A bit more detail…
Hello my name is Lachlan Phillips, otherwise known by my nickname Lockie. I am an Australian Horseman living in Spain and it is my pleasure to welcome you to Emotional Horsemanship, a training and handling protocol that is my own unique perspective on horses.
I was born in Melbourne Australia and was around horses since before I can remember. My earliest contact with horses was through my Aunties farm in central Victoria and the horses she had there. I was totally in love with this animal and I have never forgotten those simple and innocent days of being with horses and learning to ride and handle them outside of any formal training environment.
I had two pillars of passion in my life, one was horses and the other was dance. Being a suburban child I had to make a choice between one or the other and dance was much more accessible to me than horses. I was apparently good at it and found myself considering a career in dance.
A long story short, I found myself at age 18 leaving Australia to become a professional ballet dancer. First I finished my studies in Switzerland at a very strict and high level classical dance academy, then I worked in Germany for one year, then I become the first Australian to work in the largest Opera House in Europe when I became a dancer for the Polish National Ballet company. Sounds great right? Sounds like a fairytale right?
The life of a dancer is very difficult. As a dancer you are a creature of movement, not allowed or able to speak. Disempowered yet your body belongs to others as a commodity and you spend all your energies perfecting how to communicate and perform and please only with your body. The working conditions are often under immense duress and our ‘leaders’ in the dance world are not always kind and frequently coercive. In many ways, dancers experience a life very similar to some horses.
This difficult life created immense stress, sadness and loneliness in my life, and immense joy, satisfaction, passion and success in my life. I experiences MANY emotions. Dance was not only my physical, but my emotional education and I learned that the two things, are not just connected, but the same. Dance is emotion made visible.
To cope with the stress of my career I knew I needed an external hobby. I remembered what my childhood passion was before dance dominated my life and the answer was unequivocally horses. I began my journey with horses already 10 years ago.
I knew from the start that traditional riding styles and academies were not for me, they were too similar to my life in dance. I wanted to understand how horses thought and felt and behaved… not just how to USE horse better as a piece of equipment for my enjoyment. I wanted to BE a horse myself and have a true, empathetic horsemanship experience.
With huge luck I found my school. Old Oaks Stable in central Poland is a Foundation and Horse riding school with a difference. They taught truly gentle and natural methods of being with horses. Izabela and Darek run their family business with love and passion and I was one of their first clients. Soon I became a a friend and then became like family. I spent every weekend and holiday at their farm being with horses. Without it, I would not have survived the world of dance.
Soon, it became painfully clear I had more to offer with horses than I had to offer dance. Horses responded to me very well. This was confirmed for me when I began spending time in Southern Spain in my summertimes, and the horses there – also – responded to me. People older, smarter and more experienced than me were giving me horses to spend time with that they had problems with yet I did not. Principal among them is my horse Sanson.
Soon horses began to become the bigger part of my life and dance became smaller. So, I took a leap of faith, gathered all my memories and skills gleaned from the dance world and jumped head first into horses. My training business became full time, supplemented by saddle fitting, barefoot trimming and stable work.
Today I live in Spain with my partner, our three dogs, three cats and my horse Sanson who helps me refine all my methods.