Why Horses?

I am sitting with an OS map and a pendulum, not the usual way to plan a visit to the wilderness that is Dartmoor, but it seems to work for me! I find myself compelled to draft a blog this week about myself and my story with horses. So I suppose it should really say, Why me and horses?

For a man just entering his fifties I have not spent a lot of time with horses. It all started when my children were young (taking them at insane hours of the day for weekend riding lessons) and grew from there; much of that story is irrelevant in context. What is important is that somewhere in the middle of all that I walked away from horses; whilst knowing that they were part of my heart, consciously I walked away (that is another story for another day), intending never to return.

I am a stubborn man and can steel my heart against the deepest and most sensitive love. (Now you know!)


Well that magical ancient and bleak land has a way of changing things.

Drtmr_0809_30Or at least for me.

All my life I enjoyed the walking in the wilderness – particularly that of my home country – it is in my blood period. Dartmoor and the Lake District hold a very special place in my soul. They are like opposing chakras, Dartmoor my earth star, my grounding point the place where the soul of this land connects with me (and The Lakes, my crown, my connection to the divine).

Dartmoor has drawn me back year after year though. I never tire of it. It washes and cleanses me.

So very roughly – 5 or 6 years ago – I was walking and camping there with my son. We happened across the beautiful feral ponies wherever we walked. Encountering these ponies reminded me of what I had walked away from and soon we were spending more time sitting silently within the grazing herd than yomping across the moorland. The experience reconnected me deeply.

Through the unbelievable benevolence of friends – within 3 months I had been introduced to LeadChange, within 4 months I was riding again, within 9 I had a acquired an incredible new partner in crime, enter Ernie!

The rest – as they say – is history.


And as I find myself cowered over an OS map with my pendulum, and circuitously leads me to Crockern Tor, a place that I have never heardDrtmr_0809_31 of before. A short amount of googling later I find that it almost the old geographic and political centre of the Moor, it is the historical seat of Moor’s parliament during the middle-ages.

I also find it is the home Old Crockern the pre-Christian God of the moor.

And so I find that this is more than just a return. I think my soul is being called back. And called back to the very essence of the moor. Actually let us say I am being summoned.

At the end of a week where I again genuinely found myself questioning a future with horses, I am called to the place where this journey started. Actually, as I reflect upon this it actually feels like I have come full circle, it is as if I am closing a chapter (or the more like the first book of some monstrous trilogy). What lies ahead? I really do not feel positioned to call, yet somehow I feel the spirit of this journey has something to say on the matter.

So where now?

Drtmr_0809_14   (c) The Mindful Horse


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