by Laura Schumann
My dear friend Tori and I have talked (with others) for years about a riding vacation. For her ‘big’ birthday-so I was determined to be in on this and when she chose White Stallion Ranch, I knew it would be great-Anna goes there every year!
July through December of 2014 were difficult months. I lost my dear cat Chancey, my dear friend Pat, in November my father, and in December my ‘brother from another mother’ Cowboy Tim. So, this trip in December could not have come at a better time, and horse healing time was just what I needed.
White Stallion is an awesome place, the horses are great. It’s obvious these horses take all types of people all over the desert trails-my first ride out was up some excitingly steep rocks-you realize right there the trust you place in the horse. And trust I did, and it was great.
Next day we had the chance to canter-my horse was older, over 20 in fact, Tracker his name. “Everybody ready?” is the question asked as we come upon the spot to canter-ready or not, Tracker knew the spot-he started. Not the fastest, always WAY in the back were Tracker and I-but so much heart-you could feel it in his canter! As we cantered, and fell WAY behind all the rest-I said, dude, ride your ride-whatever you want, you go buddy! Because I realized-everyone pays to ride these horses, why, they should do what I want, I’m the rider and I’ve paid—but not me. I’ve been ‘Annafied’, ‘ROTHified’, if you will.
I rode my Tracker, trusted him fully-why shouldn’t he have fun and ride his ride. Sure, I could kick him, urge him forward, ask him to go faster-but why, for what purpose? I had not a worry or care in the world-Tracker and I were always way in the back-‘where’s Laura-oh look, there she is, she’s coming-WAAAY back there…’.
But you see, Tracker knew. I needed horse time. I wanted to ride my horse and be with my horse. Others laughed, chatted, took pictures-were they even aware of their horse under them? I surely was. And, he was amazing-as we walked through rocky areas, hills-he took every step carefully, placed his feet-he was never refusing, he just needed to take his time-and I gave him that.
So maybe, just maybe, I hope, I gave him a voice. I would like to think he enjoyed himself, I know I did. He wasn’t herd-bound, didn’t need anyone-and frankly had nothing to prove. His lesson for me- nothing to prove-we rode just fine, didn’t have to go fast, didn’t have to be first, in fact, he and I could have ridden home alone in the dark for all either of us cared-we just shared time. And space. And he taught me and healed me, my Tracker with a ‘ginormous’ heart.
When I dismounted for the beer and cheetos ride-I told our trail boss (a sweet, wonderful young lady, far more mature than her age of 19) that he was old, I could tell, and that he was so very careful-I just needed her to hear that-and he leaned his face over, nudged me, she was surprised and said, “he does like you”.
I was glad to be with my friends who also appreciated the horses, but confess I was amazed at how unaware and unappreciative so many riders are…and am so grateful for all I’ve learned thus far from Anna Twinney.
When people ask me about ROTH and what I’m doing-who Anna is, the best way I can describe it is to explain to people that Anna has taken it all a step further, a step higher-more spiritual, if you will, more respectful-she ‘hears the whisper’ and gives the horse a voice-in ways that no one else can.
I have a long way to go on my journey, and am grateful we have Anna Twinney to show us the way.
My life has changed tremendously since I began my journey with Anna-and it has truly become a most amazing and wonderful part of my life. I look forward to each and every next step in this fantastic journey of horsemanship, authenticity, and life.
In a word, ROTH rocks!!