Hello! I'm Rebecca. I am so happy to have found this place and look forward to getting to know you all.
Where do I start? I apologize in advance as this may end up being a rather long post. I am passionate about words and only more-so about horses and becoming a true horsewoman. Combine the two and you get..this.
I was born and raised in horse-racing country, Kentucky. I began traditional riding lessons when I was eight years old. When I was nine, I won my first regional championship. In 2000, I moved to Tennessee with my family. Upon moving, my then-trainer sold (virtually gave) me the mare I had been competing - Morkie. Morkie, thus, came to live with me in Tennessee. I could not afford a saddle and so began riding without anything between us. She is a wonderful, wonderful mare with more patience than I deserve. She has a long, marred history that I'll have to share here sometime. To make a long story short, Morkie is a registered Arabian mare who was abused early in life and had been untouched for four years when we met. I was the first child she ever let ride her..apparently, she unseated others or simply would not move from a halt. This year, Morkie is 27 years old and is living with DSLD. As such, she can no longer carry my weight on her back. We play and stretch and enjoy the other's company. I owe her my life.
In 2004, I was riding (still traditionally) at a stable in Tennessee who ended up purchasing four horses from a slaughter-bound auction. One was a thirteen hand, emaciated chestnut gelding - Tiki. I immediately connected with him. Two weeks after we met, I endured a very traumatic, personal injury. Something was done to me by a close, male friend of mine. And so Tiki and I began rehabilitating each other. We would walk around the pastures together, no leads or halters. When he got tired (he was very weak), I would sit and read my Bible to him while he grazed. Today, Tiki is fifteen hands, deep chestnut, and the most personable, exuberant fellow you'll ever find. He wants to befriend the world and, as a start, has stolen my younger sister's heart. They play and fellowship together seven days a week. She looks forward to jumping him as they grow.
God has opened some amazing doors for me. I began riding Arabians and quickly fell in love with a breed called the Shagya Arabian. Is anyone familiar with them? They are different than purebred Arabians, more bone, taller. I began corresponding with a Shagya breeder here in the United States a few years ago. I was speaking with her the other day about the crossroad in my journey and she offered me part of my dream. On April 16, I leave on a cross-country road trip to meet my dream horse, a mare named Sarabande. Sara is coming four, purebred Shagya, dark grey, stands sixteen hands. My breeder friend had intended to keep her until she spoke to me. If all goes as planned, Sara will arrive in Kentucky in late April and I will be there to meet her.
My journey as a horsewoman is in a sensitive place. I am preparing to move back to Kentucky to continue my college education. Morkie is already there, waiting for me at a friend's farm. Tiki will stay in Tennessee with my sister; they share a bond I wouldn't dare intrude upon. By God's grace, I have found a woman to learn from with Sara locally. She was trained by students of Podhasjky and Oliviera. She has a long background in biomechanics, saddle fit, Centered Riding, and even massage therapy. She is just as excited about my partnership with Sara as I am. Sara has never been ridden and has never done any "training" aside from learning to lead, stand for health care, and grooming. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to work with a horse like her..she'll never know abuse or neglect or "normal" riding.
I am new to Natural Dressage. I have experimented with it in years past without knowing it had a name. I have a strong background in classical dressage; I was fortunate enough to work with a former member of the Spanish Riding School. However, I can no longer settle for just classical riding. There is so much more than body work. I want to grow the body, mind and spirit of both horse and rider. And so, I am on the precipice..a sensitive place, as I said before. I am struggling because pursuing this
journey is alienation from most other "horse-people." Pursuing this journey means truly opening my hands and giving up control..bits, "set" training plans, etc. However, when I tried to ignore the magnet drawing me to being truly Natural and Classical, I stop functioning. I'm distracted, catatonic, if you will. I have
to ask why, challenge "tradition", be that black sheep. I can't help it..sometimes wish I could.
And so I truly am happy and encouraged to have found AND. Perhaps this means my seemingly crazy path will have company. I am so honored to be able to learn from a group like you. I look forward to learning and growing with you.Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iâ€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.