This is getting already a bit scary. There must be some magic in this country, because everything is going so extremely well and I have had such a luck with everything that I just haven’t had a bad moment the whole time I’ve been here. I have met wonderful people all over, everyone has been helping me all the way long and I have had lots of luck with everything, finding the right places and people in the right time. And if the Norwegians still try to tell me that it is raining here all the time, I don’t believe a word! Right now I’m writing this on a nice cabin’s nice terrace in the evening sun. And I got already quite badly sunburned while hiking in the mountains
I’ve got some photos from the last week adventures. Sadly I have none of the three days hiking in Jotunheimen National Park. I packed my camera with me, but when I was going to shoot photos of reindeers in the fog after some hours walk from my car, I noticed that the camera had been switched on and the battery was empty. Then I carried with me three days that camera with no battery through beautiful sceneries and some quite demanding climbs and descents. At least I got some more exercise because of the extra weight in my backpack!
After my last blogpost I drove my car to Tretten to meet Siv Ørnvall, a very goodhearted person I really wanted to see during my visit. I think I got my muscels in my stomach sore of lots of laughing during one afternoon and morning. I was honoured to start with Siv a shoeing project on her own horse and I’m very interested to hear how the project will develop.. If it goes well, the Toe Shoeing Company ltd. we founded will be a huge success and we’ll become rich and famous all over the world!
photo: Siv Ørnvall
Trimming Siv’s two years old foal’s hooves. Siv’s horsemanshipskills and goodheartedness can be seen in her horses. This was maybe the best behaving foal I’ve ever trimmed
I thought somewhere in the beginning of my trip that it would be cool to drive through the Trollstigen. Then I thought that I have no time to go that way and I need to skip it. After leaving Jotunheimen I just quickly checked from my road map a nice looking round trip a bit more west so that I’ll see some fjords and landscapes there before I’ll head back more east where I had booked a riding trip in the mountains for the next day.
And what happened! Suddenly I noticed the signs. I was turning on the road 63, Trollstigen! I couldn’t but laugh. Cool, I mistakenly thought The Road was more up north, but as I earlier told, there is some magic around and everything in Norway seems to go my way
Roads are in many places cut by the fjords. On the road 63 waiting the ship to take cars over the water.
In the next morning I arrived to Kvistli, a stable the farriers in south Norway recommended me. And there I met the farrier from Trondheim area, Håkan Hàkaføt. They had a shoeing day with Morten Saeterhaug, the householder. Morten is also educating himself a farrier. There is lots of shoeing to be done in the stable with 80 horses. 50 of the horses are shod in the summertime. The rest are mares with foals etc. that need only to be trimmed.
This was again a lucky coincidence. I was going to the riding trip I really was expecting and on the top of it I met a farrier and apprentice in the stable and they had so much work to do and some help was welcome, so after a while of discussing I was determined to take my own toolbox out of the car after my riding trip. There I was again, shoeing and learning things from a skilled farrier who has lot of knowledge and has been shoeing horses probably before I had even touched one.. But first something of the riding trip that was an experience for me.
The road goes ever on..
I would have been happy to take a several days trip in the mountains but I was too late arranging my riding, so I had only a 3 hour riding trip. But already that was fine enough. My horse was absolutely great for me, I was told he has an easy tolt and nice gallop and even when I have not ridden icelandic horses that much, after a while I found the way to ask my horse to tolt and stay in tolt. That’s a much more comfortable gait in trailriding than trot. He was forward going but not nervous at all, forgave me my mistakes and carried himself well so he felt like a much bigger horse. The horse’s name was too difficult for me to learn (I’m always in trouble with the names of icelandic horses.. :)) but it meant a “King”. That was how he carried himself.
The riding tours are located in Rondane National Park. The horses are surefooted and climbing up and down the mountain slopes, wading cross the deep streams or on a swampy area or crossing bridges is not a problem for them. On a hot and sunny day crossing the river was a refreshing experience For anyone planning a riding holiday I can honestly recommend. I’m already thinking that how and when could I arrange for myself a several days tour..
And after the riding.. back to work! I was all excited and happy again to shoe horses with Håkan and Morten. Håkan is doing his job in areas where there are not too many educated farriers or veterinary clinics and he has to think and solve himself many problems that otherwhere could easily be just sent to x-rays or somewhere else to be someone else’s problem. When that’s not possible, it develops a great skill to really see what and where the problem is and what kind of shoeing solution could work out. I felt that there was lots of knowledge in front of me and I listened carefully and I think I also got something. A great afternoon!
We worked quite late and after that had a dinner and sit on the terrace drinking wine and chatting in front of a beautiful scenery towards the mountains rising behind the green valley. And I was again wondering how did I end up in this situation? Great thanks to Anne Margrethe, Morten and other personnel of all the experience in Kvistli and of course for Håkon of sharing his knowledge and letting me to work with him.
Right now I feel that I owe something to whole Norway, I have met so nice and helpful people all around. It just means that you won’t get rid of me. I’ll be back! Ha ha, already in the end of September, see you in Norwegian Championships!