I have to say now that Ive made the decision to sell my precious wild stallion, i have been much happier, and feel i have made the right choice. But knowing my days with Matai are numbered, before i have to hand him over to his new owner, i going to spend every minute with him just having fun. Today being no exception. So with the help of my terrible photographer, who shall not be named (my mother), we managed to take some of the worst photos, the wild horse project has ever seen, of what might be my last ride on the wild stallion, on Thursday the vet comes and he will instead become the wild gelding...
Going back to just having fun instead of 'training' made me remember the good old days, where as a kid, i used to spend all day galloping around bareback, usually in bare feet, untied and unbrushed hair tucked behind my ears, across the farms, with friends, taking our ponies through the steepest hills, deepest mud, leaping the biggest logs, and basically causing havoc on horse back. But this is where i learnt the most important lessons in horses and life. You learnt just what a horse was capable of, how steep they could climb, how deep the mud they could crawl through, and just how big an obstacle those ponies could jump. Galloping furiously to beat your friend on her pony, and pulling up just before you crashed into a gate, those were always the best memories.
In winter, i refused to use my saddle because i was so proud of it i didn't want it getting muddy, so i use to ride this one winding trail, bareback through the bush over in over again bareback, flying around the bends and leaping over thorn bushes that i progressively stacked higher and higher. Yet these things that i don't do anymore, they are what taught me how to sit on a horse, stay balanced and soft, to go with the motion, and let a horse jump without interfering. These were all skills i developed and have helped me in my career ever since. Riding Matai today reminded me of all those great adventures and skills, and how much fun they were.
Those years on horses growing up running feral, although unconventional, and probably not the safest, taught me more about 'feel' than a lifetime of lessons in an arena ever could. it means on days like today when i just want to have a bit of fun, i can go back to my old ways, blast around the paddock, jump things at random and cool off in a stream, you know what the horses love it too.
But what about everyone else? did anyone else learn any great life lesson this way? not just on horses, on farms, in the city, what is your story?