When Ingela Larsson Smith heard God's heart for India in the summer of 2008, the vision for taking horses to an orphanage there was born. In February 2009, Richard and Ingela went to India explore where they might stablish a Horses for Orphans project, and start the necessary preparations. 11 days of searching revealed to Richard and Ingela that the project was meant to take root at an orphanage in South India, in the city of Nagercoil.
The two spent a month searching for the right location, feed (no horse feed is being produced in India yet); breeders, veterinarians and, of course, horses. They discovered that the South of India held a few obstacles. Horses in the South are generally not very well bred, are worked very hard from about 18 month old, and in most cases, are in extremely poor condition. The ground water and soil are badly polluted from the unsanitary conditions, so horse hay is not grown there, and actually has to be imported from Australia. Horse feed is not commercially produced, and while feed ingredients can be found, they are not available in all cities.
A veterinarian to a Mounted Police force stationed about 75 km from Nagercoil, in Trivandrum, proved to be a great help, supplying Richard and Ingela with valuable information regarding feed, hay and the acquisition of horses. His advice was to buy horses from the North of India, where the Mounted Police also procure theirs.
Through another veterinarian in Dheli, Richard and Ingela made contact with yet another veterinarian in Jaipur, North India. Richard and Ingela flew to meet him, and the veterinarian showed them his rescue center and took them to see some of his clients' horses. The last place they visited had about 60 nicely-bred horses, and when Ingela showed the owner what type of horses were needed for the Horses for Orphans project, he offered to help find and buy some once the time came.
Once back in Nagercoil, Richard and Ingela searched for suitable horse pastures to build the project. Pastor Ruban Thanasingh, who takes orphans into his children's home in Nagercoil, offered a piece of his own land located about 15 minutes away; a beautiful piece of property, completely covered in banana trees and a wide range of other plants.
After acquiring the horse pasture, the two spent the remainder of their time building relationships with the local village people, the children and the staff at the orphanage.
The next trip took place in December 2009, when Richard took a men's team and built the facility for the horses in Nagercoil. Over a period of two weeks, all the banana trees were pulled out, the excess palm trees chopped up, the ground cleared and a fence of palm and concrete posts and wood rails built around the entire pasture. A 20-40 meter area was separated off as an arena.
The next step was to find and train a young person already possessed of a heart for children, horses and Jesus, to become the local leader of the project. The 3 to 4 month-long basic training for the position was slated to begin at Richard and Ingela's home base - Kingdom Horse - in the heart of England. A young man arrived in the summer of 2010 and started his training at Kingdom Horse, but had to be sent home two weeks later as he wasn't able to overcome his culture shock.
The decision was made to raise up a leader locally, in India, but this meant putting the project on hold until the Brazil Project was running well without much input from Richard and Ingela.
The system that will be used to equip the children and leaders involved in the Horses for Orphans projects is called The H-Factor.
The H-Factor System was created by Ingela and Richard Larsson Smith. The system takes candidates through a unique program that blends horsemanship skills and healing of the heart, marrying theory and practice with the goal of raising up leaders of all ages.