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It's all about the only native Finnish horse breed!


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Official music video for “Suomenhevonen”

Today is Johan Vilhelm Snellman‘s birthday, the day of the Finnish identity.

Enjoy the music by Huojuva Lato and photography by Kirsti Hassinen on this new, official music video of this popular song.

Lyrics in English:

Where would we be without you
you four-legged, light-maned
moist-muzzled
friend, Finnhorse

I have no other earthly possessions,
the heaven’s roof, road’s carpet
forest trees for walls
for a friend, the Finnhorse

My grandfather cleared the fields
oats soon flowered, where the plough flew, –
be kind, horse
our friend, Finnhorse

As guns blazed in the Carelian isthmus
in the frost and snow
you were more reliable than the machine
our friend Finnhorse

These villages are empty
no roads cleared and the old left behind
but yet there are some
and some horses, too

When I leave this place
this road and roadsides
this slippery ice of a wintery road
bury me by my horse

For where would we be without you
you four-legged, light-maned
moist-muzzled
friend, Finnhorse

This translation was published in the Get to Know the Finnhorse -brochure.

Read more:

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Video: French professor visiting Teivo

Video by Tampereen hevosklinikka

French professor Jean-Marie Denoix visited and lectured in Finland in March 2016. During his visit he was offered an opportunity to drive a Finnish trotter called Frankker. :)

Short interview in English starts at 5:37.

 


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2015 in review

A big thank you for every visitor! Here’s a review in statistics. :)

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Tapani is the day of the horsemen

Taivaannaula is a Finnish organization dedicated to preserving and fostering the native Finnish religion and culture, Suomenusko (from times prior to christianisation in Finland). They share pieces of information on their Facebook page as well.  I find these posts very interesting and believe you might enjoy them too. :)

Many of the traditions have something to do with horses, but today is Tapaninpäivä, the day of the horsemen!

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Photo by Chewel96 of Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

After the more calmer Joulu feast, Tapani (December 26) was convenient time for young people – and also older ones – for more wild merrymaking. People woke up early visited their neighbours. If there was no fire in the house’s oven upon their arrival, the guests threatened to “break the oven”. The master of the house could only persuade them to not go through with it by offering a drink for each man.

Men also went to sauna early in the morning. After that they went to stables and enjoyed a soup made of rabbit or squirrel meat together with some beer and liquor. Eating this sacrificial meal was said to make horses prosper in the coming year. However, the bones in the soup had to remain intact and kept in the stable, otherwise the horsemen’s luck with horses would suffer.

Tapani was the day for harnessing young foals for the first time and training them. When the older folk went visiting relatives, the young ones went to a sleigh ride, or Tapani’s ride. Sometimes people mounted their horses and even rode inside the house. There beer was poured on the horse’s head, back and mane. Then the horse was given some beer to drink and oats to eat. Finally, the rider also drank from the same pint and rode outside.

Girls gave ”Tapani’s thread” to the boys they liked, and the boys attached these threads to their hats. From the number of threads it could be seen who was the most popular boy among the girls. At the same time quality of the threads was compared and people could deduce who would make a skilled wife.

On Tapani’s Day groups of strangely-clad men or boys travelled from house to house. Their leader had many names like ”Tapani’s pukki” or ”the Old Joulu Man”. These creatures could wear, for instance, a fur coat turned upside down and a tar-dipped whisk as a tail. If the house treated the pukki poorly, it began to rage. Yet if the pukki was generously welcomed, it wished the house and the people the best of luck and success. The pukki sang:

”Let the cows give milk,
The sheeps carry twins,
Let the cat’s tail curl,
Dog’s tail shrivel,
and pig’s tail become knotted!”

Translation: Anssi A. / Suomenusko Facebook page

More pickings from Taivaannaula:


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The Finnhorse – Our National Treasure book is available in English

Sponsored by Kirjakaari

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Scandinavia’s most beautiful horse deserves a beautiful book. The Finnhorse – Our National Treasure is a work long anticipated by Finnhorse enthusiasts. It presents the Finnhorse as the world’s most versatile coldblood with characteristics beyond compare. Expressive text and stunning photos paint a picture of our national treasure as a multi-skilled riding, breeding, draught and race horse, and man’s most reliable friend in every season.

Contents:
• Basic breed information such as breeding lines, colours and anatomy
• Development history in brief, and status as a native breed
• Uses as a riding horse, e.g., show jumping, dressage, Monté, eventing and therapeutic riding
• Uses as a draught horse, e.g., harness racing, carriage driving and logging
• Recreational uses, e.g., skijoring, equestrian vaulting, horse agility and shows
• Use for work, e.g., police horses

The Finnhorse – Our National Treasure is an unforgettable gift for friends of the Finnhorse.

Marianne Ketelimäki is a photographer and a passionate horse enthusiast.
Sanna Karppinen is a non-fiction author whose heart was stolen by horses already as a little girl.

From Kirjakaari

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The horse has its place in the modern society.

Finnhorse – Our National Treasure is a beautiful book with 96 pages of big, expressive photographs by Marianne Ketelimäki and short, compact paragraphs of text by non-fiction author Sanna Karppinen.

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The book includes basic information about the breed, but focuses mainly on the photography. Why describe it in words, when you have tons of beautiful photos to show the incredible versatility and beauty of the horse in the Finnish nature? It’s light to read, and won’t make you an expert on the subject, but doesn’t aim to that either. You could say, it gives you a first impression about what makes this breed so important to us Finns.

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What is the Finnhorse made of? My guess, mostly “sisu”.

Most of all, I think Marianne has been able to capture the feel in her photos – how the Finnish people feel about their horse and what I feel when I’m with my horses. There’s a companionship between us that has lasted through generations, the title “national treasure” is not an exaggeration. Still, the finnhorse is not just some relic, it has been able to take up any challenge it has faced and redeemed itself again and again. Adaptation is the key!

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Friend and a companion

Kirjakaari  is a Finnish publisher specialized in high-quality gift books. I could imagine this book both as a business gift as well as a gift for a horse enthusiast, especially if he/she is interested in the Finnish culture overall.

The book is available in English and Finnish at the Kirjakaari web shopRemember to use the code MNB-LXF-CH7-4P9 for a 10% discount! (the code is available until 9th of December 2015).


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Celebration of (Finnish) mares and women

Happy International Day of Rural Women!

The International Day of Rural Women recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” (UN)

To celebrate this day, here are a few photos from the Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive, maintained by the National Defence University’s Production department. See more photos at http://sa-kuva.fi.

I searched for pictures of home front in 1939-1945, when women took care of the farms during the wars – and thanks to their hard work, ad the ever-so-humble Finnhorses by their side, Finnish people were able to survive through some very tough times. :)

AND, people still need food every day, so keep on going, rural women and men everywhere! :)

Photo: SA-kuva.fi

Photo: SA-kuva.fi

Photo: SA-kuva.fi

Nainen haravakonetta ajamassa

Photo: SA-kuva.fi

Nainen haravakonetta ajamassa

Photo: SA-kuva.fi

Photo: SA-kuva.fi