The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
I’m Firn, a young woman from South Africa who loves God, horses, people and, come to think of it, pretty much everything else. I’m a Bible-thumper, Jesus-follower and daughter of the King of Kings, and I live to serve my God in everything I do. And because God made me a horsewoman, that mostly involves horses.
My parents gave me an inexpressible advantage starting years ago when they decided that I would never see the inside of a school and promptly homeschooled me. I landed my first paid horse training job when I was fourteen and the business has been building ever since.
My equestrian journey started when I was four years old and learned the very basics at a local riding school. My parents gave me my first pony when I was seven, when I quit the school and hung out at home for a few years. I couldn’t ride her off the lead rein, she being green and mistreated and me being a total newb, but I could and did bond with her on the ground. This mare was a 14.2hh crossbreed with a heart of gold, known as Skye, who is still my dear friend today – a little stiffer perhaps at the ripe age of 28, but no less fiery.
In 2007, when I was ten, I met my first real coach. A great rider but above all an unparalleled horseman, the Horse Mutterer has his quirks and eccentricities but has an understanding of the horse’s mind and body the like of which I’ve never seen. Between the two of them, he and Skye succeeded in teaching me how to ride and ever since there was no holding me back.
Between then and now, I’ve worked with horses of various levels all the way from newborn to competitive, in a variety of disciplines, although the three Olympic disciplines remain my passion. I’ve been thrown, bitten, kicked, and trodden on enough times to learn a little about horse behaviour, but each new horse has something to teach me. I worked with the Ruach and EJ Studs since their inception, which was and continues to be invaluable experience. They were my only clients for a long time and put up with my inexperienced bumblings with good grace. Since the end of 2013 I also ride for Arop Nooitgedachters, breeders of champion horses for almost forty years.
In the beginning of 2016, God brought my crazy dream to fruition and we opened Morning Star Stables. Now home to 28 horses, the little yard depends mostly on the riding school for its income, but there’s always a whole host of youngsters in for training. My real speciality is bringing on ponies and this side of the business is growing slowly but steadily.
I finished school in 2015 and qualified as stableyard manager in 2016. This year I qualify as FEI Level One Coach (God willing). Afterwards, I’ll do equine behaviour with the goal to eventually qualify for equine assisted psychotherapy. From there, who knows? God does.
Riding on Water is a record of my journey through horsemanship, and my attempts to better understand and communicate with one of the loveliest of God’s creatures. It documents the various successes and dramatic failures of my longsuffering Horde and I, as well as exploring that nameless and wonderful and indescribable thing that the equine heart does to the human soul. Horses do something for us, hold up a mirror to our very selves, and can help forge a connection between us and our God and facilitate our understanding of ourselves, Him, and our Relationship. That’s the most special and important and glorious thing about them, and it’s what I study hardest.
I praise God for creating this amazing world where love can cross species, where a puny human and mighty horse can work together to do something beautiful.
Glory to the King.