One day, before I began training the horses at HH Sensing, I stopped to watch the foals born in the barn where my business is located. One more time I got reminded of how many things, that are learned when you’re very young, follow you for the rest of your life.
Anyone, child, adult or other animal, stops by the mare and foal’s corrals. Anyone seems always strongly attracted by the young foals and their mother’s. Their behavior is real and sincere. It gives a glimpse of how behavior develops in an individual, of any species.
Foals are still relatively free of memories, and stay relevant to life. Keeping this attitude let us keep our user’s manual for life open. We do not need to go far to find it. It is written in lists, in our own DNA, developed and tested throughout time, and space, by the energy of movement, and the interaction with other individuals. Whether we are conscious or not of our actions, we make our own destiny, being consciously present allows us to build more useful memories for future reference.
Teke, the youngest of the foals, lives in a corral on the corner of the barn, with her mother Rosie. I saw her right after she was born, while Cherie, her owner, was welcoming her. Cherie’s grandson and Maggie, the sweet black Labrador, were watching too. The dog was on a leash held by Cherie’s grandson, who was sitting on a ledge in the barn isle. They were watching after everyone, from outside the stall. When I arrived Teke was making her own way from the ground to a standing posture. Rosie was standing right above watching attentively like mothers do for their whole lives.
Teke was embracing the new, while everyone else was welcoming her to life. Teke was immediately getting down to business, already aware of the fact that anything, especially what is moving next to her, can affect her. She was open minded, responding to her mother’s position, by moving away when she was too close and following when Rosie moved away. This way of reacting to movement would keep her alive and it will never change. Her behavior was new, yet as old as life is. She was pushing herself, driven by her senses and learning to use them. A very motivating interest supported Teke, she was looking to reach her mother’s udder, to fill her mouth with milk, while being cautious about getting stepped on.
These horses live in a barn, a much unnatural setting for the equine species, yet their behavior can be compared to what happens in a wild herd, and be found the same.
The morning of Teke’s birth Angela came to take pictures of me working with horses. Strangely, and unlike many photographers, Angela was not after any exceptional shot, instead she was looking to catch a portrait of the everyday routine of a horse trainer. The pictures she sent me are amazingly real, and let me see myself into the routine of my own life, and what I do.
Teke is a beautiful filly and sweet Rosie a great mare. This year there are two more babies, Liberty and River, that are just a little older, born in the barn, and seeing them grow is fascinating.
When I was a student in Veterinary School I spent many nights awake, while the Veterinarians and barn personnel where resting; I was watching after the pregnant mares near foaling. At that time I often got to see a birth or two per night, and every time I liked to dive in the experience. I would sit by the stall, when people were done, assisting the mare and foal. I noticed that, by respecting the horses’ space they always welcomed me to stay. The mare and foal would actually try to come over, and involve me in the interaction, while I often was silently watching how they bonded, and how the foal would learn his first lesson of life.
Liberty was the first foal to be born this season, then a month later came River. I feel very privileged having had the chance to see the three of them grow and learn, reminding myself how to stay open to life, and welcome it.
Italian born, Alessandra, was a horsewoman first, before making her mark as a daring and adventuresome jockey, riding flat races in Italy during the 1980s and 90’s. She went on to graduate from the Veterinary Medicine School at the University of the Studies of Milan. Even before she moved to the US, she had established herself as a trainer and an educator; writing widely praised freelance articles with enchanting illustrations for equestrian publications in Italy and in the USA since 1990. Alessandra writes monthly in the training sections for Elite Equestrian
( www.eliteequestrian.us ) in the US and Il Mio Cavallo
( www.ilmiocavallo.it ) in Italy.Since 1996, she has lived in California with her family, where her pursuit of Liberty Training led her to establish Human to Horse, a resource organization promoting liberty as the basis to better the relationship between human beings and horses. Alessandra sees liberty training as the key to understand the equine mind and work in harmony with horses. She trains horses and teaches horsemanship using her own Human Horse Sensing approach, a system that is based on liberty, but rooted in the goals and nuances of classical dressage training, current horse behavioral sciences and her experience of forty years spent with horses.. Web www.HHSensing.comemail HHSensing@icloud.com