The children of the 5th and the 6th classes of Cor de Roure primary school visited EQUILIBRE at Mas Cabot. Equilibre is a horse farm in the mountains near the village of Santa Perpetua de Gaia. At the farm the children enjoyed learning about the animals, plants and rock features. They also had a chance of practising their English as Victor Ros and Helka Lehtinen, who run the centre, both speak English fluently. Equilibre is a horse centre dedicated to improving the relationship between horses and people through riding lessons, courses, clinics and group visits. Aside from visiting the farm the children prepared an interview with Helka. Hera are the questions and the answers.
1-What’s your name? Can you spell it, please? My name is HELKA
2-Where are you from? I come from Haukipudas, Finland.
3-Where do you live? I live in Sta. Perpètua de Gaia (Mas Cabot)
4-Do you like Catalonia? Yes I do. It´s a very beautiful region with an interesting landscape. You can get from the coast to the Pyrenees in a few hours and pass through varying scenery.
5-Why do you live in the country and not in the city? Because I like the open air, the peace and living amongst animals.
6-How many animals have you got? We have 9 horses (if all goes well soon we will have 10 as one mare is about to have a baby foal!), 8 goats, 4 geese, 2 chickens, one rooster, two dogs and a cat, all in all 27 animals.
7-What are the names of the horses? Ebano, Borinot, Al-Jabara, Nena, Al Jazali (Jazzy), Osona, Free, Kebir and Flequi.
8-How old are the horses? The oldest one is Free who is 19 and the youngest is Jazzy who is 4 years old.
9-Can your son ride horses? He sometimes asks to get on a horse and I let him but I always hold onto him becase he is only a year and a half old.
10-Who feeds the animals? My husband and I.
11-How many times a day? Two or three times a day.
12-Does the vet come here? Fortunately in the past few years the animals have been very happy and healthy, we have only had to call the vet once a year to come and vaccinate the horses.
13-Where did you learn how to talk to the horses? Here in Catalonia and in Spain working with Victor, attending and organising doma natural courses and most importantly by living with horses.
14-Did you like animals when you were a girl? Yes I did. We always had pets at home and I went to the local riding school to ride and look after horses.
15-How many people come here to ride horses? During the summer we get quite a few people for riding lessons, although we prefer small groups as it´s much more relaxing for the horses and the people. During courses many people come with their own horses. Last November we had a full house and we are expecting the same for May when we have our next “Touch of Love” Courses taught by an American cowboy called Steve Harris.
16-What’s Finland like? It’s beautiful, there are many lakes and forests.
17-How many animals had you got in Finland? We always had pets at home, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish etc.
18-What’s the weather like in Finland in summer? And in winter? The weather in summer is like here in the spring and in winter it’s very cold. This winter has been mild so the coldest it´s ever got to has been minus 10 degrees, although some years the temperaturas can get down to minus 40 negrees celsius.
19-Why do you live in Catalonia and not in Helsinki? I left Finland already 13 years ago to go and study in Scotland. I ended up in Catalonia also because of my studies and have stayed because I fell in love with the country and my husband Victor. I also much prefer the sunny climate here in comparison to the cold and long winters in Finland.
20-At what time children start and finish the school? It depends on the day. The earliest they start is at 9:00 a.m and they never finish later than 3:00 p.m.
21-How many countries have you seen? I’ve seen most countries of Europe, the U.S.A, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Equador, India, and Morrocco.