Some days are more beautiful than others

Arshaq was a Prince today and weather was beautiful!πŸΌπŸ¦β„οΈβœ¨

We went for a short walk in the woods with Shahina and Adam and then Baby even got to canter a little in the outdoor riding arena.🐾

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Just keep swimming

The endurance gala was wonderful yesterday!πŸ’ƒπŸΌβœ¨ I got my 2000km prize and some pretty flowers because my team won the Swedish Team Championships 2017.πŸ†πŸŒΊ

Today we drove back from Kristinehamn to Uppsala. πŸš—πŸ’¨

Yesterday’s makeup. I picked my favorite bronze and gold with glitter.

Mom won this in the raffle.πŸ›πŸ’¦

We laughed a lot yesterday. One of the biggest laughs was because Mikaela and myself had picked an almost identical outfit!! πŸ˜‚πŸ’ƒπŸΌ Me left, Mikaela right.

I made my wonderful family come take a picture with me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŒΎπŸ’πŸΌπŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»

It was a long night so I was very sleepy this morning.

Once we got back, I took Arshaq for slow 8 km walk in the woods with Nipeta and my Mom.β„οΈπŸŒΏ

I waited with getting in the saddle until we got off the road and gotten to the woods but Arshaq was acting very calm and well behaved.πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸŽ

Arshaq and I went first most of the time and it went great until we got to the dirtroad and planned to start trotting a little. The horses got very excited.πŸ˜‚ Nipeta was being a little bit of a bad influence. She bucked and wanted to canter and Arshaq said “ooooooh, cantering! What a fun idea!!”πŸ’“ It was easy to bring him back to a trot but after that, they were both acting very silly. πŸ‡πŸΌπŸ’¨ We did our best to “Just keep swimming”. πŸ πŸ’¦

Once we had turned back and were on our way home, I eventually decided to dismount and walk because both horses were getting nuttier and I was getting nervous about the road up ahead. Adam randomly called around that point so I asked him to “please come walk with us”, which he thankfully did.

I felt fine both when Arshaq was calm or being silly on the dirt road facing away from the big road. But the fear in me bubbled up very quickly when we had turned back and he started messing around again on the way home. All I could think about was “what if he gets spooked and runs out on the road in front of a car”.

I did not want to walk on the road, in the dark with a “ready to run” Arshaq and I felt like I was making him even more excited by getting worried myself. So my icecool boyfriend got to lead him home instead and I walked between them, Mom and Nipeta. πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ¦

Luckily, every car that passed us today was driving calmly. But my heart was still going crazy in my chest and I felt ready to both puke and cry.πŸ’“πŸ™‡πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ The level of anxiety I felt around cars right then is hard to imagine if you haven’t felt that sort of thing yourself. Just seeing headlights made me shake and the image of almost getting run over for the 10th time flashed in front of my eyes.

I almost care too much about my baby Arshaq but I don’t trust him 100% yet. It’s different from when I ride Shahina.

I am so happy Adam could come out and that he could take charge of things so that it all went fine on the walk home today. Baby was full of energy but once Adam came, everybody calmed down a lot and plenty of cars passed without incident.

On the last hundred meters I was feeling a little better so I got to lead Arshaq myself. Just so that I could feel that everything was alright and that we had taken a step forward and grown a little, not failed just because I felt scared.

Arshaq and Nipeta seemed pleased with our outing regardless.🍼🦁

On a happier note, I would also like to announce that @horsesneverlie won my Valentines Day contest in collaboration with @kehastsport .πŸ’›πŸ’‹ Just let me know if you guys would like me to do a similar contest again!πŸ¦„πŸ’πŸΌπŸ›πŸŽŠ

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1 step forward. 10 steps back

Back to square 1 again.πŸ’”

Is there a word for when you feel super-happy and super-sad at the same time?πŸ‘€πŸ’­πŸ’”πŸ“– That is how I feel after today!😱

I started the day with a slow but wonderful 2 hour adventure with Arshaq, @emmaingridmarie and Shahina. πŸ¦πŸ‘‘πŸ™πŸ»πŸ¦„ It was a little windy so Arshaq was a little more easily spooked than usual, but everything went very well and I was so pleased with our outing, even though I was only riding for about 5/10 km and walking the rest.πŸ’›

When we got home, I decided to take it easy and muck out the stables and let @emmaingridmarie ride Poppy around in the summer pasture.πŸŒ±πŸΏπŸ”«πŸΌ

After almost 40 minutes Popgun suddenly cantered in to the stable, saddle under his belly and with no Emma.πŸ˜±πŸ’”

He was reasonably calm so I could quickly get the upside down saddle off and shortly after poor Emma came rushing over!πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’”

A speeding car had spooked Popgun, he had reared up and Emma had fallen/jumped off.πŸš—πŸ’¨ The car did not stop, so hopefully he didn’t see..or maybe he did and didn’t care.πŸ‘€

Popgun had gotten tangled up in the equipment and managed to kick himself on the exact same place as when he kicked himself at the race.πŸ’”And a few other places!πŸ’”

Luckily, this time it wasn’t gushing out nearly as much blood but we cleaned it out best we could, put a bandage on and called the veterinarian.πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ’Š

The vet checked that Popgun wasn’t lame and then sedated him, gave painkillers and looked over all 6 of the cuts.πŸ’ŠπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Most of them are just scrapes but the worst of them is in the exact same place as last time.πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’” The prognoses is good but it sucks!πŸ’”

This time the vet didn’t prescribe painkillers and said that he can go out in the pasture as usual with bandages on. In about 1 week we will maybe get to start riding again but only for short walks.

It feels like we are back to square 1.πŸ’”

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Growing Lion

What a wonderful ride I had with my little lion Arshaq today!πŸ¦πŸ’› I am so proud!πŸ₯✨ Mom came along with Shahina as company but Arshaq got to go first most of the time.πŸ‘‘ We also practiced riding side by side and last, which is fine but not as fun according to both Arshaq and myself. πŸŽ πŸ’¨πŸ‡πŸΌβœ¨ We went up to the woods and were out for almost 2 hours, although I did walk next to him for about 50% of the time.πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸŽ We took it very slowly, stopped for treats, I got on and off and at one point we needed some extra time to pass a menacing set of lawn furniture that was left out in the woods?πŸŒΏπŸ€– I would guess that we were out something like 9 km and we even got to trot a little bit, which was so much fun!πŸ‡πŸΌπŸ’¨

While I was walking back to the stable next to Arshaq on the road, quite a few cars passed us. Arshaq was brilliant and barely noticed them. I myself on the other hand.. was not so calm.. my heart almost exploded each time a car passed us and I had one really scary flashback when one of the cars was a little late in swerving away from us.. If only they knew how scared I get when they drive dangerously.. πŸš—πŸ’¨

After, we saddled up Popgun and Nipeta and rode back up to the woods again for another 1 hour of walking over roots and rocks! πŸŒΏπŸœβ„οΈπŸŒ˜

Now I deserve a cup of hot tea and dinner! πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’›

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The cherry on topπŸ’πŸ¨

I feel like I am flying on pink little fluffy clouds after today’s dressage lessons with Arshaq and Shahina.πŸ¦„β˜οΈπŸ™πŸ»πŸ’“

At 11 am earlier today, Shahina stood saddled and ready for a lesson with me and our dressage trainer Per. The horses usually ride light dressage at least once a week but not so often for a trainer since he lives far away.

We worked a lot on increasing the pace, circles, shoulder in, leg yields, transitions between canter and trot and we also worked a little on sitting down, which I don’t do very often unless I am riding bareback.

Per’s words about the training were: “this went over expected.”

And I couldn’t agree more. I have owned Shahina for 12 years now.. so I know her very well.. but she turns 26 years old this year.

She is very active for her age, but I don’t usually put a lot of pressure on her.

I must confess, I don’t always choose to saddle her when I ride her myself and I only sometimes choose to ride with a bridle on instead of a halter. I don’t think that’s how dressage riders usually ride. But I am not a dressage rider. And I haven’t really cared what equipment she wears, as long as she is happy. πŸ˜‚ So it was fun riding a lesson with a trainer and feeling that so many things “clicked”. Even though I wasn’t expecting miracles.

Our lesson was almost 1 hour long, including warm up. After, we jogged around on loose reins and I then unsaddled her and went for a 15 minute bareback cool down walk in the beautiful weather.

She looked pretty fancy today, all glammed up in a new bridle. But I think I need to put new holes in the leather because the silly noseband seemed to be sliding around on her “little” nose. πŸ¦„πŸ‘‘

At about 12.15 pm Shahina got to eat her lunch, finally.πŸ¦„ Then I brought in, brushed and saddled Arshaq just in time to be in the saddle at 1 pm. Ready for my lesson with baby.

My dad was nice and stayed to take pictures of Arshaq’s lesson too and Adam had driven out just to be there as back up. But Arshaq was very relaxed today and almost everything felt really great, even though we had some problems that Per helped us work out. πŸ‡πŸΌπŸ’­

The main things I was told to think about was to make sure to close my hand, look at my hand to see that I was keeping the contact, increase the trot, be more firm, keep up the even tempo and to ride a little bit more, basically.

I see now in the pictures that the hand watching thing really got me leaning forward, even though it felt like I wasn’t. πŸ˜‚ So I will need to remember that!

I was so pleased with my Chuckles! I almost cried, because I was so happy afterwards. When he is listening and relaxed, one can really start to enjoy his gates that feel silky and light: like riding a cloud. I love him so much, so this meant a lot to me! πŸ¦πŸ’›

We celebrated with lots of petting and I offered some carrots that I had brought, which were very appreciated. Arshaq still seems to think that it is very practical to carry me as a little carrot dispensing machine?πŸ₯•πŸ¦

ArChuckles and I then got to go for a little cool down walk in the summer pasture. Riding a relaxed Arshaq out on that wide open field after a great dressage lesson felt like putting a really sweet cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. πŸ’πŸ¨

We finished up with some brushing and carrot stretching before baby got to go back out into the pasture. Both of us very happy and carefree.πŸŽ΅πŸ¦„

I was tired after working hard during the lessons but I don’t think the following stable chores have ever felt so easy and fun. Some days are better than others.πŸ™πŸ»πŸ†

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Chasing daylight

We rushed out as soon as we could today to see some daylight during our ride.πŸžπŸ¦„πŸ™πŸ»β„οΈπŸ‘‘

Matilda rode Shahina and I rode Poppy.πŸΌπŸ‘‘ We went up to the woods and were out for something like 1 hour and 20 minutes.πŸ¦„πŸ™πŸ»

Popgun was very happy to just go walking with Shahina but we also mixed in some more trotting than what we’ve been doing.πŸ’› They were starting to get a little competitive at times but it wasn’t hard to keep the tempo slow, even though Poppy wasn’t wearing a bit.

After, I spent about 35 minutes lunging and messing around with Arshaq.🍼🦁 We started off with just walking around but Arshaq found that quite boring so I had to think of other things for us to do. I lunged him around in circles, got him to walk and trot next to me in straight lines, practiced stopping, moving away, backing and turning. By the end I was quite tired.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜¬

My only plan for the rest of the evening is to study and to get to bed reasonably early. Tomorrow, I am responsible for feeding and letting out all 12 horses at the stable so I have to get up quite early.

I am also planing on taking lessons on both Arshaq and Shahina from our dressage trainer Per. So it’s best to be well rested.

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Happy unicorns πŸ¦„

It’s nice being greeted this way πŸ’›

Now Poppy and I are going to go for a ride!

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Arshaq’s first outdoor adventure in ages

Arshaq loves going on adventures.🦁✨

I hadn’t ridden out with Arshaq in a while since he has been so overly excited after the winter rest. Remember, we have no place to ride out without cars.

But now we have gotten out most of the excess energy and Arshaq has been very well behaved while doing dressage, so it was finally time to get to go out riding outside again!πŸ™πŸ»

Nevertheless, I wanted Adam and Shahina to come along as back up. Adam and Arshaq get along so well and Shahina has a calming influence on all of us. Perfect combination. And this way, I got out two ponies at once. πŸ¦„πŸ‘‘πŸ₯•πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚️

So we set off by foot in the early afternoon and the first 20 minute walk along the road passed without incident. A couple of cars passed by but Arshaq didn’t seem to notice. We used to have some issues with meeting new horses but Arshaq barely looked as we passed the neighboring stable’s pastures. Awesome.🐎 πŸ¦πŸ™πŸ»βœ¨

We got off the car road and onto to the small path but I decided to wait with mounting until we had walked up the small mountain to the woods. πŸ”πŸŽ  I is quite a steep climb but it was probably most exhausting for Adam and myself since we were both wearing a lot of winter clothes.πŸ˜‚β„οΈ

We followed the small path through the woods and got to a ditch. πŸŒΏβ„οΈ Arshaq looked surprisingly graceful as he jumped over it. (It wasn’t very deep but deep enough for us.) Baby is usually graceful but I didn’t really appreciate that he was that elegant while jumping.πŸ˜‚

I then finally got on and Adam continued walking with Shahina. That path is quite good/bad depending on how you look at it. It is impossible to trot in most places but it is excellent training to get the ponies to pick up their feet over the many roots and rocks! Awesomeness.πŸŒΏπŸ”

Eventually we turned on to a dirt road and I got off, feeling very happy about our ride! πŸ¦πŸ’›

The plan was to be out for 60 minutes and we had ridden almost 40 minutes. On schedule, but it was time to get back so we started heading down to the asphalt road. But Arshaq kept looking back and taking notice of something interesting. I knew that it was probably the horses in the pasture around the corner so we turned around and walked toward them. I didn’t want to get on to the car road when he was excited and it felt like good practice for him to get to look at new horses.πŸ΄πŸ‘€

Sure enough, the horses in the pasture were very interested in what we were doing. We continued walking past them calmly and Arshaq settled down. Shahina took little to no notice during any of this. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘‘

We turned around and headed back to the stable again once everything felt calm and easy again. This time he barely looked at the horses in the pasture and we walked down to the asphalt road. Adam and I switched horses since I started feeling anxious about the road and I didn’t want my fear of cars to rub off on Arshaq.πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ¦

On the walk back, Arshaq was a tiny bit more eager than on the way out but he didn’t get spooked by any of the cars. Thankfully they all passed us reasonably slowly after a good bit of anxious waving from me.🚘

We caught the attention of a very cute and fluffy fox that crossed the road in front of us. It seemed uncertain wether we were a danger or not but eventually scurried away into the bushes.πŸ¦ŠπŸ˜‚

The biggest challenge came at the end. The big, creaky school buss! Luckily, we could step off the road and it could pass us calmly and Arshaq didn’t seem to notice it. Baby is not scared of conventional things, after all. πŸšŒπŸ¦πŸ’›πŸ˜‚

A simple map of our adventure. πŸ˜‚

Once we got back, we had been out for almost 20 minutes longer than planned so we quickly did water and got Arshaq and Shahina out to the pasture. I was in quite a hurry to get to my evening course in Entrepreneurship since my group was meeting early to start discussing an assignment.πŸ“™

So I called my poor Dad, who was willing to help clean boxes so that mom didn’t have to do so much by herself. That was so nice of them. πŸ’›

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Ready for our Flag πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ

Arshaq’sΒ new saddlepad from Exclusive Horsewear makes my little baby look ready to take on the world. πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺπŸ’›πŸ†πŸ΄πŸŒŸ

I really like the yellow with blue and gold trim on ArshaqΒ and I love seeing his name things. I just know that he willΒ and We took a ride in the snowy paddock to celebrate. β„οΈπŸ™

There was a pony in the paddock when we got there and that would have caused a few problems for us in the past. Today, thankfully, it worked just fine, even when they were cantering.

Some strange creaking noices just outside the paddock were, apparently, way more worthy of my little Prince’s wide looks of concern.

(Because, as we all know,Β thatΒ must be what chestnut-eating monsters sound like.)

But I feel like I did my job in keeping him preoccupied. And I didn’t feel like I might potentially get dumped in the snow, not even once, which is a step up from some of our previous rides together.

We walked most of the time in a big circle near the gate but we changed directions often and I asked him to move laterally for a couple of steps every once in a while. We also trotted for a couple of laps in each direction but not more than that. Overall he was unusually sweet and calm again, despiteΒ (or perhaps because)Β the reins being attached to the sidepull againΒ (and not to the very kind bit we use). Or maybe it was because of our progress together or because mom was there to keep us company in the dark (just in case I fell off on my face). Either way, maybe it would be good to call out the dentist again even though she was recently here and said that nothing was wrong. (Just in case it isn’t my riding skills making all the difference.)

Our biggest problem came towards the end of our ride when the sweet pony that was keeping us company (and protecting us from potential chestnut-eating monsters in the bushes)Β left to go inside. But I feel like we got through that in a good way too.

We finished our ride in a good place and I rode him to the stable door, got off somewhat gracefully, walked back with a calm baby to the paddock, turned off the lights, walked us over to the trailer to check out what my mom was up to and then brought him inside. Just to make a point.

I love finishing our ride in ways like this. To me it is the feeling we get from the end of the ride that is most important because that is the one that I will remember the longest.

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Active RestΒ 

The horses usually rest on Mondays but I like taking them for walks so that they can stretch their legs.

Popgun and Shahina came along for a 20 minute walk with Adam and myself today while a million fluffy snowflakes made there way down to join their friends on the ground. πŸ¦„β„οΈπŸŒ¨β˜ƒ  

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Baby Arshaq came along for the next 20 minute walk and enjoyed stealing some treats while we were wandering around. πŸ΄β„οΈπŸŒΎβ˜ƒ

Adam got to lead Arshaq for a while and I took the chance to film them for a few moments. 
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