The Beautiful Belle

by Georgie
(Geelong, Australia )

Belle's progression

Belle's progression

They say that we don't choose the horses that come into our lives, but that they cross our paths for a reason. I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason, and this applies so well to how I ended up with Belle.
I had just finished a shift on night watch when I received a call from a friend saying that she was over Belle and needed her gone or it was lights out. I knew Belle from my year at university and knew she wasn't as bad as this friend thought, so I bought her and had her shipped the 1200kms to my place.

The day she was set to leave, I received a call at 4am from the trucking company moving her, something which is extremely rare. They wanted to make sure I knew exactly what this horse looked like as they had never transported or seen a horse in this bad a state. This was the moment I realised just how badly things had gotten for Belle, and I just knew I'd made the right decision.

Belle arrived at my mum's house looking like death warmed up. Her coat was dull, matted and falling out in patches. Her hip bones stuck out and had sores on them, her ribs were all clearly visible and her head looked too big for her body. She was a wreck, both physically and mentally. It was dangerous to be in the paddock with her,and if it wasn't for my extremely dominant mare Cherry I don't know what I would have done. Even our dog wasn't safe from Belle's behaviour!

For the first nine months I didn't do anything with Belle, I figured she had had more than enough messing around that some paddock and herd time would be the best thing for her. I went into the paddock, patted her and walked away.

Another major thing I noticed about her were her knees, at 6 years old her knees were still fully open. Seeing this I broke down and cried, I just felt so horrible that she had had to suffer and she was still a baby!! Belle had been pushed, and as a 3/4 year old was competing successfully in elementary level dressage, and this has taken a toll on her physically and mentally.

After about nine months I moved and brought Cherry and Belle with me, and this is where Belle's healing process really begins. I discovered Happy Horse Training on Facebook and started asking millions of questions, so many questions I swear Camille was regretting adding me ;). Slowly, with lots of help from Camille and Gaby, we tried to help Belle through her issues.

After struggling for a few months, Camille helped Belle out through a healing treatment, the results were instant. We discovered layers and layers of trauma everywhere, the extent of the trauma she had was impossible to comprehend, and yet she was in the process of trying to heal herself! Such a strong, resilient girl.

In between all this, I acquired a little pony to be paddock mates with Belle, the change in her paddock behaviour was instant! I no longer had to go in with protection, she was content with herself and her friend, and she was content, finally, with me. From there my relationship with Belle has become better and better. I'm listening to her insecurities and anxieties, and in return she's trusting me more and becoming more vocal and open towards me. There have been steps back along with steps forward but that's the dance we have to do in order to put the moves together and be in harmony.

I don't know how to finish off our story because it isn't finished yet. Belle and I still have a long way to go, but now we are both listening to each other and there's a trust foundation being built. We are on the road to greatness. Belle truly stumbled into my world by accident, only there are no accidents.

Comments for The Beautiful Belle

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 25, 2013
For Belle
by: Anonymous

may you both continue your journey together in harmony and peace

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Share Your Horse Story!.

The pages on HHT are so wide-ranging and interrelated that we strongly recommend you look at the site plan to find other subjects that may interest you.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

New from HHT!

AudioRide is a series of exercises designed to listen to while you ride.

Audio descriptions guide you through each step of developing a balanced, dynamic connection with the horse through your position.

This truly innovative learning tool gives you a whole new way of being guided in your riding, in a calm, clear, step-by-step way.

Free Download! Introductory Exercise: Riding in the Now

Click here for full details

The Gymnastic Rider eBook

Now available exclusively from HHT!

A unique, comprehensive guide to practical rider biomechanics. This professionally produced eBook takes the rider through the process of developing their body in the specific way that brings the horse's movement into harmony and balance, without force and constraint. Click here for full details, and to download the 15-page introduction to the book for free.

Join the Happy Horse Training group on Facebook!

See and share topical info, news and photo's, and take part in lively discussions.

Click here to go to the HHT group (make sure you log into fb first) and then click on the 'join' button at the top of the page.

Join the Whole Horse Newsletter!

HHT's free monthly newsletter giving you wide-ranging and intelligent insights into holistic horsemanship.
Just enter your details below to join.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you the whole horse newsletter.

Free bonus on the riding position with all new subscriptions: Ten Top Tips To Instantly Improve Your Connection With Your Horse.

Click here to see back issues of The Whole Horse newsletter

Train Your Horse
The Holistic Way

How To Train A Horse Without Force is a unique guide to training horses through energetic connection and gymnastic training. Part 1 covers everything on the ground, from handling to the lungeing technique that develops strength, straightness and engagement. Comes with a free eBook supplement on Horse Trauma.
Click here for more details.

"As a student of Zen Buddhism for nearly three decades, I've often wondered when someone was going to write the book on Zen and the art of horsemanship, and I think that your emphasis on mindfulness and energy connection gets right at the heart of the matter."

- Prof. Teresa Lloyd, U.S.

Do You Have
A Horse Story
To Share On HHT?

So many people have been through wonderful experiences with horses, whether in training or otherwise. If you've made a change in a horse's life - or one has made a change in yours - tell us about it here.

Learn The Natural Barefoot Trim - The Simple Way

The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to a cutting-edge barefoot trim. Click here to find out more.

What people say about HHT:

"The riding instruction is outstanding, if instructors in the UK taught this way there would be a lot of happy riders and horses."

"The riding tuition exceeded my hopes and expectations by a long way; giving me an exciting new facet to horsemanship which is lighter. more subtle, more elegant and more meaningful. It is as if a new door has opened bringing more sunlight and air."

"My goodness - what a change has taken place in my riding. I think that I'm starting to sit 'into' the horse rather than on top of him. I felt my horse's movements in a way that has almost never happened before"

Click on Testimonials for more