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One student's experience in Sweden
Hello everyone at SWANA, my name is Viktoria Moes and I am writing from Sweden. I am a Canadian student who is spending a year in Sweden at an equestrian and agriculture school called Bollerup. It’s a school which is also a breeding farm for Swedish Warmbloods. A little background on me; I have been around horses since I was three years old and have been taking lessons and working with them since I was five. My first full lease on a horse was when I was 13. I ride in Southlands in Vancouver, and have been there most of my riding career. Other places I have worked with horses is France for three months on an exchange in grade 10, and now in Sweden for a year. I am mostly working with young Swedish Warmbloods here, though I am also helping a friend train her French Trotting horse to learn how to be ridden as she only does driving with her. When I came to Sweden I knew almost no Swedish; my mother is Swedish but never spoke Swedish at home. I have always wanted to know what she was saying when conversing with her family, hence the move. The students here are very good in English and helpful if you want to push yourself with Swedish. The teachers are also very good at speaking English, and will switch willingly to Swedish when you feel that you’re good enough to do so. All my classes are in Swedish, but when I took tests I was allowed to have my dictionary with me and I could write in English. This includes riding lessons, which I found quite difficult to follow at the beginning of the year, most of the time I did not realize they were speaking to me because I couldn’t understand them. This excludes my young horse lessons, as one of my trainers spent 6 years in the US, we speak English with each other. I have a few horses that I am working with. I am working with two young horses at the moment, though in the course you are supposed to work with one. The reason for this is that the 2 year old I started with was very difficult, bordering on dangerous and therefore I switched to a more trainable horse until the first horse was able to be ridden. Tigris, the first horse, gets very nervous when he doesn’t understand exactly what is expected of him. He did not understand the concept of a person getting onto him. As you don’t just sit up on a horse you’re breaking I would hang on him to have weight on his back and try to get him to move. Instead of moving he would tense up until he exploded, bucking, rearing and bolting around the ring. He did this a few times until my instructors deemed him unsafe for a first time horse breaker. I switched to Jasmine, who is much more trainable. Two of the trainers have been working with Tigris to try to get him more suitable for me to ride. I recently switched back to him but the 3 year olds test is in a few weeks and I have only sat on Tigris once so I am continuing to work with Jasmine as well. My horse outside of school is Jamarra, a French trotter. I usually work with her twice a week. When I started with her she had had very little training under saddle, and had even not been under saddle for a year when I met her. She gets driven with a wagon or driven from the ground every day that I do not work with her, so she isn’t untrained. When she was younger (she is 7) she did trotting races with the wagon and so we are trying to train her to be calm. That’s an introduction to me. I will be sending in posts once a week. If you want to read more about the school you can go to my blog: viktoriamoes.blogspot.com or check out the school website at bollerup.se. The school website is in Swedish but there is an English section which has a little information about the school. For questions you can post comments on my blog or send me an email at viktoria.moes@gmail.com
Last updated on: 4/14/2011