When Portugal had the lockdown because of the Covid 19 Pandemic during the spring I didn’t have the possibility to ride, I was not even allowed to visit my horse. Under 6 weeks I had four extra hours a day. It was a bit of a chock to have a lot of extra time and not have to stress through the day. I started to long for my family in my home country Sweden, typical Swedish dishes, and of course the Swedish nature.
I desperately longed to return home to Sweden, but because of the pandemic and the difficulty to travel, I had to settle with just dreaming.
I had daily contact with my mother, and I could hear how her voice got weaker every day that passed, without any visits, her days where long, boring and meaningless and I understood she did not want to go on. One day in the last days of may her nurse called me and told she had falled and hurt herself.
My instinct told me that I had to go home.
I called a logistics company to transport my horse to Sweden and booked a flight for myself for the next day. I had a possibility to get home but the trip from Lisbon, took 24 hours with an overnight layover in Frankfurt.
When I got home to Sweden, I got only less than a week together with my mother before she passed away. Now, I am so grateful that I got home in time.
Eneias arrives to Sweden!
A couple of days later, Eneias arrived, cheerful and alert after 8 days of travel through Europe with a Dutch logistics company. Eneias handled the trip well, he overnighted a few times during the trip. The day Eneias arrived, tears ran down my face, to be with him in my old homeland and to ride on my summer meadows, a dream had become reality. An infinite amount of summer days where we, together, could explore the amazing region, of Haväng at Österlen, here sheep, cows and horses run free all year around and becomes the characteristics of the landscape. Vast moors and the sea in the horizon. I let him out together with his new friend after a bit of rest. He immediately ran out and got familiar with the herd, ran a couple of laps in the pasture before he started to pasture.
Immediately he fell helplessly in love with a small Icelandic mare and they followed side by side every minute. The first couple of times I took Eneias out of the pasture, he got a bit worried and his girlfriend wanted to come along. It is rather common, horses just connected to the herd they don’t want to leave their new friends. I was a bit nervous to go out in the fields but from the start I felt comfortable and me and Eneias loved it. I accompanied by another horse and rider to feel a bit more secure. I think Eneias was used to big fields with herds of animals grassing since long time back when he grew up in Ribateijo area in Portugal, The lusitano horse often grow up in big herds as youngsters in big areas with cows and sheep. The only thing he now reacted to was when we met a big male lama that came walking towards us.
Horses needs friends and space.
In my experience with horses, I’ve noticed that horses feel better living outside and walking in a herd with other horses. It’s their element where they, mentally and physically, without a doubt, feel the best. A horse that you directly takes out of the pasture to ride is neither spry nor stressed. They get their mental stimuli in the interaction with other horses to become relaxed and calm. Sure, there are horses that get lazy and fat because of eating to much and, of course, there are differences between individuals, but horses have big muscle groups that needs to be kept in motion. Eneias is an energetic horse and needs a lot of mental stimuli and is at his best when is out in the pasture and is already warmed up. He is then relaxed, focused and eager to learn new things, not stressed or have a excess of energy.
Now the summer has come to and end and soon it will be time for me and Eneias to travel back home to Portugal.
Everything I dreamt about has been fulfilled, we have really bonded this summer. I feel I can trust him completely in all hacking scenarios and I know this was exactly what we both needed, after all monotonous dressage training in the arena. So, I really want to give everyone this tip, if you have the possibility, give yourself and your horse a long summer holiday.
Now we are ready for a more intensive training with a goal to start some competitions.
See you in Portugal 🙂