In a corner of northeast Uruguay, in the middle of Río Negro and Paysandú, lies a quaint little city called Guichón, home to some 7,000 inhabitants and to UPM’s Santana tree nursery and forestry operations.
Just five minutes away from this city, Alejandra Rosin has found her haven amongst horses.
Admiration and adrenaline
“I’ve always had a certain admiration for horses. I think they are a very noble animal, and I always liked them as a child,” says Alejandra, who works in the Purchasing Department at the UPM Fray Bentos mill.
She shares her passion towards the countryside and the animals with her husband and two daughters, and thanks to this pastime, she discovered the Arabian horse breed, which would become her favourite. “The Arabian horse breed caught my attention because I saw it as extremely well proportioned in every sense - it's a very elegant animal, very refined. It has a different gait,” she says.
She started out raising one horse, and to this day, she has raised 15 Arabian horses. This breed is known for racing endurance and for its resistance. “I like the speed - I feel the adrenaline of galloping, the breeze, the unique connection with the animal,” Rosin muses.
Patience key to building trust
Alejandra's country house is lined and decorated with statues and paintings of horses out in the countryside. Some of them she even painted herself, and they hang proudly on the walls of her living room.
Her connection with her animals is deep, but it's not an easy bond to establish. From taming the horses, trimming their hooves and taking care of their health, to brushing their manes, pampering them and riding them, it takes time and care to understand them. The key, for Alejandra, is to be patient. “The relationship starts to develop little by little. It's an animal that has strong feelings if you build a connection with it. You get that symbiosis in which the animal feels your mood,” she explains.
“You have to show them they can trust you, and once you achieve that, the relationship between the rider and the horse is incredible,” she adds.
The bond with nature
For Alejandra, riding her horses is what grounds her, and she can spend afternoons on end out in the field. “I feel free. I feel truly free. It's an unexplainable peace,” she reflects.
She shares her passion with her family, especially with her daughters. Her fondest memory is teaching them to respect horses. “The best memories are riding our horses with family, enjoying those moments in nature, disconnected from everything,” she recounts.
Striking the perfect balance
During her 12-year tenure at UPM, Alejandra has learnt how to strike a healthy work-life balance. On weekdays, she works at the UPM Fray Bentos mill, and when the weekend begins, she travels to Guichón to spend time with her horses: “I like disconnecting from daily life and routine. The contact with nature teaches you to enjoy the simple, little things in life”.
Alejandra is thankful to UPM not only for helping her to develop professionally, but also for striving to make their employees become better people by being aware of their country and concerned about the environment.
Her connection with nature is what keeps her life balanced: “When I'm with my horses, I don't think about anything else. I bond with them and I forget about the rest. There are times when I'm too stressed, too worried, and I say to myself: 'I need to go to the countryside'”.
Text: Josefina Mösle