only a moment before rising. Now she chooses to remain in the sand for what seems an eternity, breathing softly as my bare hand strokes her thick coat. In moments such as this, heaven and earth meet, and all else falls away.
My journey with this bronze-colored horse named Savanna began four years ago while I was volunteering at a local horse rescue. In the spring of 2012, my family adopted Savanna. At this point, fear and resistance drove her actions, the results of extreme starvation and neglect, and I lacked the savvy necessary to help her overcome her baggage.
Shortly after adopting Savanna, I began studying Parelli Natural Horsemanship. In the last four years, Savanna and I have grown immeasurably. She has shown me undeserved grace as I have stumbled along the journey of becoming a horseman. She has developed into a confident, willing partner, and she has opened my eyes to the value of unity between horse and human. Each and every day, this horse inspires me to dream.
Studying natural horsemanship has taught me to humbly commit to the development of harmony and lightness between horse and human. Horses allow themselves to trust completely in a predator who has proven to be a partner. The result of horsemanship becomes a unification of the innate power, talent and capability of both horses and humans. This kinship between horse and human drives me.
I aspire to create a community through this blog that will foster the development of men and women committed to becoming horsemen. I will write to inspire and educate people in the pursuit of their horsemanship dreams. Along with sharing the lessons Savanna teaches me throughout our partnership journey, I will connect you with the wisdom of those who have successfully applied natural horsemanship principles to performance, instructing and horse development.
We cannot walk this path alone. Though individual in many respects, horsemanship requires the nourishment of community. We share the common mission of raising the standard of horsemanship worldwide, putting our relationship with our horses first and valuing a firm foundation before moving to specialization. Through the support and inspiration of community, we can find joy in each day and believe in our mission enough to dream and achieve our highest goals.
What an honor it is to have this ultimate prey animal join with us in the dance of life, to come beside us and desire unity as much as we do. Let us stand together to preserve the dignity of the horse. Let us fearlessly pursue what is noble. Then we will soar, and horse and human will become one.