Last week, it was World Animal Day!
As you probably already know by now, I absolutely love animals- and so World Animal Day is very important to me.
A few years ago, I spent some time in Australia working with horses. It was amazing, and I learned so much!
Wet saddle pads, concentrated training and long rides make for a good relationship where a horse will listen to you, and I also learned more about natural horsemanship and how to build a special relationship with these incredible animals.
In this blog post, I want to discuss my memories of working with horses in Australia, including a bit of information about the importance of celebrating World Animal Day every year.
The Importance of World Animal Day
Animals play an important role in all of our lives. Every single animal on planet earth has an incredible benefit for our environment, including the wider ecosystem or on a personal level.
From adorable dogs to huge whales, we need to learn how to protect the animal kingdom across the world, something humans do not always do.
The World Animal Day mission is to improve welfare standards for animals everywhere, uniting those in the animal welfare movement and recognising that animals must always be treated with love and kindness.
Personally, I try to find little ways to look after animals every single day, including following a vegan lifestyle and caring for pets. You can find out more about this incredible day here, including resources about how to help animals across the world.
Continue reading to find out about my time working with horses.
My Memories of Working with Horses in Australia for World Animal Day
In 2013 I went to Australia on a backpacking adventure where I would be working with horses on a ranch, where I’d be learning all about natural horsemanship and how to build a relationship with horses based upon trust and in hand groundwork sessions.
It was truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had, and I learned so much about natural horsemanship that I see horses and the relationships we all have with them so differently now.
It’s about more than putting on a saddle, bridle and going for a ride!
Towards the end of my time there, I found I enjoyed working with the horses on the ground, much more than riding them.
After I left the horse ranch, I was able to take all the knowledge I’d learnt and apply it to so many different horses in different situations around Australia and the other places I visited.
It was really lovely to be able to apply all my knowledge of natural horsemanship to the other horses I worked with and actually see results!
If you don’t know what natural horsemanship is, then it’s a collective term for a variety of horse training techniques which have seen a rapid growth in popularity since the 1980s.
The techniques vary in their precise tenets but generally share principles of a “kinder and gentler cowboy” to develop a rapport with horses, using methods said to be derived from observation of the natural behaviour of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods.
These methods allow you to build a better relationship with your horse by communicating with them in a language that they understand.
It allows them to clearly see the cues you’re giving them whilst exhibiting the desired behaviour.
The video below showcases a little of what I worked on during my time in Australia:
I absolutely loved exploring my time in Australia, and the animals I worked with really made the experience what it was.
During this experience, I truly understood the beauty and importance of the animal kingdom- and Australia has a wide range of incredible species.
Have you ever worked with animals? What do you do on World Animal Day? Let me know in the comments!
Love, Sarah xoxoxo