Melanie & Lena visited the children's hospice "Sternenbrücke" in western Hamburg with their Icelandic horses
With Icelandic horses in a children’s hospice
Each of us knows how much our horses give us. They can blow away affliction and heal souls. So why not share the power of Icelandic horses with people who are less fortunate in life?
When we found out that our stable, the Icelandic horse farm Klövensteen, and the children’s hospice “Sternenbrücke” were only separated by our wonderful riding area of Forst Klövensteen, the idea of a visit was born quickly.
On June 28th, in the best weather, we loaded our Icelandic horses Elna and Snara into the trailer, which our stable owner Matthias kindly made available to us.
After a short drive, we were welcomed at the Sternenbrücke children’s hospice on the edge of Klövensteen forest. The horses were allowed to help the gardeners with the mowing and were happy about the green grass.
A short time later the children, parents, nursing staff and almost the entire staff of Sternenbrücke joined us. A pavilion with refreshments had been set up and the team from the Sternenbrücke took great care to look after the well-being of the two- and four-legged friends.
Contact to the horses varied greatly and depended on the state of health of the children and young people. A young woman was pushed out of bed and only her hesitant hand movement in the direction of Elna’s soft nose betrayed her joy at the horse’s visit. A girl in a wheelchair was helped onto Snara’s back and her hunched back actually straightened up a bit. Her sibling sat on the horse’s back after a few minutes and only left it again when we brought the horses back onto the trailer after 2 hours. The parents and staff were also very happy with the horses.
We were impressed by the calmness and empathy with which our horses approached people. They were not afraid of beds or wheelchairs, but were always friendly and curious. We left the courtyard of the Sternenbrücke with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude.
The Sternenbrücke children’s hospice in western Hamburg offers support for terminally ill children, adolescents and young adults up to the age of 27 and their families, often over several years. Within the framework of respite care, families are able to relax from everyday life for four weeks a year – numerous activities are offered not only to sick children but also to siblings and parents. Support in the last phase of life is also part of the offer. The Sternenbrücke is largely financed by donations.
We cannot add days to life, but add life to days.
More about the hospice: Website Sternenbrücke
Text & Images: Melanie K. & Lena P.
A land of fire and ice, with more sheep than inhabitants, characterized by a unique nature! This is just a brief description of such a diverse country. While a volcano may erupt on one side of the country, you can hike a glacier, admire the Northern Lights, or take a bath in a hot spring on the other side of the country - at the same time.
This not only speaks for diversity, but also for spontaneity, which is also reflected in the changeable weather in Iceland. A popular Icelandic saying is "If you do not like the current weather, just wait for five minutes".
In contrast to this inconsistency, one thing is constant and that is the enthusiasm for Icelandic horses! The Vikings brought horses to the island in the 9th century.
To find out more about Iceland, you can find travelogues, reports, or interesting facts here in the UNDRA Journal!
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