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The story behind Wild Equus

The Story Behind Wild Equus

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Take a look at at the story behind the short film 'Wild Equus'. This is my personal perspective of my journey, production and the ideas behind Natural Horsemanship. Enjoy!

Text of The Story Behind Wild Equus

  • The story behind Wild Equus

  • I grew up watching the film, The Horse Whisperer and I was totally fascinated by it. But I didnt know anything about Natural Horsemanship really. If people would mention it to me, all I imagined were sexy cowboys whis-

    pering to beautiful mustangs! I couldnt of been further from the truth!

    When I set out to learn a little more about this style of horsemanship, I couldnt find anything that inspired me, only hour long lessons on how to get your horse to walk backwards. I wanted to know the media behind it, where

    did it come from? Why do people practise it? So I thought, what better way to learn about this then to see it for my own eyes! This is when I came up with the idea of creating mini portraits of individuals and building it into

    a documentary which looks deep into the meaning behind Natural Horsemanship. I wanted to create something which could inspire and educate.

  • Horsemanship has been around since the first man sat on a horse, but Natural Horsemanship, popularly known as horse whispering is more of a recent discov-ery in the 1980s. Cowboys like Monty Roberts, Mark Rashid and Pat Parelli have introduced to the world training systems which look at horses in a different light and steer away from the more traditional methods of training horses. They make people think like a horse, to be one of the herd. They believe this is the only true way you can connect with a horse and to have a happy relationship with them.

  • Ross Dhu Equestrian, Larkhall, Scotland

    Torils Rocky Mountain Horses, Friendmannsdorf, Germany

    Brillac, Charante, France


  • I never wanted to just learn about Natural Horsemanship in the UK, that felt far too limited. I thought that if I explored Europe, I had a chance to see a comparison in the culture of horsemanship from one country to anoth-er.. In every location, I stayed in the the homes of the people I was documenting. This was not only an amazing

    experience to get to know these people but it also gave me a great advantage as I could document their lives on more of an intimate and personal level.

    I set off with my backpack stuffed to the brim with my filming gear, god knows how I got it all through as hand luggage! Oh well, it saved me an extra 30 squid. Anyway, my first stop was in Scotland and Morag Higgins

    home, she welcomed me straight away with a cup of tea and stories of her old horse. I learnt so much from Mor-ag and got a lot more out of it for the film then I ever imagined. She had some great and passionate things to say

    about Natural Horsemanship which turned out to be a vital part of my films narration.

    Next stop. Germany! I cant even describe how amazing it was to be around Rocky Mountain horses on a daily basis. Theyre the most gentle horses Ive met, they have a great nature. My first night was spent laying in a barn playing with a 3 day old foal and Torils little girl. I had a great oppurtunity here to see what life is like for horses

    who live as a herd in a field all year round.

    My last stop of the trip, Linda Overlaets home in France. What an incredible week. I felt very at home here and the way Linda handled her horses truly inspired me. I got some great footage of her demonstrating some Parelli

    horsemanship training which was really cool to see. This is one of my favourite parts of the film as its a totally fascinating way of communicating with a horse. Linda believes that to work with horses, you have to be one of

    the herd. You have to be the leader but also be respected by them so that you can build trust.

    Not only have I made this film im so proud of out of this trip, Ive also learnt so much myself about horseman-ship and the way I look at animals has completely changed.

  • Morag Higgins is and ex- traditional show jumper who wishes to bring to the people of Scotland a new and exciting concept in horse training. She was the Intelligent Horsemanships Recommended Associate for Scotland for four years and now she have developed an independent system that builds on the principles of Natural Horsemanship, Equido Horsemanship. She has written two novels on natural horsemanship, Bruja and Equido. She has been riding for 40 years and now teaches others her new ethos, her new way of looking at the life of horses. Shes believes that horses dont owe us anything, they dont have to do anything for us, so we need to give them a life that is beneficial for them too.


  • Toril Strooper is a single mother who lives in a farmhouse in Thuringia, Germany with her two children. She is qualified in Animal Behaviour but moved from the Netherlands to Germany to breed Rocky Mountain Horses. Her and her family now run a Rocky Mountain horse breeding facility in which they let their herd live a life as natural as possible and do all the training and handling in the style of Natural Horsemanship. Toril is passionate about her horses creating a natural bond with people, without pain or control.


  • Linda Overlaet is a Belgian lady who lives with her husband in Charente, France. Linda lives in a small farmhouse and lives a very relaxed and peaceful life, as do her horses. She seems to use a very physical approach in terms on Natural Horsemanship, Linda believes in keeping her herd of horses as natural as possible, so they are never to be inside or have rugs and horse shoes in the winter time. Linda is a profes-sional Parelli Natural Horsemanship trainer and she has proof in her horses that Parelli can change the life of a horse and for the owner too.


  • My hope is that this documentary will hopefully reach out to horse owners in the UK or anyone who is thinking of raising or breeding horses. This film will show them a different form of horse handling and that there are other options other than the traditional way of life for horses. Most people believe that the traditional horsemanship style is the only one and is the norm. This film will target people who see a different future for hors-es and believe that there is options for us all. This film can help riders who have had a tragic accident with a horse and need some hope to get back on the saddle. All the characters in this film will reach out to this audience and show them a snippet of what they can do to help both a horse and a rider. Does the viewer have a troubled horse? Well Linda Overleat can show them how they can deal with such a horse.