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Horse People

The day was perfect. Darling Stella was happy to be spending the summer day with her young rider.

Horses have been apart of my life before I was born and will probably live on long after my time, not only through photographs, stories, or memories but through life values. I was born into the horse life, my father taught me that horses are a great escape and my childhood was sheltered under the family hobby, Harness racing. I could always be found talking with the old-timers at the races and introduced myself by my track name ‘Maija McGee’.

Malin’s pony Marshal checking in to see everything is ok.

The family hobby gave me strength, physically and mentally, to think and act outside the box. When I was 10 years old, I turned a ‘mountain’ into money and helped the local greenhouse/gardens by supplying all-natural eco-fertilizer to their rose bushes. The roses soon became the talk of the town and everyone wanted to take their wedding photos in the garden. Easily amused, I thought this very interesting and concluded that one person’s undesirables could be someone else’s gold.

At an early age, I was on my way to starting my own business. Sadly, I was unable to lobby for help. I could not convince my sisters or friends that my business was a good employment opportunity and I soon surrendered to the fact that I did not have enough labor to keep up with the never-ending supply and strong demand.

Stella moves from a quick walking gate to a gallop.
A slight movement can have a big reaction.

Horses have also taught me about subtlety. A slight change in the air or touch can send a signal that will trigger a big reaction. Horse people often have an ability to feel a given situation, take note of changes in behavior or intentions of those nearby and make a quick assessment of the situation as safe, dangerous, uninteresting or a chance to help.

I say that horses will probably be a part of my life long after my time because my children, especially my youngest daughter, has been bitten by the horse bug and has started riding lessons with an amazing teacher. Small groups (maximum six children) per horse camp with emphasis on learning subtlety. How the rider should only need to think ‘gallup’ as a signal for the horse to respond (a little help with balance and a squeeze is also a good signal: Hint: bareback).

In a soft and stalwart tone, Malin instructs her riders and shares her knowledge with her students.

The camps are located in our amazing countryside (på Bjäre) in Southern Sweden at Malin’s ideal farm. It is near rolling hills, deep woods, and long sandy beaches (see pictures below). The kids will even have a chance to taste the homegrown vegetables and maybe they will be inspired, like I was, to start a business…

English charm in the Swedish county.
Cows enjoy the sun in the hillside pasture on the farm.
Seeing things from different angels adds spice to life.
Small groups (6 students) allows the teacher time with each rider and their horse.
Malin also offers one-on-one lessons for new riders.

If you are in the area and have the opportunity or desire to share with children horse values such as; responsibility, respect, safety, and joy, I can highly recommend Malin and her fine ponies at Kvinnaböske Ridskola. I would be happy to help you and your family find lodging in one of our fine StayCay Rentals. There is still some opening available at the riding camp and places nearby to stay in June, July and August – 2017. Contact respective businesses soon as space is limited – Malin for riding camp and Maija for home rental.

Notice: I (Maija) offer 1000:- SEK discount on a home rental when booking a weekly rental through this post – please share via social media and tag a horse lover that might be interested in visiting us this summer.

Horse people events in the area this summer

My personal MN horse collage – where it all began.

Horse people events in the area this summer

Riding camps 13 June – 2 August: Kvinnaböske Ridskola as discussed in the post above. Perfect opportunity for kids to gain a good base knowledge, love, and respect for horses. See schedule for more information.

16th – 18th June 2017: National & International Horse Trials (Eventing) in Össjö outside of Ängelholm (week 24). An exciting opportunity for the entire family to see top class horse trials in Southern Sweden. Horse trials is an ‘all-around’ combination competition where riders compete in dressage, cross-country and show jumping. More information at Össjo Hästsällskåp .

StayCay Rental has an apartment for rent in nearby Munka Ljungby. A well planned two-story ‘apartment’ with kitchenette, new bathroom, large balcony and open living and sleeping area. Perfect place to relax after a day at the horse show. Only 10 km from the horse trial competition. We have a larger apartment in beautiful Vejbystrand see www.staycay.se for more information about StayCay Rentals and contact information.

8 – 16 July 2017: Sweden’s largest and most well-known horse festival, often considered to be a ‘lifestyle’ event. Nearly 1000 horses and riders plus 600 staff, participate in this well-organized event. Tickets are expensive and often sell quickly. More information at Falsterbo Horse Show.

Båstad Horse Show 2017 (?): I am hoping that, for the third year, Båstad’s Riding Club (Båstad Ridklubb) will arrange Båstad’s Horse Show. Last year nearly 500 riders took part in this horse and pony competition in dressage and jumping. More information about 2016 can be found at their Facebook page Båstad Horse Show.

When we travel we look for an opportunity to spend time with horses. These darling ‘wild’ horses are from Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Wishing you a happy summer, safe travels and I hope you have a chance to spend it with a fellow horse person and many loved horses and ponies.

Warm regards,

StayCay Maija

Tennis in Sweden

In beautiful Båstad you can enjoy high standards and quality time on the beach, in the woods or on the town.

Skistar Swedish Open & Ericsson Open

An unforgettable opportunity to see tennis with world class contenders in beautiful Båstad Sweden.  Previous Erickson Open participants include; Serena Williams, Mona Barthel, Johanna Larsson and Chanelle Sheepers.

Interested in renting a home during tennis week? Make it a staycation: book with StayCay Rental

16 – 23 July: Skistar Swedish Open
23 – 30 July: Ericssonopen

See you in Båstad – Sweden

Thursdays in Rammsjö Hamn

Dancing in the rain with Hallavara Stompers at our 40’s party.

Rammsjö Hamn is an picturesque harbor located in Southern Sweden (på Bjäre). Visit this unique place by boat, bike or hiking and you will understand the charm. If you are lucky the little restaurant will be open and serving good eco friendly, locally produces eats. If you are extra lucky you might get to hear some great live music – 2016’s Thursdays were filled with good jazz music (so good I had to invite Hallavar Stompers home to play at our 40s garden party).

 

 

Hope to see you in 2017 enjoying this jewel of a place.

Harbor hopping in picture perfect Skälderviken Sweden

Sweden Sport break…

StayCay Rental offers guests holiday home rentals so that you can relax and experience spring break like a Swede. Stay in one of our beautiful homes and you will find space for the entire family and time to be together.

While staying in one of our homes you can trust StayCay to provide tips and activity recommendations. Spending ‘spring break’ in Sweden would be different from the 90’s / MTV version of ‘spring break’. Test our ‘Sportlov’ and ‘Easter break’, see how we spend time off from school. Hint: parents and students run to the hills, looking for excitement and winter recreation. Check out StayCays film to see how we like to spend our time off in late winter… Inspired? Check out our homes for rent.

Sweden Spring Break 2017

Top 5 sick staycation tips

Before I had children, I remember my parent co-workers entering the office with a warning, by lunch, their child’s school will be calling demanding they pick-up their feverish child. Really? Did my co-worker have a crystal ball or supernatural powers? No, the truth was their child had a fever the night before but they did not want to call in sick, so they self prescribed a dose of acetaminophen – to get the parents through the work morning.

The term VAB (Vård Av Barn) is a Swedish abbreviation that stands for paid time off from work to nurse a sick child. Swedish parents are compensated and protected by social security laws when their child is sick. This security creates norms and customs regarding when it is acceptable for a sick child to return to school, activities and other social spaces. The peak of claimed time off is in February or as Swedes say, VAB-ruary. In the case of the stomach flu, custom dictates a sick child stay out of public places for 48 hours after the last family member has ‘been sick’. Resulting in a child feeling well enough to be active but potentially contagious. Unchecked, this energy can result in  crazy cabin fever or an opportunity for a sick staycation. We prefer a sick staycation.

Our TOP 5 sick staycations tips;


1) If it is cold, foggy or grey don’t hesitate GET OUTSIDE. Rollerblade, bike or bundle-up in a stroller and take a walk. With a little activity your child will forget they are feeling down. Pack a backpack and venture out in the woods. Make sure to have something was to drink and plenty of water. Take time to sit in the moss and listen to the birds. The woods offer shelter from rain and wind and imagination.

2) Dress-up and make a play or a movie. Let your child decide what character they want to be and the time will fly by. When they get a little older they can add music and edit their photos and videos into a movie. Check out or video ‘Indiana Elly’. We were lucky to get our big sister involved.

3) Get out the paint – join your child and make a mess. You might even make some unique gifts.

4) If you child is missing a lot of days from school, keep them up-to speed by ‘playing school’. Let them be the teacher and find out what subject they are interested in.

5) Play board games or put together a puzzel. This is a great way to wasted the time. Drink plenty of fluids – offer a favourite food or drink.

Most important – try to enjoy the time together!

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