Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A day spent by the sea

For the past three summers we have been swimming almost daily with Thor since we have been living very close to our cottage and have been able to walk or ride to the beach easily. This year we had a long period of not making it to the water until Alva contacted us one day and asked if we wanted to head for a nice little ride toward the sea with her and Dante. 

So one hot day we put on our saddles and took a chilled ride to our cottage from the stable. On the way there we mostly walked and nonetheless had I guessed that I would both trot and canter bareback back home.

When we arrived to the seafront some of our relatives were already down at the beach and my parents, Ella and Jack also joined us. Thor went straight into the water as usual, but Dante was wondering why on earth he should step into those small bluelike moving things. Lucky for us however, Carola Bruni-Forsberg happened to be visiting my uncle and his wife. Carola has been riding her whole life and owns a big stable in Switzerland so she was able to help Alva with Dante. At some point Alva jumped down, (I find it easier to show the horse things from the ground even if those petite toes can be in danger) and lead Dante in to the water. When Dante had gotten acquainted for a little while, Carola then helped Alva back up on the horse. 

This thing seems really weird. 

We had a long and lovely swim in the warm water and Dante was really enjoying himself after the initial chock. After the swim Alvas' parents took our saddles home by car so we didn't have to put them on the wet horses and we rode the whole one hour way bareback. I thought we would just be walking but Thor felt so nice in both trot and canter and I felt so stable on his back so we picked up the speed a bit on the long sandy roads. 

A few years back I did not feel as good cantering home bareback but this time it really felt good. I am not sure if it was because of  myself or because Thor was so supple, straight and relaxed. I have been riding a lot with the sheepskin saddle so that probably helps in building my balance but I also think that Thor has developed a lot of muscle tone and when he is relaxed it is just so much easier to sit on his back. When Alva and Dante took of in their direction (they live at the stable next door) I did some transitions with Thor and I don't think it has ever felt that good to ride him. He has never felt that straight or supple as he did in that moment and for a little while I felt like on top of the world and like the biggest dressage rider alive. 

This summer has been very hot and beautiful. A lot of sun and sea for the whole family. Such a wonderful vacation in this life every meaning. Last Sunday we went for a long hack with Thor and during the ride we happened to meet our dear friend Piff the pony. Marelda passed away last summer and Piff now lives with another pony close to his old home during the summers. It was so nice to see Piff and I couldn't help but drop a few tears from all the wonderful memories I have from all the summers together with these three horses. They were some of the best summers of my life. 

But as we all know these moments with horses are not always long-lived and since one of Thors friends moved back home to their own stable he got a new friend out in the field and they did not meet each others requirements firsthand. Both horses had their fare share but Thor was kicked in the front leg and it was very swollen for a few days. I had the veterinarian check on it and it already seems much better. I just hope we got through this without any bigger damages. It just always seems like the whole world falls apart when something happens to my horses and I really need to start to understand that all injuries are not always fatal and that these kind of things just happen when you deal with horses. Luckily Thor and his new friend seem to get along very well after the inital get together and I really hope that we get to spend the rest of the year (or the rest of our lives) without any bigger injuries. 

After the ride we had a discussion on Facebook whether Blue-Green algae can be dangerous for horses. Smaller animals are known to be poisoned by the algae. My uncle Ben found an article about it. The article does not particularly take a stance on whether it is dangerous for horses but as it says the Blue-Green algae can be dangerous for most animals. Since I think there are very few studies done on horses and Blue-Green algae I would however recommend paying attention to it and maybe even avoid the water if there is algae in it. I did find that Thor did not drink any of the water this year compared to the previous years so maybe he felt that it was not as clean as before. Anyway, just thought this is an interesting topic to discuss. As are so many other topics when it comes to horses.

By the way, there have been a few cancellations to our Mindfulness, Yoga and Horses retreat at Kekkolan kartano in September. Let me know if you are interested in joining us. It will for sure be one more memorable weekend to but in the bucket list of life. 

More swimming stories can be found here.
Pictures are taken by Carola Bruni-Forsberg, Mathias Karlsson and Ella Luusuaniemi.

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