How is Thailand?
So many of you have asked, I feel I should finally sit and make sure the ones who would like to know what I am up to and what our Movement Method and Horse Boy work is doing over here, I owe you a sit-down and a detailed blog.
I am sitting in a café in Kuala Lumpur with great music and English speakers surrounding me- so I might be able to get my thoughts to straighten out and organize a few words…
When I agreed to the position in Thailand I had met the owner Gaye of Farm de Lek for less than three days in Germany Summer 2019. During the little "Dorffest" we stood at the market place, and I remember it like it was yesterday, she asked if I could imagine working for her in Thailand. Here was an ambitious visionary who worked with special needs, horses, learners from all areas, who wanted to bring positive changes into their lives by using Movement and Horse Boy Method. She was as excited about making the much-needed changes for our next generation as I was. and invited me to join forces- how could I not say yes? Having a hugely supportive family, I knew I could take the opportunity. I called my husband from the market place and we knew we could make it work.
Next thing I knew, I was trying to get my affairs in order. When I told folks that I would fly out to Thailand without a visa, with no contract, having never seen the place, having met my boss for less than four days- some called me insane. But I took off anyway with two bags and a backpack (sounds familiar? That is how I immigrated to the US as well ;-))
Many things had to be organized and I needed to rely on wonderful wonderful folks to keep things going in Colorado. Cade Lang, taking on trainings and our innovative Movement Method program, Jeanne Springer and so many others at USAFA to continue our work there, my “Clue Force” who ensure Clue gets the exercise, care, but mainly the love and attention he needs to have a happy being even while I am gone (he will probably never speak to me again- he was already pretty grumpy after Japan;-)), my family who has to be extra strong to get the Christmas decoration up and out without me this year, and so so many of my friends who I appreciate so much more now that they are not close. Not easy to leave…
I flew over Frankfurt to meet another couple folks who are dear to my heart and I might not see for quite some time. So worth it to get the hugs and love to hopefully last for a year and longer. Continuing on to Bangkok. An intense week with many presentations and setting up training manuals for every horse and trainer we are working with. 10-12 hour days not unusual- but the work effective and life-changing! So well worth it!
We presented at the largest Research University in Bangkok. They decided they want some of their faculty trained and adapt their veterinarian stable with therapeutic riding to implement Horse Boy methodology, and they will allow their early childhood program to have a Movement Method pilot classroom. So three potential programs interested in our work.
Then we visited a school with a heavy emphasis on children with autism. We brainstormed and are trying one classroom to change for a sensory-friendly environment while some of their research students will track data on a control group and innovation group in that classroom to understand behavioral changes with environmental change.
Movement Indoor Playground, another presentation for folks who wanted to learn about Movement Method. Great chance to get the word out to folks who understand the importance of movement already but can certainly add to their toolbox.
We then had a large presentation at Farm de Lek. Half the day was a demonstration of our Horse Boy work and the second half of the day was focused on Movement Method. Many folks came up afterward and were inspired. Exciting to even change the mindset of one person to take suffering from a child and learner.
Rainbowroom is a resource center for folks who have children with special needs. They invited us to speak and we had interest in actual workshops for parents to support the growth of their kiddos to their best ability.
The next upcoming events are a two day Movement Method workshop and a Horse Boy demo at the biggest riding club in Bangkok, the Royal Horse Guard Riding Club to introduce our method.
Besides the presentations and trainings, we train 13 horses each day, develop games and lessons for students with and without challenges. As a staff, we improve our skills daily, trying to work to our highest potential possible. 10-12 hour days are often the norm but with work that is absolutely the dream and out of an adventure novel.
I feel blessed to be able to develop with the amazing horses available to me. And folks, if you want to see the perfect environment, you got to come out and see this absolute “YES” environment, a paradise for children, Peter Pans, and Mary Poppins, if your heart is still young, you will never want to leave. I was worried. I am usually very loyal and attached and miss people, get homesick, but having a place like this, animals everywhere so you feel a little like Dr Doolittle, children’s smiles warming your heart when they sit on ponies riding through a freshly cut jungle trail- yes, we do cut our own trails.
And the sunrises make you more connected to your spirituality, realizing there is a reason for everything and a bigger more meaningful picture than we will ever understand.
Of course, there is often envy and very vicious attacks on the mind and heart by humans and by circumstances, but being in a place like this, the spirits must certainly be on the side of folks trying to do the right thing and truly trying to be a good person. Surrounding yourself with meaningful work and people who feed your soul should be a life goal.
Of course, it is a challenge to have to miss close friends, family, live in a very different culture and a huge challenge not being able to communicate as one wants, but we make it work. Sitting in Kuala Lumpur, waiting for my visa makes me so appreciative of what I have in my life- undeserved, just simply there.
The experiences I will bring back will be a huge treasure, and the work we do here will leave lasting footprints in people’s life. Since we always aim to change at least one person’s life for the better, I think we do pretty good. Just like, if we can plant one tree, better than none ;-) On that note, let me finish for now by saying if you have a chance to visit this place- make plans! It is one of the best!