In Turkey

Hello from Alanya, Turkey. A city in the south coast that most Europeans know only as a town with good beaches and shopping opportunities and lots of other tourists. This city and country is lots of else, too, if you just step outside the tourist area. The people are kind and very hospitable and even though no one would speak any other language than Turkish, you will be treated with kindness. This is a huge country with magnificent history between East and West. Past decades the finance has been growing rapidly and the result at a time is a stunning mix of modern cities, high-tech and the traditional ways of life and beautiful nature. The outcome of the mix is sometimes hilarious. You can for example be shopping in a new, modern shopping center but when you step out, the road next to the shopping center is working as an animal market and is crowded with cows, goats, chickens etc.

I’m showing more photos of the nature and agriculture side and of course horses, because they are the thing that interests me wherever I go. I wish that the traditions could be preserved also in the future in the middle of the modernization. Not everything should be clean and shiny and in my point of view, dull. Probably no one listens to my wishes in this case, though :)

Red light traffic jam. In the photo you don’t hear the sound of the horns all over. There was a wedding party in the jam behind the horses, but everyone are there nicely together and the horses didn’t pay any attention to the hassle and noise. 

On the next road to our new modern apartment in the city is an old deserted building and now it is changed as a temporary cow shed. Cows, sheeps and goats are transported into the city for the Kurban Bayramı that starts this year 25.10.

The nature in Turkey is wonderful and amazing. It’s very different in different parts of the country. There are great possibilities for outdoor activities. Turkey has several hiking routes of hundreds of kilometers long. This photo is from the Taurus Mountains where I have been hiking.

In the middle of wilderness the mountain slopes are sometimes dotted with villages. The sight reminds me of the tales of forgotten realms.

The mosque of the village named Pembelik. At least I think I was in Pembelik, but the maps on the side roads are not at all accurate and while traveling in the countryside I’m not always completely sure where I am… :D

And then the horses! Mustafa Özkan has a riding stable near Alanya and he offers riding tours on the hill slopes around his stable. The horses are well kept and well behaving, so they also carry riders without previous experience. Still they are forward going and gentle with an experienced rider. The riding trip includes the pick up from the hotel or holiday resort, riding and lunch.

History is everywhere around in Turkey. The stable is located near the ruins of Syedra castle. The usual riding routes are a easier, but I have been riding many times in Mustafa’s stable and this time with another skilled Finnish rider we got again an adventure with the horses. For example riding down the stairs in the castle is not a big problem for the horses. Mustafa is taking good care of them and is not asking too much. He trains the horses bit by bit and if the task seems to be too hard for the horse, then we dismount and lead the horses or find another route. This time Mustafa himself was riding quite a recently bought horse and he was walking a lot and leading his horse through the difficult places, because the horse was not yet strong and balanced enough to carry the rider on the stony uphills or stairs in the castle :D

A farrier is a farrier and I can’t stay away from my passion, horses’ hoofs. The horses were shod quite recently, but I was changing couple of nails. They wear out really fast on the stony paths. I also wanted to work a bit on this horse, because he is a bit shy to shoe but I really like this horse and I wanted to know if I can get his trust in shoeing, too.

Education weekend

Last weekend the farriers in Finland had at least two fine educational events to choose :) Hovslagarmäster Mikael Westberg from Strömsholm, Sweden, gave a clinic concerning laminitis in Tampere. In Turku Olli Mäkelä CertES(Orth) and Jaakko Granström CE-F gave a clinic on Saturday and Sunday. Two days included lectures and shoeing concerning basic principles and different traumas and conditions affecting the shoeing job. I was busy otherwise and so I was attending only the clinic in Turku on Sunday.



The main idea of the Turku clinic was to educate how you can easily help horses in many common conditions without that much extra equipment or forging skills. This is the shoe to help a horse with ossification of collateral cartilages. Easy to make from a factory made shoe by rolling the toe and then grinding the outside branch for easy roll over also sideways. Usually the ossification exists or is worse on the external cartilage and especially sideturns may be difficult for the horse.

A laminitic pony, already over the acutic phase, but with distorted hoof capsule, got Natural Balance shoes to ease the breakover and give protection to the sole area under the tip of p3. (The pony’s foot is the one in the middle. Had to clarify it just to make sure everyone keeps up ;))

The extra toe is cut off. No need at this phase to weaken the hoof wall too much by rasping the toe in line, a correct breakover is enough and in time the hoof capsule will grow down in the correct line.

Do you think that the black foot behind is a little bit too long still? Shouldn’t that be cut a bit shorter, too? ;)

Pony posing with her newly shod hoofs to the audience.