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The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)


Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain:

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,810

ISSN 2369-6885


Lesley Daldry is a client of Symatree Farm. She discusses: some moments of thinking about; horses as a young person; the family farm; horses something not needed at the time; finding Symatree; a natural relationship that develops; healing social environment with animals; the unspoken power of horses; a sensibility; adaptations to their behaviour; and Manitoban weather.

Keywords: Canada, equestrianism, horses, Lesley Daldry, ponies, Symatree Farm, The Greenhorn Chronicles.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted June 24, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Today, we are here with Lesley Daldry who is a client of Symatree Farm. So, when it comes to your background with horses, what were some moments of thinking about horses as a young person or having real-life experience with them, or ponies?

Lesley Daldry[1],[2]: I started off. My first experience was at a camp as a camper, eventually as a staff person. When I worked as a staff person, I also had a chance to spend a bit more time with horses. It was one of the first things to ride on the weekends. That was kind of my first experience, which wasn’t super eventful. I enjoyed it. I didn’t “ohhh” and ‘awe” over it. Coming out from there, I was looking to more of an opportunity to invest a bit of time in a new place. I had some life changes. I had a bit more time to do something different.

I was looking for something with animals and on a farm. I grew up going to a family farm and enjoying it. That’s how I came across Symatree.

Jacobsen: So, the family farm, itself, how many horses were there? How large was this place?

Daldry: Oh! The family farm, we had pretty much every animal but a horse.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Daldry: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: Were the horses something not needed at the time, or just something not part of the palette of the animals kept as a happenstance?

Daldry: They had horses once upon a time. It was before I was around. I spent time going there as a kid. They had horses before I arrived. I didn’t get to meet those horses. I don’t know why they switched out. I don’t know why.

Jacobsen: So, what is the jump there from the horses there to finding Symatree?

Daldry: They were somewhat connected. I had a really good experience on the farm. I enjoyed it. I loved being around the animals. It was part of who I am. I learned that my grandfather had a real interest in starting a horse ranch one day. He never did do it. But it was something that he wanted to do, which made sense to me why I was so drawn to Symatree.

I was timid with the horses in the beginning because I hadn’t been around horses in some time. Once I spent a bit of time with them, and felt more comfortable, which was great, I enjoyed the being outside and most of all the people there, and the horses. It has been a really interesting experience getting to know everybody and the horses, spending some time with them, and some of the things already talked about (off tape) in caring about the horses. I was learning something new and different. Yes, they have a real special energy to them.

The people, everybody is just absolutely lovely and encouraging and very boundaried and respectful. I’ve been a true new addition to being part of a family. It has been lovely.

Jacobsen: When people come there, I am told that they are drawn to particular ponies or horses, and some are drawn to them. It is sort of a natural relationship that develops before they learn about the horse’s or pony’s history. Was this a similar experience for you when coming there?

Daldry: Yes, but I cannot explain it, there is a drawing that happened, but I don’t really know how or why. But I think it changes with the person, and grows, as the person becomes more aware of who they are. I think different horses are drawn to different people, and vice versa, at different points in their life. Different emotions or different physically, I would say that I was definitely having experiences, where I was drawn to the horses. They were drawn to me, in different ways. It has evolved. I don’t think it has stayed the same over time. It is something that changes over time.

You need the energy exchange between person and horse, It, definitely, keeps things growing and moving.

Jacobsen: When it comes to the kinds of therapeutic interventions people can have, or a healing environment one can have with animals, have you ever had any other experiences other than those with horses? A healing social environment with animals, is this something similar with other animals, or only something with horses, formally?

Daldry: Definitely, only horses, I would say, I think, all animals bring some kind of healing energy to people, for sure. I would say that that kind of connection is very unique to horses. I find it very difficult to articulate. The other animals, there is definitely something there in terms of that calm and that bringing the heart rate down, and feeling sort of more congruent with who you are at that particular time.

Horses, I would say, it is a very unique exchange. I found it difficult, in many ways, to say, “Yes,” to this interview because it is hard to express it. Because it is such a unique experience. You can have it with other animals. For me, it is definitely the most potent energy exchange compared to other animals.

Jacobsen: When I was coming into the industry, I’ve been in it 8 or 9 months. Another interviewee referenced the idea of the unspoken power of horses, or ponies. That’s the kind of sense that I’m getting from your response. It’s not something that you can necessarily per terms to, but you can sort of give a reference to the inaudible. Things like “unspoken.” Because they are so large that they should be in charge of the relationship, but they are, sort of, letting you relate with them. They are kind of gentle in that way.

Daldry: Yes, the horses at Symatree, there is a variation in size. So, most of the horses are quite small. There are three different paddocks. There are the smalls, the mids, and the bigs. They all bring something to the table, not just size wise, but personality wise. It is very difficult to articulate. I think people really need to experience it to get a full understanding, because I think the experience for each person is going to be different. I don’t think it’s the same for everybody.

For me, it isn’t even the same every time that I am with the horses. It is different each time. I just think they are [Laughing] amazing.

Jacobsen: There’s also a sensibility of working with either one of the facilitators or the owner with the horses as well. Do you think that greases the wheels with the relationship of the horse too?

Daldry: I don’t really spend much time in a therapeutic sense, in a formal sense, with them. Definitely, the people who work there have a lot of experience in facilitating a relationship between a person and a horse. So, I would say that that is a very unique this to Symatree. I don’t think it exists in a lot of other places. They have allowed a lot of people to go to their edge of comfort and try something different, try something new, in a way that is super safe and very respectful, and very boundaried. They let the experience happen in the way that it is meant to happen. The people that are there are good when asking questions, growing and learning something new. I’ll just ask for guidance and go off and try it.

I find that really empowering because you have an opportunity to try something different and to experiment. You get instant feedback from the horse. It is never you independent because you are always in relationship, always in connect. Either with people or with horses there, it is even where you are standing in the yard or in a paddock. Wherever you are, it is like being part of a herd. Or where you move, so, the rest of the herd moves and adjusts to the move of the herd depending on its hierarchy and relationship within that particular paddock. You become a member of the herd in a way, which is really cool.

Because your movement, horses adjust and do what they need to do to be who they are, and to be part of the herd and to balance. It is a constant rebalancing that happens within the herd.

Jacobsen: How do you find their adaptations to their behaviour? Do you find them highly sensitive or more moderate in their body and behavioural tone?

Daldry: It really depends on the horse. Some are incredibly sensitive. You need to emit little energy for them to sort of respond to you. Other ones, it really depends. Most horses, it depends on my energy for that day, for my day, what I am bringing to that herd. They will respond, accordingly. If my energy is high or pretty low, for my happy place, everybody’s energy is working together. If someone’s energy is too high or too low, that’s horse or person. There’s a rejigging that has to happen to balance everything again. It really depends on the horse, the day, and the weather.

One thing that has surprised me over the years is seeing how things like weather really impact not only a person’s mood, but a horse’s mood, and their comfort level. That horses get irritable like people. They get happy like people do. There are a lot of parallels.

Jacobsen: How do you find Manitoban weather in particular? Because, for those reading this outside of Canada, parts of Manitoba are known for being very cold…

Daldry: …[Laughing]…

Jacobsen: …or volatile in the range of temperatures “available” to residents.

Daldry: Yes, it is definitely cold here in the Winter. That’s for sure. Summers can be incredibly hot. So, yes, there’s definitely something to consider there. Even just the way that the horses are, in the paddocks on hot days and rainy days sometimes, they will need to be inside the shelters. You need to go where they are to visit them. Some will come out. It definitely takes some adjusting. You have to adjust what you wear. I have to be very conscious.

When I am at the farm for half of a day or a full day the whole time, obviously, I have to dress for it and keep in mind how much I am moving, and adjusting for that. I’m sure some horses have some work to them. It is really interesting to see how much extra hair that they grow in the Fall and the Winter, especially, then they shed it all off in the Summer. It is amazing how they adapt to it. It really is. I used to think the cold was the worst for them. Actually, I think it is the heat, because they have so much fur.


[1] Client, Symatree Farm.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022:


American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from:

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1). Retrieved from

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022).

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E.,

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from:


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at


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