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I'm Gill.  I'm 27 and live in Brighton with my partner, who isn't at all horsey, bless him, but has learned to distinguish between Arabs and all other breeds!

I have owned Sirima (Rima for short) a 7 year old Arab mare, for the last two months to date.  But my journey into a more natural and fulfilling way of being with horses began some time before I came to own her.

After a 10 year break from horses and riding, I moved to Brighton and discovered the wonderful Sussex countryside.  Walking over the South Downs with my partner one day, I couldn't help thinking, "what a wonderful place to ride this would be."  All those addicted to horses will appreciate it wasn't a huge leap from that one thought to a frantic search for a horse to loan.  I thought I would never find one, especially as my criteria of finding a happy hacking Arab often felt like wishful thinking.  Along the way, I met a lady who kept her four Arabs out 24/7 in a herd, and was into something called "Parelli".  How the horse world had changed since I'd been away!  Eventually, I was offered a lovely Arab mare on loan.

Amira was a challenge right from the start.  A hot-headed, poor doer who hated being stabled, she started me on the path which I now follow.  In my quest to improve things for her, I discovered bitless, treeless riding, as well as forage feeding and the benefits of keeping horses living out.  Amira responded so well to all these changes, I just knew I had found a way forward which applied to all horses. Sadly, Amira developed sacroiliac and pelvis problems, meaning she could no longer be ridden. She retired back with her breeders earlier this year.

And now I have Rima.  If horses are a reflection of the self, then truly she is here to teach me how to be patient, consistent and genuine in all that I do.  She is naturally dominant, prone to stroppy madam moments and a real character!  Underneath all that, she is a lovely, genuine and honest little horse with a big heart.  Slowly but surely, we are working on building a trusting and mutually respectful relationship, and having plenty of fun along the way.  Rima is barefoot and lives out all year round in a small herd.  I consider myself lucky to have such a great teacher, and together we are becoming a partnership.  I have begun studying Parelli as well as other methods to help us along, and I can't think of anything more rewarding than this journey.

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