Fred Ivar Falck Husum - NHE official representative in Norway
When I was a little child I dreamed about riding a horse galloping through the field with the wind flowing through the hair. Unfortunately we did not have a horse, but my dad raised a small group of cattle. The young ones became innocent victims of a childs stupid romantic dreams and innocent ignorance. It was no big success...
But after some years of continuous pleading finally my parents gave in and bought our first horse. A little pony, a Nordlandshorse called Stella. She was pregnant and not ridden before. Very calm, beautiful, patient and full of trust. The perfect family horse. It did not take us long to turn her into a frantic nervous wreck.
Very soon I outgrew her wanting something "faster". The nervous wreck was left to my younger brothers. I got a new horse. A 6 year old Swedish Warmblood. Her name was Cornelia and she became my soulmate. We were together always. But my love for speed and adrenaline became her curse. Seeking thrills I wanted to do cross country and three day eventing. She did everything I asked to the best of her abilities, because she knew this was what I wanted. Unfortunately all the running, hazardous riding and jumping took its toll on her legs, ligaments, skeleton and muscles very fast. Her whole organism was badly affected. When she reached the age of tvelve we parted due to a young man's military duty and bad economy. She was lame and paralyzed in pain although I failed to see it. Or maybe I did not dare to admit it to myself?
This is a long time ago now, but still I wake up with tears in my eyes reminded about her in my dreams. And I have to live with what I have done for the rest of my life. Not knowing what happened to her is the worst part. She had a heart of gold and she will never be forgotten.
A new beginning
For many years there were no horses in my life. I pursued a career as a tattoo artist and built motorbikes for a hobby. Finally, I found my future wife and soon we where a family. We wanted to move back to my childhood farm to relieve my parents. The process did take some years and during this time my father and I rebuilt everything to a small boarding facility. Traditional farming with pigs, sheep or cattle was just not something I wanted. Horses were much more appealing. I did not have plans of having any horses myself, but half a year before the move it happened quite suddenly. By a strange series of coincidences I came across a 5 year old Friesian gelding with the name Harm. Newly arrived from Holland, he was furious at everybody, especially children. It was very obvious he had been badly mistreated for a long time. In addition he was underweight and showing signs of serious neck trauma. Nevertheless, something must have happened, because very soon he was ours. Maia, a 3 year old mare of the same breed joined us shortly after. Beautiful as a real Queen and with a temper to match.
Having had some years to “mature” I am a bit calmer so I wanted to train them in dressage, building their bodies and beautiful movements. However this was not exactly what I had been doing before so I felt the need to re-educate myself. I started to search on the internet for books and DVD`s and bought tons of those. Amongst them was “The Horse Crucified and Risen” and “Nevzorov Haute Ecole Principles” by Alexander Nevzorov. This was the day everything changed! Everything I believed in, everything I thought I knew and everything I had done until now was worth absolutely nothing. My feet were knocked from under me and everything fell apart.
After a few days of serious soulsearching in complete confusion and despair I knew I had to start all over again. I had no idea of what to do or how to poceed, but I knew there was no way I could go on like before. The new bought saddle was sold and bridle thrown away and it was decided on the spot never to be used again.
We went trough more or less a year with undemanded time doing nothing but care for the horses and at the same time educating myself in a new way of thinking. I was trying to digest the NHE philosophy and understand the meaning behind the words “The horse is always right” and “The horse is an exact science”. So simple, yet so difficult. The year passed fast as the horses slowly recovered from previous shoeing and riding practice.
Now everything is starting to come together. We are at a new beginning. Harm and Maia are enjoing the very start of their education gaining knowledge which will, instead of causing pain, injuries and breaking them down, help them develop the body, health and inteligence in a positive and constructive way. Their spirits and individual personal characteristics is no longer corrected or suppressed in any way, but rather welcomed and encouraged. They are treated like conscious, intelligent and delicate beings and respond to it in an amazing way. They are the King and Queen, and although I am the one supposed to teach them I know in reality I am the one who is learning the most.
I have to thank Alexander and Lydia for making this possible, but I know for sure if they could, Harm and Maia would like to thank them most of all.
Photos by Marita Egelandsdal Husum, Helge Alme, Craig Petty and Ingrid Bjørgo Helgesen