If you’ve suddenly had a red haired horse talking to you in your dreams or your meditations or your Quiet Minds, then I expect it will be Bobby – being the Master Teacher still, from beyond. He has left his earthly body 5 weeks ago, but it appears that he’s still strong in his Presence and his influence.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m ready for a celebration of his life.
This horse was an example of a life well lived. He was a living example of the wisdom, the courage, the strength and the sheer forgivingness of a great horse.
It was such a beautiful death that I didn’t really grieve until a few weeks ago when I started this celebration about the incredible impact he’s had on my life – oh my goodness the blessing this horse has been to ALL aspects of my life. He’s taught me so much stuff that comes so so much more easily with the generosity of such a special horse. And then there’s the gift he’s brought to thousands and thousands of other people too and if you’re reading this, I expect that you’re one of those who benefited.
The photos above are of Nar Nar Goon Pony Club 1997. He jumped the whole cross country course completely at liberty – no ropes, no halters, no nothing – just a fabulous desire to stick to me even at high speed and in giant open spaces. He’d jump the jump, turn around when I called him and jump it from the other side to come back to me.
The second photo is the same place on the same day. It was our first bareback and bridle-less ride outside of a round yard. Gosh what was I thinking of – how big was that area? 10? 20 acres? It was a testament to his Caretaking nature that I got away with so much.
This horse’s tenacity and courage and sheer freaking generosity and strength of character, is at the root of all of you being here reading this.
It’s 17 years now since I first realized he was talking to me and started writing what he said in the little notebooks that 3 years later became Bobby’s Diaries – Straight from the Horse’s Mouth to You. Here’s an excerpt from the front of his book:
“Hello…. I’m Mr Ed.
This is me, Jenny Pearce, co-author and in many cases just typist and gatherer of information for this wonderful stunning and probably controversial book that is going to set the whole horse world on its ears and change the world of horses forever.”
Gosh that sounds so grandiose now, but it came to fruition. Bobby started a movement that has touched thousands of lives for the better. His book and Zen Connection afterwards, has been read in 17 countries – France, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Croatia, in the UK – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, from one end of the USA to the other, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and of course, Australia.
Crikey… Bobby as the Master Teacher was a lesson in what’s possible with an empowered horse.
I remember the first clinic we ever taught together. I say together, because more often than not, he was standing in the arena loose or saddled but not bridled or haltered. This photo here was taken by a clinic participant on one of those clinic days. He’d watch everything, parked in the corner and only come out if something had to change.
I remember this lovely lady with a tiny miniature, who was doing an exercise for yielding the hindquarters over and over again. She felt to me like one of those soft easily hurt people and I was mentally wringing my hands, trying to figure out how to stop what she was doing without hurting her feelings. Bobby charged across the arena, slid to a sudden stop right in front of her nose and (she reported later) yelled at her “Stop punishing that horse!”
She said later at lunch, “It came straight from the horse’s mouth.” And that’s where the title of his book came from.
On another day, we had a 20 year old horse come in for a clinic with shockingly overgrown feet still in shoes. Gosh he must have been in pain. And his owner rode him pretty consistently 20 to 40 kms every weekend in a very ill fitting saddle that I made her throw away.
I’m looking at this incredibly generous horse’s feet, wondering if he should even be in the clinic he had to be so uncomfortable. I asked him that question and heard him say “This is EXACTLY where I need to be.” When his very sweet owner did the connection exercise (and yes she WAS sweet, just oblivious of her actions) she almost dropped to the ground in pain.
Early in the morning of that first day, just after I’d brought Bobby into the arena, he trotted over to this little horse, nosed the owner out of the way and proceeded to nip this horse in such a rough way that I panicked a bit. I was half way rushing across the arena before I realized that the places he was nipping and rubbing at, were acupuncture points.
We stood and watched this little horse’s tense worn body fill out and relax and change in front of our eyes. I called my farrier and bless him he did an emergency hoof trim for us after hours. And I’ll bet that little horse never had overgrown feet again.
The giant warmblood in this photo is Bobby’s elder brother, who came into a clinic in the days when Bobby was often loose in the arena teaching. Crikey he was a dangerous horse. Her friends had begged her to get rid of him, they were afraid of her being killed. He turned around for her in the first morning. If biting is an issue, you can read a bit more about him and how he stopped biting here.
I’d treat that biting differently these days, because we’re more knowledgeable and more gentle and more deeply connected, but it just goes to show you that for most horses, listening and making a clear effort is enough to change many things.
This photo is Shae Callahan, pregnant with … gosh I can picture her little girl as clear as a bell, she’s been here since, just can’t remember her name right now… Bobby made a bee line for Shae’s pregnant stomach and was connecting with the baby inside her. We said at the time that the baby was having a horse blessing and yes, she’s come out of that womb a horse kid and an incredibly kind and compassionate one. No surprise there with THAT kind of start!
That’s not the only time Bobby’s done a horse blessing on a tiny person. I remember my daughter Mel bringing brand newborn Bree home from hospital on the first day of her life and called in to our place on the way home to show us her new treasure.
Where she parked the car was next to the horse paddock. As she got the baby out of the car, Bobby came cantering across from the other side of this big paddock, whinnying and nickering. Mel lifted the baby up to him from the other side of the gate and he nickered and snuffled a horse blessing all over that baby. It was SUCH a moving thing to watch.
Gosh we’ve done some crazy things together. This photo is taken out the car window out in the bush, completely at liberty. There’s a blog and a video of why we did this somewhere, I’ll dig it out.
He’d stick to me at liberty so incredibly well – even if I was in the car, he’d stick to me like glue. I remember one day, we were out in the bush and he’s cantering along beside the car with nothing on him, no halter, no ropes, no nothing – and a guy came along quite a way in front of us in a four wheel drive. Bless him he thought I was chasing a loose horse and kindly threw his car across the track and jumped out.
Meanwhile I’ve come to a sudden stop, banged the side of the car and called “Bobby!” and he’s wheeled back to me, popped himself just beside the car window again and we’ve driven up to this bloke together. He was gobsmacked that a horse would listen so well to someone who was in a car.
That wasn’t the only time he surprised a motorist. We lived between two blind corners that were about 300 metres apart, at Tanjil South. One day, the tiny daughter of a visiting friend, managed to get the horse gate open by herself and let the entire herd of 12 out onto the main road.
I got there just in time to see the last horse butts disappearing at high speed around the corner of the main road. For those of you who’ve heard it, I have quite a loud voice when I project it to call the horses. I bellowed out “Bobby!!!!!” and he wheeled and brought the whole herd galloping back to me. The horsey motorist on the other side of the blind corner said later “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
This photo is in the early days of me listening to him. We would ride all over the farm with nothing at all on his head or neck, with complete confidence. I even had a go at chasing some cows back to next door one day, but that was asking a bit much and almost ended in tears! lol! Crikey I’ve never heard of a thoroughbred having that much “cow” in him!
This is my sister Kris. Bobby taught her all about connection and how to flow with the feel of a horse in a lovely riding seat. He is responsible for a whole heap of beginners learning a riding seat that flows WITH the horse instead of tensing their bodies up getting bounced all over the place learning..
He taught me how to get the residual tension out of my body that had happened from learning to ride the traditional way and that became the basis for lessons in some of our on line programs.
This photo is he cantering down the paddock on retirement day, errr three years ago? Handing the reins over – literally, to the beautiful Rapunzel on the right hand side.
Not complete retirement though – the Master Teacher had his nose in all kinds of things, making sure that I “got” whatever the other horse was trying to tell me. His capacity to yell if I was a bit slow, was incredibly loud! lol!
And that yelling thing reminds me… This was about 10 years ago, I’d been actively listening to him for years AND written Bobby’s Diaries long ago. I was in a clinic learning how to do some classical work and heard him ask me to both LISTEN and DO at the same time. There was this conversation in my head. “Bloody heck I can’t do two things at the same time!” And his quiet persistence that it was possible. When I tried it, it was my first experience of the expansive incredible joy of sartori. I was standing in this clinic laughing and crying at the same time, so moved at the glorious feeling of it, with people no doubt wondering that the heck was going on.
He paused for a bit and there was an immense feeling of gratitude and an expression / feeling / understanding of “Thank God I don’t have to yell at you any more”. All those years of taking those notes and then writing Bobby’s Diaries and then teaching that to others and all the time he’d been needing to yell at me so I could hear. He really did bring me along in step by baby step. I envy you folks and your horses learning the whispered conversation of Feel so easily now. <3
Bobby was also the catalyst for me living an incredibly different life. Learning my Inner Guidance system started with him and flowed through into all of my life and has brought me a power and strength and awareness of my connectedness to everything. Being able to enjoy my feelings, being able to find peacefulness no matter what’s going on in my life – that all started with Bobby. I vividly remember that dawning sense of wonder when I was pulling his notes together to write his book at 4 am 15 years ago, when I realized that the rock of dread that had sat in my solar plexus maybe forever, had gone.
All the Feel work that is transforming people and horses everywhere – that started with Bobby. And the benefits to every part of my life of using my Feel/ Inner Guidance system are so big it’s almost beyond words. Just one example that’s happening at the moment. I feel the outrage about our barbaric killing of the wild horses and am guided to do something about it. I’m guided to write to someone, attend a protest, make a video, talk to someone. I do whatever I’m drawn to do that brings me peacefulness again, knowing that I’m taking care of MY part in the process of change by being guided by my Inner Guidance system and that others will be taking care of their part too. Using my Feel to bring ease to my life both in and out of horses was something that was started all those years ago on the back of a red headed horse, when I first realized that the thoughts in my head were his thoughts and his ideas.
Anchoring that centaur riding seat that is so magnetic and how to take that through into movement – that was Bobby’s idea. I remember being out in the big paddock at Tanjil South, using the big concrete water trough to climb up and sit on him just loose in the paddock and him showing me all the ways that those tiny movements while they graze are so beneficial to our riding seat.
Understanding all those incredible Caretaker horses and their superb generosity to look after their humans, who should never be driven forwards unwillingly – those were Bobby’s words and what a gift to the world of soooo many horses. Reflecting on it now, it was really about recognizing when they were doing things for our benefit and that any kind of force or make to change what they were doing was not going to give us the beautiful stuff we’re looking for.
I’ve learned a lot about feelings and emotions over the last 17 years, but still his final gift to me on the morning of his death was priceless. He and Oliver and Sunny tag teamed me teaching me how to have a conversation with emotions. And that incredible flood of… love, joy, whatever you call that beautiful feeling that came from Bobby repeatedly…
Whether it’s his legacy of thousands of people all over the world connected to their horses consciously and more gently and more emotionally balanced because of him or whether you have a red haired angel talking to you in your dreams or meditations, Bobby’s legacy is an extraordinary one. I invite you to reflect on that, celebrate his life with me and allow yourself to notice all the incredible gifts that YOUR horse has brought to you too.