Last updated: 2 Sep, 2019

Auroville’s Natural Horsemanship School

Instructors Team. (from left) Bettina, Maya, Namoi, Sara and Matthia.
There is a small herd of horses that lives in Auroville’s Evergreen forest community, this place is called Evergreen Horses. It is a project for children and adults alike where one can learn a series of progressive habits and skills that both human and horses must have in order to become partners. We teach how to enhance communication with horses, which in turn will touch every other relationship in our lives… but it's more than just about the horse, it really dips into one's personal development. You learn about yourself, communication, leadership, truthfulness, consequence, responsibility and you develop imagination and love in the process, and the horse becomes the mirror that tells you the truth about yourself.

The school was founded in 1998 when people from different countries settled in Auroville and concentrated their energy in reforestation and building a new community, which they named Evergreen. Most members of this new community had a passion for horses and they decided to start a new project. Initially meant as a stabling facility, it became a place where children had the opportunity to learn how to ride. In 2009, Sara became the new caretaker and expanded the project by focusing on teaching Natural Horsemanship as taught by Pat Parelli.

Following Auroville’s ideal of never-ending education, the project aims to introduce natural horsemanship as a tool to learn and communicate with horses in a non-violent way. But it's more than just learning about horses' behavior and training, it's about learning about ourselves and how to deal with our emotions as well as developing a new way of communication based on body language.

For most teenagers, what we offer here becomes an opportunity to review their priorities in life and gives them the chance to learn new values that will accompany them for the rest of their life.

This Natural Horsemanship school is not about riding horses, it is about giving an education on how to live one's life by exploring the values of Love, Language and Leadership.

Over the past years, as we got more resources and as our team gained more experience and knowledge, the project expanded with different activities. We can say we are the first natural horsemanship school in India. Today the idea is to introduce children to natural horsemanship as an alternative to the traditional riding school techniques. We want both horses and humans to start working together like partners.

Our activities range from simple guided rides to the more complex skills of ground training, freestyle riding and working with a horse at liberty. Recently, to broaden our curriculum as we started offering horse behavior classes, horse training workshops as well as barefoot trimming and basic horse maintenance classes. Our herd now consists of 5 horses and 5 ponies, we have 20+ regular students ranging from 6 to 50 years old who attend classes, programs and events.

In the future, we would like to expand our facilities and bring the concept of natural horsemanship into the world of competitive sports in Auroville and India, we want to provide real solutions to real problems and empower people with clear strategies to work towards excellence with horses. Most importantly, we want to create the best possible environment for both horses and humans.