Hi, I’m Clare and I am Horse Charming’s professional member in Spain where my partner Chico and I run an educational centre for people to come and learn about horse behaviour and training, while helping us with the horses and on the property.
I had a typical introduction to horses in my childhood, provoking a passion and a sense of continuity with something I was good at, enjoyed, and could call my own. I pretty much just followed the path; getting my horse fix whenever and wherever I could.
This took me to amateur showing, jumping and racing. I took on ex-racers and ponies whenever the possibility arose. I learnt a lot over those 22 years, but not nearly as much as I did over the following ten years after I moved to Spain.
It was always a dream to consolidate my work, my hobby, my passion and my family into one physical place and in the end I made that dream come true (as they do when you dream them long and hard enough).
I moved to Spain to look after a herd of around 38 horses, roaming over more than 1000 acres. In return, I had free food and accommodation. But I had to find a way to make an income, not just to support myself, but mostly to support the horses because their owner wasn’t. So I started taking out treks over the spectacular surrounding mountains to pay for vets, castrations, feed, wormers and all the other necessities for healthy horses.
At the same time I learnt about feral herds – how they bred, weaned, grazed, got injured, made friends and separated from friends, rarely needing human intervention. In fact, it was human intervention that caused 99.8% of problems. I lived with and learned from these wonderful friends for over six years. Eventually I could tolerate the situation no longer as the owner started giving the horses away to abusive homes. So I left with as many as I could take.
I then set out to recreate what nature had previously provided for the twelve I had saved, but on a small amount of land. After managing to rehome some we now have seven horses and we continue working to that end, and are still learning every day. We have a lot of structural improvements yet to make, but the volunteers we have and the donations they make are helping us to get nearer to our target. We have also become a registered not-for-profit organisation.
During the process of change, I moved from natural horsemanship training methods onto Horse Charming force free methods as a consequence of the feedback the horses were giving me! I feel so lucky to have crossed keyboards with Maxine, who has supported me and guided me on my journey. I also give heartfelt thanks to our key volunteers who were with us during our first months of change
Our horses still surprise me every day. The same horses who were taking treks out ten years ago are now allowing me to guide them through their rehabilitation, and we are learning and changing together.
I have experience with a wide variety of horses and humans with different characters and backgrounds. I am very adaptable and love to see people with a passion learn and grow whilst helping out their horsey companions. I am happy for people with a love of learning with horses to come and join us here if they don’t have a horse of their own to work with.
My journey has just begun – the mantra for the rest of my life.