In this interview, Lydia Nevzorova, wife of Alexander Nevzorov, talks about their publications, photography, herd-keeping, the progression of working with horses, teaching horses Latin, clinics, bitless bridles, breeding, how they handle ex-students, what they envision for horses in 100 years and more.
Interview of Lydia Nevzorova By TT
TT: At last the long awaited, significant moment for the equestrian world has come. The book “The Horse Crucified and Risen” has been published in English. As far as I have seen, in Russia this book made a splash. There was a storm of protest, and sportsmen headed by the president of the FEI burned the book in public during one of the major equestrian events. This was even broadcast on TV! I suppose it is a bit early to speak of the consequences of the English publication, but I’d like to know what reaction you think this book might cause in foreign readers? Aren’t you afraid?
Lydia Nevzorova: It is difficult to project, we’ll see (by the way, it was our magazine which has been burned in public, not the book). The book became available on Amazon.com just a couple of days ago (August 2011), I haven’t seen it yet myself. As for the reaction of the public, I think it’ll be similar to the Russian one. But let’s not forget that the book was written in 2004 and a lot of time has passed since. The minds of people have changed; they will not be overwhelmed with the facts stated in the book. Everybody knows now of the pain horses feel when used in equestrian sports, everybody knows of the harmful effects of the bit, etc. For all these years we’ve tried to enlighten equestrian people, we’ve shot the movies and published the Equine Anthology.
TT: Why did it take so long to translate the book into English?
LN: It was a really difficult thing to do. When we presented the book at the Leipzig Book Exhibition, there were 16 publishing houses that wanted to buy the rights for publication. But we’ve found out that there are no professional translators-hippologists who can translate from Russian in the entire world! We were searching for about two years. Nobody could manage to translate the text written by Alexander. There are too many hippological, historical and medical terms in it. Also, Alexander Nevzorov (A.N.) has his special beautiful and intricate turn of phrase, his subtle humor and sarcasm. A lot of it was lost in translation. In the end, the book was translated by a professional American translator who had nothing to do with anything equestrian. And after that we edited the book for another couple of years. We had to start over and over again. In short, it was a very difficult task.
TT: Maybe, it’s a kind of good fortune? I think the Western public could not have agreed with what is stated in the book if it were available seven years ago. And now, when people are more or less ready, they can accept it instead of opposing it.
LN: The book was written in 2004, and I haven’t updated it on purpose. I didn’t want to adapt it for the modern reality, when a lot of things have changed. I want the reader to walk the Nevzorov way. For many it is pretty impossible to understand and accept our present point of view in one single-step. People need time for transformation. This book really changes peoples’ minds. I don’t know of anyone who was not really impressed by the book, if nothing else. Besides that, the book helps to enlarge the reader’s scope; it is full of historical facts and interesting stories that were not known to most of the audience. Also I’d like to stress that this book is not only for equestrian people.
TT: What has changed since the book was written?
LN: In the book Haute École is praised. Now we do not even ride. During all this time we have made a vast case against equestrian sport. We have tons of terrible photographs and videos picturing the cruelty of equestrianism. Also we’ve done a lot of research. In the book only the first of our ideas and discoveries are mentioned. The first and the most important ones. Without reading this book one can never understand how Nevzorov Haute École (NHE) has developed.
TT: Your photographs of horses (your own and the poor ones used by sportsmen) are tremendous. After looking at them I can’t bear to watch horses jumping over painted poles or even simply to see bridled horses.
LN: It’s a pity we had to remove the color pictures from the English version of the book. Thus we’ve made the book a bit more affordable. The color-printing is very expensive, and we want our book to be accessible for anyone who wishes to read it. So, you can see the original photographs on our web site.
TT: Well, if we’re speaking of cheaper versions, there is Kindle! It’s very popular. Have you thought of that?
LN: Of course we’ve thought of it, and we will make a Kindle version for sure. Just not right now. And speaking of photographs, we are planning to translate more books into English, including a book on how to take photographs of horses in the NHE and Horse Revolution (HR) way. Maybe you don’t know that we were the first ones to notice the cruelty of equestrian sport and to start taking photographs - not just of “dancing” horses, but of the truth - mouths, necks, pain, blood. We’ve founded the new genre of hippophotography.
TT: Yes, those books sound like ones that would be loved by readers. By the way, when I was looking through the photos on your site, I’ve noticed that the latest ones were taken two years ago. Why aren’t you showing us new ones?
LN: Really? The time just flies by. The thing is that we’ve stopped any riding, and there is nothing interesting in photographing horses that do nothing. Plus there is no such need and no time for it. And one must be brave enough to stop at the peak. I think, I’ve told everything I ever wanted to tell with the photographs. Also, I have a beautiful rising generation following me. There are really amazing photographers among our students. I am very happy and proud of them!
TT: Oh, Lydia, you can’t talk like this! People are waiting for your photos. I myself have Lipisina’s photo as my desktop picture!
LN: Well… If they are really waiting for new pics… I’ll have to think about it.
TT: About the idea that there is nothing interesting in taking pictures of “horses who do nothing”, I think people would like to see how your horses live, how they sleep, eat, play.
LN: I don’t like everyday photos, not of myself or of our horses. This is an aesthetic thing. You have seen the pictures of our manège. Everything is beautiful there. It is not this way with the everyday pictures. I have plenty of them, but they all have some minor flaws like a yellow bucket in the background, or a horse looking dull because he is dozing and his lips are slacking, sometimes a horse has his sides covered with mud after a good roll, or there is some unpainted fence or a heap of fresh manure somewhere near him… in short, I like everything to be beautiful and to teach people how to make beautiful pictures. I’ve written plenty of articles on the subject, how can I show pictures of mine that contravene my own teaching? Plus, I don’t like to display my private life. I don’t see the need for this. There are some special display photographs and movies, and there is private life and family.
TT: But what is so bad about a horse with a slacking lip?
LN: There is nothing bad about it, but would you publish your own photos with you wearing a bathrobe and hair-curlers? Why should we show horses like this? Besides that, our horses are our family members; they live in our home, which I also don’t like to display. Sad to say, A.N. is a public person and we live according to some rules with a lot of limitations. I just can’t post my personal photo archive on Facebook. You should understand this as you are a journalist.
TT: Of course I understand. You absolutely have your right for privacy. Forgive me for trying to intrude.
LN: Nothing to beg forgiveness for at all, I won’t let anybody do it.
TT: Well, let’s go back to the books. I really loved your interview on the School published in the latest Anthology (No. 7). I think it was the first time I’ve managed to arrange my thoughts on the subject. Why won’t you write a book about A.N., his methods, lessons, the School, the management rules and everything? I don’t want to sound offensive, Nevzorov’s manner of writing is brilliant, but you, Lydia, speak in a plainer language, which is clearer for the common readers.
LN: I have to think this over. In truth, I’m writing constantly, we publish my books on equine management on a regular basis in Russia. Maybe, some of them would be interesting for Western readers -the ones concerning the NHE views on horse keeping and equine management in particular. I also have a very detailed book on hoof trimming. It took me two years to complete it, but we just can’t translate it, it would be too difficult. I’m afraid even to think of it. Sad to say, we have a very few trusted people to work with, and we also have to make our magazine, the Equine Anthology, and publish new books. Plus we have a series of other big projects, including ones outside the equine theme. But recently we’ve translated a small book about paddocks and shelters (from the equine management series of picture books). It is now in the process of editing.
TT: Oh, I’m eager to read it! Despite the many discussions and explanations, there are a lot of questions about the rules of keeping and educating horses that still wait to be answered.
LN: Those questions are still unanswered only because people want to compromise between their desire to ride and their wish for a horse’s well-being. Sad to say, nothing good can come with such compromises.
TT: Do you mean that as soon as you stop riding you immediately become good at everything else?
LN: The important thing here is not only to stop riding, but to not want to do it anymore! It’s very important that the refusal of riding was not caused by laziness or the fear of horses! Ninety-nine percent of all the people who’ve stopped riding did it because of fear. It is the same with vegetarianism. The thing is not to just stop eating meat. The thing is that your mouth doesn’t water when you pass the hot-dog stand.
TT: I’ve never thought of this.
LN: But, anyway, if one stops riding because of his or her fear it’s good too. The fewer riders in the world - the better.
TT: The better? Nevzorov called these types of people “the shepherds” in one of his treatises.
LN: And he was absolutely right about it. And what’s the big deal? People have their horses and just let them graze in the fields like some cattle or sheep. Shepherd is a good profession. It doesn’t take a lot of intellect to become one, but it is still a respectable job or hobby. To each their own.
TT: I thought that you don’t like this kind of “natural herd keeping”.
LN: Us? Why do you think so? We just don’t care.
TT: Well… kind of...“a horse gets dumb in a herd, he gets cold, injured, etc…”
LN: We don’t care about these kinds of people and their horses.
TT: How is that?
LN: Oh, it’s really simple. We never force or propagate our ideas on anybody. We can only enlighten people. NHE is an enclosed organization and we have nothing to do with everybody else. The ones who wish to listen to us or even join us are free to do it. The others are not forced to do anything.
TT: But I was a bit… well, disturbed with the A.N.’s words of the horse getting “dumb” in the herd.
LN: Do you really think that a horse can develop intellectually in some herd?
TT: Well, no… He just lives his horse life there, why should he develop?
LN: I absolutely agree with you. A horse doesn’t need any development and education.
TT: Lydia, you just don’t stop amusing me! How is that? Doesn’t NHE work consist of developing a horse’s intellect? What about LEP and Latin?
LN: A horse does not need any Latin. But “talking” horses can use their abilities to their advantage. They can tell us that they are cold or ask to remove a stone from their frog. They can’t do it with a simple nicker. When you just nicker you might get a bowl of oats instead of a dry blanket.
In truth, the intellectual development is essential for horses only because people tend to torture less the ones who are equal in their intellect. Or they do it somewhat shyly. That is why while demonstrating the horse’s ability to think we are raising their chances to be saved from those who “love to ride”. This is the only possible way for today.
TT: Yes, I’ve read about it somewhere in NHE articles earlier. But you have to explain it to people over and over again. I, for instance, tend to forget about it, because I see hundreds of forums where people just can’t get it. So, you are teaching your horses only for their own well-being?
LN: Not only for that. Now, tell me this. What are all the sciences and development for? There are people who like everything the way it is, and there are ones who push civilization forward.
You just don’t understand what has happened. I can’t explain it briefly, and this is an interview for equestrian people, but what A.N. has discovered is something like discovering the law of gravity or even more. I won’t rush things. You’ll get all the answers on the subject in A.N.’s new book on anthropology and neuroanatomy called “Origin of Intellect” which is now almost complete.
Common equestrian people see LEP like some kind of trick or something unachievable. They can’t get the real scientific meaning of it. But the scientists of the world are very amused and disturbed, because what A.N. has discovered changes the ideas people had on many fundamental things. These discoveries cross out thousands of studies, theories and experiments. I suppose, soon the basic theories of evolution, anthropology and neuroanatomy will be reviewed.
But these things are not all about horses.
TT: What about shows or clinics? When we can see you in Europe?
TT: Never? Why?
LN: We do not make money with horses and never put on shows or exhibitions with them. It is one of main principles of NHE.
TT: Your films are not similar to an exhibition or a show?
LN: No, they aren’t. The filming took place in comfortable conditions for the horses where they live. There was no stress, no travelling, no public, etc. Any seminars presented for the NHE School students by Alexander and myself are free of charge, by the way. Horses are not involved in those.
TT: I have seen announcements for clinics with NHE Representatives.
LN: Well, we appoint our representatives carefully and they are qualified enough for spreading the knowledge- that knowledge which is about changing of the human mind –it has nothing to do with horse training. The international reps are like missionaries, but we do not expect them to organize clinics.
However, I am not against such events, especially when the public is so eager to get information. The reps may charge a fee for their clinics, but it is all up to them, we do not insist and we certainly do not demand a cut or intend to ever make a profit from such programs. It is not unreasonable for them to cover their costs and their time to organize the event and travel.
The NHE seminars and conferences are not like clinics of most well known horse trainers. The participants do not bring their horses and are not taught step-by-step methods. As I said, the meetings are about teaching the humans about self development and ethics toward horses, not a specific way to hold a rope or to make a horse do anything.
TT: I get it. Let’s go back to the School forum. Why are you not letting just anybody join it? How can you limit the enlightenment?
LN: Confucius said - be friends with equals… in which he has captured the essence of our situation. I don’t like the word “elite”, but I have to use it. Our School is the intellectual elite of the equestrian world. And elite cannot be large-scale. We don’t need our students to be non-intellectual, untalented, and narrow-minded.
LN: Oh, all of our students are rebels. You can’t do anything about it. The bright mind and the awareness of one’s own intellectuality always comes along with the wish to have one’s own opinion.
TT: Do you regard your students’ “own opinions”?
LN: Of course we do. How else can it be? Our students are close to us.
TT: I’ve heard that you expel the students for the slightest disobedience. The Internet is full of people who hold a grudge against you. They all state that they were banned for arguing with A.N. and for having their own opinion.
LN: It is quite possible. One should earn the right to have his own opinion! There were a lot of people who hadn’t earned that right.
By the way, who are these expelled persons? Are their names are Nuño Oliveira, Hempfling or Parelli? Well, they aren’t. So why did those we did expel decide they could argue with A.N. as equals and express their opinion? How could it be interesting to anybody? The Internet is a magical thing. A girl who has ridden a rented horse at a public stable a couple of times thinks of herself as a specialist on equine matters and starts to criticize the things far beyond her reach, starts to sneer and gossip. But to criticize something great one must do equal or better things, right? But those people, they try to express their opinion on things they can never reach. Sad to say, they can only berate. Most of them still haven’t learned to lead a horse from the paddock without injuries to themselves and the horse. Why would we need such people?
We have spent a lot of time on them. And time is the most precious thing ever. We have given them a great amount of knowledge, but all the good we’ve done for them is forgotten, they repaid us with beggarly thanks. Not long ago some compassionate person from Facebook sent me “the incontestable evidence against NHE” which she had gathered on the Internet. Of course, there were “facts” about some seven horses whom we had starved and sent to the slaughterhouse; about us confining horses in boxes and riding them with bits and spurs - all those “facts” are always put here and there to bring shame on us. We’ve even managed to start to love these “facts” as our old friends. But the most intricate argument against us was brought by our own former student who was excluded for her foolishness and mediocrity. She offered what she saw as the most incontrovertible evidence of the invalidity of NHE: she stated that she couldn’t teach her horse collection following our method. This means, in her opinion, that it is impossible to collect a horse with Nevzorov’s method and that A.N. was lying all that time! Isn’t it pretty?
TT: Yes, it is quite amusing. I suppose, it is entertaining to have such fatuous enemies.
LN: Oh, those are not our enemies, not even opponents. Let those people be. This is a common evolution. The School lost its gills and tail with the help of them, so to speak. And you know what? For a few years now the set of the students in the Russian and the International School haven’t changed! We have a close circle of clever and serious people whom we value a lot and on whom we spend our time gladly.
TT: By the way, do Oliveira and Parelli have any gravitas for you?
LN: For us? No. But these people deserve to have their own opinion and to express it. It is our decision whether to consider it or not.
TT: While I was preparing for this interview I surfed the Internet to see what people think of NHE. I’ve found out that there are a lot of copycats who imitate NHE quite thoroughly. But what was the most surprising is the amount of anger, and this anger comes not from sportsmen who consider you their enemies, but, as far as I’ve understood, from your own ex-students, the ones who should support you. They curse you up and down. Are you aware of it? Do you read all of this?
LN: Of course I know about it. But I do not read those things and have no interest towards any of those people. What for? Those who have left do not exist for me anymore. But their curses are great! Are you speaking of the Internet outside of Russia? Well… I can’t say that those people are very wise. Russians have long ago understood that if you curse someone you give him free PR. Sad to say, the very subject of NHE is banned on the Russian Internet equestrian sites. They ban users on their forums for even mentioning it. Not like their Western colleagues. They are good guys and hard working too!
TT: But it seems to me that they made their aim to spoil the reputation of NHE. They spare neither trouble nor expense.
LN: Oh sure. If they’d use their energy instead for something like fighting equestrian sports they would have overcome it long ago. But they still prefer to search for the skeletons in the NHE closets.
TT: But I still can’t understand why they are so angry. Nobody is cursed more, not even Parelli.
LN: They feel themselves offended, their pride is aggrieved, what else can they do? They are not able to do anything. For most of them NHE was (and, god forbid, will stay) the biggest thing that ever happened in their lives. They can’t forget the School. And, I think, the largest contingent of those who are angry are Russians. And they are the best in the world at cursing. Also there is the category of fan-girls who came into NHE for reasons other than their great love towards horses. And after A.N. ignored them they became really angry.
TT: What will you do about it?
LN: What do you mean? I’m going to celebrate! Only the things that are real can arouse public opinion. Nobody cares for mediocrity. So all those angry people are the proof of the significance of NHE. Thank goodness, it is they who speak of us and not vice versa! Also they perform the function of natural selection and peel away all those who are foolish enough to believe the first thing they read on the Internet. So those angry people save our precious time.
TT: I’ve noted that the things that have offended people the most are the “bad” character of A.N., his strict rules and his dislike towards herd-keeping.
LN: A.N. is a grown man who has seen everything in his life. He has a tremendous biography. He was a voluntary hostage of terrorists four times! He has saved thousands of people. Do you understand what this really means? What kind of character does one have to do such things? He deserves the right to do and to say what he wants. He can establish the rules he finds suitable.
Also, you forget that the NHE Forum is not just any forum, but a school. Imagine in any other school that while during the lesson where the professor explains that 2x2 equals 4 some small girl raises her hand and says that she disagrees and that 2x2 is 5 and that she doesn’t want to learn some idiotic equations. What do you think? That everybody should seriously consider this nonsense? If one thinks that A.N. is “bad”, he or she can always go away and start to teach someone as he pleases. Nobody will stop him or her. We do not stop anybody.
As for herds and our opinion on the subject: you can read everything in my new book, I’ve explained everything there. We are not against herds as they are, it would be strange to do so as horses are herd animals. We are against the idiotic “games of herds” in one’s yard when horses get only injuries from such “freedom”. But the way of keeping horses and whether to castrate stallions or not is something one should decide for himself.
I’ve never asked anyone how their horses live. I do not ask how people themselves live either. Everyone has his or her own financial and social limitations. NHE unites people of different social status. Public discussion of one’s own or one’s horse’s living circumstances can humiliate and offend. Some people feel uncomfortable if they are discussed this way. We are not used to boasting about our stables or demanding that others demonstrate theirs. It is clear that anyone who has entered NHE would do everything to make his horse’s life comfortable. I’m sure of it. But equine management is the personal responsibility of the owner. Not one of NHE.
TT: But I’ve heard that there was a rule for the Russian members to have a paddock of ten square meters maximum?
LN: What nonsense! Where have you heard that?
TT: Somewhere on the Internet, of course.
LN: Well, how have you, a Westerner, understood this rule (which has never existed)?
TT: Well, I thought that you meant to confine a horse and to keep him in a small paddock.
LN: OK. And what if such a recommendation was given to a person who kept her horse in a box 24 hours a day at the public stable? And what if her horse could not go for a walk at all? And if that person had no money to build her own stable and the public stable owner would not let her build a paddock on stable property? And if there was no money to build any fence? If a horse was bought from the slaughterhouse by a kind 17-year old girl and all the money they had was the pension of her retired elderly mother?
TT: Oh… You’re right. Of course, in such circumstances it might be the best possible solution. You’ve made me sit up and take notice again.
LN: Sure enough, A.N. said everything about the size of the paddock. You can have a paddock of any size - it can be ten thousand acres, but be so kind as to make it safe and have a constant surveillance, so that any injury a horse gets would not go unnoticed longer than a minute. We have terrible statistics of paddock traumas. Safety always comes first. Surely, you can think of several stories to tell about injured horses who had only been found the next day or even only in the spring lying dead somewhere in the ditch. I can remember a lot of such stories.
TT: Sad to say, but I’ve also heard some stories of that kind.
LN: It is because people have different attitudes towards horses. Some people find injuries and the death of a horse to be a usual and natural thing or even feel a kind of relief and consider it to be an opportunity to buy a new horse, to start everything “from scratch”, etc. Our horses are priceless; we have put tons of love, labor, care and ourselves into them so we think of them as of someone special. Only the person who truly lives with her horse, who educates him and has good results can understand it.
TT: I get it. Still, why can’t one go for a walk with her horse?
LN: What do you mean?
TT: Why can’t one take her horse for a walk in the forest or in the field while leading the horse on a rope?
LN: Ah… I think, it is better to ask “who cannot do it?” and “with what means does she need to do it?”
You cannot go for a walk with a bridled horse. You just cannot, it is not a matter of discussion. And regarding a halter or cordeo, some are capable of doing it, some are not. Some are not even capable of having a horse. This is a matter of qualification and safety first of all. Many people have no control over their horses. And a horse is a very dangerous being. He can run away or get run over by a car, a horse can get injured by himself or injure people. Do you know how many foolish girls have watched NHE movies and gotten injured after trying these methods with some rented horses? They got on an unbridled horse, rode into a field and fell off the horse. And they accused NHE. You just can’t go anywhere with a horse without having a mature mind, the ability to control the situation and the complete course of education and training. You just can’t do it!
Haven’t you heard that last year some girl went for a walk with a horse, the horse bolted away, the lead caught the girl’s arm and the horse dragged that girl through the forest? He ran for an hour. In the end, the horse returned to the stable with a dead body on the lead tailing after him. It was a horse used for equestrian sport, but that doesn’t matter. Any horse can get frightened and bolt away. This is a very symptomatic case.
TT: But NHE horses are trained in a different way?
LN: It would be the bathos of stupidity for us to guarantee a horse’s behavior if the horse was not educated by A.N. himself. And education cannot be something to rely on in contingency. We have super-educated horses, but they still kick each other any time they have an opportunity. So, the good manners of horses are a myth.
TT: What about the Bitless Bridle (BB)? You are a representative of it in Russia, aren’t you?
LN: We respect Dr. Cook very much and he is our friend and mentor in veterinary issues for sure. He is really an outstanding person of our time, and he is very brave. It’s a real pity that we did not know each other when we started our revolution, when we started our research about the harm of bits and sport. The film and the book Horse Crucified and Risen were made on our own and we were ignorant enough not to know that there were already very good studies of the harm of the bit available and that we did have one friend to us and horses in the world.
But, may Dr. Cook forgive me, we are absolutely against the BB for sport. I will explain why. We are not for the mere softening of Equine Sport. We are for abolishing it! We do not consider equine sport necessary for society. Jumping, dressage and racing in a BB is still very cruel!
There would be the same broken legs in racing, no matter if in a bit or with a BB, there will be damaged spines and necks from Rollkur in dressage, no matter if in a BB or a bit, etc. The equine industry would develop in the same way, but it would be much more difficult for people to see the point of berating Equine Sport. It would be much more difficult for us to prove that ES is a terrible thing.
By softening the rules of equine sport we would help to it to survive, making their business more comfortable. We would deprive ourselves of a very important argument against cruelty. So we consider this step of compromise strategically lame.
I recollect how I wondered about Dr. Strasser when she became very happy when a horse without shoes, trimmed according to her method, won a race. It was terrible, in that moment, for me she went from the great fighter for equine health to the list of horse enemies, as she, in that moment become just a trivial vet who supports and serves equine sport.
The more compromises there are with Equine Sport, the later we will win.
It’s a pity, but we in HR and NHE are the only ones in the world who clearly declare the position and support it without hesitation. Equestrian Sport should be banned, not regulated or softened, only banned.
Do you have any more questions?
TT: Yes, I have one. But I think I’ve managed to answer it myself while we were talking. But I’m still going to ask it. Why do you forbid saving horses? Why are you against all those charity societies?
LN: Why do you think that we are against them? We just don’t do it. As we don’t grow tomatoes, for instance. We are not interested in saving horses. We have a different mission. And, I have to say it once again, we do not forbid anything. We can give advice if we are asked for it. And you know what? Dozens of people who decided not to buy those broken sport and rental horses thank us to this day. And hundreds of people who had decided otherwise regret that they hadn’t listened to this advice. We can speak only of the Russian experience and we can clearly see where this very “rescuing” leads. The “best” outcome is a dirty livery.
TT: It s not like this in the West.
LN: Well, that’s good if it isn’t.
TT: Ok, tell me the last thing. Have you ever thought of having a colt fathered by Kaogi? He is a stallion? I can imagine two beautiful colts - one chestnut and one black. By Lipa and Tashunko.
LN: Good grief! I thought you understood everything and now you surprise me with such a question. We are totally against commercial breeding and any breeding at all.
There are not many people out there who understand that breeders are real criminals like sportsmen. Breeders are the ones who deliver living meat to the races and sports. They are the ones who give the world thousands of foals every year, foals who are doomed for torture and death! Breeders cast out and slaughter 70% of the foals! We’ve had no time yet to attract public opinion to this subject. But I promise you, HR will start to work on it very soon.
TT: But not all horses are doomed to sports, some are lucky. Your horses would never be used in sport.
LN: First of all, we would never give away our foals. Secondly, we just can’t afford more horses. We live almost in the city, we have no fields and it is really crowded at our place. We have four horses on a half a hectare. It is a crime to give birth to foals in Russia and horses should not live in our climate zone at all.
TT: And why do you have only half a hectare?
LN: We just don’t have any more. Search the Russian part of the Internet, you’ll find no less than 10,000 links in different mass-media discussing how they took away 5 hectares from Nevzorov which the government leased to NHE. A.N. was pictured as some “rascal” who wanted to give this land to horses while Russian people were starving. It was the loudest scandal. The media has continued to kick it around for five years now. This year we have lost the last share of the land. Truly speaking, even half a hectare is an improper luxury in Russia. Public people could be blamed for it forever.
TT: What a terrible story. And this is why such talented horses would leave no heirs?
LN: All the horses are the same. Genius is not something that could be inherited! Any horse can perform Spanish step and read Latin if he has a proper and able tutor. So, it is A.N. who should leave heirs, not Kaogi.
TT: Oh, by the way, does your son show any interest towards horses? Will he follow your way?
LN: Of course he shows interest like any child. But I allow him to communicate with our horses only under my supervision and only while he stays on the opposite side of a fence.
TT: Why is that?
LN: Because he is still little and still not coordinated enough. We have no spare kids and horses are dangerous!
TT: So, you forbid kids to communicate with horses?
LN: We do not forbid anything. An adult can make his or her own decisions. I have only one kid and I don’t want to risk him.
TT: Oh… So, Kao will stay childless.
LN: He has two children. But I don’t know where they are. The people from whom we’ve bought Kao bred him earlier.
TT: Does he show any interest towards mares?
LN: Of course he does. But he has to “cope” since we would never castrate him. We understand that it is not ideal and we’d like Kao to live the full life of a stallion, but we just can’t do it. I hope, you will not advise me to “let the horse into the herd, to be free”?
TT: No, I would not.
LN: Thank you! After all, we hope that in 100 years horses will only be seen in wildlife sanctuaries, like zebras!
TT: This is your opinion on the subject?
TT: And what should we do? What is the solution?
LN: The solution is the enlightening of people. Not sportsmen - they will never change. We should enlighten common people. When they stop visiting equestrian events, races and all, then they will understand that they were fooled. Only then something will start to change.
TT: Thank you for this interview. I think, it’ll answer a lot of questions for our readers.
LN: You are always welcome. May I ask why do you speak with me under a pseudonym?
TT: Mmm… the thing is that I have a registration on one of the forums which is not friendly towards NHE. I’m afraid they will ban me for speaking with you and I still have some information to gather there.
LN: Oh, give them best regards.
TT: From you?
LN: From Aimush. He is a well-known shepherd god of primitive people.