Four days after my return home, I can finally set out how positively this wonderful experience has affected me.
I began the adventure thanks to my passion for horses, creatures at once powerful and elegant, yet at the same time so fragile. I decided to link my passion with reality, and so, as part of a university work experience scheme, I arrived at IHP.
It was certainly a challenging experience: the alarm clock rings very early and the work is tiring, but when you get to the end of the day, and you are exhausted, your legs are weak, and your clothes are ‘perfumed' with horse, you also have a sense of achievement and of lightness of spirit; you stretch out in bed and know that you have done the right thing, that you have done some good.
IHP is a very different reality from the one I was used to: a reality of 40 horses living free “outside the front door”, and who need care and love; a reality where you have to learn to live with ten other people under the same roof, work with them, spend 24 hours a day with them. A reality which has taught me a lot about relationships with humans, but above all which opened my eyes to a totally new concept of “horse”.
I set out with the idea that I was going to a place where there were horses needing people's help and care, and in a way that is just how it is. But what really made a huge impression on me is that it is those animals, having endured mistreatment and terrible situations, who help us, and our hearts. That is how it was for me.
An adventure well worth living and one which leaves the heart full of beautiful feelings, and some nostalgia. An adventure which I will for sure be happy to repeat as soon as possible.
My thanks to all the volunteers I met, Sonny and all IHP! But, above all, thank you to the horses I lived these amazing days with, and who helped me to grow. Thank you!