A great American horseman was lost to us when Mark Russell died in June from injuries acquired during a riding accident. Mark, author of the popular book Lessons in LIghtness, was a well-known trainer and teacher who blended the methods and philosophies of classical dressage with natural horsemanship to produce what her termed natural dressage. It is not just the human family and friends of Mark’s who mourn his loss. That loss is also felt by his equine friends and partners, particularly his leading horse Sola. Sola has currently been taken in by Mark’s friend, Bettina Drummond who had these words to say upon his arrival:
August 11, 2016
It is with deep conviction in firming balance, affirming humor and confirming exchanges that I accepted Sola’s offer of friendship early this morning. I am honored to godmother Mark’s horse through to his maximal potential, to stand witness to Mark’s contribution that furthered the legacy of our teacher, Nuno Oliveira, and to befriend Mark’s school of thought.
Sola has a place here and a friend in me for as long as he choses this path and to follow my guidance. It is my hope that sharing with you my acceptance of Mark and Hela’s request to further the education of this special being will soften the great loss that you have felt and that I have also shared. May your horses’ hearts carry you forth bravely to what you seek and their hooves swiftly out of danger, both on the road and in training.