Like other people here, a large part of my life has been devoted to horses. We had our first horse when I was in elementary school. Later, my family had an Arabian breeding farm. The breeding program was very selective for producting elegant athletes who were pretty, intelligent, and athletic. Careful breeding. (Breeding philosophy is a whole different post.)
The majority of horses I've had (and have) are Arabians. I'm currently owned by two bay mares, Prize (age 28) and Kasane (age 7), and one gray mare, Rajiyyah (age 12). I mainly ride Kasane and Rajiyyah dressage. I still ride Prize periodically, but she is mostly ridden by little kids learning to ride. The picture below shows Rajiyyah (left) and Kasane (right) being very polite.
Kasane is the one I spend the most time with and am closest to. She's working on (almost!) Training Level dressage, basic jumping, trail riding, gymkhana, and side saddle. Kasane, in particular, knows that she is the Center of the Universe. All she has to do is look at me with those big eyes. Cannot resist the cuteness.
I lost one mare two years ago. Isis was the center of my world for 18 years. She had the nickname of the "Miracle Mare" and The Bay Wonder Mare(™) because she survived two cases of laminitis, metabolic issues, colic surgery, and EPM. The summer before she died, I felt her hand me over to Kasane. It is a strange thing, feeling one horse step back on purpose and let another fill the void. Isis knew her time was coming. Her story is filled with miracles and heart break.
I ride a bunch of different styles. The style I use depends upon what my horse likes. Kasane likes dressage and jumping (so I'm tackling my fear of jumping because she has so much fun). I am eclectic in how I work with them: I try to listen to my horses and use whatever method and techniques create the clearest communication. It's usually a combination of natural horsemanship, intuition, deity work, and trying really hard to remain patient and stress-free.
Much of my horse experience has not been directly related to horse slaughter issues. Prize's dam (a yearling at the time) was in line to be slaughtered when she was rescued. Slaughter is a topic that horrifies me on multiple levels. Just like horse abuse of any kind, except there is another level of blasphemy and sacrilege and cannibalism added in.
Like others here, I honor a Horse Goddess and try to have a better understanding of Her by studying the context in which She was originally known. I do a lot of research and reading and then use this information as inspiration for my own practices.
I'm looking forward to reading and posting on this blog with the other horse people.