En Dröm—Hästar

That would be me, in Sweden, with a horse.

One word says it all— “Pooooonies! ”

It is getting colder by the minute on the outskirts of Lund, especially since the sky is clearer than it has been for many days. The snow from last week’s storm is still thick on the ground, and my feet are quickly getting wetter and wetter. My friend Anika and I wait near the stable to speak with Petra, one of the trainers here at Östra Torns Ridskola. She is preparing the ponies for her next lesson. One by one the young Swedish riders lead their stout, hairy ponies into the stable to be brushed and tacked up. With our student backpacks city shoes, we are clearly out of place amongst these hardy, horsey youngsters. The sun melts into the horizon.  A mother pulls her crying toddler on a sled from the  nearby daycare to her car. “Gråta inte, snälla” I say as the little red-faced bundle passes by. Don’t cry, sweetie. She wants to eat the snow, her mother says—or at least I think she says. But I told her she can’t. Oh Sweden. At last Petra is ready to talk to us. She comes out of the stable, all of her blond hair save for a few strands tucked into a black mircofleece cap. What are our questions?

How can we help out? How can we work here? What stables are nearby? And how, in the span of the next six months, can we manage to be close to horses?

“We are a children’s stable, so we only have lessons for people under 18. You see we have only Ponies. But we do have people who work here in the mornings. Make the horses food, some times, eh…how do you say? pack the hay. We don’t have any spaces for employees right now, but if you want to help you are always welcome. What is you experience with horses”

We tell her. I worked in a stable in high school to earn riding lessons. Anika rode a bit when she was 10.

“Great, if you give me your contact I can let you know if something opens up!” We write our names and phone numbers.

Oh, and by the way, we tell her, although it would be nice, we don’t need to be paid.

“O, aha. That changes things. Then you can come whenever you want. I am sure they would love to have you in the mornings.”

She tells us about other horse stables nearby, and we should try them too. We will, but another day/ Also, there is the University-run riding school, which offers lessons and group rides for students (I spoke with them *in Swedish* earlier today).

Anika and I leave the Horse farm all smiles, although it is still freezing. What day shall we come? Maye if we work for free a bit first, they can see that we’re good and…we still have two more stables to try after all! We wait to catch the bus back to the city. The sunset is deeper now, the form of a person and a frolicking dog appear in the nearby pasture. Horses, I think to myself on the bus, the warm, warm bus. Horses and their warm horseflesh mane and tail happy-memory scent. I wanted to do some things differently here in Sweden. But I am beginning to feel that those “different” things might end up being the things that have been so much a part of me all along—things that I have fallen back on or given up on or classified as only hopes, wishes, or dreams. Horses, at last.

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2 Responses to “En Dröm—Hästar”

  1. Alia Says:

    Hoooraaaayyy ponies! I’m super jealous. I think with your persistence it’ll only be a matter of time before you are riding your own pony through the snow to class, decking it out in little silver bells or something like that.

    Great photo, by the way. You kind of match.

  2. Sabrina Says:

    Sweet little pony!

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