Bilder från ett hem för särskild tillsyn   -  Pictures from a home in compulsory treatment

Sven Forsling is a psychologist and a researcher. He has been the Principal Psychologist for the Section 12 homes within the Metropolitan Authorities of Stockholm, a member of the Scientific Governing Body of SiS and the Director of Frossarbo Stables.

In 1998, he received the Allmänna Barnhusets Stora Pris, one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in Sweden, for his contribution to the work with socially disadvantaged juveniles.

Sven Forsling's introductory words to his book The Girl and the Horse, indicate the gentle and understanding psychology of his research and treatment of delinquent youths. These words belie the harsh reality of emotionally disturbed teenagers, which is often exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse. This book relates his experiences at Frossarbo Stables, where young, female offenders were successfully rehabilitated in a therapy programme where they were taught to train and race horses.

"I am not going to make paintings, but I want to create word-pictures that speak of life at an institution for young people in compulsory care. This institution is a Special Approved Home named Frossarbo Stables. The name originates from a farm situated in wooded countryside north of Uppsala - a name that can be traced back to the sixteenth century. These pictures are about Frossarbo Stables between 1987 and 1999 and, above all, about the youngsters and the horses in the farm stable. The youngsters are between fifteen and twenty-two years old and they are all girls. " "My exhibition has a theme. It tries to portray what happens between a girl who has gone astray and a horse that is a trotter (harnesshorse). What transpires between the two seems, at times, magical. Magic is not easy to catch, it is like chasing sunbeams."

First published in Sweden in 2001 by Statens Institutionsstyrelse

First published in English in 2003 by BookArt Productions-Guatang, South Africa

Copyright Sven Forsling

Translated from Swedish by Siv Tunnicliffe

Dedicated to Richard H. A. Blum

Friend and inspirer

"Your draft of THE GIRL AND THE HORSE has arrived. It is magnificent. It is much more important a book than you, being too modest, will appreciate. It is more beautifully written than I suspect you conceive. It is a work of great consequence, written in a unique style - powerful, itself an artistic product; modest, compelling and insightful. Not simply good, but splendid: Many, many lessons about mankind and horses. I do not exaggerate when I say that this is one of the most important treatment programmes ever to be undertaken. It presents us with results that are almost never achieved and certainly rarely as thoughtfully reported in the world today.”

Richard H Blum
Consulting Professor Emeritus

Stanford University