Leonera (Leo)

Leo has a difficult past. She had foaled and sadly the foal had died during the birth. Leo had torn and badly needed stitches but had been left without veterinary treatment, so over time the tear had healed by itself in a very strange way. During this time, Leo was living in a small pen next to a stallion who was frantically trying to get to her as she was in season. This must have been terrifying and very stressful.

Luckily, Leo was taken out of this situation by her rescuers who paid for her physical rehabilitation, including the necessary surgery to repair her injuries. She became close to her people and they looked after her well. But a change in their circumstances brought her to us for further rehabilitation. As her young life had been full of trauma, fear was her overriding emotion. We would say she was like a kite on a string, startled by anything and everything – scared of her own shadow! She didn’t like people anywhere near to her and would threaten to bite if you got too close.  On high alert for danger at all times, it was very important to get her into a calm environment with space and choices. Leo needed to gain weight but if she didn’t feel safe enough, she simply wouldn’t eat.


Claire was the person who worked most closely with Leo as it became clear that she needed the security of just one trainer. A few months after she came, Claire was working with Leo in the school when she noticed that Leo looked tired. Claire stopped the training session and slowly laid down and Leo joined her and snoozed by her side for half an hour. The trust and connection had been cemented!

Leo has a lovely bond with both Pegaso and Triana and she has now gained a lot of confidence being around new people. She is such a sensitive horse that now she is confident in her training and learning new things, it is an amazing experience for anyone working with her. She helps to teach our students to connect and communicate sensitively. Students cannot believe that they can ask Leo to perform classical lateral movements at liberty, just by asking with their bodies and breath. She is a wonderful teacher.

Claire has now re-backed Leo and is starting to ride her regularly. We'll update you with her progress as we develop her further under saddle. 

Leo learning and helping humans learn too on our courses!