I am travelling to one of my favourite places this evening. The world's best parents are living in the house in the picture above. (Now, some of you might disagree with me on that one, but I can live with that.)
When I was a child, the house above used to be our summer house. We moved out there each summer, the car packed to the brim with three children, two dogs, an array of other different animals ranging from desert rats to budgerigars (with cages of course) and all the rest of the luggage. To say it was a bit cramped is an understatement. The car was almost running on the rubber flaps all the way, LOL! When we arrived us kids and the dogs spilled out of the car with that wonderful feeling that we had all summer in front of us. An endless long string of days with sun, bathing and fun.
We couldn't afford a horse in the family when I grew up. But our farm neighbour had a horse - Blenda, an Ardenner (Belgian breed, much used in the farms in Sweden before the tractors came). You can see her in the black and white photo in the very right part of the blog. She was a BIG horse. The few times she cantered out on pasture, you could feel vibrations in the earth. When I got to ride her (kind neighbour, kind horse, happy child!) I felt like my legs were placed straight out, she was so broad over her back. I never got her to canter (there was a limit to her patience with me) but we trotted. It was a feel of heavy mass in motion... Later we got to take the Fjord that I took care of at the local riding school with us for the summer. That was great.
So going over to my parent's place this evening makes me happy.
I might even throw in the season's first outdoor bath. The weather forcast says it will be summer temperatures, 20-25 centigrades. It will not be warm in the water though... Thing is to bake in the sun until you feel you are cooked. Then the water feels "refreshing". Hehum. And we'll take Mum's cinnamom buns, and squash in a bottle with us down to the landing stage. And when we are to eat, the sugar on the buns has melted slightly in the sun, and the squash is luke warm and has a slight plastic tinge from the bottle. Just as it should be in summer!
I like houses built in the old traditional style, like my parent's house. This is another example from when I was out driving yesterday:
Even if my parent's house is in Sweden, it is located near the border to Norway. As you can see, much of the building details are the same. I would guess that these two houses were built at the same period, last half of the 19th century. The red colour is the traditional colouring of wooden houses in Sweden. It is pigment slurry that came as a by-product from the copper mines of Falun, so it is named after that (Falu rödfärg). The earliest traces of the red paint come from the 16th century, and in the 17th and 18th century a red painted house was a sign of wealth as most houses were not painted at all. Since the paint also preserved the house it was a good investment. Later the paint got cheaper and at that time the main buildings on the larger farms were instead painted white, or yellow - again to show off from the rest!
It is so beautiful outside now - I believe this is the best period of the year. Apple blossoms, lilacs and lily-of-the-valleys. And the lush, fresh green. The nights are still getting lighter. Around midsummer, it is light almost the whole night. Just a bit of dusk at midnight. Wonderful, but difficult to sleep sometimes.
I am a bit worried though. I had the vet to float the horses' teeth yesterday, and give the flue shots. One of Fame's teeth is cracked. She has had the occasional snot coming from one of the nostrils, and the vet is worried that there is an infection up behind the tooth as we had a (not so nice) smell there as well... I have to take her down to the hospital for x-rays, and maybe the tooth has to be removed. Not good.
This blog is mainly about my horse life. As a birthday present when I turned 6 yo I wished for, and got, a riding lesson. Have no idea why; none of my parents were into horses. But I was bitten by the bug.
43 years later I am still a horse person, and luckily my husband and daughter are too. Now we are owned by 2 horses and two cats. We live in a woodland area outside Oslo, Norway, where we at wintertime have to fight our way between moose and ski-nitwits.
Welcome to my world!
Dressage training is systematic, structured, and nature-oriented education --- both the teaching and the being taught. Dressage does not mean total submission of the horse, not overtaxing him forcefully, nor getting into useless arguments. Harmony means sensibility, synchronization, consistency and unison. "Dressage in harmony" means to solve together a task in such a manner that rider and horse are enjoying the work. Then and only then will you feel the wonderful natural ease and subtle relaxation which every rider seeks in his or her daily work. Egon von Neindorff