Tui | Tokomaru Bay, Gisborne

“A challenge for me was overcoming people. Growing up in Tokomaru Bay from a young age, I’m 27 years old now, and I grew up in an environment that was communal, and it was all about helping one another out, and so I grew up with those values of maintaining respect for our elders, and carrying those values in life, and having to find myself in life.

Through that, horses came into my life from an early age, and it’s taken me around the world on a journey that I never thought that I’d be pursuing at this age. I’m really enjoying life now. I’ve now become a mediator for horses, to help humans and horses develop a better understanding of one another. Through horses, I’ve learned to get more confident with people and with sharing my experiences and my journey and the knowledge I have gained along the way.

I grew up in the rural community of Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast of the North Island. So if you’re ever in New Zealand, it’s a long way to get there, very isolated, remote, rural area, but when you get there, you get to be with the people, you learn the land, you learn the history and you learn a way of living life the way the people up there live it. I was very fortunate to grow up with horses. It was a way of life for me. Transport to school at a young age, I used to take my horse to school and I’ve continued to pursue that career with developing the communication skills needed for horses, and then putting it into a sequence where humans can understand. Being in Tokomaru Bay, it’s paradise. It’s right next to the ocean. You get that summer sensation feeling, even in the winter, but you’ve got the vibe of the beach. You’ve got the surroundings of the mountains. You can live off the land. You can live from the ocean. We’re just continuing to uphold the history of Tokomaru Bay, and develop it into a way that we can, as a future generation, move forward. Horses are the truth. They help us learn to become more aware of the present being, living in the moment, and understanding through body language how to communicate. Horses don’t speak verbally, they don’t speak our human language of English. So, we have to then transcribe and use other ways of communication which is our body language, our breathing, our thoughts, our responses versus reactions. You can learn a lot about yourself through horses, how you might take on a situation that’s not going your way, and how to learn to readjust, and identify how to get better. I can keep talking about this all day, but at the end of the day, I just wish everybody the best in life. Keep positive. Keep being you and nobody else, and if you’re ever in that hard time just try your best to get up there and keep climbing those stairs, because the sky’s the limit.”

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