English updates Expedition SweDenLand 2017
Almost everyone knows the song… the words are true:
‘You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need’
The challenge comes from a different angle than expected. Living without hot or running water and without a toilet is not hard at all. Riding and walking with constant pain in my legs - a rather large step from manager to bushgirl - is shocking but not the biggest problem. Challenges on the road such as huge tractors, swamps, steep hills and dead-end paths can be tackled and overcome.
But night after night sleeping near a horse that is so clearly uncomfortable in himself, is a no-go for me. We agreed beforehand that the three of us should have fun together. Mark, Timo and myself. That was the condition... otherwise we would stop.
And one of us does not like it. Whilst riding during the daytime it’s great fun. Timo walks his 30 km through woods and fields with obvious pleasure. But the nights are terrible. He is frightened of the surroundings and frustrated because he can’t move as freely as he would wish to. We have tried our best for him... built his paddock near trees or in open spaces, with plenty of sun or plenty of shade. We slept outside directly next to him. None of it helps. So all three of us sleep far too little and our stress levels build. It’s unsustainable. Of course it is possible to lock Timo in the horsebox or tie him up but this does not take away his fear. And that is simply not what I want for him. It's heartbreaking to look at your horse and say to him, I’m sorry boy, but this is what the boss wants and you’re gonna damn well do what I say.
The physical side is easy to manage. Timo is always keen on eating and he drinks wherever he is. The miles are no problem for him. His instincts as a prey animal are not manageable. The only sustainable solution would be to get another horse here and take it along. And we do not want to do that.
The people close to me know what the original purpose of this trip is. It's not about delivering a performance or achieving a goal. It’s an adventure to discover myself, with two of my dearest friends. Because of all the stress of the last weeks there is no chance to rest. My coping mechanism is to keep pushing myself to a performance - to focus only on the goal. The show must go on. But what actually has to happen is 'to let go'... More than I have already. Not only work, the children, family and our other animals. But also the care for a horse. MY horse, my best friend. And to say that that is very difficult is a massive understatement.
In short, after 303 km (188 miles), we decided to let Timo relax in a field for a few months at Hanneke and Hein’s farm in Hamneda. We’ll continue our journey without Timo. We're gonna miss him so much. But he clearly does not have a problem with this plan (see video).
It has been a beautiful experience, we learned a lot and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for your support. There will be no more horse updates on this website.Interesting adventures we share on the facebook page. And I would like to say to everyone who enjoyed following us: follow your dreams and make them come true. You might end up in a different place than you were heading for. That makes life interesting.