Sink or Swim

So many of these learning experiences in my life are related to horses. This particular one, has to do with the very first steps of owning one of those magnificent animals.

I got her when I was 12. She was 12 too. I had 6 years of experiences about life among horses, mainly in riding schools and private stables. She had full 12 years of experience in being a horse. Here we can find a small disadvantage on my side.

I soon noticed, that owning a horse, it was very much a different deal than going to stables to learn to ride them. Owning one is much more, well, wholesome experience. In the very first steps becomes the realization, that a balance and leadership must be attained. This is the game of either sinking or swimming.

You swim, if you manage to win the trust and friendship of the horse. You swim, if the horse understands, that you are worthy of guiding and leading the pack of you two. You swim if you are firm and fair.

You sink, deep, if you are scared of the situation, scared of the half tonne animal, who is now sharing your life. You sink, if you are unfair, if your guidance leads to pain or fear. If you are unreliable, honesty is the key.

The narrow strip between victory and failure is sometimes narrow. It requires a fine balance. As a newbie horse owner, you make mistakes,  sometimes costly ones. You might let the horse push her own mind too far, tripping you down from the leaders position. No fun. You might lead her to a situation that causes her fear, too much pressure or pain. Gaining back the trust from there, is a hard and rocky road, one that has to be walked.

Sometimes you get it right, you reach the surface again and swim. You got her motivated into learning something new, find the excitement in her.  You find the way to get her into a relaxed and open minded position. Lead her to over come a fear. You are her friend and companion, at best. Those moments are wonderful. You find a flow, not just on your own, but you share it with her. You join with that horse, and work together. This is what gets you hooked into this sport, the beauty in those moments.

Yes, I am still missing her.

Thanks to the Prompt of the day: Sink or Swim

Advertisements

Looking back – Going forth

It is December now, today, is the day exactly a year after my first visit to Belgium. Exciting. I guess now is the proper time to look back and see all that happened, or didn’t happen, should have happened and so on. In my case, a lot has happened. I have lived the busiest, most exciting, happiest and fastest time of my life.

All of it began with my heart, being stolen. I had to go after it, so I moved to Belgium. That was the first thing leading towards this adventure. Many people were speculating the motivation for this move, since I had met Waffle only a few times before making the decision. But for me, the only motivator was intuition. A nice tingly feeling, that something good was coming up. And the fact that there was love, a lot of it. No matter how deep I dug into this pool of emotions, the only thing I found was love and affection, warmth and fuzziness.

_ESC_0230

The decision of moving over just might have been the best one I have ever made. The gearbox of my life finally found the 6th, or 7th, gear and this girl was going full speed ahead. So was Waffle, the first person ever to actually keep up with me. Just how wonderful is that?

Before, I did not really travel that much. I had crisscrossed and zigzagged almost the whole Finland, but the rest of Europe, and the world, was largely undiscovered. Since February, a lot of new pins have appeared into my travel map, many parts of Europe have been sniffed, tasted, walked, climbed and explored. My hiking boots now look like they are worn.

_DSC_0015

The time to travel is now, rather than tomorrow. There are still places untouched by tourism and they are easier to reach than ever before. We, me and Waffle, seem to be in especially happy situation, we live centrally in Europe and flying as well as driving is easy. Also we both have the energy and interest to do this, right now. Horses, houses, gardening and all that shall come later.

The traveling has been one huge part of this new life of mine. But of course, when you get a new home country, a lot of other things change too. I now have new hobbies. Horses and life at the stables have been set a side, for now, and I spend more and more time hiking through all sorts of places, or on the beach, with a kite and a buggy. There is also a small love story being born with a camera and blogging, of course.

I have turned into one of those irritating people, who never have empty weekends to spend with friends. Except when you ask something 2 months in advance. Before, all my weekends were empty, until the last minute. I had time for everyone. The life is now a bit different in that way. I am always somewhere, except home.

The circle of friends naturally went also through a turmoil. There are new faces, old faces that have started to fade away for one reason or the other, and some, who became even closer, even though the distance in between has grown. I am grateful for all of those, who still find the time to stay in touch.

_DSC_0831

Such a change in life is not just all things new. It is largely loosing, having to let go and replacing. You need to ponder on what you want to keep and which parts of the past are just holding you back. There is also the  wistful side to this, you miss things, you wish some things were differently and struggle to adapt into new ways of living. Right this moment I am missing the sound the snow makes under your feet, when it is really really cold. And rice porridge with cinnamon and butter, something that holds the essence of Christmas for me.

The future then, how is that looking now? Well, honestly, not that much have changed. I still nourish the same dreams, wish for the same things. Maybe some are postponed a little, but they might have gotten even a little bit brighter tones in the process. Waffle is someone, with whom I can dream together, and turn those dreams into reality. He doesn’t say that I am being silly, or tell me to get back down to earth from my clouds, he floats there with me, and pulls me higher. It is all so easy with him. I can’t even think of any situation where we would have needed to compromise.

The traveling we are still planning on doing. That is something truly exciting. Next year is going to be busy, with the Dolomites, Azores, Balkan mountains, Finland, France, Wales, Spain and all the rest on the to-do list. After next year? Well, we don’t know yet. The world maybe?

It is a little bit bittersweet, all this. But then again, what do you get out of life, if you never mix the tastes? My stew is only going to get richer. 2016, hold on to your hat. We are coming for you!

The whole year in pictures is here: Flickr!

Misplaced Inconvenience

I have a bad tendency to misplace things, right at the time I would actually need them. Especially when I am moving.

The first one was when I was moving from my childhood home to my very first own flat. I had forgotten my purse. And my ID, money, bank cards, phone, everything with it. That only meant an extra circle of 200 km of driving, no biggie.

The second one was again while moving. I had rented a van to transport my stuff from one student flat to another. I went to collect the keys to  my new flat, and forgotten my phone home. Turned out, that the whole thing ended up taking a bit longer than planned. We ran late and the car rental company had tried to call. To my phone, that was not with me. We got no van and had to move all the stuff by our Citroën C4, estate. Luckily we had played our fair share of Tetris when kids.

I am also very bad with keys. One of my saddest moments of key misplacing, was the following; I stood there, in the tiny hallway of my tiny flat. I was going to the campus and was thinking through if I had all I needed with me. Books, yes. Phone and wallet, yes. Bus ticket, yes. All set and out I go. (First a quick check to make sure there is nobody in the corridor, it is Finland after all.)

I press the door closed and start to wonder how it feels so cold, the floor of the corridor. I look down and realize, that I actually forgot to put on shoes. The second realization followed quickly after. The key. It and I were separated by a locked door. Oh poop. No other options, than to call the security service to open my door. The face on that guard when she found a girl with no shoes hanging around…

Also, I was returning back to Helsinki, after visiting my parents in Savo, the middle of Finland. At this point you can probably already guess where my key for the flat in Helsinki was? It was somewhere in the pile of snow, in the garden of my parents. I was sitting in the train headed for Helsinki, 400 km away from the key. I had to call the security again, organize a new key the next day and all that. I started to really appreciate the friendliness of the student housing community and the security service!

Well, there you have it, the Daily Prompt: 10,000 Spoons