Stories & Inspiration

Honoring My Mentors – #6 Of course – My Horses!

by | Feb 21, 2022

Last but definitely not least: the most important mentors have been my horses and the ones I have worked with throughout the years.

Here is a story of a horse I met as a teenager who shaped who I have become.

His name was Carlos – my name being Carla, that didn’t feel like a coincidence.

He was 4 years old when he came to the barn I was riding at. This barn was my second home during my teenage years. I spent all my free time taking care of and riding horses there. I was the only teenager at the barn and ended up being put on all the young horses that were started there. The thinking was: “Well, she is light and she will bounce, so let’s put her on the young ones.” I definitely learned how to hang on. Lol.

Carlos was different though. At his young age, he had already been traumatized. He was extremely head shy, and was the first horse I ever encountered who attacked people.

I started bonding with him. I spent hours gently getting a halter, and eventually a bridle and saddle on him.

Then the big day came and I was to be the first one to ride him. And hell, I wish I had known then what I know now. I was lucky to not get hurt. It was considered normal that he would do a couple of laps of bucking (each and every ride) before he calmed down.

It was considered normal that I had to stop him against the wall because he didn’t understand seat or rein aids.

But at least, I managed to “ride” him and did so for a couple of months. And I was the only person he didn’t try to bite.

I tried all the ideas I could come up with. Some of them good ideas, some of them not so much.

I loved this horse dearly and was heart broken when he got sold to someone who was told: “This horse was ridden by a teenager…”

What I learned:

I wish I had had a human mentor at the time, not just for training the horse, but also to develop my skills as a rider, so that I would have been able to ride this horse in a harmonious way. I wish I had had:

  • Someone who had the same horse-friendly ideas and loved them as much as I do.
  • Someone who could have saved me the trial and error that hurt me and the horses.
  • Someone who could teach me the skills to become a better rider and horse person.
  • Someone I could trust to have my and the horse’s best interest in mind.

It’s not so easy to find a good mentor. I am lucky to have found some wonderful human beings that have helped me, and are still helping me to become the (horse) person I want to be.

If you are in search of a mentor, and this resonates with you: Consider if I can be the mentor you are looking for. You can get a taste of what that could look like by becoming a member of The Intuitive Rider Academy.