JOURNEY TO SOFTNESS
A GREAT HORSE IS DEVELOPED IN YEARS AND NOT TRAINED IN MONTHS
Das Starten von jungen Pferden ist eine Kunstform - es ist der Grundstein für die Pferd-Mensch Beziehung. Um diese gesunde Basis zu erschaffen, beginne ich eine Beziehung aufzubauen und entwickle eine harmonische Partnerschaft mit dem jungen Pferd. Sein Vertrauen sowie seine Selbstsicherheit zu stärken, auf seinen Charakter und seine Natur ganz individuell einzugehen, ist das Ziel: das Pferd wird selbstsicher, neugierig, sensibler und reaktionsfreudiger.
Nach der Vorbereitung am Boden, die je nach Pferd unterschiedlich lange dauert, wird es an den Menschen auf seinem Rücken gewöhnt.
Der Fokus liegt hier auf Entspannung und Vertrauen, sowie das Pferd auf die neue Situation eines Reiters auf seinem Rücken vorzubereiten. Das Pferd kann sich so an diese neue Perspektive gewöhnen und lernt, sich mit dem Reitergewicht auszubalancieren.
Den Menschen als Freund & Partner und später als Leader zu akzeptieren
Einen Sattel, das Auflegen, die Gurte tragen und keine Angst davor zu haben
Den Reiter als Passagier und später als Leader und Lenker zu akzeptieren
Das Gebiss beim Aufzäumen/Tragen und (später!) als Kommunikationsmittel beim Reiten zu akzeptieren.
Gerne kann beim Training des eigenen Pferdes zugesehen werden, wir haben auch Gästezimmer zum Übernachten (s. Preisliste).
"We have just spent an enlightening week with Julio Meier and our two high-spirited horses (age 8) here at La Manada, our farm in Matarraña, Spain.
Our request for his second teaching visit was to continue their training, help and advise my husband Sam with his hoof care work, and to teach Sam, a complete novice, to ride.
What happened was more than we could ever have hoped. We feel a profound shift, not only in our horse-skills and capabilities, but within ourselves.
Julio began working on the ground with Hoku (aka Chocolate Biscuit) and Hiro, who were started as colts in Italy, who Julio visit a year later, but have had only a little experience from us in terms of further training or riding.
Although what we do have is deep trust in each other built steadily over the past seven years.
Julio is not only a skilled and instinctive trainer of horses, but also of humans.
Switching from one to the other kindly, firmly and effortlessly and with a minimum of words, and in English, our first language.
The physical work felt tough at the start of the week, yet almost easy at the end as I learned how to carry and swing saddles and use my energy rather than force.
This shift from pushing myself physically to reaching for my inner energy felt profound. So much so that gradually I felt had more energy rather than less. Amazing!
We learned and practiced ground-work stills that we had been struggling with since they were 3. Hoku had even started barging me with his shoulder the days before Julio arrived. Something in me had collapsed and I had felt deeply frustrated. However, harmony was swiftly restored. Hoku is out of my bubble, standing politely where he should be. We are both much happier.
I realised during our training that I must empty my mind and start to breathe. Get rid of the constant chatter and circling concerns.
When Julio asked m, 'lift up your life' I found I stopped breathing. When I breathed deeply I felt dizzy. As the days went by and I practiced deeper breathing, the horse beneath me became more responsive to my breath.
I knew this to be true from books I had read, but to feel the horse respond is another thing entirely.
The horses were taught to be ‘roping horses’, to drag a weight behind them. Sam was so pleased as we can now work towards them helping with some light logging work in winter.
Between training us and the horses Julio shared so much of his knowledge of horsemanship; of his approach, giving technical and practical advice on diet and equipment and many hands-on skills.
Setting out on our first trail ride the horses were calm, yet alert and keen and we felt safe with Julio on the ground at our side. It was a wonderful moment riding them through almond groves and pine trees.
I realised this week that I have to unlearn all that I learned as a girl-with-a-pony in England a lifetime ago. And it seems, all these years later, that I have been given a second chance to be a good horsewoman.
Before Julio’s visit I had felt adrift between what I once new and was instinctive and the soft, safe, wise place of leadership that I wanted to have with my horses.
With Julio’s patient guidance I have finally touched that place.
Since Julio left on Sunday I have had the same dream; that up at La Manada there were large perfectly balanced mobile sculptures, gently moving in the wind against a bright blue sky.
In the dream I am above the ground beside the moving mobiles and it is a wonderful place to be! They are black and brown, just like Chocolate Biscuit.
Sam dreamed Hiro was one colour on his right, another colour on his left. Sam has the details, very specific. Even down to orange-coloured flecks ..
We hope Julio will return to us so we can continue our education. He is our horse guru."
Helen & Sam, Spain