The Year of the Horse – A new meaning of mulitlingual

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For my birthday in September my husband surprised me with a promise of a horse. A real one that needs a lot of attention. I went out on a quest to find my perfect partner and on December 26 a beautiful 7 year old mare entered our family and I haven’t felt this way since we had our second baby…ten years ago. Overwhelmed, euphoric and close to panicking all the time. Yes, THAT feeling!

I started riding five years ago. I was HORRIFIED of horses. I loved them as an animal. I thought, and still do think they are a stunning creature. However, I was so scared of the front and the back so when my girls were taking horseback lessons. I was standing on the outside of the barn. I told the instructors that “I don’t want to transfer my fear to my girls, so I leave it all up to you to teach them”. After a while that got old, and I decided to get over my fear. Took lessons. Fell off. Got back in the saddle and finally, I did not get into panic mode every time the horse turned the head and looked at me.

Now, five years later after having leased (rented) a horse for quiet a while I took the leap of faith and decided to invest the little time I have left during the day, combined with carving out a good chunk of our future savings to enjoy horse ownership. So far it has been amazing and horrifying at the same time. I get flashbacks from when the kids were young. Now it is up to me to mold this new family member into a loving, polite and respectful member of the family and still let her keep her personality. So far we are having a wonderful time.

The other day as I was grooming my horse, I received a valid question from one of my barn friends (the human kind).

“What language do you speak with Luna?” (My girls named her!)

I think even I was surprised with the answer – English!

She won’t really understand what I am saying, so why do I speak English with her? The explanation is quiet simple. We always talk about how our children chooses to speak English with certain groups, and Swedish in others. For me the stable I ride in is my English speaking environment. Unless I speak to the owner who happens to be Swedish. All I have learned about how to approach and communicate with horses has been in English, since my instructors have all been English speakers. As soon as I came to this conclusion, I have changed my approach! From now on, all my secrets to my little horse girl is in Swedish. When others are listening in, we stick to English.

Hästägare – jösses! Det var lite mer än vad jag hade räknat med. Efter att ha varit fodervärd ett halvår trode jag att jag visste vad jag hade gett mig in på.

Hästköpandet i sig själv var ett nytt äventyr. Hur gör man? Behöver man en “mäklare” som när man köper hus. Vad är det för extra kostnader som tillkommer. Som tur är har jag fantastiska människor runt omkring mig. Jag har mitt gäng med medelålders tanter som ger varandra råd på förmiddagarna och rider ut tillsammans i skogen när vädret tillåter. Dessutom har jag de yngre tjejerna som har “växt upp” i stallet som kan hjälpa mig igenom de flesta fallgroparna. Jag fick hjälp med att förhandla ner priset och fick tips om veterinäre, hjälp att hämta hästen, shoppinghjälp när jag stod som ett fån i affären för att köpa det grundläggande. Allt behövde inhandlas, från grimma till sadel, täcke, vattenhink…longeringslina…ja listan tar aldrig slut. Nu har jag ialla fall startpaketet och resten får jag bygga på vid behov.

Förutom en ridväst med krockkudde så är det en westernsadel som ligger högt på önskelistan. Jag MÅSTE ju lära mig att rida som en äkta cowgirl, eller hur!

Men först måste jag koncentrera mig på att prata svenska med min nya bebis – eller jag kanske ska hålla mig till “häst”.

-Linda

 

 

 

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