This is the second Bright Interview. A series of interviews with our employees, ambassadors, partners and customers.
Today’s interview is with Barbro Lagergren, one of the two owners of Brightmare Productions. She tells us of her current visit in Sweden, what she has been working on recently and her experience of the journey that has been Bightmare Productions.
The sun is shining bright, setting the yellow fields aflame in golden light along the grey road stretching in front of her car. She comments about the amazing weather she is experiencing on her drive back from Malmö. Barbro Lagergren, one of the business owners of Brightmare Productions has let me join her via handsfree on her commute.
So what have you been up to recently?
Lina and I had a conference last week and finalized a lot of interesting projects. We haven’t seen each other in a really long time so we had a lot of creative work done together in person. We also discussed the company in how we want to develop and evolve it and how we can improve and move forward in different parts of our organization. We want to get better on showing who we are, what we stand for and our values. To be sure that our vision and values reach the readers.
We got hold of a great photographer that took beautiful photos of Lina and I, it was super because it captured the feeling and essence we want to show our readers. In some photos I was riding Eneias in a beautiful field by the sea. We were illustrating the exercises of our coming release, “Creative Riding in Nature”, how you can train your horse outside the arena. I jumped over natural obstacles, laid on the ground, made patterns around trees and a bit of everything from the book. So it was a really good day. The next day we had a amazing photo session with the both of us with some horses in a beautiful pasture. Our books together with beautiful horses around us brought forward the atmosphere and what we stand for. I ask her to elaborate.
That they should feel good, thrive, that horses should be able to live in freedom. We think that that we riders have to give them a varied training but also that the horses have the right to rest. That is what we really want to emphasize in our books, that it’s important that everyone remembers that. Horses are empathic animals that are driven by their emotions. They need that variation in their life and emotionally rich bonds with both other horses and us, their humans.
So how did you end up back on Swedish roads?
I returned to Sweden in the spring for my elderly mother who could not keep on any longer. I got to spend time with her before she past and stayed in Sweden for the rest of the summer. I rented a house in Österlen, but you can’t live without horses so I had to bring mine from Portugal. He has also become a mascot of our company, you can see he is everywhere in our social media. I got a lot of work done from here. I finalized Creative Riding in Nature with my colleague Katarina before we sent it of to the printers before my vacation.
This will be my last week in Sweden before I return back home to Portugal. Last week’s conference was a great ending before I leave. This with Sweden and Portugal can seem a bit odd to some, that we have a company that’s based in two countries but it works well for us.
Eneias is leaving tonight. I’m meeting the veterinary in an hour to check if he’s healthy for the trip tonight. It will take him a week to get home. I’m taking a flight back to Portugal on Sunday, in time to welcome him back home.
What is your best memory of Brigthmare?
My best memory with Brightmare? That’s a hard question, I’ll have to think.
She is quite for a moment, I can hear the car humming in the background, another one passing her as she sits in silence.
There is so much, its not possible just to say just one thing because the whole process has been amazing. The best memory is all memories, together. Brightmare has had it’s own life, it became it’s own thing. It’s something that has grown on it’s own. I could have never imagined that I would write three books together with Lina. I could never even dreamed it, the way that it turned out, the success it has become. It’s a success story, truly. I always get amazed and humbled when I hear and read that the readers are so happy with our polework books. And I still get baffled that they have reached readers in other parts of the world and that everyone thinks it’s just as good. I think that fantastic.
We have the big map with all the countries it has reached on our front page.
Yes, 93 countries that we have sent our books to which incredible. That we have readers on Hawaii, someone in the Faroe Islands, in Japan and Russia, everywhere. It’s incredible that we have readers everywhere, in all levels and disciplines and that everyone can get just as great fun from them as we have. That, I think, is why it’s hard to say just one thing that has been the best memory. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I realize that people get so happy to read our books, that feeling, it’s just… Barbro gets quite on the other end of the phone call before breathing out, laughing.
I remember like it was yesterday when we made our first book, “Roligt med bommar och koner” and how we reach the decision how it was supposed to look like. It wasn’t that hard, we did what we thought was best. We did try out different version and illustrations but it organically became what it it is today.
I think that our strength is how we have communicated and created the books focusing on the illustrations and their clear instructions and descriptions on how to do the exercises. But also leaving open the possibility dive deeper and execute the exercises on a more difficult level. That is what we will continue to work with, to continue to give our readers more exercises and more knowledge. I don’t think we should reinvent the wheel any more, we have our working wheel, we just need to move forward and do what we are doing and not forget what we have been good at. What the readers want from us.
What would you say to Barbro from the beginning?
I would tell her, “This, what you are creating now, is worth the hardship.” She gives out a laugh.
“It will give you an amazing opportunity to live the life you could never even imagine.”
I managed to combined my hobby with my work, I love what I do. To have the good fortune to continue working with it. I could never have imagined that we could sell as many books as we did, I really couldn’t. That it would be the catalyse to the life I have in Portugal, that I can have a good life and the means to have it, is just fantastic.
Finally, what would you like to say to our readers about our upcoming release of Creative Riding In Nature?
This is my favourite of them all, it really close to my heart. I feel that the book is a great counterbalance to the other two books, that have their main focus on riding in the arena. The horse, was way of travelling back in the day, to ride in all types of terrain ad he still needs that variation today. Riding out in nature strengthens the horse. The horse needs to get out and move around out in the forest and different types of terrains where he needs to lift his hooves, climb, jump over obstacles and more. It gives him the versatile training that he requires. The horse must have a broad and varied training to strengthen his muscles, ligaments and tendons. Especially for youngsters. She pauses.
That amazing feeling of riding a horse outside in beautiful nature, to be one with the horse is priceless. The feeling of of having that kind of trust in one another and the joy of exploring together, new roads, paths, it’s just a wonderful experience.
That is what riding is and should be in my opinion. Sadly, I think some miss out on that. Being with their horse, just being near one another, getting to know each other and focusing on creating that bond and building that trust. Exploring together strengthens the bond. I really think that “Creative Riding in Nature” is important for all riders.
A section of the book touches on something I, myself, have experienced, fear of riding. We talk about it and different ways to work on it. After I entered menopause, I became worried and afraid of riding at times, as one can become from menopause. We describe that as well and how one can manage it.
Creative Riding in Nature offers also offers tips on how to hack in different ways, train in nature, exercises for riders and so much more.
If you want to know more about Barbro and her lovely horse Eneias, visit her blog, Babro’s Horsey Blog here.
Creative Riding in Nature will be released the 10th of September!