Kaur Trains in Rare Sikh Warrior Sport: Part 2

When you’re riding and you let go, it’s insane. I’ve never experienced that and most riders don’t....

Exclusive Interview by SikhNet

Harsangat Kaur Khalsa's personal journey in Sikhi led her to become the 1st woman to ride a horse in Holla Mahalla since perhaps the time of Mai Bhago. She is now in Austin Texas pursuing her dream on the USA International Tent Pegging team.



Click here for part 1 of the interview


Well, I want to give you a little more background that led me to this so you know me a little better. I now feel comfortable talking about certain key points from my journey that intertwine together and I now can understand it. I hope it will help other girls out there. 

My childhood was very turbulent and unstable. We moved a lot and school was also very difficult for me. My mother hid me away from my father until I was 11. At the age of 6 they decided to test me to figure out why I wasn't learning the same way as everyone else. The result of the testing basically let me fall into the cracks of the education system... I was a born artist and obsessed with horses from day one. One of my first words was 'ya ya', which was a made up word for 'horse.' I clearly recall drawing horses on a written test and being removed from class to another group of children. 

These children were all different in many ways. Some with Down Syndrome, others with minor disabilities or emotional problems. I learned to communicate with the diversity of minds.

Maybe I just couldn't conform. My father's nick name for me was "Wild Horse." 

I have lived completely on my own since I was 15. Anything could have happened to me. I always felt  protected and guided. 

At age 19, I was almost killed by a stalker and serial killer but I survived. At the last moments when I thought I was going to die, I prayed... and survived. I got away untouched but my roommate had some injuries. 

I started working with horses again. I learned a technique called E.A.G.A.L.A. (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). I became a horse handler working closely with a psychotherapist. I have seen people transform from working with horses. Myself as well. These beings have been like angels to me and have guided my heart to where I am now.

I feel very humbled and blessed to be a survivor. Most people when they meet me could never guess my past. 

My mother and I used to rescue untrained horses and other abused animals. This is where I learned to ride on my own without even a saddle or trainer. It was natural for me and I understood them... and vice versa. 

I've been judged, challenged and a lot has been thrown at me in life. I now feel it's a blessing because it keeps me on my toes, always learning. I make mistakes everyday and these past 6 years, I've been coming back into this body and the horses have been a great vessel for this. 

It’s incredible that you got to this point. Your childhood love for horses has lead to this. Your relationship life has lead to this. You became a Sikh and went to Hola Mahalla. It seems like there are so many things that fit in to this.


I’m so excited, I just want to know where it leads to. I just want to stay really focused and I want to do my best. It’s SO COOL!

Let me tell you this story!

This happened with my trainer. When you fall off a horse, there is always something there to remind you. I never really let go in the saddle before. I’ve never really just let go. When you’re riding and you let go, it’s insane. I’ve never experienced that and most riders don’t. So my trainer said,

When you let go, you become more stable.”

When you’re solid in your body and you're completely contained in your truth and you know how solid you are, and you let go… the experience is indescribable…


Art by Harsangat Raj Kaur Khalsa

You were riding a horse and you just let go of the ropes?


Right now in my training I’m not using stirrups or reigns to build my strength back up. So naturally the body is going to grip on to the saddle, right, because I’m trotting and I’m galloping without anything else. I let go even when I didn’t have reigns and I didn’t have stirrups. So I’m completely and utterly solid in my core and yet I’m free in the saddle… galloping! 


I was quite a profound experience.


Was there a sensation associated with that?


It just aligned with everything in life.

When you are stable within your own core, you can let go. There’s nothing for you to hold on to, because you are already that.

So it wasn’t just a cool feeling of the wind blowing in your hair, it was a spiritual thing.

It was very spiritual!!

This is the metaphor for life!

Something that I always try working on is letting go. It’s something I strive to do. My lifetime has had a lot of lessons with that.  

Say you are riding a horse and you are unsure. You’re scared and your core isn’t strong. You’re insecure right? You’re going to grab on to things to hold you right? You’re grabbing something outside of yourself. But when you’re sitting and you’re solid, you’re more on that horse than if you were grabbing on to something.

It’s amazing!

It’s totally in line with Sikhi, because when you’re grabbing out, you’re unstable. You’re grabbing something that is not even real. The only thing that is real is your core, inside you, you’re heart. And that is all you need. That is the universe.

So I learned that in the saddle. In the physical realm. And it was amazing.


You had mentioned outside this interview how tent pegging is related to Sikh youths. Can you explain what you were saying there?

I’ve been getting a lot of support from people in the Tent Pegging world. This Sikh man, I think he’s on the India team. He told me,

"For the Sikh youth, this is going to be really good. It’s going to inspire them to have this as a sport. This is part of the Sikh heritage." 

It's the Sikh heritage, horses are the blood of Punjab. And now it’s in Texas! It’s just crazy! I know it’s not going to be easy but I’m going to do whatever I can to make it happen.

On behalf of many sangat I know we can say that you have a lot of support and a lot of people routing for you. We send our prayers and blessings that you do become the first woman in history to fully participate at Holla Mahalla.  



This is the first USA team. This is also making history. It’s never happened here before. This is history for Sikhs in the U.S. because from now on, the youth can join the team. Sikh Americans can try out and participate. Right now I'm representing the USA team.

I don't know where this is all going to take me and it's the Infinite mystery of the Unknown that is so amazing. I just want to be able to enjoy the rest of these days in love and growth. I would like to keep my life long study on healing with horses.

I hope to help make a place in Punjab and the US for youth. We all need outlets to be creative and express our true selves. My vision is to serve the youth in the future with a learning center which would mainly focus on healing, riding and students could really dive into the arts.

Thank you for the support. I send my love to everyone.


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 "We all have our own struggles but, know that your truth and love will always win."

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