Haseeb Mehta learned a valuable lesson as a polo player in Lahore in a different life. Learning to ride a horse goes beyond just riding an animal. It’s about building a relationship, a partnership with another living being using language that is not taught in any school. The end result when the conversation works, as Haseeb puts it, is poetry in motion. Two living beings with a common bond cutting across forms of expression as we know them.
When he moved back to Karachi and started looking for a riding school for his children that followed the same philosophy he was disappointed. He then did what all Karachites are really good at doing, creative problem solving. He started Karachi Riding School for his own kids; problem solved.
Little did Haseeb know that a few years later, the school would be offering horse therapy (Hippo Therapy) sessions for special needs children or he would turn out to be a natural tutor for autistic and ADHD children.
For a child with special needs and/or sensory processing disorder, a horse is just such a magnificent creature to be with. You need balance, confidence, care, respect & touch – the magic combination that isolates you from the rest of the world and allows you to be who you really are as soon as you get on the saddle.
Of all Taha’s therapists, Haseeb ability to instantly build a rapport with him broke all prior records. Within a few minutes of ariving at the Karachi Riding School, Taha was listening, responding and conversing with Haseeb. There were day’s when rather than riding, Taha simply wanted to explore the grounds, brush the horses or simply saunter around by himself. No problems for Haseeb, who simply moulded the days’s program and the boundaries around Taha’ desire to go explore the beach on foot.
The riding school as Haseeb explained earlier is not just about riding. Its about discovering, exploring and bonding. There is an agenda and a learning format but its all beneath the surface. Once you are with Haseeb on a horse, you are in your own world and in command.
In a different life Haseeb is an easy going Atchisonian from Lahore who rarely frowns (don’t confuse the squint due to the early morning sun) and played polo for Pakistan. He still follows the Pakistan team on his blog (I didn’t know that there was a Polo World cup and we actually made it to the finals after beating both Australia and South Africa).
You can find him most mornings at the Karachi Riding School, at the beach opposite Bilawal House. If you have an interest in horses or riding, go see Haseeb at the Karachi Riding School.