Kate Farmer: fascinated with the horse’s mind
I’m told I was trying to bond with horses before I could walk, and I guess the habit has stayed with me! I was never a professional rider, I just love horses, and they have always come to find me, even when I least expected it. Generally speaking, we had a pretty good rapport and where problems arose, I found a solution.
Then, in 1996, I met Sunny, a 5 year old horse who had been born semi-wild, and had never quite got the hang of the domestication bit. At least, she was fine with it while we both agreed on a course of action, the problem was when we disagreed, at which point she’d stand on her back legs and try to tap dance on my head.
I was sure she wasn’t “bad”, even though there were plenty of people telling me she was unreliable and unridable. I was convinced she was just trying to tell me something. My search for an interpreter led me eventually to Richard Thompson, a wonderful natural horsemanship trainer from the USA. He hopped on a ‘plane and came to introduce me and a few of my friends to the horse’s view of the world.
Sunny didn’t change overnight – but in a way, I did. With Richard’s guidance and teaching, I began to see how her mind was working, and with a lot of practice and experience, I started to convince her that I could be a leader she could respect. Richard became a regular visitor every spring and autumn, and in a few years I started helping other people with their horses. That grew and grew, until it became a second occupation. To get this in context, I updated my general equestrian knowledge and skills through Warwickshire College instructor training courses.
My interest in equine behaviour soon developed into the scientific field, and with the help and encouragement of Professor Konstanze Krüger I became involved in several research studies. More on these on the research page.
Thinking Horse sets out to combine practical training, problem solving, scientific research, and one-to-one help and support for horse owners, whether face-to-face or online!