Leïla Pagès: Nomadic adventurer, Specialist in the human-horse relationship, Photographer & Director.
Having grown up in the French countryside, I've been around horses and riding schools since early childhood. This passion never left me, and when I was a teenager, I discovered the approach of American "whisperers": cowboys who seemed to share an uncommon connection with horses. I dreamed of experiencing this freedom, meeting these horsemen in the wide open spaces of the American West and deepening my bond with horses.
But as I grew up, the world of the riding school revealed to me an increasingly strict, competitive atmosphere, disconnected from the horses who were ultimately used as "mechanical" tools to be pulled, pushed and not trusted. I spent a long time looking for a way to dedicate my professional future to horses, but it was difficult for me to envisage a profession that would enable me to experience a harmonious relationship with horses. So I opted for a more "traditional" path and turned professionally towards the audiovisual world.
After graduating from university and spending several years in Paris working as a video editor for TV channels, my childhood dreams of being free and living close to horses seemed lost.
Suffocating in the capital with an infernal pace of work, I decided to follow my dreams of the great outdoors and leave for a sabbatical year in Canada. I didn't know it yet, but I was off to find the horses I missed so much. I was also off to meet myself, and that journey never ended.
I settled in Quebec as a natural horsemanship instructor, then travelled the world to meet horse specialists who had found new ways of communicating with horses, in harmony and free of their constraints. My travels took me to Patagonia, Belgium, Arizona, Costa Rica and Montana. I was able to accompany many horses and people and immerse myself in different cultures. The professionals and all the horses I met were my greatest teachers during these (trans)formative years.
Having filmed this journey of several years, I decided to share this story in my documentary film Sans Attache, released in 2017, which won an award in New York and was shown in cinemas in Canada and Europe.
After many years training with professionals and training horses of all ages, breeds, backgrounds, with all kinds of traumas using gentle methods based on Natural Horsemanship, I have experimented with many approaches in the relationship with the horse and personal development.
Enriched by these years of learning and teaching, I now travel the world to screen the film Sans Attache and lead conferences, workshops and training courses in Canada, Europe and Costa Rica to help horses and humans understand each other better, in complete freedom.
I also offer online training programs for filmmakers as well as for people wishing to develop their communication tools with horses.'
YouTube : Leïla & les chevaux Sans Attache