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7 years ago I bought a Connemara called Herbie who completely changed my life. I thought I knew how to be around horses, but Herbie quickly showed me how much I had to learn! He was ultra-spooky, anxious, hard to lead let alone to ride safely and didn't seem to find me in the least bit comforting. I was dumped unceremoniously the floor many times because a sparrow flew out of a tree or a rabbit farted. I shed a lot of tears in our first couple of years together, this was NOT my dream horse experience. But I have always been quite determined, and I had good help from people that I trusted, so I kept working on becoming the person Herbie needed. I had to learn from scratch how to help him relax, how to cope with scary situations (for Herbie there were many, many of these just in everyday life). The hardest but probably most important lesson for both of us was how to form a relationship in which he would trust me to guide him, even when he got scared. 

He has developed into a brave, fun, cheeky, reliable, athletic and generous horse who now helps other horses to be their best selves too. I always believed that my perfect horse was in there, despite the evidence (and several cracked helmets) to suggest the opposite.

Along the way I learned a lot not only about horses but about myself! I had always struggled with being assertive and in holding my boundaries. I had been a lifelong conflict-avoider! These days I don't enjoy conflict, but I have learned to coach not only myself but horses through their fears and insecurities. 

Today I am out teaching what I have learned and come to love. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have had Herbie come into my life and help me grow and learn so much. 

Herbie and I have fun at pretty much anything we like these days; groundwork, liberty, dressage, horse-holidays, jumping, archery and riding bridleless just for fun! 

Thank heavens for horses! xx

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