Idyllic field

28 april 2021

The horses have been in a lot of beautiful fields till now, but where they are now is definitely the most idyllic. A slope towards the sea, small sandy beach, and absolutely loaded with grass and spring flowers. There is such a variety of flowers that we leave large sections for later, so the bees and other insects can profit now 🐝🐛🦗🌷🌿

Idyllic field Meer lezen »

Shepherd walk

25 april 2021

Throughout the winter we’ve been making shepherd walks with the horses. We wander through the landscape following the horses on their search for food, like a shepherd with his herd. When they stay in a place some time longer, we sit close by until they decide to move on. We experience these walks as a lovely way to relax, to clear our minds of everything that is going on this time in history, to enjoy the company of and connectedness with the horses, to be in nature.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn6Gx0c9SuQ leads to a short impression of a shepherd walk.

Once we’ve got everything organised around the horses, I will offer these walks as part of our programs. So stay tuned!

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Feeding boxes

20 march 2021

This winter we have been making slow feeder feeding boxes for the horses. We already had slow feeder nets that we hung in trees, but they were empty relatively quickly and the position in which the horses eat from them is not the most beneficial for their posture; when they graze they have their heads low to the ground. And filling the nets is a hassle.

We had wooden boxes made and constructed a frame from pvc pipes around which we ‘wove’ a part of an existing net. However, the horses broke these nets very easily. I then decided to make nets myself, from 3 mm rope. The result works very well. There is a box for each horse.

The idea for the boxes came from a very instructive tutorial made by Magic Equus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gWGFtMKbe4

Maybe this is useful for you? Let me know if you have any questions.

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Winter snow

15 feb 2021

Yesterday I saw a lot of beautiful snow pictures from all over Pilion on Facebook. Here in Kalamos however there was no snow.

In the late afternoon it slowly started snowing and this morning we woke up to a white world. So beautiful.

But there’s also a lot of damage; on our way to the horses we cleared the road from a few large broken olive branches. We saw lemon trees already heavy with almost ripe fruit split in half. And at the field we had to repair parts of the fences. I did not know snow could be so heavy!

The horses were fine and enjoyed their breakfast in an open spot, away from their feeding area covered with snow laden trees. The sun came out and it was so warm I could take off my gloves!

And it was stunningly beautiful 🙏❄️✨💫☀️💖

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The winter field

29 january 2021

What a lovely sight this morning, arriving at the winter field where the horses are now and seeing they were there!

Last week this was not always the case – they broke out of the field five times. We were puzzled, we could not find where they had left. The field is partly surrounded by a wooded area, which is so dense we did not have to fence it. Or so we thought. It took five break outs before we found something like a small open part they could have used as a way out ☺️. Clever horses! Now it seems our new fence is working.

We’re very happy with this winter field. It is a long abandoned olive grove with big old trees, overgrown and partly taken over by woodland. We cleared the paths, made a shelter for the horses, and arranged a feeding area under some shady trees. It is close to a lot of fields we can take them to for walks, and close to the beach.

Happy! ☺️🙏❤

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Early January walk

8 january 2021

The weather has been incredibly beautiful and we regularly take the horses out for a bite of fresh greens. There are some olive groves nearby, close to the sea. It’s so lovely to see the youngsters enjoying their freedom, running around. And they love a good roll on the beach.

Join us for a few minutes on our walk 🙂

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2020 moving into 2021

29 december 2020

What a year this has been!

A year in which our main activity has been keeping six horses alive in a way that corresponds best with their nature and needs. Horses are nomadic herd animals with strong family bonds. They migrate while looking for food that consists of a great variety of different plants, grasses, herbs, shrubs, mosses and even bark. They walk and they eat.

We cannot provide our horses with the freedom of a true nomadic life. But here in Greece we can move them from olive grove to olive grove in different areas, what makes for a large variety of plants to eat. And we can make grazing walks with them. This year we’ve been laying the basis of a structure in which we will eventually have access to sufficient olive groves for the whole year. We have reached a stage in which farmers come to ask us to bring the horses to their fields, also some who were doubtful in the beginning. I am very proud of this achievement.

I love being with the horses, taking them out on walks, taking care of them, learning from them. I love the physical work outside in the fields, enjoying the silence and space of this beautiful country. I love the prospect of sharing this wonderful herd with others next year when Greece will be able to receive guests again.

This year has not been easy, far from it. There have been setbacks. Like the loss of Kyran early this spring. I have not yet been able to look at pictures of him, the pain is too raw. In summer the work was hard, the heat overwhelming. We have known exhaustion and despair. Like last week, when our carefully arranged supply of hay for the whole winter period turned out to be sold. Where do you find hay in December? How do you get six horses through the winter without hay?

It has been wonderful to experience how resilient we are. We just bounce back every time, finding new inspiration and energy. This year has also taught me to ask for help. There’s no need to feel ashamed when you ask for help. And most people are very willing to help.

My biggest challenge has been handling the fear and worries. Not for me, but for the well being of the horses. Six of these huge creatures and so many things that can go wrong. I have spent many nightly hours watching the fear, feeling it. I have learned to be with it without letting it influence my decisions. I made a mantra of the following sentence: ‘I trust that everything we need for ourselves and for our animals will come to us in ease and abundance, at exactly the right time.’ I hold this in my mind and heart when I go to sleep and I set it as an intention for the day in the morning. And somehow everything has fallen into place, problems got solved, and there have been the most beautiful synchronicities reaching solutions to us when we didn’t expect them.

So it is a year to be grateful for. And we are. We feel very blessed that we have been able to be here in this strange time in history and do what we love. I have never felt so vibrant and alive. And I look forward to 2021, in which we will continue our exciting adventure with our animal family in this most beautiful place on earth.

A blessed and happy new year to you all ❤❤❤

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Field finding

19 october 2020

Today I spent half the day looking for the owner of a piece of land. It was a true adventure, driving and walking to different areas in town, making phone calls and searching through Facebook, speaking to a lot of people. It is so gratifying how helpful everyone is, providing me with answers, suggestions and advice.

The other half of the day was with the horses, on a relaxed eat-walk. This is such a wonderful life, doing what I love most, and working on prolonging and expanding. The times with the horses bring so much happiness.

And yes, in the evening I finally found the person I was looking for, and yes, they gave permission to use their field.

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September 2020

28 september 2020

September has been such a blissfull month. After the suffocating heat of July and August the temperatures dropped to a much better level, there were some rains and the sudden stormy winds brought high waves and wonderful skies. Our energy levels improved, making the work of finding olive groves for the horses to graze and fencing in the fields much lighter.

We’re learning how to go about finding owners of fields: sometimes a good looking olive grove is owned by four different people. In Pilion there’s always someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows the owner, and at the taverna in Argalasti they know almost everyone. And most people agree to have the horses on their fields. We’re getting good at this 🙂

There’s also energy again for activities with the horses. Our most favourite one still is taking them on walks. Four horses are free during these walks and it’s a great pleasure to see them galloping and kicking our of sheer joy. The longer we are with the horses, the more we love them and enjoy their company and energy. This is truly a beautiful life, however challenging it sometimes is.

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