About Eva & Her Horses

Eva Virago

Tackling the About page is quite the task for to me. It’s not because I wouldn’t have much to tell about myself or my life, but my understanding of reality has changed so dramatically over the last years that I don’t place as much value on my past anymore — yes, not even on my achievements. You see, unless I believe that my past defines me, which I don’t any longer, it makes it a bit tricky to choose how to describe who I am.

Do I talk about the fact that I spent five years of my life studying law, followed by philosophy, Islamic Science and Jewish Studies in Germany, and then completing two Masters degrees in England? Would you find it interesting to hear that I test as an INTJ with Meyers-Briggs — and that I take a pride in this only a fellow INTJ will understand?

Or do I tell you about my two near-death-experiences and countless out-of-body experiences to give you a clue about where my path has led me? That I used to model in Germany and earned some pocket money as a psychic in London for a while? Is helpful to know that I overcame several addictions in my life, from being anorexic and bulimic to (video) gaming to being depressed? Maybe I should tell you about my family life, the troubles I went through in my relationships and the opportunities I walked away from? Or do I explain to you how my great love for animals and nature has ultimately been the impetus to go all in and create the life I live now?

[See what I did there?]

I see myself as an obsessive explorer of consciousness, who believes with all her heart that there is a way of being with horses that goes beyond any and all established horsemanship methods and ideas. A way that is deeply intuitive, and as such natural, and completely magical… simply horsemanship of a different kind, which allows human and horse to communicate, bond and go through life on a level previously unheard of.

Without fear-induced coercion and bribery.

Nothing but the naked truth and the mastery of Magic.

As I keep saying: Your horse doesn’t give a shit about your statistics and scientific studies. Let your soul do the talking.


My Horses

I have four marvellous Pura Raza Española boys  two stallions and two geldings. Up until July 2018, all four of them used to be stallions but regrettably, I felt it necessary to castrate Jonatan and Hannibal.

The reasons were manifold, and because I still get frequently asked about them, I will explain them briefly at the bottom of this page if you are interested in hearing them.

Ether

Ether is an 8-year-old dappled grey Pura Raza Española stallion.

I don’t know much about his past but he arrived here with a warning and lots of mental and emotional baggage. He wouldn’t give his hooves [thinking back, it’s a sheer “miracle” how I managed to pull all four of his horseshoes off the day after he arrived here!], he couldn’t be touched at his ears and had sheer panic in his eyes and ran off when he saw me holding a whip, a rope, a stick, a bag, a brush… anything really.

He is highly sensitive, some might say “high-strung”, and incredibly kind and tender with me. I can’t rationally explain why but I know that Ether would never ever deliberately hurt me.

know that he understood me full well when I gave him the promise to never mistreat him and to never give him away, come what may. Call me crazy, but I believe this promise to him sealed a deal between us: I will never hurt him and he will never hurt me.

To the shock and dismay of many, I still haven’t turned Ether into a riding horse. I sat on him once and it was a beautiful experience. Many months later, I tried to climb on him again but he threw me off before I was even fully sat on him.

It’s all good though. Him and I, we do have a path and we are on it… it just requires me to be my best self! And my beloved Ether doesn’t deserve anything less than.

Hannibal the Great

Hannibal is a 4-year-old pure black Pura Raza Española gelding. He is very tall for a pure Spanish horse and currently stands at around 168 cm / 16.2-16.3 hh and is still growing and filling out more.

Hannibal’s movements are incredible: floaty, roamy, graceful and exaggerated, like those of a modern dressage horse. I have also seen him perform a Capriole before twice when he was playing wildly with his “brothers”. According to my vet, Hannibal is insanely strong and one of the strongest horses he has ever met in his life.

Personality-wise, Hannibal reminds me more of a Thoroughbred or an Arabian horse than an Andalusian: he is ultra tender and sweet but easily carried away or even overwhelmed by his own emotions. He is definitely high strung, but different than Ether. With him, I have to be very zen, clear and firm inside to not get accidentally or deliberately run over or even attacked.

Hannibal teaches me that being and trusting myself means ultimately being safe in this universe.

When Hannibal is mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually with me, it feels like being in a dream — blissful and magical. He is a very special friend and teacher, that’s for sure, and I love him to the moon and back!

Jonatan haKatan

Pronounciation: Yo-na-tan, with the stress on the first syllable.
[Not like the English variant Jonathan.]

Jonatan is a 4-year-old buckskin/dun (yes, I know the difference and he does have a dorsal stripe, but in his official ANCCE papers he is called buckskin) Pura Raza Española gelding.

It took me a long time to really connect with Jonatan and I had already started to wonder if we just don’t match. But I was wrong. The moment I put in more of an effort to get to know him, we bonded deeply. Now I love this guy so incredibly much and there is a very special place in my heart reserved only for my Joni.

Jonatan can move like the devil — swift, agile, powerful, fast and elegant. He would make a fantastic Working Equitation horse.

Since his arrival, he has been triggering both Hannibal and Ether. In the beginning, I figured that this was due to the fact of him being a powerful young stallion but as it turns out, even after he has been gelded he is still not best pals with Hannibal and Ether. He gets along splendidly with Artax though.

Jonatan is the most outdoorsy of the group. When the other three boys are quite happy to stay inside the barn, Jonatan will usually be found outside in the heat, wind or rain. He is an explorer and a true free spirit.

Artax

Artax is a 3-year-old palomino Pura Raza Española stallion. I have had him with me from when he was only 7 months old, at the time a skinny, malnourished and very timid young lad with awful hooves.

Artax’s confidence and self-esteem developed beautifully and keep bringing out his incredibly switched-on, intelligent and witty side. Artax knows what he wants and he isn’t easily impressed by anything or anyone.

Artax wants to be convinced by energy and focused will and shows a stallion-typical assertiveness and pushiness also towards his older “brothers” Hannibal, Jonatan and even Ether.

On the other hand, Artax also shows a remarkably high level of social skills and compassion. When Hannibal, Ether and Jonatan were fighting, he would often try to mediate when things got too heated.
Artax also refused to leave the barn and roam the land with Ether when Hannibal and Jonatan were locked inside after their operations.

Artax will always be my Babyman, and I’m quite sure he knows it. The way he whinnies softly at me when he sees me from afar or when he approaches the terrace — I can’t put into words how much I love him!


The reasons that led me to castrate Hannibal and Jonatan

My current horsekeeping setup wouldn’t have allowed me to separate Hannibal and Jonatan for a while because there are no paddocks – it’s just one large piece of land. This made impossible for me to see if it was just a phase and “wait it out” without compromising their daily freedom to roam on the land. On top of that, Ether always never really got on with Jonatan, so by leaving Jonatan and/or Hannibal intact, I would have risked that Jonatan gained even more wounds from the daily fighting not only from Hannibal, but also from Ether.

Hannibal had also started to get aroused by Artax, and been trying to mount him even while they were grazing out on the land. This intimidated and upset Artax greatly, and triggered Jonatan’s protective instinct over his “little brother” strongly, which led to even more fights between him and Hannibal.

Months later, Ether has become calmer around Jonatan but sadly, he is still not fully accepting on him. Ether just doesn’t seem to like Jonatan — and neither does Hannibal, who, interestingly enough, has become even pushier towards Jonatan now. They don’t fight how they used to but… the energy isn’t completely harmonious either.

In our new home, I would like to separate the two couples at least during the night: Hannibal and Ether can share space, and Jonatan and Artax.