One of my readers asked a question after my last post and I started writing an answer, but then realized that perhaps others would like to see my answer as well. My reader wanted to know how I got to this point in my journey, was it purely experience with horses or was I inspired by certain trainers.
Excellent question which made me think a bit about my past, something I have been doing in any case this past year.
When I was a "traditional" horse enthusiast I didn't read a lot of "how to" books because they seemed to interfere with my "feel" (or what I thought was "feel") but since then, I have read lots of horse and animal books to help me find my way. Klaus Hempfling, Imke Spilker, Carolyn Resnick, Linda Kohanov, Karen Pryor (clicker training), Marta Williams (animal communication) to mention a few, have all given me food for thought. I've watched videos as well (Nevzorov, Hempfling, Path of the Horse, Resnick etc.) and attended a few workshops (Newe, Epona, Williams) I can't say that I practice a certain method, but have been inspired one way or another by these people (if nothing else, they made me think)
Also, I have many close friends who are discovering horses in the same manner as I am, and our conversations (which often turn into brainstorming sessions) have been priceless. Thank you my friends, you all know who you are! In fact, I would say that what I have learned through our discussions has helped me more than all the "experts" mentioned before. I definitely process information through talking and writing about it. Often my thoughts might be muddled, but once I start talking, they come together (although this can sometimes be a loooooong process as some of my friends know...). It's really important for me to be connected to other people and their journeys.
However, what has most inspired me are the horses. I have spent a lot of time thinking back at my life and realized that the lessons were there long time ago, I just didn't see them. Now I am determined not to miss a minute. Hence this blog and my approach to being Little Love's person. And it's not just Little Love who is teaching me, but every horse I meet can give me another insight into their secret world. It is utterly fascinating. Just today I had a conversation with Becky about the bitless bridle, asking her if she would want to try it (since I already did on Tuesday and Col was great). She said no, and said that she wasn't sure she wanted me to ever use it with her horse again either. I was surprised by her strong reaction (as this is atypical to her) and found out that when she had bridled Col two days ago, he had refused to open his mouth for her to put the bit in. Apparently this was unheard of and had never happened before. Now surely this could not be because three days prior I rode him in the bitless ONCE. Or could it? Wait a minute, is he making a statement? Becky certainly thought so. The sad part was that she did not want to hear it (but it was interesting that she made the connection... which means she is thinking about this bitless ordeal more than she lets on...). But little things like these make me wonder how much, if anything, about horses is accidental and how much is intentional.
So, I guess I can summarize that I have been influenced and inspired by many sources, all with a fountain of knowledge, but in the end I want to be the person who makes the revelations of my journey. I do believe it is very personal. If someone else had the chance to spend time with Little Love, I believe she would have a lot to give them, but it would be totally different than what she gives to me. I believe in being open-minded and ready to receive more knowledge at all times. Oh, and in trusting your instinct as far as you dare!