PSYCHIC PET TAILS II
The subject of psychic pets is incredibly popular and my book for Bloomsbury back in 1997 is still in print ‘Psychic Pets’ John Sutton. I recall being in the same office as J K Rowling in late 1996 when she and I shared the same editor Mr. Barry Cunningham. J K Rowling went on to be a billionaire writing the Harry Potter series of books, I could see her exciting aura then and told her she would be incredibly famous. Time passes. Here is another of my psychic pets stories that I am sure you will enjoy:
THE SHOW-JUMPING HORSE WHISPERERS
The former Olympic team show-jumper and internationally successful rider David Bowen is a real life ‘horse whisperer’. David shares his unusual ability with his daughter Sarah, who has also become a top-class show-jumper.
The life-changing accident
The story begins in 1954 in the little village of AppleyBridge on the far west of Wigan, Lancashire. Young David Bowen was playing soldiers with his pals on a building site when he fell into the flooded foundations and nearly drowned.
David was very badly hurt, and his face was tinged blue when they pulled him out of the water. The nurse who saved him thought he was going to die. When he did recover, David had lost the ability to speak properly. All his words jumbled themselves up and no one could understand what he was saying.
For years David went to speech therapy at Wigan Royal Infirmary. He hated it. It made him different and as a boy he only wanted to be like his friends.
David discovers his gift
One day David’s father, Tom Bowen, took his boy to a big posh house in the country. The owner had a pony and let David ride it. Almost as soon as he got on the animal’s back, he seemed to know what he was doing. Both David’s father and the owner were amazed at how well he rode: he was a natural.
Soon afterwards Mr Bowen offered to pay for David to go to a local riding school called Roocroft’s. There David quickly became a star rider. He rode the most difficult pony in the stables and in next to no time at all he was winning rosettes at local gymkhanas. Neither David nor his horse-riding instructors knew just how he did it. Many were puzzled by his habit of riding with long reins. It is totally against everything that a young rider is taught, but for him it works.
From pony-club class to regional competitions, the young David Bowen became famous. He was quickly recognized as being able to make even very difficult horses and ponies do just what he wanted. At the age of sixteen he was winning major national competitions against the very best in the country. As little more than a boy, he jumped at Wembley Stadium in London in the Horse of the Year Show and beat an Olympic silver medallist.
By the time David was twenty-one, he was a full-time professional show-jumper touring the world and winning such events as the Hickstead Derby and the King George V Cup. In 1984 David represented Great Britain at the Los Angeles Olympic Games as a member of the show-jumping team, and they won a silver medal.
‘When I first sat on a pony as a boy, I sort of knew I could ride,’ David Bowen told me. ‘I was at once in tune with it and was almost able to make the pony stop, start, canter or walk by just thinking about it. In my mind I just willed it to do things and the pony did.
‘When I started jumping at big events, I found the same thing happening. I would sit on the horse, give it a squeeze with my knees, and off we went. At the fences I just pictured us jumping clear and the horses did it. I don’t know why the horses jump well for me, I just seem to be able to whisper to them with my mind and up they go over the fences.
‘I think it all started when I was injured as a boy. I wanted to be like everyone else but could hardly speak. It was then my dad encouraged me to ride. I might not have been much of a talker with people, but horses and ponies could understand me – they still can.’
The next generation
At the 1996 Hickstead Derby, David’s daughter Sarah jumped joint second and was the highest-placed female in the event and, at twenty-two, the youngest.
‘I think I’m a lot like my father David,’ Sarah told me. ‘Even as a little girl, when I used to ride ponies, I felt able to communicate with them using my mind. I talk to them now, just say “Good boy” and “Come on up!” and picture the horse clearing the fences. Horses know when you like them. I just love them, always have done, and I know they love me. Exactly what makes them jump for me, I just don’t know.’
Talking to David and Sarah Bowen, I was deeply impressed with their honest admission that even they were a bit mystified about how they do what they do so well. But to see these two, father and daughter, on top of fine, big horses jumping the fences is to know that something very special is happening. We might call it telepathy, horse whispering, psychic power, just skill or whatever. To me it looked like the incredible power of love.