BORDERS horse whisperer Peter Neilson has written the second of a trilogy of books.
Alexander the Great’s Horseman’s Spiritual Journey – so named because Mr Neilson found he was Alexander’s horseman in a past life – tells of the horses in Mr Neilson’s life, from childhood onwards.
The animal communicator and healer from Sprouston started talking to animals in the mid-1990s in his bid to help a horse called Nod, the subject of the first in the trilogy, Nod Whispers.
Mr Neilson trained as a mechanical engineer, but hunted wherever he was working. He returned to the Borders in 1981 to farm, before becoming joint master of the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt for more than 15 years.
But it was bolter Nod who brought about revelations, for in his bid to help the horse, Mr Neilson found he could communicate with animals and see past lives, and later, with a horse called Soloman, that he had healing hands.
“I started talking to animals in the mid-1990s,” Mr Neilson said. “Nod was the catalyst. I couldn’t find out why I couldn’t get this horse to operate as a proper horse. It took me three and a half years to help him.
“You get a tremendous high when you are able to help an animal, it doesn’t matter what the animal is or what the problem is, you just think ‘oh wonderful’. I also get a real high from finding out the relationship I have had in the past with animals.”
The horse whisperer gives talks and has spoken at the Borders Festival of the Horse.
“People still sometimes think ‘he must be off his trolly’, and in the mid-1990s when I started, it was probably ‘this fellow should go to Dingleton’, but I certainly don’t get that reaction now. I still get people saying they don’t believe, and that’s their choice. More and more people are accepting it because more is coming out in the press.”
His latest book will be enjoyable for any horse lover because he’s talking about the animals – I read it in one sitting.
He was in Ayrshire as a very young child before his parents bought Monksford, a mansion by the River Tweed.
His first pony broke his nerve and he didn’t ride for a further two years until he and, another pony, Pixie, teamed up.
“I discovered in my teenage years that I had better empathy with horses and dogs than my contemporaries did. I further realised that when riding horses I had a pretty good idea what they were capable of ... that was how I functioned until along came a horse called Nod, ” he writes.
Love of horses and dogs, wild animals and the countryside is evident. He says he is not interested in competing, only that he and the horse have fun. And he writes about each of the horses he’s been with, illustrating their characters with stories.
He talks also about healing, the legend of Michael Scott, radionics, the Eildon Hills, grooming (involving a whisp), feeding horses naturally (no molasses) and a little about himself.
He writes: “I was born with a very strong hunting gene and my earliest upbringing led me to become a hunter, which was a natural instinct.” But he stopped hunting deer after a deer came to him during meditation at Findhorn community and asked him not to.
He concludes in his book: “My life with horses through all the twists and turns has taught me so much ... the humility, the bravery and the unconditional love of these people is mind-blowing. And I do consider that they are people, not some ornament.”
Copies of Mr Neilson’s new book can be ordered (ISBN 978-0-9560301-1-5) or contact Mr Neilson on 01573 224146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org