Good morning! i did a quick video to share some highlights of the amazing & insightful talk given by Rupert Isaacson & his Horse Boy Foundation team on the first day of the Equine International Summit. They are doing beautiful things to serve autistic children & their caregivers all over the world.
They are also improving the physique of the donated horses that they work with, using a simple approach that has a very surprising origin. Donated horses are often older, retired horses or horses that have mobility issues (horse people would say that they're "not sound"). Rupert discovered a simple yet very effective technique to revamp the physique of these horses, and he discovered that it also improves their mental well-being (In his words, the horse goes from "F**k no! i'm not working with you!" to "Well, maybe I'll work with you" to "I'm enjoying working with you!"). He learned this technique with Portuguese horse trainers who train horses for Portuguese bullfighting, an incredibly daring technique used to fight bulls exclusively on horseback (I have seen some Portuguese bullfights and it's absolutely breath-taking! and yes, controversial, because after all, it's bullfighting). The equestrian techniques used were inherited from the training of horses to go into battle, in the days when horses were still used in the military in Europe to go to war.
Rupert discovered that this approach to train horses, developed to reap havoc & harm in warfare, can be used to heal and help. He demonstrated the approach on a horse on-site.
The end of Rupert's talk was devoted to the importance of his encounters with shamans & shamanism. The shamanic practices that he learned from them is what keeps him from burning out, by building his compassion (starting with self-compassion; without that, you can't practice compassion with anyone else!) and living his dream in a way that serves humanity.
It was a fascinating session and I'm really looking forward to today's all-day agenda at the Equine International Summit! I'll share my discoveries with you tomorrow. Stay tuned!