My Experience as a Working Student at a Horse Farm in Denmark

This is truly the dream of a lifetime.

From a very young age I remember seeing the Lipizanners perform and other European trainers working their horses.  I was so moved by the magical way they seemed to work with their horses that it would bring me to tears.  I dreamed that maybe one day I could do this.

Well, life can throw us some curves and it seemed that it would always be just a dream for me. I have never had a lot of money and I had my daughter young so no travelling for me plus I was a single mother for her first 5 years.  Then marriage with 2 step children.  Life gets busy right!  So no time for anything else.  That's ok.. I had some really nice horses and enjoyed them thoroughly. Well... life keeps changing.  Unexpectedly, I get divorced. So now I'm REALLY broke... haha.. No time or money for dreaming just work, work, work.

And then I meet some one very special an unexpected meeting.... and the doors to possibilities and dreams start to open again.  Not that I have anymore money... hahaha... but now I am with a wonderful person that says don't give up on your dreams... no matter what!... Wow... am I lucky or what...

So, his parents decide they want to go to Denmark to visit their relatives and they want us to go with them.  Eeek.... I'm afraid to fly.  Never done it.  Could never afford it.... But I AM NOT missing out on this opportunity no matter how scared I am!!!

Two weeks before we leave a friend sends me a wonderful story on Facebook about Bent Branderup the founder of Academic Art of Riding and the incredible way he works with horses.  I think to myself, "hey I'm going to be in Europe maybe I can meet him".... not knowing at the time that he lives in Denmark! I sent him an email and he very graciously invited me to spend a day at his farm watching him teach and ride.  What a wonderful experience to watch him work his horses!  While there I met his working students.  I didn't know of this type of opportunity.  It's the perfect option for me.

 It's a way to learn with out having to spend a ton of money.  All you have to do is pay for a flight to get there and then you do the barn work in exchange for living there and lessons.  I asked Bent if this was something I could do with him.  He said, "Unfortunately no, he only has his stallions that he trains for himself but no lesson horses.  After talking more with him about this he recommended that I contact Michelle Wolf one of this certified trainers in Denmark, which I did.  So from the end of January 2016 to the beginning of April.

This was only the second time I had ever flown anywhere and doing it all by myself was an interesting experience.  I loved it!  Denmark is a very safe and easy place to travel.  When I got off the plane I had to take a train to the main station in Copenhagen and then get a train to the small town I was staying in. I had a huge suitcase for my 2 1/2 month stay plus 2 carry ons.  It was very awkward and heavy to manage it all on my own.  Well, the nicest young man from Italy who was living in Denmark while going to the University was such a gentleman about helping me find the right train and was a great help with all my luggage.  Then I had to transfer to another train and I met some really nice young girls from Belgium who also helped me with my ridiculous luggage. What a great welcome to a wonderful country!!

So now I'm settled on the farm living in a small apartment in a barn that was built in the 1600's.. thatched roof and all... how cool is that! My roomy and workmate is a very tall young Swedish man... He's almost 6' 7" and I'm only 5' 2"... hahaha... quite a difference in our heights I would say.  I think I'm the oldest student they have had at 51 years of age.  Hey, it's never to late for our dreams it?

What an interesting way to get back into horses.  After, a life almost always filled with horses and then breeding Foxtrotters for about 15 years during which time my life was fully immersed with horses I went through a difficult divorce, had some very serious health issues, through which I lost everything.  Husband, horses, dogs, cats, health, home, money... everything, I lost it all.  It was a very dark time for me.  I truly believed that chapter of my life was over forever.  I couldn't see any possibility of getting back into horses... I just simply didn't have the time or the money.  All I could do was work and could barely get by just on my own never mind the thought of caring for animals. But then I met someone very special. Even though he has absolutely no interest in horses he encouraged me to live my dreams. So Denmark here I come!!!

To be continued....

Please stay tuned for the rest of the story....


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