perjantai 17. heinäkuuta 2015
I think I have to share my story with you. It's not easy, since it involves being "naked" in front of you all but I will try. It all started when I was less than one year old. I learnt to speak at early age (and haven't paused since, as my unfortunately passed away dear mother always said) and my first word was heppa, horsey in Finnish language. When I got the change to ride for the first time around the glorious age of 5, I told my mom after several laps with an oldish pony that "this is what I'm going to do when I grow up". Well well!
My childhood was nice but peculiar. I learn to read when I was around 5 years old and I was so bored in school. So I daydreamed. I draw pictures about horses and riders. Brave riders, fine horses. My art teacher did not like me particularly much since my topics were always horses and other animals and I did not want to color inside the lines with soft tones and do traditional pictures with a house, sun, tree and a girl in the picture. It was horses, animals, dragons, aliens, and all kind of imaginary stuff I came up with.
I was drastically allergic to all animals when I was a kid but I didn't let it stop my passion. My family didn't allow me to have any furry pets so I searched and took some small lizards and frogs from the nature, kept them for few days and watched them and then let them go. It was fascinating. I upgraded to mice and moles and all kind of animals I could catch. And I desperately wanted to ride! Occasionally I could. But not enough. So I build a wooden horse. And several "hobby-horses" (some kind of play horse with a stick). You know what? It ended up keeping a hobby-horse stable, giving lessons and selling them when I was in elementary school. We ruined my parents lawn buy running around it in a circle, but oh it was so much fun. When my friends started to be interested in boys and booze, I was still playing with my playhorse and dreamed to have my own horse one day. In meanwhile I got the change to go to riding school and some summer camps, which was fabulous. So it really started. I wanted it, desperately.
There were many twists and turns. I was mocked at school pretty severely all the nine years. My interests were different. School was so boring and I found it limiting my creativity and own thinking. I didn't fit in. I never fit to anything. I still don't but now I embrace it! There's no box for me. I had absolutely no interest getting drunk and hang out at the middle of the night. I loved the nature, and always tried to be on the side of the weak and small. I created a bad mouth and a teflon armor. In the evenings I read all the books about nature, science, history, shamanism, psychology and religion because I wanted to understand. I was so curious about life and the universe. Still am. And of course draw a lot of pictures about the majestic horses...
We didn't have the financial opportunity to buy me a horse but I got to ride in some riding schools and rent a few ponies from time to time. My material was interesting. Old racers, naughty old ponies, naughty young ponies, Russian wrecks, old work horses, bat shit crazy Polish something but I didn't mind. I just wanted to be with horses and ride. Only problem was that even in the quite early age I found myself non-fit even in the riding world. Why do they had to be so harsh on the horses? Do you really have to use strong aids and gadgets? I think I was around 15 when it really hit me. I don't want to do it this way. But there was no other ways that I knew. Children - you must understand, I'm so old it was way before internet and this super vast information access available now ;) At that time we had only a bad library, rumors, urban legends and a lot of opinions.
I had very difficult horses. I was working in some stables while studying and I always got the most f*cked up ones. I felt bad for the ones without any special human friends and took them under my wings. I know how it feels to be left out and rejected. So I loved the f*cked up horses. I even bought one! My first own horse came to my life when I was 19. He was small, cute and absolutely messed up ex trotter racehorse, a finnhorse. I bought him because he had lovely eyes and he was as cheap as a basket of potatoes. I was his 14th owner. With a reason, I discovered quite fast... This horse was my turning point. He was so difficult, that I really had to figure out how to manage things and what changes I had to do within me. Oh, it was drastic, but so beneficial. Crucial even for my own growth. You know folks, when you are 20 something you always think NOW I have my shit together and I know something. Hah! Little you know at that age. Little I still know! Ask me again when I'm 120. Well. This particular horse anyhow made me grow a lot. I'm so happy for that.
Next horses I got to ride where the same caliber. Difficult. Crazy. Mean. Neglected. Hated. I loved them and I wanted to make them bloom! And most of them did. Only problem was that I was not very interested in the basic equestrian competition world and here in Finland it's everything. I have competed in dressage, eventing and showjumping because I felt I had to, and at first it was fun. Later not so. I hated to compromise about my riding because of competition situations, and I hated the feeling I had to push the horse off limits because I wanted to win. Because other people wanted me to win. The horse owners. My students. Of course, I understand, but my heart was suffering. I have been a full time horse professional with my own company 10 years now and another 10 years before that as a side business. At first I thought I HAVE to compete to have "name" and reputation. To show what I can do. But how can you demonstrate and show art and burning soul? It's not sports. It can be, but it doesn't have to be. My gift, my skill has always been the interactivity with horses. The love. The listening of the horse. How can I demonstrate that on a dressage arena where you get the best scores nowadays with very stressed horses? Uh. I struggled. I tried to fit in but again failed. I never lost my inspiration though, but I just had to figure out a way to do it my way. With peaceful heart, knowing I don't have to let my horses down by filling my own ego driven ambitions. I didn't want that anymore. Even if I knew the internet was full of crappy talk and people absolutely laughing at me. So what? It's their path. I have mine. I love to teach and inspire people, I love to ride, I love to hang out with horses. To play with them. To go to imaginary battles with them. To gallop fast in the mountains. To sit bareback on my peacefully grazing horse. To walk with them in the forest. Tell them my secrets. Listen to their secrets.
I think I finally figured it out. Somehow. I don't give a rats as anymore what people think about my path. It's mine anyway. We all have ours.
We all have a little bit the soul of the warrior. About Warriors, check it.
A warrior is not a bloodthirsty maniac but a brave creature who is not afraid of the death and letting go, who has no boundaries, who does not make glass roof for him/herself. A warrior is not afraid of love. Warrior loves the life, loves the beings, loves the universe, has the faith on the light that illuminates the darkness. His/her sparkle helps other people to shine, not to reduce themselves. I realized the last part is really important.
I have done so many mistakes and errors. I have been stupid and made multiple bad decisions. I'm sorry for all the people I have done wrong somehow or said something bad. I'm sorry. I try to grow. I have finally found something about my strength and inner warrior, who I have always been, but sadly forgotten for so many years and decades.
Shine! Remember your inspiration, no matter what it is. Be the warrior in small things. Help someone. Love someone. Love the flower you found. If you cannot do what you love, love what you can do. Be the Queen who has her shit together. Be the strong man who appreciates also the feminine part of his personality. Be open to mysteries of the life and universe. Even for a few minutes! Just try it. I promise you will like it.
Thank you for reading so far. I could write a lot about strong women and queens, but that deserves another posting... I hope you have a fantastic day!
- Katariina Albrecht
PS! I have to continue this a little bit. A good example about the willpower and inner warrior. I had a very nasty discus prolapse in my neck 3-4 years ago. Some days I couldn't do anything and the pain was there 24/7 for a long time, almost one year. My doctor told me it's very possible that I will never ever ride again, at least not in professional level. My heart sunk. Do I have to let my dreams go after all because my body don't work? Well. I didn't let go of my dreams. I changed them. I was selling horses and trying to be the competitive rider, have a big stable and a lot of customers. Oh my god I did a lot of different things, which I of course also enjoyed BUT. There is always the BUT. I changed everything. In the past 3 years I have practiced the fine and nasty art of letting go and it's still continuing to the Grande Finale, but you know what happened?
My inner warrior turned out to be my outside warrior too. My neck is fine. It's never going to be perfect, but I can live with it. Never believe everything you are told, even if the teller is some sort of authority. Sometimes you have to obey, but don't believe everything. Believe almost nothing until you think it yourself or even try it! I found myself last February in the Persian mountains going extremely fast forward with crazyish tourkoman horses and shooting arrows and climbing the awful mountainsides, and even held a pretty darn big golden eagle in my hand. I said to myself: Is something wrong now with your neck or your body? Nope. I was healed. Inside and outside. It took me a very large portion of letting go, crying and feeling that I'm dying right now, but that's the way it works. :D My neck is my teacher. Every time when I try to slip off my path, it snaps me to the fingers and makes me scream and cry for pain in fetal position. Not very nice teacher, but very efficient. Keeps me in my path. ;-)
Finally I like to share a picture. It's me and my lovely lusitano photographed this week by my dear friend Johanna Mäkynen. This is me, kicking the arse of my inner wussy. Roaaarr!