Beside the rippling river of Obaçay, just a few kilometres inland, you’ll find the Horse Village Alanya. It’s a large, open piece of land, surrounded by orange trees where horses are wandering freely. The Horse Village is Josefine Gölgelen’s dream come true. “When I was a child in Sweden, I grew up with horses. I want children in Alanya to have the same opportunities that I had to learn about these wonderful animals.”
5-Year old Dione Hennekes from Holland stands proudly next to a tall, white horse. The girl loves horses and now while visiting grandpa and grandma in Alanya, she’s got the opportunity to take her first ride. Josefine, the owner of the recently opened riding school, chooses Fluffy to be the appropriate horse for this occasion. “Fluffy is sweet, easy to handle and therefore perfect for this special moment.”
Josefine and her husband Ayhan Görgülen started the Horse Village at the beginning of 2017. After the birth of their daughter Eda, Josefine knew her life in Alanya was nearly complete. Almost, but not quite, as one thing was missing: horses. “In Sweden, I grew up around horses; I love that they give so much positive energy.”
Luckily, at that time, Ayhan was also ready to try something new. After working for many years in the tourism sector, first as a captain and later as the owner of a beach place, he was ready for a new challenge. Ayhan agreed with the idea of starting a riding school and searched for a suitable location. Alongside the Oba River, they found a large piece of land that was exactly what they are looking for.
“My dream was to open a riding school the same as I knew from Sweden”, tells Josefine. “Where horses have the space to walk around freely; where they can go in and out of their stables whenever they want. Somewhere they will receive good food and the care they need.”
All the horses that are living at the Horse Village have come from Manavgat. “They were tied up all day, standing at the same place”, describes Josefine.
Their exact history is unknown, but the traces of misuse are visible. One of the horse’s tongue, for example, is deformed from iron wire that was used to bind it to control him. Another one is unusually shy, his legs covered with scars. Josefine told Hello Alanya “The horses all have had a difficult past. We choose them on purpose to give them a happier life in our Horse Village.”
Support through Facebook
To Josefine, horses are more than a hobby. “It’s a lifestyle. Because of the horses, I learned responsibility and the importance of taking care of a big animal like hat. They also have given me a lot in return. They give out positive energy, and I always feel at peace around them. The main reason for starting this horse farm is to offer children from Alanya the chance to get close to horses. And also to show how important it is to take proper care of animals in general.”
That many people supported this vision, became apparent when Josefine asked for assistance on social media. “It’s quite costly to start a riding school. So I used Facebook to ask for second-hand equipment. The response was great: from all over Sweden people have been sending stuff.”
Children, as well as grown-ups, can have horse riding lessons in the Horse Village. At the moment, 20 young students come regularly. But it’s also possible to just have one ride at a time. Ayhan emphasises that the Village is much more than just a riding school. “Even if you don’t want to ride a horse you’re always more than welcome to visit. If you’d just like to come here to read a book in the sun all day, that’s fine by us.”
Ayhan and Josefine want the Horse Village to be a place where people like to gather. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, the wooden benches and tables an open invitation to take a seat. The river murmurs in the background and around you the beautiful horses are running free, enjoying the space. “We love this kind of country life”, says Josefine. “There is nothing more we need.”
Tel: +90 536 741 6528
Facebook: Horse Village Alanya
Address: Horse Village Alanya on Google Maps
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