Monday, October 30, 2017

Chapter 6 - Indiano

Indiano... Oh my beautiful Indiano. I can’t tell his entire story for many reasons but it is not a pretty one... He is also dead now - probably for the best in the end. His story is so tragic and so horrible but I can’t share it for it’s very sensitive information. But I can tell you a bit of it. My part. So well I traded Indiano with a friend of mine who got Hechicero from me. She had just bought him from Spain when her destiny changed, Indiano was a very high-energy, sensitive horse and she being pregnant - needed a easier horse at that time so she got the gentleman and I got what would turn out to be the horse of my dreams. We noticed pretty early on that Indiano had a very sensitive mouth so we took him to the dentist to get it checked out and it just looked horrible... His teeth were deformed and he had wounds from sharp teeth pretty much through the entire mouth. Luckily we were able to save him - his mouth was in so bad shape that another year would have made the damage beyond repair. But fortunately after going to the vet on several occasions to treat the mouth we were able to save him. Indiano was everything I wanted. We would ride on trails in the forests or just work with amazing Alta escuala schooling - since he was trained by a rider from Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre in Jerez. Sounds fancy right ;)

Indiano would go through anything! He was so courageous and brave and even if we met flooded rivers on our canter he would just bark through them like a true war horse of old. I loved being on his back. I don’t think I’ve ever loved riding a horse as much as I did riding him. He came her early winter... but when the high summer came and bugs started to fill up where I lived Indiano panicked... He got so hyper allergic to the mosquitoes than even though we let him stay inside, had a blanket on or spray him he scratched himself bloody and threw himself against the wall. I was devastated. If I could trade anything to have helped him I would but I had to make the very heart breaking decision to send him away to save him, or so I thought. I remember leading him onto the transport and he put his head in my arms as I wept. We closed the doors to the big truck who would take him South and Indianos screams cut through me like a knife... I heard him until the truck had faded away and it was not possible to hear it anymore and I broke down... My dream was gone... And to him... the nightmare had just begun... He died alone, forgotten in a pasture, lame from cancer, teeth back to where I started and I will never ever forgive myself for failing him...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chapter 5 - Jubileo SR

One of those once in a lifetime horses that were too big for words. Jubileo was probably the best horse I will ever meet. I bought Jubileo together with Hechicero. Jubileo was a son of the world famous Spanish stallion Inedito whos offsprings has been Spanish champions more than once! A truly high-class PRE. Owning a son of him was a dream coming true. I found Jubileo in Spain in his birth place with the breeder Yeguada Sanz Roldan. Jubileo came to Sweden as a 4 year old. But the problem with great horses is sometimes they are too great even for themselves. Jubileo was one of those horses, with so much movement and mechanics that he almost hurt himself in the progress of life. Don't really know how else to explain it. I had Jubileo for 5 years. He showed me and taught me so much and I will forever be grateful to him. I just wish I could have helped him as well.

We were regulars at the veterinarian station with all different kinds of problems. We had blood tests, muscles biopsies sent all over the world, x-rays of every inch of the horse but according to the tests he was in perfect health. No one could explain why he suddenly collapsed, reared up, was shaking in his entire body, showed lameness, and the next day he could be completely fine and working on advanced level dressage. Jubileo was a mystery for all of us. And when suddenly in just a few weeks times tumors started to appear and grew rapidly. We took him to the veterinarian again, the same one who had followed us for years to test them. And of course they were malign - aggressive. So we took the decision all of us that Jubileo would end his life - end the pain and suffering to run in everlasting pastures - free of his aching body and soul. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Chapter 4 - Hechicero SR

After selling Lucero I took some time off and went down to Spain again to look for a new horse. I went to one of my favourite studs at that time, remembering seeing their amazing world-class stallion a few years earlier and since that day one of my dreams was owning a son of the magnificent Inedito!  But little did I know that I would fall in love with TWO amazing silver stallions! Jubileo SR and Hechicero SR. The son of Indedito will have to wait for first I will tell you about Hechicero!

Hechicero was the true embodiment of a Spanish stallion! So exotic, so beautiful, kind and wonderful. He was almost like "the perfect horse". I brought Hechicero and Jubileo home to Sweden. But as we all know things rarely turn out as we dream. I owned Hechicero for less than a year. He was a perfect horse in so many ways but we never truly matched when he came home and he began with a lot of stereotypical behaviors of a horse that was not happy. I tried as I always do to change things around him for a better result but Hechicero was in a downward unhappy spiral that I just couldn't help him out of, BUT sometimes things just have a reason. My friend who lives down in South of Sweden had been in love with him from the very first picture I showed her. And she was looking for a kind, calm, easy going stallion. I wanted a little more energy and in her stable stood Indiano! A high-energetic cartujano stallion who was too much for her to handle in that time in her life, so we actually traded horses! Hechicero went down to Sussi and he lived there for 8 wonderful years until he passed away due to melanoma. It was so amazing to see him with her. They were matches made in heaven and they truly loved each other until the very end.  And I will tell you about my amazing and beloved Indiano in another entry. But the next story is about Jubileo - my dream son of Indedito!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chapter 3 - Lucero

If the story of Martinete was about love and friendship, my next horse was quite the opposite....

After Martinetes passing I fell in love with a horse on an ad! I went down to Spain to see him. LUCERO was big black "monster". A stallion with so much hate, aggression and no respect for humans or personal space. He attacked me more than once, bit me pretty much every day or kicked me, or broke all the bonds, bridles or chains holding him in place. And when you rode him he actually reared so he could aim at you and fall down backwards. To say the least he was a "nightmare". I remember one day when I came to the stable and he stood with his face pressed against the metal bars, staring at me and froth came out of his mouth. I knew then and there if I had opened that gate he would have killed me. As I said I saw this horse in Spain, he was owned by a very old couple who loved him dearly and gave him candy all the time - no matter the behavior! He lived indoors in a little garage together with his other horse friend. He was ridden mostly just in festivals or when trick trained. I remember the first time I rode him. They had a "serreta" on (a metal nose band with spikes). I asked them to take it off since I would have nothing to do with that. They took it off and pieces of flesh followed and blood ran down his face and nostrils. They told me I was crazy to ride this horse without it since he was a little bit dangerous but up I went. I probably should have made another choice considering that we mostly stood on the hind legs the entire ride but I had to have that black stallion to give him a new life without pain and blood. Gosh he taught me a lot but the most important thing he taught me (this might sound strange) was how to actually be terrified of a horse - Not knowing if I had to shoot him on the spot one day for not being killed myself.

As you probably could figure out we got kicked out of three stables until I finally found a place that would give us the thing he needed most. Time. Time to settle in this new life, time to find a new approach to life, time to understand that aggression and hate had no place here anymore. And day by day he changed. We changed. He even got so stable and friendly and amazing that he followed me on two different type of medieval events. With big crowds and events happening all around. It’s strange but only by being terrified of him and determined I knew I had to find a way to reach out to him - making him want to become my friend and not kill me. He taught me many lessons and the greatest one of all - we can't make the horses fit into our own boxes of expectations and dreams - we have to stand "naked" in front of them and ask them who are you and what do you need and want to become happy?! I owned Lucero for 2 years until I sold him. He was safe now but my trust in him after our struggles was gone so I made a decision to let someone else continue his journey after my traumatic rehabilitation of him. I met him a few years ago in his new owners place. He lives a great life for him with an owner who absolutely adores him. He never had any trouble with him so I knew I made the right choice - for both of us!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chapter 2 - Martinete

Gosh... I realized that this is gonna be much harder than I thought. How do you write about love, dreams, joy and loss in a short text? The losses in my life are way too many so writing these stories is hard but I wanna share them. For even though all the losses have been heavy it’s all worth it. For they tell you about friendship. I wanna use a quote I truly love. "Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.” And great love it was indeed.
Martinete was my first horse. A crossbreed from Spain. He was trained in Doma Vaquera and was used in the fields with cattle before he moved to me in Sweden. When Martinete came here he was a very energetic and stubborn little horse. He did not make my first experience of owning a horse easy but gosh did we learn and boy did we have fun! Martinete loved to play, just as I did. We mostly played knights and put on shows for the rest of the stable with our own private tournaments and when that wasn’t enough we went out on Medieval fairs together and even paraded in front of a wedding. People who met him never forgot him, many years after his passing I still met people at Medieval fairs asking about him and remembering him. There are so much to tell yet no words can ever explain that first horse. All the emotions, lessons and love beyond belief. I never cry for Martinete - every time I think of him nothing but a big smile comes across my face and I almost feel butterflies in my heart. He was so loved and he gave his all - even his life. Every day being a gift, a new chance to play. And it was when his desire to play disappeared that I knew something had changed.
Martinete and my time together was short, way to short. He became very ill from cancer only 2 years after I purchased him, being more aggressive, unreliable and the spark in his eyes began to fade - the test showed that it was very aggressive and had spread through his entire body. From the first signs of his disease until he took his last breath in my arms was just a few months... if not weeks. I can’t really remember. I lost my best friend and everything in that moment is still a little hazy. But I remember him. Alive and happy. Full of joy, full of play and full of love - and with those memories he never really died.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chapter 1 - My story

Okay. First I must say that I will post MANY - MANY horses... Far too many than I wish would have passed through my life. But there are so many things that we cannot control. Fate being one of them. But here is my story or MY beginning of it (I mean I started out at a riding school, then worked with harness racing horses, went showjumping on Jamaica, competed in dressage and jumping in Denmark aso.) But I will not tell that part since that part is not where my story really began. It began in 1998 in Cartagena, Spain when I first lay eyes on a brown Spanish stallion - I called him Awerlando - and with just seeing that horse I fell unconditionally and irrevocably in love with the Spanish horse!

But before I bought my own horse (in 2004) I borrowed a Lusitano cross stallion from a friend of mine. His name was Zeus. Through Zeus I got to know one of my still best and closest friends Sara. We went to Spain together in 2002 and worked with young stallions, went to ferias, fiestas and just sat on the Spanish fields watching the stars. It was with Sara I had my very first "fantasy" photoshoot by a Spanish castle ruin with a gelding named Bolangero. It was in Spain my love for horsemanship began and I remember working with influences of Spain and the knowledge of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling. I remember really dancing with the horses, so light, so pure. We didn’t use any tools it was just us, the horses and the picadero. I still carry this knowledge and work with me. Sara and “our” Spain is maybe the thing that has influenced me the most. Always when I am lost or confused I turn to her and suddenly I remember who I am and what I’m actually pretty good at - "Dancing" with horses.

So how did I get my own first horse?! Well I'll tell you! A few weeks before my 18th birthday Sara gave me a call, that her friend in Spain had a horse for sale, a grey little gelding I had seen on pictures when we were there. My parents always said “When you are 18 you can do what you want.” Well said and done! May 5th I turned 18, May 15 my horse finally arrived in Sweden after a trip from Carbonero El Mayor in Spain! So in the next post I will tell you about my first own horse - MARTINETE

Monday, May 8, 2017

Answers to my Q&A!

  • Well guys, thank you for your questions! Here are the answers! I thought it was easier to answer them in my blog so I could write more thoroughly to some of them! 

  • * When did you buy them?
     And did you have had other horses before? 
I bought these boys in September/October in 2016. 

Yes I've owned quite a few horses before Mio and Pippin. Most of them PRE or spanish crosses but I've also had Lusitano, Irish Cob/Tinker , Welsh Cob, Shetland and a cold blooded trotter. :) 

  • * If you had to get a horse that wasn't PRE, what breed would you choose?

  • A Lusitano or a Berber

  • * What do you like most to do with them?
Oh hmm. Gosh I love to do what my horses love to do. With Pippin I enjoy a ride out in the forest or playing with Spanish walk, rearing or some other cool movements! With Pippin skies the limit and riding him is just the most fun I've ever had! Another fun thing I'm also working a little bit towards with Pippin is bitless/bridless riding.

I love to ride Molina as well but for now the moments I treasure most with Mio is actually our groundwork. I am trying to work him more and more loose and ask him to trust and work with me. It's so rewarding to see a horse that was so scared and full of panic seeking my guidance and finding trust in me.

  • * Where did you got them from?
I bought them from a friend/contact of mine from Burgos in Spain.

  • * Was there a reason you choose them instead of other horses?
I actually chose two other horses at first but none of them passed the vet checks so these two were actually my "plan B". But I am not disappointed. Everything happens for a reason and for now I can't imagine having any other horses than Mio and Pippin in my stable!

  • * Did they already know all the tricks when you bought them?
Yes Pippin already had his arsenal of rear and Spanish walk but the rest of it will be mine to train.

  • * How did you afford them???
Well I've had Spanish horses for many years so I have built up good contacts with good prices for quality horses.

  • * What makes riding a PRE so special or different compared to riding other breeds? Because they do look special, majestic! 
Well they are known to be the horse "fit for Kings on his day of Triumph". They were bred mostly for the noble men and the Royal households so yes they are majestic indeed. Well you ride a PRE more or less like any other horse but they respond different I would say. They have energy in another form and are built to carry a rider in collection. Usually the more energy your PRE show you the more you need to ride and not "chicken out". You need to ride so sensitive yet so firm. It's very hard to explain but I love it, I love that they are giving everything for free and yet nothing. You do not have to be a great rider to ride them but the better you are the more they give you!

  • * Do you do any shows with them?
Not at the moment since we are pretty new to each other still but I hope to be able to do shows with them in the future.

  • * What do you think about Icelandic horses jumping?
Well it's not usually what the Icelandic horses do but I guess you can train them to do it as good as any other "none show jumpers". Many horses thinks jumping is alot of fun and it's a great compliment in your training so if your Icelandic horse enjoys it then have fun! :) 

  • * What do you love most about the PRE breed? And is there anything about your lovely boys that remind you of your Rio??
I love the PRE's energies. That they are so calm and wonderful on the ground and on the back they are like vibrating energy! AND they are absolutely beautiful!

Molina remind me a lot of Rio. Sometimes when I walk by the pasture and just glance towards him I see Rio instead. They have a lot of similarities and I would say that Mio is a younger version of Rio! Mio from Spain to the left and Rio in Sweden to the right

  • * Was it difficult to find a horse for yourself in Spain?
Well it can be tricky if you don't know anyone but I've owned Spanish horses for over 13 years so I have pretty good contacts down there that van help me find good horses! 

  • * Is it expensive to buy a horse from Spain and to bring them to your country? Why do you have PRE's? What's in your eyes so fascinating about them? Is it difficult to have two stallions?

    I answered your question a bit further up. :)  They have many qualities I treasure! Their temperament, beauty and ride ability! The PRE is an amazing horse!

    Yes buying a PRE can be very expensive and bringing them to Sweden costs between 1500-2000 euro just in transport costs.

    I would not recommend having one or two stallions if you're not used to it since stallions are special. They need pretty strict and firm rules to work and feel good. But if you know how to give them a good life as a stallion then they are wonderful. So everything is difficult until you learn how to do it I suppose. For me it's not harder than having a gelding or a mare but I've owned stallions for years and know what do and does not work for both me and them to feel happy and safe. :)