Today I am pleased to feature Bernadette Leslie. Bernie Leslie is a Scottish writer who was born with Cerebral Palsy. She’s an ex-Parasports athlete who represented Scotland and Great Britain, winning a bronze medal with GB in the 2006 Boccia World Championships. She’s writing her first novel. In her spare time, she loves going to see her favourite football team play and loves animals.
Welcome, Bernie, and thanks for featuring today. I know that we will be sharing more posts, but, first, I would be really interested to learn about your experiences with Equus. How did you became so interested and involved with horses and their language?
It all started with my mum actually! A year ago, she read an article in the September 2013 issue of Oprah and when she finished reading it, she came through and she said: “There is an incredible article about horses this month and I think you would love to read it.” Somehow it struck a chord with me. Martha Beck, a life coach, was describing the Equus experience of a client who worked with Koelle Simpson, equine trainer/life coach, to resolve the issues that were plaguing her.
Strangely enough, the very next day, Mum and I were visiting some relatives’ graves. Now there had always been a horse in the next field, and I’d always wanted to say hello, but never could because it’d mean my electric wheelchair would be trudging through grass and leaving a right mess everywhere, not to mention getting stuck if it’d been raining.
I need to give kudos to the local council for this one because I noticed they had made a path up to the fence and I decided to see if the horse would come over. Thankfully she did and it was really through her that I began to see for myself just how horses perceive not only ourselves, but how we feel too. That started a journey of discovering everything I could find out about horses!
What teaches you about spiritual truths?
Equus is a non-verbal language of horses in which these amazing animals — so sensitive that they feel the tiniest of things landing on them — let us human beings know how they’re feeling via their body language, which is interesting, because thousands of years ago, our ancestors were known to communicate through body language, until other forms of languages developed and took its place — the ones we know today as written and spoken languages.
Spiritually, Equus has been invaluable to me. I was starting to figure out, through being with horses, that negative influences were having far too much influence over what I was doing. I felt under increasing pressure, and forgot about how important it was to take care of myself and return myself to a blissful, peaceful place. Equus teaches me what leadership really means and how to remain centred when others try to drag you down.
Horses have helped me do this and now I feel more confident that I am taking the right path — horses and writing are a winning combination, for me at least!
Thanks so much, Bernie. It is so interesting to discover that horses have a language and that we can learn to communicate with them through it. All the best with your writing and your riding!