Christmas and The Little Prince


Christmas and The Little Prince

Another successful year comes to an end at the Ecole Blondeau. Alex, Olivier, Manu, Stéphane, Lorianne and all the other students have learnt the skillls required for riding and teaching young horses using the Ecole Blondeau philosophy of teaching horses and people together.      

Working together, the man teaches the horse how to work with him and the horse teaches the man to communicate with more than just words.  Our gestures, and the way we look and position ourselves, all have a sense to the young horse facing us. It's this first experience that gives the young horse an idea of what humans are.   

As I think about Christmas, Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince comes to mind: "The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart."  

This is what the students at the Ecole Blondeau do when they reassure an angry or frightened horse with their voice. They look into his heart and remind him gently that both man and horse have a future of working together. Thus the Ecole Blondeau students learn to communicate with the horse in a calm manner.   

"What is communication?" Asked the Little Prince. "Something that is all too often forgotten" Replied the fox "It means forging a link."  

Each student will forge a link with each youngster that he works with, though this is not with the aim of spending the rest of their lives together. The young horse that he takes charge of will not be his horse.  The connection formed between them will give the horse the means to understand his life with man. The student is there to give a chance to each young horse that passes through his hands.   

"You are responsible for that which you have tamed" Said the fox.  
Manu, Alex, Olivier, Stéphane Lorianne and all the others know this only too well.
They also know what Saint-Exupéry said: "Your task is not so much to predict the future, but rather to let it happen."  

Wishing you all the best for 2017!

Sophie Nicod - 24.12.2016

About the Author

Sophie Barreau, mission manager, ethologist, BFEE2 and BEES1 instructor, joined our team in October 2016.  Her tasks were to work on the research programme CHEVALEDUC with Jocelyne Porcher INRA and to teach student equine ethology as well as the scientific advances made in the relationship of man and horse at work. 

In the articles « Through Sophie’s eyes », she shares her passion with us.


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