My horses are a big part of my life and play a part in Natural Answer helping Co Create Anima Essences and often participating in my workshops. The horses have been my greatest teachers, especially Wraheem. They are lucky to be in a stable herd at the farm here and live as natural life as I can provide for them mostly herd based, turned out for the majority of the time, a forage based diet and bare foot. Two are Arabs Wraheem and Ryaaz and Arabian horses have been my passion and shared my life since aged eighteen. The other two are ponies, Scarlet a Welsh section B cross and Dotty a Spotted Miniature.
The Herds Role in Natural Answer
Two of my herd, the ponies are non ridden and many times throughout their lives Wraheem and Ryaaz have not been ridden. When I was younger I used to feel I needed to ride, the horses needed to be ridden to maintain fitness and I was always doing things with them. I was never very competitive although I did do a bit of showing and some Prelim dressage, but I liked to ride and felt most of the time the horses were happy doing a job. The two Arabs having health issues and behavioural problems (Wraheem) have been my greatest teachers. They have led me down a much more holistic path for their well being and several times they were telling me they didn’t want to be ridden so I listened and we stopped.
During those times we learnt much more and developed a much deeper connection and better relationship where the communication is two way and they are heard. Whilst I still do ride around the lanes and woods on sunny days and occasionally travel to do rides elsewhere I don’t feel the need to be pushing all the time and trying to achieve things under saddle. Not riding opened up much more of a world for me that honours the horse as a Sentient being and gives them choices. We learned many new things on the ground and learn also to just be. To listen and let the horses teach us about being in the present moment and about the things we need to heal.
I do believe most horses enjoy certain ridden activities, but others don’t or can’t and we should be listening to those horses and not undervaluing their worth. We do lots of non ridden equine themed activities and workshops here for horse owners and non horsey people that would just like to be able to be close to horses and get to know them.
Natural Answer has been awarded the status of Non Ridden Equine friendly by the Non Ridden Equine Association UK who are dedicated to raising awareness and welfare standards, supporting and giving value to non ridden equines.