Country #37 – Denmark: Copenhagen’s Bronze Herd or Icelandic Gods in Royal Forests

Days off and short breaks are meant to be relaxing, right? Wrong! :-) Whenever I manage to get them, I like to squeeze in so many things that I need another break afterward.

One time, I had to go on a four-day business trip to Bonn, Germany, and took an extra day in order to travel to Denmark afterward. I had less than 20 hours to stay in Copenhagen, and I hoped that it would be enough to see the center of the city, visit the Royal Stables, and ride in the forest with Amager Rideterapi.

Reality exceeded my expectations. First of all, when I posted my plans on Instagram, I was contacted by the @TrendyDonnaLegWhear account, which sells tights for girls with passion. :-) The owner of the company happened to live in Copenhagen and managed to design a short walking tour around the center of the city for me.


I love strolling along the streets of unknown cities guided only by a map. And I would rather get lost than ask for directions. I agree that that’s stupid, but I like it that way. :-)

Copenhagen at 7 A.M. on a Saturday morning was absolutely stunning: the empty streets and squares were perfect for taking panoramic pictures; the beautiful shop windows made me lose my way more than once; I was the only witness of the morning national guard shift change; and parks were conveniently already open at that early hour. It felt like I had the whole city to myself; only rarely would I meet a jogger or someone walking their dog.

If someone were to ask me what color Copenhagen is, I would have to say that it’s brick orange and copper green. As I love all things related to horses, I take pictures of mounted sculptures wherever I go. And I have to admit, Copenhagen has the highest rate of mounted sculptures per square kilometer. :-)

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About two hours and ten kilometers later, I got back to the central station, ordered some coffee with Danish pastries, and waited for Lenna, the owner of Amager Rideterapi, to pick me up. Her small company specializes in hippotherapy for people with mental, musculoskeletal, or eating disorders. It was really interesting to learn about how connecting to horses can help people become healthier.

The trip to the stables took about 30 minutes, and upon arrival, we were met by a friendly group of Icelandic horses.


Oh how I miss those fluffy little darlings. I got a 13-year-old bay gelding Baldur, named after one of the main Icelandic gods. It was such a pleasure to brush his thick coat and run my fingers through his hairy mane.


Then Lenna brought the tack. Both the saddle and bridle were unusual for me: the bridle consisted of two separate pieces (Lenna told me that it’s more comfortable on long trips to remove one of the parts and let the horses graze), and the saddle had pretty short flaps and a girth that was probably twice as short as usual.

While I was excited about the ride, I was a little bit nervous as well. At that time, I hadn’t properly ridden in about three months. Well, I guess a little flashback would be necessary to explain why my rider self-esteem had been crushed into tiny pieces.

Back to Bahrain: I’d retired my own horse Dream and stopped riding Romeo, the Andalusian stallion I was competing with before. The reason was that I couldn’t control Romeo around other horses: he would back, rear, and behave dangerously pretty much every single day we took him out to other stables. The owner decided to give him to another rider. Thinking about my failure with Romeo day after day and blaming myself for not being a good enough rider to reveal his talents, I couldn’t shake the sad feeling that I hadn’t progressed as a rider over the previous few years and had, in fact, became worse and maybe should quit riding altogether. I was offered other horses to ride, but frankly, I was simply too afraid to get in the saddle again.

So, when we went off on a ride, I thought that I indeed needed a therapeutic horse to cure me of my fears. And after riding the very dependable Baldur in walk, trot, canter, tolt, and even pace (by mistake :-)), I thought that even though I’m not the best rider and might never reach a reasonable level, I still can enjoy riding.


And, even better, during those “rideless” months, I didn’t completely forget how to keep my balance in the saddle.


We rode along the rural paths of Kongelundsskoven, which is located near Copenhagen Airport. Planes were taking off right above our heads, but the horses didn’t care. Every step my Baldur took, I fell in love with him more and more. His trot was amazingly comfortable, and he listened to the slightest changes in my balance and even to my every thought. For the full two hours, he was full of enthusiasm, nothing scared him, and he was mentally with me the whole time. We went through the Royal Park, climbed hills, and cantered on the beach… and I’m forever thankful to Lenna and Baldur for this therapeutic ride.


Taking off from Copenhagen Airport just four hours later, I had a second chance to see the route we had taken, only this time from above. I closed my eyes in an attempt to grab a little nap. My 20-hour-long trip to Bahrain had just started.


Useful links: @amagerridetur on Instagram

Country #36 – Luxembourg: Wordpress Meet-up and Learning to Ride with Your Mind

Horses, blogging, and blogging about horses changed me dramatically. From an introverted homebody who panicked every time she needed to leave the apartment or even call or ask a stranger about something, I turned into introvert who is more socially functional and who can, if you can believe it, get and accept invitations to meet up with fellow bloggers who she has never met in person before. :-) And even though I still feel a bit awkward while traveling to the new places or meeting new people, I always remember this phrase I heard somewhere: people are the same wherever you go, and good people prevail. And in my experience, that is especially true for equestrians. I’ve already written a story about my Instagram meet-up with Matilde Brand last year, and this story is about my WordPress meet-up.

About a year ago, Aoife commented on my article about visiting the living museum of Ardennes horses.


Aoife records her daily adventures with her beautiful mares Kika and Nancy in her blog Pampered Ponies here on WordPress.

Naturally, when I got invited to Germany for a conference, I decided to fly in a couple of days earlier and finally tick the “Ride in Luxembourg” box off my wish list.

The timing couldn’t have been better, as I not only met Aoife and rode Nancy in a Luxembourg forest but also got to participate in a theoretical part of the “Ride With Your Mind” clinic.


The session was packed with eye-opening ideas, great examples, exercises with a gymnastic ball, and fun (especially when someone was asked to pretend to be a horse for another person). Elaine has a ton of experience, so no riding questions were left unanswered. As Aoife is a far more disciplined blogger than I am, you can check out the details of the clinic on her blog:

The next day, I met up with Aoife at about noon, and we brushed and saddled the big, sleepy girls and went out to explore the Luxembourg forest.

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Impressed by the previous day’s lecture, I was trying to keep my back straight and sit bones down and plugged in, but I guess while chatting with Aoife and admiring the blossoming Luxembourgish spring, I lost focus quite quickly.


That perfect day was another confirmation of a universal law: all our dreams come true sooner or later, one way or another. I had hoped that Luxembourg would be my country #20, but if it had been, I would have definitely missed that awesome spring day and a chance to make another equestrian friend.

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I’d like to finish this post with a bunch of thanks:

A million thanks to Aoife for leaving that comment on my post, inviting me to the RWYM course, and allowing me to ride Nancy.


Thanks, hugs, and kisses on the nose to Nancy, who was a perfect host and allowed me to see Luxembourg through her ears. :-)


And big thanks to Elaine, who helped me to understand some riding principles better.

I’m Back

I’m a terribly inconsistent blogger. Sometimes, I disappear from WordPress and Instagram for ages, and I finally figured out why.

When I was little and lived in a country with zero chances to buy fresh fruits or berries in our properly cold winters, my parents prepared preserves every summer. Dozens of jars filled with pickles, mushrooms, and jams filled the shelves in our cellar. Later, when the snow drifts on the sides of the road piled up to five feet high and it was so cold outside that you would feel that even the insides of your eyelids were frozen, came the time for a special treat. You’d go down to the cellar, take one of the jars with plum jam and almonds, wipe a thick layer of dust from it, open it with a can opener, pull off the lid, and lavishly spread the jam on a piece of toast. Then you would take a bite, savor the somewhat sour taste, close your eyes, and imagine yourself back on the very day you picked those plums, cut them, put them into the large copper bowl, and stirred them with an enormous handmade wooden spoon. I used to call these jars “canned summer”; they felt so warm, so divine, so nostalgic.

Recently, I realized that it’s the same with my stories. I want them to be “cooked” in my head, be stirred and mixed with other stories and associations. And then, after a few weeks or maybe months, when I feel they are ready, I share them. As this summer came to an end, I’m ready to open jars of memories I picked this spring and summer in blooming Luxembourg, rainy Copenhagen, melting hot Greece, stormy Tunisia, sunny Malta, and breezy Portugal.

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The Neigh Club: Staybler – Back to the future or Airbnb for horses

No other animal had such a tremendous impact on the history of humankind as the horse. Horses fed us, plowed our lands, accompanied us to battlefields, and most importantly served as a means of transportation.

Less than a hundred years ago, no hotel or inn was imaginable without stables. But with new technologies, horses disappeared from the streets and trading routes. Guest houses and stables naturally transformed into parking lots. Yes, some hotels do mention “pets are welcome” in their ads and on their sites, but they don’t mean horses, or even ponies, right?

So, what if you need to travel for a competition, or wish to attend a clinic abroad, or just don’t want to part with your horse when going on well-deserved vacation? There were not many options until Staybler – an online platform offering stables, yards, and paddocks in Europe – appeared on the market.

Some say that all new ideas are well-forgotten old ones. I spoke to Jean-Baptiste Luce, co-founder and sales manager of, to learn more about their project.

YF: Could you please tell us more about yourself and the other two co-founders of Staybler? Where are you from, what is your profession, how did you get involved with horses?

JB: The three of us are from the South of France, with different backgrounds. Clemence is originally from Montpellier – she studied marketing and communication. She has ridden since the age of three in the jumping discipline! Guillaume and I are originally from Antibes. Guillaume studied law, and I studied aquaculture. We do not ride horses, but we really enjoy all disciplines and the equestrian industry. We have gone to a lot of show jumping competitions over the years, such as St. Tropez, Monaco, Geneva, and Cannes, to watch the best riders.

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YF: How did you come up with the idea of an Airbnb service for horses?

JB: Clémence has always wanted to work in the equestrian industry. She did a previous internship with Devoucoux, and afterward, she was always talking to me about finding a job with horses.

Guillaume and I have always wanted to create a startup in the web industry, so we started to think about a new online service!

One day, three of us were talking about a new startup in the equine industry. We started to think about what is actually missing in the horse world. Clémence mentioned that her cousins always had difficulties when looking for overnight or short-term stabling when they were traveling with their horses. That was it! We decided to create a marketplace like and Airbnb adapted to the equestrian world.

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YF: How do you share the work? Who is responsible for which parts of the project?

JB: Clémence is responsible for all the marketing and communication (social networks, ambassadors, booth displays, communication tools, etc.). Guillaume is in charge of all the finance and legal support.

And I look after sales and partnerships.

YF: Who are your customers? What would they miss if there were no Staybler?

JB: We have two distinct kinds of customers. We have riders (professional and not), grooms, and horse owners looking for short-term stables, and we have owners of stables, equestrian centers, and yards, who register their stables online to host horses and riders. The second group of customers has to hold horse insurance to be registered on the site.

Without Staybler, horse riders would still lose a lot of time searching for the perfect stable for their horses! Before, they had to spend hours on Google to look for a stable in a specific city! The difficulty is that some stables don’t have a functional website, but only ads with poor descriptions and no pictures. Staybler offers stable owners an opportunity to have their own well-structured pages with photos, detailed descriptions, and comments. Our website increases their visibility and helps them to build a positive reputation, and offers an international openness. It’s a great management tool for booking, and it allows them to profit/benefit from their available space. And it facilitates the search that every rider undergoes when traveling for horse shows, holidays, or any other reason.

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YF: What is the most common question or request you get from your customers?

JB: Requests and questions vary a lot. Stable owners are never sure what price to set for their stables, yards, or paddocks. And riders want to ensure that newly-listed stables without comments are comfortable and safe enough for their horses.

YF:  From your Instagram account, I’ve learned that you have quite a number of brand ambassadors. How do you select them? What does it take to be a Staybler ambassador?

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JB: We select our ambassadors based on their motivation to be part of the team. If they are ready to support a young start-up and fun enough to participate in some challenges, then they are in! We also select them according to their equestrian disciplines. We want to represent every equestrian discipline. Being a Staybler ambassador means being part of a young and dynamic community.

YF: You are in your first operational quarter. How does it feel so far? What drives and motivates you?

JB: It feels great because we have more and more challenges and new goals every day. We launched the platform in January, and since then we have hundreds of stables and horse riders registered. In the second week after opening, we celebrated our first booking, and it keeps going on with the horse show season starting as well as holidays coming soon. It is growing fast, but we want to make sure we are offering quality services. Our team is also growing little by little, and we are already working on new services (but we prefer to keep them secret for now).

YF: and Airbnb have quite complicated rating systems. Do you have anything similar? Can customers share their thoughts about locations? Or can property owners rate their guests?

JB: Our grading system is similar to the and Airbnb ones. Customers have to leave comments and rate each other.

YF: It’s mentioned on your site that property owners verify horse owners’ profiles before accepting requests. How is this done and how long does it take?

JB: Once a request is received by the stable, the owner can check the profile of the requestor. They can see all the information provided by the rider: photos, disciplines, horse information, ID, phone number, and previous comments, if any. It does not take more than a minute to check – it’s really quick! If the stable owner is satisfied with a rider’s profile, then they can accept the request!

YF: You have 24-hour support on your site. I wonder, what was the most interesting, memorable, weird, or funny request you ever received?

JB: Luckily, for now, we have not yet had any weird requests. People are more curious about the service itself, such as how it works, what the benefits are, whether it is free, etc.

YF: You participated in the Salon du Cheval and Equita Lyon last year. Where can we meet the Staybler team next?

JB: For sure, we will go back to the next Equita Lyon. We don’t know yet for the future booth, but we are always at big horse shows! We can meet all people curious about the service there. We were at the CHI of Geneva, the Saut Hermès in Paris. We will be at the GPA Jump Festival in Cagnes-sur-Mer and many others.

YF: Give us some statistics. What are the cheapest and the most expensive properties one can find on  Staybler?

JB: The cheapest is €10, the most expensive – €65 (€70 including rider’s accommodation), and the mean is about €25–30.

YF: What is your most popular destination so far?

JB: The South of France for the beautiful weather and great shows, I guess!

YF: Right now, Staybler services are provided in Europe only. Do you have plans for expansion?

JB: Sure, we want to expand and grow internationally, but it takes time.

YF: I wish you the very best in your journey.

And to our readers – ride on to your dreams!

Useful links:

Staybler site:

Staybler Instagram account: @stayblerbnb






The Neigh Club: The Beginning

My Equigeo project started six years ago. It has been a thrilling and eventful journey so far, and I have no intention to stop. In fact, right now I’m planning my international rides in Luxembourg and Denmark.

Traveling to different countries and riding dozens of horses taught me a lot. And probably most exciting part of my adventures was meeting extraordinary equestrians along the way. Be it an old Iraqi man, who despite all odds operates a riding school near Mosul, or Real Escuela riders devoting their lives to keeping the Doma Vaquera tradition alive, or an Icelandic family that for three generations has provided riding tours to thousands of tourists every year, or the real-life horse whisperer from a Czech forest. The list can go on and on.

Talking to these people, I couldn’t stop thinking that their stories couldn’t wait to be shared. That’s how the idea of “The Neigh Club” came to life.

Each month, I will interview a remarkable equestrian. And I invite you to join me on that journey. Learn what makes these people special, get inspired by them, and discover what it takes to pursue your passion.   

Stay tuned and ride on to your dreams!


Equigeo 35

Here is a short movie about my journeys. 68 months, 35 countries, and more flights than I can remember :-O were squeezed in 3.5 minutes of selected memories.

Country #35 – Poland: Extended Airport Connection or Let it Snow

Our ride in Poland can be easily added to the list of Christmas miracles.

Less than a week before our trip, when I was almost desperate to find a ride in Poland, I got a message from my Instagram friend Magdalena Zoladek asking if I’d already found a place to ride near Warsaw. It was a true blessing, as not only did my Google-found contacts not reply, but I also had a very short stay (less than 10 hours) in Warsaw on my way from Helsinki back to Bahrain.

But Magdalena made the impossible. Not only did she find two horses for me and my friend, but she also picked us up at 6 a.m. from the Warsaw Old Town so that we could beat the busy Warsaw traffic and have enough time for a ride in the frozen forest and also later dropped us back exactly on time for us to catch our planes.


And oh boy, what an eventful ride it was!

First, we were introduced to our horses—a Friesian cross mare and a Hucul pony gelding. As much as I wanted to ride the half-Friesian mare, I was absolutely sure that it might be my only chance to ride a Hucul horse. (This breed is only present in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland) So, I ended up with Rusłan.


While I brushed his thick coat and mane and picked his hooves, Rusłan made all possible efforts to find sugar or carrots in my pockets and even chewed my sleeves as a last desperate attempt. I felt very guilty for not having anything for him :-(, so I attempted to bribe him with some hay.


Magda, Agata, and I had finished saddling our horses when Katya confessed that one woman’s strength was simply not enough to buckle up a single girth strap of Western saddle around the enormous Fryzia’s barrel. All four of us tried to do it in turns—with no luck. We tried combined efforts—one pulling the leather up while another tried to push a pin in the hole—zero effect.

A strange thought came to my not fully woken-up mind: Fryzia, whose shape reminded me of a Dala horse at a first glance, was indeed made of wood.

We thought that it might work if we changed positions: Magda pulling, while I pushed; Katya pulling, while Magda pushed; me pulling, while Agata pushed . . . but as you can imagine, six of one is the same as half of a dozen. :-)

Eventually, team human won. Agata climbed the stable wall and mounted the mare, while three of us in a combined pulling and pushing effort managed to buckle that sturdy girth on the completely indifferent Fryzia. Hoorah!


And on the road again!

I’m sure that in spring and autumn, this place can serve as an inexhaustible source of National Geographic photos, but even in the middle of a snowless December, it looked pretty awesome. It was like nature had a degree in design and color combinations and had deliberately selected complementary colors on the color wheel to make the best possible combinations.

img_2353I enjoyed looking around so much that I missed the moment when Rusłan stumbled and I made an unexpected somersault over his neck. I landed right in front of him, still holding the reins in both hands. Surprise!


Luckily, my fluffy mount didn’t have any intention of running away and just shuffled to the nearest bundle of last year’s grass and started munching it apathetically. Magda helped me to mount back on, and we continued our ride.


We cantered deeper into the forest when large, fluffy flakes of snow started to pour from the sky. That was the moment when I finally realized that New Year was just around the corner, and the time of Christmas trees, gingerbread cookies, carols, and gifts in rustling wrapping paper had come again. Although, I thought, some of the most memorable gifts come without any paper and bows. They come covered in dried mud and inspect your pockets for treats, take you to yet unknown places on their backs, and turn their black, hairy ears back to you as if trying to listen to your thoughts. These gifts are among some of the most valuable ones in my collection.


Suddenly, my blissful meditation was interrupted by Katya’s horse, who decided to add some adrenaline to our so-far tranquil ride.

Fryzia picked up a canter and rushed across the resting field towards the stables, paying no attention to Katya’s attempts to stop, or at least turn, her. Magda’s Quarter Horse Magik and Rusłan followed her. Only Agata’s ¾ Hucul Punio was calm and mature enough to stay on the track.

Later, we learned that Fryzia’s owner likes to canter her back to the stables. So, according to Fryzia, she behaved like a really good girl and an amazing host. :-)

If you think that was enough for one day, think again!

Thanks to Agata and her trusty steed Punio, I tried something that I had wanted to try for ages but didn’t have the heart to do on an unprepared horse.

Agata told me that Punio is used for hypnotherapy so he is absolutely bomb-proof and is ready for anything. For example, he is okay if a kid sitting on him tries to catch a thrown ball, he is fine if someone stretches from the saddle over his neck and places rubber rings on his ears, and he knows to stay still if someone stands on his back.

Of course, I couldn’t deny the offer to try it. Surprisingly, it proved to not be too difficult, and although I don’t look as chic and glamorous standing on a horse’s back as Taylor Swift in the “Blank Spaces” music video, I still think it’s one of the best pictures from my travels :-).


Country #34 – Finland: Welcome to Moominland or Suokki called Bono

Another country and another place to ride that I found thanks to my Instagram friends.

Janika Viihde, horse enthusiast, TV presenter and a model from Helsnki, advised that if we wanted to ride real Finn horses, we needed to go to Maastotalli Prerya, which is located about 50 km west of Helsinki.

I didn’t really think that it was possible to find a better place for my ride #34. Maastotalli Prerya has been owned by Marjo Norbacka for over 10 years. The place not only serves as livery facilities for privately owned horses, but also as stables, where Marjo runs her Finnish horse breeding program.

The majority of the horses on the farm are related to each other in one way or another. For example, my mount, nine-year-old Bono, named after the U2 lead singer :-), is the half-brother of Aurora, who was ridden by Katya. Their mother also still lives on the farm; Marjo’s 18-year- old mare is the mother of this five-year- old stallion.


As you can imagine, the genealogical tree of the Maastotalli Prerya herd is quite ramified.

Brushing the horses was easy and almost unnecessary, as with the temperature slightly below zero, they didn’t have a chance to get really muddy.


However, saddling was challenging—given a chance to not work for a few weeks, the ponies had stored enough fat and grown enough fur to make our attempts to buckle the girths almost impossible, even on the last hole.


Struggling with the saddle had its advantages; I finally stopped shivering and felt warm enough to take off my coat.

When all three horses were ready, we rode into the forest. For the first time in two days, we had some glimpses of the meager sun, giving us hope of taking some good pictures.


Finland’s nature was even more striking than we expected.

Barely half a kilometer away from the stable, we met a pair of wild deer. Well, we as humans would have certainly missed them, if it had not been for our horses. Katya’s Aurora stiffened and pointed her ears to the left, looking in the direction her ears were pointed we saw the deer.


It felt a bit unsettling to know that our human senses are so weak that an animal as big as a deer can pass by unnoticed 8-O. Later, Marjo told us that it’s not unusual to meet lynxes and moose in that forest.


The Finn horses were amazing. Nothing could stop or spook them. Aurora and Bono walked at the same tempo and speed on the roads covered with a thin layer of ice and over the logs blocking the narrow forest paths. Their broad, fluffy backs felt like comfortable sofas, be it walk, trot, or canter.



Taking @lifebetweentheyears shot :-)

Marion explained their calmness, balance, and friendly behavior with the fact that all of them were born and raised on the farm and had never experienced ill will, so they simply don’t have a reason to be scared or mean.


On the way back, I thought that I would love to experience this place in different seasons, as I’m sure that it looks different every month, though always breathtakingly beautiful.


Useful links:

Maastotalli Prerya facebook page:

Maastotalli Prerya site:


Country #33 – Norway: Meeting an Equine Celebrity or Kiss me, Batman

Be open to the world, and the world will open up back to you. That’s what my friend told me when I had just started blogging. And I keep seeing proof of it. For instance, six out of the 10 countries I rode in this year I found thanks to my Instagram.

My Norway ride was yet another story that started in the virtual world. About a year and a half ago, I first found Matilde Brand’s account. Her pictures were full of life, and her bond with her strikingly beautiful Frisian horse Batman looked almost impossible and magical. Her ability to ride tackless was (and still is) pretty much beyond my understanding.

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Naturally, when I decided to visit Oslo, I sent a message to Matilde, and a couple of weeks later, we were on the train from Oslo to Moss chatting about digital marketing, horses, vegetarian food, Nevzorov Haute Ecole, positive reinforcement, and dozens of other topics.

Upon our arrival at the stables, we went to meet Batman and Takawi (a Friesian KPWN cross that I was supposed to ride later that day). Having a bag of carrots, I was immediately surrounded by gentle giants politely but persistently asking for their treats.


We led Batman out and brought him to the tack room to do some serious brushing. 8-O


The location of the stables allows horses to wander in the woods and communicate freely in their small herd but also stay under the roof in harsh weather should they decide so. Naturally, they use this opportunity to the fullest, and cleaning them up can easily serve as both a warm-up and a weight-loss workout.

Before Matilde allowed me in the round pen with Batman, she gave me a master class on communication with him.


Then, I was given a carrot and ordered to give Batman a chunk of it every time he did what I asked. “Bite them really small; you’ll need every piece of it,” she instructed me.

We started with ground work. Batman followed me..;


he made turns on request..,


kissed me… :-)


and hugged me with his strong neck..,


and posed for pictures…


And you know what? It didn’t feel like he was doing it for the carrots, but rather for the love of a game.

For the next step, Matilde explained to me how to make Batman canter next to me.

I don’t think I will ever find the words to adequately explain that sensation. Imagine pure energy in the form of a long-maned Frisian willingly following your moves and tangibly enjoying it.


After half a carrot was gone :-), I mounted Batman and walked him with the halter for a couple of rounds, then I removed it the same way Matilde had done before and tried to trot him completely tackless. It wasn’t difficult to make him trot, or even canter, but keeping him next to the fence was a challenge.


With Matilde it had looked so effortless, so simple, as if Batman was reading her mind. But when my turn came, I realized how much I still needed to learn, how much fine tuning that type of riding and communication with horses requires. Later, I progressed to paying more attention to the position of my body, hands, and head, and it immediately had an effect on Batman’s moves.


I would say that the most important insight of that day was the fact that riding horses without bridle and saddle is possible for everybody. And although it requires a lot of work, it also gives an incomparable level of satisfaction.


After we finished my first (and hopefully not the last) tackless riding lesson, Linn brought Takawi, a 182-cm-tall Barock Pinto gelding, to the tack room for brushing and saddling.

Takawi was the first horse that I have ever ridden that was taller than me.


He always has a few pieces of shavings on his extreme points, as no one can reach them when brushing him :-).

Saddling him looked like a separate sport discipline, as Linn had to take a swing before placing the saddle on his back.

Mounting Takawi takes a table, not a bench or a stepstool.


And, he is one of the sweetest and kindest horses that I have ever ridden.



We rode in a circle on the slippery fields that were yet to be covered with snow, and it felt so peaceful and safe on the back of this 18-hand giant that I secretly hoped that the ride would last forever.

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And, I’m a little jealous of Matilde and Linn, as they can ride in this beautiful place all year long.


Useful links:

to follow Matilde and Batman journey join them on:

Instagram: @matildebrandt

Facebook: Matilde Brandt

You can also find more about Linn, Takawi and Linn’s another horse Prinsen on Instagram @imaginetakawi