Who am I?
I will try to make the personal introduction short and sweet.
My mother will never forget the time I crawled under the fence at our local riding school to say hello to a foal. She tried to stop me by saying: “ Cecilie, the mother might bite you to protect her baby”. My answer was: “ Nope. Not me”. I can only imagine her relief when all went well. My age? I was 3 and 1/2.
Since then, it’s been horses 26/7, not 24/7 😅.
My father signed a huge emergency insurance policy for me at the age of 13 or 14. I had just been at the racetrack in Oslo, and bought an American TB racehorse. Mind you, he was a stallion, 6 years old and still in full training. Bless my father for not scaring his children- ever- with domed day chit chat about what could go wrong. He believed in learning by doing.
Mind you, when I grew up with horses, we where taught “horse” . We are now talking early 1970, I was 6. Tried getting in a year earlier, but was told to come back when I was eight. No deal. Wiggled my way in by letting my big sister sign me up for lessons 🙃, and by the time I was eight, I was part of the inventory at our local riding school.
The system was: Work hard, earn our trust, and you will be given responsibility matching your horsey qualifications, taught by the best in the business. If you at any given time, hurt a horse, deliberately. You are out. Permanently. If you make a honest mistake, ask a grown up for help, learn from it and move on. It was like a step ladder, and taught me everything I needed to know to make it in this business for 35+ years, and still doing it.
I have been there and done that. Strømsholm, UK, NZ, France, travelling groom, the whole Chabang.
Quite early on, I had to make up my mind if I wanted to aim for the front row of Showjumping, or, taking care of the horses behind the scene and at the same time, be able to teach new generations of horsey people, horse. To honor the dedication others made towards us kids.
I chose behind the scene. For the welfare of the horses, and the possibility to teach. I also lacked the funding-big time 🤓 - to really make it into the big league of the horse world. Coming from a non horsey working class, very supportive, family.
So, at the age of 51, I made an attempt to quit the business. Moved to Bodø, Norway, above the Arctic Circle. That did last approx 12 months 😂😋.
So, now I am back where I belong. At a small local riding school, called Stall Elverøy, located at a place called Valnesfjord, teaching. And boy it’s cold! (Please use Google Maps to find our location).
PS. Going to a show during winter? Combine the skirt with the long winter coat - Enjoy 😊. No more frozen thighs. I do it all the time when teaching in those freezing indoor schools.