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Eriksdotter Rubin sisters: Together through thick and thin

Wynja and Vendela Eriksdotter Rubin

By Anna Nyberg / SWB (translated by Hillevi Brasch)
Photography: © Marielle Andersson Gueye; Michaela Sward/SWB

As the horses gallop through the water, splashing with their hooves, it’s hard to believe that one of them is among Sweden’s most promising young dressage horses. But that is the case for the Eriksdotter Rubin sisters in a family where everything seems possible despite limited means.

We’re turning off the E6 highway between Varberg and Falkenberg, and after a few kilometers, we see the sign for Lunden’s Veterinary Clinic. This leads us to a farm with a grey residence, a somewhat secluded riding arena, a horse clinic, and a small stable, but ample pastures where the 30 horses on the farm enjoy outdoor life around the clock, year-round. “Dad came here when he was a newly graduated veterinarian, and when he drove past the property he thought it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen,” says older sister Vendela, 24. “And the location is fantastic, with rolling hills and forests all around,” she adds.
Neither of the parents, Ylva and Erik, comes from a horse family. Ylva rode at a riding school but did not have the money to buy a horse. She was 18 years old before she got her own horse. “It was mom who laid the foundation for Wynja’s and my interest in horses, but she never pushed us into anything; we had to find our own drive and passion. Mom also demanded that we take responsibility and care for our ponies ourselves. When I was younger I was frustrated that we didn’t have the same resources as many others with super-nice ponies and big horse trailers. Over the years, instead, we invested money in the facility and training. And we still don't have a big truck.”
For Ylva, it wasn’t obvious that her daughters would become riders. “It was impractical to push a stroller around here, so Vendela was no more than six months old when I put her on a pony with a lunge girth and a sheepskin pad when going for a walk. Small children have good grip reflexes, so she held on tight. She could even sit there and fall asleep,” says Ylva.
She continued by saying; “My thinking was that the children would have the same passion and joy in having a fantastic hobby. But the stable was my sanctuary; they were allowed to be there on the one condition, that they didn’t fight. They just had to understand what a wonderful animal the horse is and that they had to take care of it. Vendela was probably 10 or 11 before becoming interested in competing. Then she got mad at me for not letting her compete earlier.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber