We were lucky to be able to sit down with our ambassador, Veronica, who joins us all the way from Norway! We were able to talk to her about some of the differences between being an equestrian in Norway vs. the US!
Horseplay: What has it been like for you to join the Horseplay team from all the way in Norway?
Veronica: Being welcomed into the Ambassador
family has been beyond exciting! What a great bunch of people! Even though we are from different countries, states, or from different parts of the world, we are one big family and I'm so happy to be a part of it. A whole new horse world of showing has opened up, wish we had so much of that in Norway. Then it would be easier to promote Horseplay Apparel in person, but I do my best in social media.
Horseplay: Tell us about a typical day at your barn?
Veronica: A typical day at the barn is arriving after work, around 5 pm. I usually start my chores right away, I like to not have that to think about when I'm on a hack or do flatwork.. Right now at wintertime it usually gets pretty dark here around 6pm, then I usually do the stalls and then do the feed when I get back in.
The days when I'm off work I actually spend hours at the barn. We have so many amazing people at our bar. It's a grown up environment, but we also have youngsters who come around for lessons. When we all have those days, we do our chores and then use some hours just talking and laughing, a lot! If you come to Stall Henne, you hear the laughter before you see the people and horses.
I'm at the barn two times a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesday is my flatwork day, when the ring is free. Sometimes I also get the time to take the donkey for a walk after training Bliss. Fridays I have Ingrid with me, a 9 year old girl who takes the donkey for a hack.
Horseplay: What is it like being an equestrian in Norway? Is it a popular sport there?
Veronica: Being an Equestrian in Norway is PRETTY expensive. And I have a feeling it's completely different from the UK/Europe and the USA. We don't really have those huge horse shows honestly. It's mostly if you are riding for a club and stuff that you get to know about the shows. We don't have Pony Clubs either, not that I know of anyway. We have riding clubs, but that's totally different.
Mostly in Norweigian barns you'll meet not only riding horses. You'll meet more of the trotters and horses that are both ridden and are in front of a wagon. So there's not really a totally clean riding barn
We have riding schools, but lessons here are overpriced, so usually most of us do that for a couple of years before we look for lease horses or loan horses. We usually don't have a trainer like I have an impression most in the USA have. I do have a dressage trainer, but she comes 2 times a month. And in riding school we have the trainers that work there and they do their work.
So no, it's not that popular, like we don't have the big shows and when we have Kingsland Oslo Horse Show in Oslo, it's mostly just the same people going year after year. And it's only for 4-5 days and open for us for 3 days, and just for the elite riders.
And our OTTB's, they are not OTTB's but usually trotting horses that are no longer making money and sold for a cheap price as riding horses.
Horseplay: How did you find Bliss and Teline?
Veronica: I had a half lease horse for about 5 years (or a little more) and when he moved away I was really sad because we had a pretty good relationship. Then when he moved away with his owners, I had no horse. For half a year I tagged along with a friend of mine to the barn she had her horse at and I borrowed a funny Fjord, but we didn't really connect and I missed that a lot, having a horse that you feel the connection with.
Then, after a while I kept having the feeling that I need a horse in my life, so I wrote a status on Facebook. From having the half lease horse, Rigel, I also gained a lot of barn friends in the same area (Hestedalen as we call it) and at that barn. So I had some contacts there. Right after putting out: "I miss a horse in my life and I really miss riding on a regular basis. Is there anyone out there who has a horse or knows of a horse that needs someone to love it 1-2 times a week, I'm totally in!" I had it out for about 30 seconds, then a friend from the old barn tagged Arianah from her new barn, who owns Bliss and Teline. Arianah wrote me a message and told me about Bliss and Teline. One week after, May 15th, 2015, I went to see her. When I first saw Bliss I was like, this is the horse. Then I tried her, went for a hack, and I just knew that this was really the horse I wanted to loan. So we agreed on a loan once a week, then a half a year later we agreed on two times a week! Now we've known each other for 2.5 years. And Teline was sort of a package deal. I had to do her stall and take her in when I had Bliss. But I fell head over heels for both Bliss and the donkey, so Teline got her fair share of hanging out with us. And this summer, Ingrid, a little kid I knew from my work in kindergarden tags along and Teline is thrilled to have her as "her own" personal human!
So I found Bliss (my heart horse) and Teline (my heart donkey) through a friend of a friend on Facebook. And they are in a barn that is just a 20 minute walk from the old barn! Same area!
Horseplay: That worked out perfectly! What has been your favorite moment so far with Bliss and Teline?
Veronica: Favorite moment with Bliss is recent actually! I went with the owners of her to a photo/video shoot. We went to the trotting track here in Bergen and they have this place where they can train their horses in speed. A stretch that goes about 2 kilometres straight. We filmed when the owner was galloping from a car! And I also got to really gallop on Bliss while the owners drove right beside us and filmed! I also got some good pictures!
Favorite moment with Teline has to be when they got back from summer pasture. Teline was so tired of being out in the rain and so thrilled to be back in her stall, she laid down and I sat in her stall for over an hour just cuddling with her.
Veronica, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! We are in love with that little donkey, Teline! And Bliss is so beautiful!