TRIBUTE to DELFIN X11 – my SPANISH PRE STALLION (1991 – 2015) By Jenny Rolfe
Breeder Pedro Cardenas Osuna.
Sire – TAIFA by Vasallo11 and dam NEVOSA (Maluso)
Delfin was a bullfighting 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 so many people around the world.
It ‘s hard 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 me to write 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, 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 has been my very special soul mate and greatest friend and teacher, revealing to me many aspects of the horse’s mind. He has won the affection of everyone who has met him. They have come 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 not just functional or mechanical.
He was able to demonstrate much that you see in the advanced dressage arena- at liberty, with no tack, dancing to music with his unique sparkle and joie de vivre, 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 into my horse with feeling and emotion. An incredible and revealing empathy was to develop between us. We were becoming kindred spirits both searching to learn from each other.
Delfin travelled over to Lisbon, Portugal with me so we could pursue our Classical Training at the yard of Santo Andre Lusitanos. I was taught by Antonio, who is a Chief Instructor at the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. Here I was to learn a deeper connection with my riding and the importance of harmony and lightness and being true in my training to the nature of each horse.
I was very fortunate to have such incredible teachers in my life- Antonio and also my stallion Delfin.
The momentous day that 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. Then I felt Delfin sigh deeply, so I then took a deeper inward breath followed by an outward breath and immediately I felt a change. Delfin was tuning into ME, listening and responding. He moved forwards from my outward breath and as I inhaled, he came back to halt. I was amazed and then repeated this way of breathing, with the same results.
I experienced tremendous anticipation before my next ride as I tried to remain calm and attentive with a focus on my core- breathing. Delfin again responded immediately and I felt a tremendous 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 such was his 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 while 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 part of natural herd language that has often been missed, which is a huge leap forward into communications- from the heart.
There has been much research and scientific evidence to prove this power, from www.heartmath.org. But 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 felt his deep connection.
Delfin has taught me to be continually prepared to learn more and to be open minded as human nature is never ‘all knowing. He taught me that we need to let go of our ego to allow the spirit of the horse to reach out and communicate with us.
Delfin has truly been a ‘soul friend’ that is forever. Every loving relationship lasts forever, as I believe the spirit of love is immortal.
I have tried to act as Delfin’s human spokesman, through my books and also with students as I watched him working with them. I would then 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 to a much deeper connection that involved a past trauma that was still holding the student back- from letting go and allowing their authentic personal power.
We have a large family now around the world, as students have come from Europe, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Finland and many more countries. We have together tried to show subtle and synchronized relationships- the art of communication. From this soul, friendship can blossom more harmony in dressage and more trust and empathy in every dimension of horsemanship.
I am so thankful to God for the privilege of having Delfin as part of our family. His effervescent spirit will continue to guide my teaching and will be forever in my heart.
Jenny Rolfe www.naturallyclassical.com.