​​​Using horses to transform lives, imparting hope, and healing

​​​​​​​Leandra

What can I say? I practically inherited my passion for horses. My Mom has always been crazy about horses so I grew up being in love with those beautiful creatures.

I first started riding when I was five years old, English, in a riding school, where there was no room for a real relationship with your “partner”. I have always been different and seen this part in horse riding, but living in Berlin, a big city, there was just no room for building any kind of relationship with your horse or more than one hour of riding per week.

When I was 17 I took part in a four-week exchange program. That was when I first got to know Terri and the Natural Horsemanship. I guess I was lucky I got to her ranch and not any cowboy ranch, where they would practise fear-mechanics to work with a horse. Instead I learned the Natural Horsemanship and really developed a whole new kind of riding. But I also gained freedom, freedom with my trustful partner.

I am very thankful that I became “part of her family”. I am able to return every year and got to help her with Hope Ranch as well.

It’s very special to see this sparkle in any child’s eyes that first rides a horse and has such a fun and memorable experience. I love to have people coming over to her ranch, because it makes me happy to make them happy. Even if you only brush a horse with someone, they see there is hope and trust.

This is the whole point of Hope Ranch, finding hope through trust. You literally entrust your life in the horse. And you learn a lot about yourself.

And that’s what I discovered as well. Not only by working with those horses but also by working on my personality.

With horses you gain more confidence and a better view on the really important things in life.

If you love a horse you love it with all of your heart, no matter its mistakes. It is perfectly imperfect.

Three years ago I started trying to ride with a pad instead of a saddle, now being 20 years old I can ride bridle-less and bareback on my currently favorite horse Sunshine Banana Jack.

You might wonder why I say currently, but I have had many favorite horses over the past three years, some of which have gone away, some have gotten a new owner and some which have passed away. But no matter what happens they will always have a place in my heart, where I keep them loving tight.

I learned I can love more than one horse, because all of them are special. Just as special as Hope Ranch.

The Hope Ranch Family with all of the volunteers helped me heal myself, and that is what I want to pass on by volunteering with them.