My business idea is to promote wellbeing and mindfulness skills by offering people sessions where they can interact and spend time with animals in the farm. At my host entrepreneur, there are four horses (three mares and one stallion), five cows (three cows and two oxen) and a few cats. I have had a wonderful time here so far, during these first two weeks. The countryside milieu is very beautiful and the animals are beautiful as well.

I have started to take care of and get to know the animals living here, who are to be my main coworkers in my business activities. The horses daily schedule I have already gotten used to, their care takes time also in the summer time, whereas the cows just spend their whole summer, day-and-night, in the pasture. There is also permaculture being practiced on the farm, and it has been interesting to learn for example how the horse and cow manure and left-over straw are being utilized in preparing growing beds, where trees and bushes will be planted to create shadow and protection from the wind and rain for the animals who spend their time on the fields. The leaves of the trees also add variety for their diet. These are things I’m also planning to share with my future customers.

I have gotten to know the animals as different personalities, which is very interesting and sweet. The animals have also gotten to know and accept me, and it has been wonderful to notice how fast they learned to recognize me as the person who comes to scratch them or to associate with them or to train them a little, and how they are always happy to see me. Of course it also plays a big part, mainly for the horses, that I am also the person who feeds them, because animals really love to eat. So far so, my plans of familiarizing myself with the animals has been successful.

The cows daily schedule of eating and resting I still have to observe and make notes about, but they especially are always eyeing at me when they see me walking around, and almost line up for the scratching and grooming. I say almost, because usually the oxen will just come and demand all the attention. That is one thing I really have to work on and figure out with them. But other than that, they are just like big dogs. Both with the cows and the horses some training must be done before I can take people to associate with them, but they all seem very suitable in their own unique ways to the work I’m planning to do with them.

Based on my readings of literature about equine facilitated practice and my own experience here, I am beginning to more and more also realize, how the animals needs, feedback, guidance and enjoyment have to be central to the work and business I’m planning. Only that way can it be truly satisfying and fulfilling for all, and will work in the long run. But so far I can definitely tell how calming effect this kind of lifestyle has been to my mind, nervous system and soul. It is truly amazing how healing effect the animals have. They live very simple life and communicate very clearly and straightforwardly, once you learn to observe and understand their behaviour and gestures. Also already the countryside setting is at the same time very calming and refreshing. I’m really looking forward to be able to offer the same experience for other people.

It has also been interesting to hear about my host’s experience with his own business, and his experience with the animals. For example the two white cows here used to be very shy and timid, maybe they had some bad experience with people before being rescued from the slaughter. Luckily nowadays they are more open and social. I also don’t have so many acquaintances in Finland, who would be entrepreneurs, so it has been very valuable to hear my host’s story and his ventures. Next we are going to dive more deep into the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that I’m going to use as a basis for the planning of my business. I’m very excited about the months ahead of me in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme!




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