Happy Horses have Happy Riders!
I had heard of many great stories about a NGO named “Healing with Horses” that was doing fabulous work in the island of Tobago. So of course during my last visit to Tobago, my friends and I had decided to reserve a horseback riding tour with “Being with Horses”, which is the business initiative to support Healing with Horses, and see what it was all about. To get a preview on the amazing work done by the Foundation – click here.
Upon arrival to our Saturday morning swim and trail combination ride, we were introduced to all members of the Being with Horses Family – Veronika and her amazing team as well as their healthy herd of gorgeous rescue horses. Veronika sat us down in a circle around her and revealed to us on how the foundation came to be. It had all started when Veronika, a native German, had met her husband Lennon, a native Trinidadian, while she was on vacation in Trinidad and Tobago. They fell madly in love and shortly after, they co-founded the Healing with Horses foundation. Their mission is to give therapeutic services to hundreds of differently abled individuals from Tobago and Trinidad, using Equine Nature Therapy, free of charge. The horses are free to roam for 16 hours a day in their farm located a few miles up the hill, which are brought down to the stables for the therapeutic and riding sessions.
We were then asked to make our way to the horses; each situated in their homely and beautifully decorated stall. Veronika would then introduce us to each horse one by one with a little story on how they came to Healing with Horses. Subsequently, the horse would slowly make their way out of their stall and walk up to the individual with whom they would like to partner up with. This was quite the experience. I was slightly anxious especially as I was one of the last individuals to be selected by the horses. Luckily, one of the most beautiful horses in the stable, named Princess, slowly walked up to me, gave me a nod as she waited for me to offer her a little snack. I had only ridden once before, so was nervous to get up onto Princess but once I did, it all went rather smoothly.
We began the ride by making our way out of Buccoo Village, past the goat race track, through the wetland mangroves and onto the beach. Princess surely had a mind of her own as we ever so often ended up on the other side of the mangrove, away from the rest of the group. I trusted her and knew that I was well taken care of. Princess was slightly uneasy upon entering the water but with a little nudge, we were on our way to riding past the rest of the group. It was so picturesque and an unreal experience; feeling the power of the horse while riding through the clear and calm waters of Buccoo Bay.
We finished the ride through the waters made our way back to the stables where we said bye to these amazing creatures. Just before I left, Veronika had showed me a video about my horse Princess and the incredible journey she went on after falling 40m off a cliff a few years prior. You can watch the video here to see the amazing work done by Veronika and Lennon in enabling Princess to have a full recovery.
Also during our ride, we were very lucky to have a group of professional photographers – Gabriele Boiselle and her TEAM Edition Boiselle – whom specialize in photographing horses. All the photos seen in this article were taken by Gabriele and her team. You can find more information on Edition Boiselle here.