From as early as I could remember the idea of whether to work with plants or horses had been a near impossible decision for me. I loved growing herbs and making herbal remedies all the way through my childhood but I also spent my spare time with horses (or very naughty ponies!). It didn’t matter if I didn’t always ride, being around them was therapy enough. I sat in fields reading old books on Herbal medicine and watching the horses with their amazing knowledge of wildflowers as they looked to cure themselves with them.
After many years of courses, clinics, walks, talks and qualifications, I still hadn’t come to a firm decision between the two. Until suddenly and quite unexpectedly one sunny May day in 2012, ten horses landed on our doorstop. They were all elderly, starving and so so sad. From that moment I realised that what they needed incorporated both of the things that I was so very passionate about, plants and horses!
The past 6 years has been a steep learning curve, exhausting, tearful, funny and at times very challenging but most importantly incredibly rewarding.
Watching elderly, weak horses arrive here at ARC, with a feeling of helplessness about them, as if they had almost given up on an unfair life, a life where they had given their all, only to be abandoned when they could no longer cope was, and always is, initially heartbreaking. Then watching as these horses undergo a ‘rewilding’ experience where they live as natural (and comfortable) as possible in permanent mixed herds… becomes the most satisfying, most rewarding and humbling experience.
To me this is the beginning of a journey and I have the best teachers…..