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.
In her blog, ‘The Wheel Perspective’, Bernie shares news and insights of her life. She is a passionate supporter of ‘Riding for the Disabled’ with whom she rides regularly.
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!
January 21, 2015
Fran Macilvey choices, dignity, family, flash fiction, stories Flash Fiction & Short Stories 2 Comments
‘Shambles is as shambles does…’ he muttered to himself as he hirpled along the road, his shoes scuffing softly on the cobbles. ‘Just what my mother used to say….’
Sauntering past in the other direction, happily linked on the arm of her lover, Susie turned and very obviously watched the old man, as he clattered into the doorway of the newsagent and in under the jangling bell. She was having one of those days when she saw everything: the curve of his lean jaw above the twist of his scarf and his unfastened coat; the pallor of his cheeks; the way his hair, obviously unbrushed today, twisted affectionately at the back of his head. Absently, she wondered if he had eaten yet this morning.
‘Wait a minute, Alice, will you?’ she queried, giving her arm an affectionate squeeze. She turned and followed the man into the shop, aware that she was being even odder than usual today. If everyone indulged their hunches, the world would be a peculiar place….it was peculiar enough, and she hardly needed to draw attention to herself, but still.
Susie took in the slightly dusty air, the rack of newspapers and the colourful array of crisps packets and fizzy bottles near the exit. But her attention was focussed on the old man, carefully clutching a small carton of milk and rooting in his pockets for change, while the shop-keeper waited, watching a screen pinned somewhere overhead. Absently he took the pound coin held aloft in icy fingers and proffered change. The old man’s head was bent slightly forward, as if the weight of the world had warped it. Susie approached the till.
‘Are you all right?’
The old man blinked myopically.
‘Yes, thank you’ he answered, slowly and with great dignity. ‘I’m fine, thank you, young lady.’
Susie wanted to ask him if he had had breakfast, if he was eating properly. She had an absurd longing to go round to his place and make a pot of soup, switch on the radio and fill his kitchen with the clatter of domestic noise, but instead, she just smiled and said, ‘That’s fine, then. Take care of yourself.’
‘The name’s Thomas, and I live up there – …’ he pointed absently, ‘Up the hill a bit. I like to come out for my morning walk every morning. My sister tells me it does me good, though I sometimes wonder.’
‘Ena takes care of me.’
‘I’m very glad.’ Impulsively she gave the old man’s hand a squeeze. ‘I’ll see you again.’