It's been about a week since I touched down back in Europe and I haven't stopped moving since.
To say that I like it here is an understatement. It's one of the best things I've done for myself and my career to date. I miss my horses, cats and my significant other, but I feel at home here. It's a step forward in many places, and I've learned a lot even in a short time.
The barn is lovely as it is modern with a candyland of horses to choose be around.
I have my usual set of six, plus a few others that I get to rotate through if there's enough time. I get to coach a little, and in return I'm coached. The energy is positive, friendly but professional. We have a job to do, and we need to do it. All I work with is the young horses, I wanted this specifically for my own program since I've begun to reach into that market more and more. My oldest is five, with the youngest being two. My two favorites are the Ampere and sarkozy followed by the Don Index. They couldn't be more different.
I'm regretting that I just am doing three months. There's so much here to see and do.
It's also incredibly satisfying to be around people with the same goals and mentality about the business. Horses are practical here, there's no shying away from the discussion of commission or even day-to-day issues.
The barn is the same here and abroad, horses basic needs do not change from one country to the next. But the country, like every place,has its own cycle, its own way and pride for doing things. This is not Holland, the mentality is more traditional and in my opinion, much more correct. You see it in how the horses are treated and worked. While they are commodities, they are loved and treated as well as possible. Pedigrees run not only through equine generations but family generations, no matter where you turn you find a story or someone who stood or owned the horse that you've read about.
If there's one benefit of being illiterate, is you listen and watch more than you would if you know the language. My German is pigeon at best with most phrases and sentences surrounding the barn and it's needs. My teacher is all of five, he's persistent despite my ineptitude. But immersion does wonderful thing for learning languages and making friends, and to be honest, kindness is universal.
As the world turns at home, Flair is shipping down. Poor timing on my end but better late than never.