How Equestrian Qabil Ambak Finds Equilibrium At His Most Favourite Pastime At Gamuda Gardens Esteem
Qabil Ambak Dato’ Sri Mahamad Fathil, a director of 3Q Equestrian Centre, represents one of the first residents in the area where Gamuda Gardens now sits. He speaks about the evolution of the place he calls home and how the equine component adds plenty of value and a sense of perspective for residents of Gamuda Gardens Esteem.
“I started riding as a hobby. My family moved here from the city some 30 years ago and had a chalet which was more of a weekend home. The area was great for fishing and my dad thought it would be nice to also have some horses around – that’s when we decided to learn how to ride. From then, the interest built up and we continued our training in Australia, Canada and Europe, which led to me and my siblings competing in and representing the country.
At first I remember being quite afraid of horses, they were big to a 10-year-old, but I soon learnt to build my confidence. We spent every day cleaning, washing and grooming them, and it became our after-school routine. Caring for the animal helps you understand that they are gentle creatures. Once you have that bond, you understand that they are quite safe and that they always look to protect and not harm you. It takes time of course, just like getting to know people, and each horse has its own particular character.
It would certainly be interesting for residents at Gamuda Gardens Esteem to understand the world through horses. You learn to maintain a sense of discipline of course, caring for an animal. But beyond that, it is the reward of being able to connect and be one with the horse, when you can understand each other – it’s almost like an unspoken friendship where horse and rider will intuitively respond to each other.
One of the biggest takeaways from horse-riding would be patience. You learn not to be frustrated, to resolve problems and understand the rhythms of the horse and nature. Once you have that, you become more sensitive to nature, looking at trees in the way where you appreciate the shade they offer shade to the horse.
Horses teach us to relax, to be calm and they sometimes act as a reset. When you are on horseback, you fall into a natural state of being because you are working with the horse. Once the horse accepts you, it is the horse that provides the strength, while you are its mental guide. This is where you start to de-stress and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings such as what Gamuda Gardens Esteem offers. The 1.5km riding trail that we have established takes you through a lot of greenery on old paths, which we discovered lead up to the top of the hill. These were previously tractor tracks through the rubber plantation and thus, we didn’t have to clear any trees to create this trail. It takes approximately 40 minutes of riding to go up and back and along the way, you see plenty of flowers, plants and trees as well as the occasional wildlife like monkeys.
For me, riding has helped me find my equilibrium. It also gave me one of my most memorable moments, when I was 21 years of age and awarded the most outstanding male athlete honour out of the field of 8,000 competing in the 2001 Sea Games (Qabil won four gold medals in showjumping and dressage). I think that riding has freed me. I moved from a suburban area in Desa Sri Hartamas to a place where I could hear a waterfall and birds every day. That gave me a real sense of peace of mind.
Gamuda Land’s vision for the area is a great one, where they embrace the beauty of the natural environment and look to enhance it for their residents. Our collaboration with them will hopefully encourage more residents to enjoy horse riding, which is not usually something you do every day. In time, this will expand to nature schools, for a greater appreciation of being totally at ease with the beauty of their natural surroundings.”
Photos: Daydream Studio for Qabil Ambak. Artist’s Impressions for Gamuda Land