TRIBUTE to DELFIN XII my SPANISH PRE STALLION (1991 - 2015)
by Jenny Rolfe
- breeder Pedro Cardenas Osuna.
Sire - TAIFA by Vasallo11 and dam NEVOSA (Maluso)
Delfin was a bull fighting stallion who was to become my treasured soul-friend for about seventeen years. Sadly, he left us on August 18th and his great spirit must be soaring now- his ancestors spent their days within the monasteries, living with the Carthusian Monks. He has transformed the direction of my life and has left behind a beautiful legacy, not only for my family, but for so many people around the world.
It is difficult to define, in words, the huge personality of this beautiful PRE Spanish stallion and our very special relationship. We became kindred spirits and went on to share our depth of communication through my books, workshops, and many articles.
Delfin was the inspiration for both of my books:- ‘Ride From the Heart’ and ‘Breathe Life into Your Riding,’ which began to share our message of breath-heart-energy. As a result we were fortunate enough to meet many wonderful people from all around the world,who were all on a personal journey to find more empathy with their horse, whether for hacking, dressage competition, or as fellow trainers seeking more depth to their own teaching.
Delfin will always be in my heart as he was my very special soul mate and greatest friend and teacher, who revealed many aspects of the horse’s mind to me. He won over the affection of everyone who met him, all of whom came to respect and love his individuality, supreme intelligence and talent. Dressage movements with Delfin were full of “joie de vivre” and vitality and most definitely were not just functional or mechanical.
He demonstrated much that you see in the advanced dressage arena:- at liberty, with no tack, dancing to the music with his unique sparkle and “joie de vivre,” and showing the true spirit of the horse and how important it is for the horse to shine- whatever he does.
Delfin showed me the importance of listening and tuning in to my horse with feeling and emotion. A truly amazing and revealing empathy gradually developed between us. We were becoming kindred spirits, both searching to learn from each other.
Delfin travelled over to Lisbon, Portugal with me so that we could pursue our Classical Training at the yard of Santo Andre Lusitanos. I was taught by Antonio, a Chief Instructor at the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. Here, I was to learn a deeper connection within my riding and the importance of harmony, lightness, and being true in my training to the nature of each individual horse.
I was very fortunate to have such incredible teachers in my life:- Antonio and my stallion, Delfin.
The significant day which began a huge shift in our relationship began many years ago, when Delfin began to transform my direction, both as a rider and trainer. This journey of enlightenment began when we were training in our outdoor school and Delfin was totally inattentive to my usual aids. Some mares were galloping around in a nearby field, and his attention was focused on them. My frustration grew and my aids became much stronger as he was just not willing to listen to me. After several minutes of total inattention, I gave a deep sigh of despair. I felt Delfin sigh deeply, so I then took a deeper inward breath, followed by an outward breath, and I immediately felt a change. Delfin was tuning in to ME, listening and responding. He moved forwards from my outward breath and as I inhaled, he came back to a halt. I was amazed and continued to repeat this way of breathing, with the same results.
I experienced huge anticipation before my next ride as I tried to remain calm and attentive and focus on my core- breathing. Delfin again, responded immediately and I felt a huge feeling of elation as this highly sensitive, intelligent horse was trying to teach me a crucial lesson on how to match his sensitivity. He was well advanced in his dressage training, and many people said that they could watch him all day as he had such great charisma.
This important day was to transform my thinking, as Delfin was teaching me to build a much more subtle awareness through breathing and energy. He taught me this concept whilst I was riding, but I have explored this connection further through loose work. I have found every horse has connected within minutes to breath-energy, and I now teach riders worldwide, the power of self awareness of breathing and the influence of our energy field, which will begin as we greet the horse. I believe Delfin has revealed to me a frequently missed part of the natural language of the herd; this information is a huge leap forward into communications- from the heart.
There is a plethora of research and scientific evidence that proves that this power exists, which can be found online at www.heartmath.org. However, my teacher from the beginning was my horse who reached me in a way that defied the need for evidence- the proof was there, for me and also every student who also felt his deep connection.
Delfin taught me to always be prepared to learn more and to be open-minded, as humans are never ‘all knowing’. He taught me that we need to let go of our ego in order to allow the spirit of the horse to reach out and communicate with us.
Delfin truly is a ‘soul friend’, as a ‘soul friend’ lasts forever. I believe that the spirit of love is immortal, and, therefore, that every loving relationship lasts forever.
I have tried to act as Delfin’s human spokesman, through my books and communication with students while I watched him working with them. I would interpret his messages to help the students understand how and where they might be holding onto tension. This could be as superficial as tension in one hand, or be caused by a much deeper connection involving a past trauma, which was still preventing the student from letting go and allowing their personal authentic power to shine.
We have a large family that is located around the world, as students have come from Europe, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Finland, and many other countries. Together, we have tried to show subtle and synchronized relationships- the art of communication. Harmony in dressage and more trust and empathy in every dimension of horsemanship can blossom from this ‘soul friendship’.
I am so thankful to God for the privilege of having Delfin as a part of our family. His effervescent spirit will continue to guide my teaching and will be forever in my heart.