In addition to managing 1,600 acres of forest, Lennart Bring, 72, arranges guided horseback tours in the Swedish mountains all year. This is his story.
Almost thirty years have passed, and the farm and the horses still mean everything to Lennart Bring. If you have passed 70, and you are managing 1,600 acres of forest and offering guided horseback tours all year round, well, then you simply must enjoy what you are doing.
“Sure, it’s a lot of work – but it feels like I’m doing it of my own free will,” Lennart says, adding a line from his own philosophy: When you enjoy doing something, you become persistent.
Lennart lives with his wife EvaLis by the lake Kallsjön in the north Swedish mountain area. The impressive Åre mountains and the untouched wilderness are their next neighbours. They came into possession of the farm through the agricultural authorities, completely based on recommendations. Prior to that, they had proven themselves able by working ten years in the forests around Åre.
Horses run in the family
Their guided tours on haflinger horses started some twenty years ago. Lennart has been working with horses, including race horses, all his life – and his family’s interest in horses can be traced all the way back to his great grandfather.
“The haflinger horses are perfect for tours. They are patient, calm and suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike. They are terribly strong, too – you can actually use for them for heavy forestry. But I like riding them best.”
Many of the tour groups are returning customers. By word of mouth, people in the area have come to know about the astonishing experience and relaxation you get from a horseback tour with Lennart. To date, more than 13,000 guests have visited Lennart and EvaLis. Naturally, many of them are tourists.
A new winter companion
“It’s the freedom, and you have no boss except yourself,” is Lennart’s concise answer to what the best thing about this kind of life is.
Wintertime, however, has brought a certain toughness in recent years. Normally, there’s a good deal of snow here. One metre, sometimes two, is common. With age, this has started to put its mark on his body, and the snow shovel has become less inviting to Lennart. That’s one reason that the new Jonsered two-stage snow blower was extra appreciated.
“It’s actually quite amazing, I’ve been driving these machines before, but you can really tell the difference here. Sometimes you have to treat yourself to things like this to make your everyday work. And I have no intention of leaving this place for a long time to come,” Lennart concludes.