ARC is a proposal for the expansion and relocation of the Auroville Pony Farm, in Tamil Nadu, South India .
The Pony Farm has been operational for many years, and since 2001 has been run by Lea and Sara. Over the years it has provided the opportunity to generations of Auroville youth to ride and look after the horses in its care. Since Lea took over the management of the place the focus has been to develop natural horse riding skills to explore the mind/body connections between the rider and the horse.
Inspired primarily by the work of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, but with additional influences from other pioneers in this field, the facilities have evolved progressively over the last few years.
However, having met Bill Lathrop in 2003, who's similarly dedicated to the spread of natural horse riding, she was encouraged by him to look for a new piece of land in Auroville with the aim of expanding and upgrading her facilities. Bill had personally met the Mother in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram many years ago, and had been sent by her to the US to raise funds for Auroville, and this now seemed like a perfect opportunity to further this goal.
At present the existing Pony Farm is located in the evolving ‘craft zone' of Auroville, which is inappropriate for both the horses and the many children who come to ride. A new site within the ‘green belt' of Auroville could provide a quieter place for the horses, a safer place for the children as well as space for expansion in the future.
Once a new piece of land is found work can begin on designing the new facilities in more depth. The architects, David Nightingale and Ganesh Bala, have already drawn up a proposal which includes a covered riding ring, residential facilities for the caretakers and staff, guest facilities, store rooms, covered feeding and rest areas for the horses, a cafeteria and a covered parking area.
This project is a great opportunity to further the spirit of natural horse riding in South India , whilst exploring it more deeply in the context of the Integral Yoga.
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