Harnessing the Healing Power of Horses: Therapy for Both Humans and Equines.

In today’s fast-paced world, finding solace and healing can come from unexpected sources. For centuries, horses have played a significant role in human history, not only as companions and transportation but also as therapeutic partners. In this blog post, we’ll explore how equine therapy benefits individuals dealing with anxiety and stress while shedding light on how it provides a newfound sense of appreciation for older horses.

The Healing Bond: Horses have an innate ability to connect with humans on a deep emotional level. This unique bond between humans and horses has paved the way for equine-assisted therapy. By working with these majestic animals, individuals experiencing anxiety and emotional challenges can find a safe space to heal.

Equine therapy sessions often involve various activities with horses, such as grooming, riding, or simply spending time together in a natural setting. The presence of these gentle giants helps alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation and emotional well-being.

Older Horses Find Purpose: One of the remarkable aspects of equine therapy is the positive impact it has on older horses. As horses age, they may no longer be used for traditional riding or competitive purposes. However, equine therapy gives these aging horses a new lease on life.

In therapy sessions, older horses become valuable partners, offering their wisdom, patience, and calming presence. They show participants that age is no barrier to making a meaningful connection. For these equine seniors, it’s a chance to feel appreciated and valued once again.

Conclusion: Equine therapy is a testament to the incredible healing power of horses. It not only helps individuals cope with anxiety and stress but also grants older horses an opportunity to continue serving and being cherished. The bond formed between humans and horses in these therapy sessions is a testament to the enduring connection between our two species, reminding us that healing can come from the most unexpected places.

Please listen to my interview with Ana VidMar who use her horses in therapi:

Ekonomi hos hästfolk!

Noll intresse för ekonomi!

Jag har nyligen gjort en undersökning i gruppen om vad folk gärna vill höra om! De ville höra om allt annat än ekonomi…..

Där var en del roliga inslag om att man alltid hade råd med en vojlock till och hästen fick alltid hö och en själv fick nudlar:)

Det förvånar mig verkligen, då jag tycks höra hela tiden: Jag har inte råd!!

Är det då något som du gärna skulle vilja, tex åka på tävling, ta lektioner, vara med i min medlemskapsgrupp, men inte har råd, tycker jag ju personligen att man kanske skulle se över ekonomin lite.

Inte så att hästen eller du lider, men jag tror att många hästägare lägger ut en förfärdelig mäng av pengar på vissa saker som kanske inte är så nödvändiga. Kan man då få över lite till något av det man gärna vill, så tycker jag det skulle vara drivkraft nog:)

Lyssna här på min podcast, där vi har en debatt om försäkringar och hur man kanske kan spara en del där!


We all love horses!

Do you have a heart for horses?

Well I think so if you have a horse or just like them. I have had a heart for horses since I was a little girl and I have no idea where it comes from. My parents were not interested in horses, while my whole life has been horses! Job, hobby, free time, everything. One who also has a heart for horses and who, even though she has given up a lot in her life to be with the horses, is Marina Parris. Listen to this podcast where she talks about her life with horses.

No wonder I wanted to start collaborating with her and we have created a fantastic membership group where we intend to teach people about the horse’s needs and communication with them.

I have interviewed many fantastic horse people, so please subscribe to my podcast, so I have the opportunity to continue this work, to support horse people who work for the good of the horse.

Safety when you are going to ride!

Riding a horse can be an enjoyable experience, but it is important to prioritize safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when riding a horse:

  1. Wear appropriate safety gear: Always wear a properly fitted helmet that meets safety standards, as well as sturdy boots with a heel and close-fitting clothes.
  2. Get to know your horse: Spend some time with your horse before riding to get to know its temperament and behavior. This will help you anticipate any potential issues while riding.
  3. Check your equipment: Before you mount the horse, make sure that the saddle, stirrups, reins, and other equipment are properly adjusted and secure.
  4. Start slowly: If you’re new to riding, start with a slow and gentle ride to get used to the horse’s movements and gain confidence.
  5. Maintain control: Keep your horse under control at all times, and be prepared to use your reins and voice commands to steer the horse.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings: Always be aware of your surroundings, and keep an eye out for other riders, animals, or obstacles in your path.
  7. Stay alert: Be alert and attentive while riding, and don’t let distractions like music or conversations distract you from your horse.
  8. Practice good riding posture: Maintain good posture while riding, and use your core muscles to stabilize your body.
  9. Stay hydrated: Bring water with you and drink regularly to prevent dehydration, especially on hot days.
  10. Know your limits: Don’t take on more than you can handle, and always listen to your body. If you start to feel uncomfortable or tired, take a break or stop riding altogether.

The dark time of the year.

Now we are almost in the month of December.

The cold starts to set in and in some places it gets muddy, slippery and dirty.

It’s hard to keep your spirits up in these dark times, so that’s why Christmas was invented.

It’s fantastic to see all the Christmas trees in the gardens and lights in all the windows. It gives us a little coziness and anticipation.

While we had the farm in Sweden, we have for many years had a Christmas market and Lucia train. It also creates an expectation. It’s fun and you meet a lot of people.

Arranging a Lucia train does not require much, so anyone can arrange it. You just have to have the will and make up your mind. Then you have to contact a few people who want to join and most of them show up, if nothing else to watch.

It is about doing things in winter that bring expectations and joy. It doesn’t have to be perfect but can give reason to practice new things, for example riding in the dark.

Everything has to be practiced and you can get a lot of pleasure out of it later, because anyway, it’s easier to pull yourself together and get it done if you have a nice event to look forward to. You can also practice riding with one hand and train the horse to wear a riding blanket. If you have a purpose and a goal, training becomes fun.

I have also driven Lucia with my horses and then you can have a few in the carriage. It’s always fun to have the family with you and there can also be a little baskets with fluff buns and hot chocolate.

Being with other horses and people creates community and that is what we all need.

About leather

Today I thought I’d go over some facts about leather.
Several people have asked me how to know that it is quality or not.
It is not always so easy to see through if you have not worked with it, and even for an expert it can sometimes be difficult to determine straight away. There are so many synthetics out there today and very well made, so it can even be hard to tell if it is actually genuine leather or leather.
Why does it have to be real leather then, if synthetic is just as nice and good?
Genuine leather and leather is still much more durable than synthetic and leather and leather “breathes” so it is much more comfortable to wear whether it is bridle saddle or gloves. If you have, for example, a synthetic saddle, you should know that you can get very hot in the bottom if you ride a lot. The synthetic is synthetic and in my opinion you should not use it either for yourself or for your horse. Yes, but don’t you think about the poor animals that have to die, just because you want real skin and leather? No, the animals are slaughtered anyway because people want something to eat. I personally think it’s better to use the skins instead of going to waste.
How can you then determine whether it is quality or not?
A safe bet is to choose English or Swedish leather, you can never go wrong there.
What is it due to?
First of all, the animals were raised in a harsher climate, with a lot of rain and snow, and therefore from birth have a more durable solid skin to protect themselves. If you take, for example, a buffalo hide, which many believe is a sign of quality (advertised), it has lived a life in warmer climates and therefore has both thinner skin and porosity to be able to sweat and ventilate the body.
If you buy, for example, a bridle or a saddle from India, you can be sure that the leather is dry and it is simply not possible to lubricate it smoothly. It will crack and break in no time. It can be difficult to see the difference when you have so much you can paint on and make it look “real”, but if you are used to it, you will feel it right away. You should feel it. If it is flexible and smooth, it is almost certainly good quality.
You can also see and notice it in the price, because compare a saddle from India and from England, and the English one probably costs twice as much.
It is better to buy good used than new and cheap!
A lot can also depend on the tanning, and they are very good at that in Sweden and England.
So ask in your store what the country of origin is for the goods, then you have at least taken a step on the way.

Bridles and spurs.

Double bridles and spurs why that?
Recently read that the FEI had proposed that it should be made optional if you want spurs and double bridle in the higher classes in dressage!
I could only clap my little hands and think it was the best thing they had ever come up with, but the proposal didn’t go through!
Quote from Equestrian: In its work for the welfare of the horse, the International Equestrian Federation, FEI, has discussed removing the requirement for double bridle and spurs in international Grand Prix – there are suggestions that it should instead be optional if the rider wants to use it. In an open letter to the FEI, the International Dressage Riders’ Club and the International Dressage Trainers’ Club have opposed the proposal – they want to keep double bridles and spurs as mandatory.
I’ve always been against spurs and can’t see why you have to wear them and instead make “dummies” because you don’t want to ride with them. I also remember when I rode a lot of dressage and would prepare to ride with double bridles as I approached the classes where it was compulsory. My horse was used to double bridles but I thought it was terrible when I had to bridle him. The small mouth (had a thoroughbred at the time) and as much junk as it could fit in there. I was terrified to take the reins and only rode the bridong. Why have so many aids when it went just as well with a normal bite and without spurs?
However, I was pleased to see all the comments, in Ridsport, where everyone agreed with me on that point.
It is so nice to see that there is an awakening in the horse world, where you look out for the horse’s best interests and can move away from the old classic methods. We know better today and the internet does its part to ensure that you have a better grasp of what benefits the horse and what does not. We have changed our entire horse management, stable equipment, fodder, etc. Now is the time to deal with the torture aids used against the horse! This applies not only to the world of dressage but also show jumping etc.
What do you think?

What treats does the horse eat?

What treats does the horse eat?

When I was young, it looked a little different with treats for the horses.

Today, bags of horse treats are bought for expensive money.

My mother always put away the dry bread that was left over and was too dry for us to eat. So I got a bag of dry bread to take with me to the horses when I went around to visit them. It was both French bread and rye bread and sometimes it could be some old dry cake as well. The horses ate it with gusto and I never experienced that anyone was hurt by it (but of course you can’t know for sure) I even knew several people who had an agreement with the baker to collect the old bread and fed their horses with it .

However, it is not possible to know how horse treats stored in a plastic bag, made from a lot of sludge products, affect the horse’s intestinal system.

When the bread ran out, sugar cubes were stuffed, which was much appreciated by the horses. However, you shouldn’t take too many, because then you would be scolded, by mother, as sugar was expensive in those days. I often gave that to the horses throughout my youth, as horse treats in plastic bags had not been invented at the time. It was easy to keep in your pocket and I am someone who advocates rewards for the horse. Of course, there were also leftover carrots and apples and pears, when the time came when there was a lot of fruit on the edge of autumn.

Later I was told that you absolutely must not give the horse sugar and you should be very careful with fruit for them as well. Is it something that has been invented or are there really studies on this? I actually wonder if it is the people who invented horse treats in plastic bags who have come up with this to sell more?

Of course you shouldn’t give them quantities, but I have little faith that sugar is not dangerous if you get a little from time to time. Now you’re also not allowed to give bet fodder and many of my horses have eaten bet fodder throughout the ages and have been absolutely fine with it. Same as us humans. We ate sugar as kids but because it was expensive, we didn’t get much. Today you can buy candy for no money and the gods know what it contains

Today I live in Hungary and here there are a lot of fruit trees, naturally out in the pastures. My horses eat quinces, apples, pears, plums, peaches and apricots that fall down a little here and there, and they love it! When they eat the peaches, they actually spit out the core. I let them eat it, I don’t rush into the paddock and take away what is inappropriate, I guess the horse has instincts that tell it what it can and can’t eat, as long as it has a choice.

We also have a lot of walnuts and they don’t touch them.

What do you give your horse as treats?

Two sides of a case!

The pony that was dangerous!

During the time I was a saddle maker I met a lot of different people because it wasn’t just saddles and bridles that I fixed, but also bags, rifle straps and sometimes tarpaulins.

One day a man came to me to have some work done and all of a sudden he asked if I was interested in buying a pony. I’m always interested if there’s a good deal to look forward to, so I asked him to tell me about it.

It turned out that I had actually seen it, because it was walking in a paddock not too far from me and I had ridden by a few times and seen it. It was a stunningly beautiful welshpony, dark mold, so there was nothing wrong with the appearance. It was just that, according to the man’s description, it was both nasty and life-threatening, so if I were to buy it, I had to pick it up and load it myself, he wouldn’t go near it again!

It turned out that they had bought an unridden 3-year-old stallion for the daughter. However, they had had it neutered after all.

We agreed on a reasonable price and I asked a friend if she would come along and pick it up, as I was prepared to have a good fight, from what the man had told me. I had brought various ropes and other tools for loading and we joked that I might need a sword if it was a dragon:)

When we arrived the horse was in a box and the man once again told me that it was on its own liability, but I thought, for one thing, that it wasn’t that big and it actually didn’t look that hostile. I took its halter, went into the stall and put it on, put the halter shaft on it and led the pony straight up into the trailer.

It didn’t so much as snort on the road. The man dropped his chin and said I must have been lucky and I promised I would be careful in the future.

The pony was out of sorts, the only thing it “did” was that it was very playful with the mule, but didn’t bite or anything. We got it in and there were never any problems with it, no matter how what we did.

When the man went to pick up his stuff that I had repaired, he wondered how it had gone and I could only be honest and say that I didn’t consider the pony to be a problem horse, so we went out and greeted him in the stable. The man went over and was going to pat him on the mule and the pony fiddled a little with the mule and the man drew back his fingers quickly and half shouted: Do you see he bit me?

Yes, it can be, I just agreed with him and thought that it was good that the pony came to me and the man was happy to get rid of it, and I wonder if the pony wasn’t also quite happy to change places.


Riding schools! What do you learn?

What don’t you learn at riding school?
It has been many years since I started my career as a horse girl at a small riding school in Denmark. It is actually 55 years ago. Many of the memories are still strong and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.
It was of course completely different then, but many things are still the same. The horses are doing much better today, as they usually come out daily. The horses used to be in the stall and they had to obey, otherwise they would be spanked.
One thing we didn’t learn was how to get along with the horse. When we were supposed to have a riding lesson, the horse was saddled and ready and it was far too big a risk to let us little ones go into the horses’ stall. Not all horses were kind, not so strange, so we didn’t get to do that horse-care thing. When you got a little older, you could be lucky enough to become someone’s attendant, but you hardly knew how to do it.
I got my knowledge of horses elsewhere. My parents bought a summer cottage in Blekinge and with a whole long summer every year, with nothing to do, I roamed around and found all the horses in the area and fed them sugar and bread. The old men who owned the horses and had them on the farm thought it was funny with my interest in horses and I learned a lot. There I gained insight into how they should be looked after, what they ate and how to take care of hooves and the like.
I don’t know how it is at riding schools today, but I have heard several people who have thought that there is far too little information about the horses beyond the riding. I have naturally noticed that there is a big difference in how you take on the responsibility of teaching the children everything around them.
I had an intern once who came from Kiruna, who was amazingly talented and hardworking. She told me that there was a long queue for the riding school and if you were to have riding lessons, it included work in the stable, otherwise you were simply not allowed to ride there. Very clever! Then you found out if the interest was big enough, for the horses, at the same time you got to learn all the important things.
What are your experiences? Do you learn things about riding at the riding school, or can they get better at such things?