The cherry on top๐Ÿ’๐Ÿจ

I feel like I am flying on pink little fluffy clouds after today’s dressage lessons with Arshaq and Shahina.๐Ÿฆ„โ˜๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’“

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ‘‘

At about 12.15 pm Shahina got to eat her lunch, finally.๐Ÿฆ„ 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. ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ญ

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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! ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ’›

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?๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฆ

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. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿจ

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.๐ŸŽต๐Ÿฆ„

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.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ†

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ‘‘Exclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ‘‘

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Endurance Training Without Leaving the Yard๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ’จย 


I wish every ride was as nice as tonight’s endurance training with Popgun.๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ซ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช

 We made the most out of a long and otherwise boring day by riding 16.4 km in 1 hour and 45 minutes, despite barely leaving the yard and walking a total of 40 minutes. ๐Ÿšœ ๐ŸŒพ

The ground was perfect on the path around the big field (800 meters) and in the summer pasture (300 meters) and we could train completely undisturbed at a nice and even pace. All the joys of a racetrack just outside the stable doors. ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ’จ๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒ™๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ™

Popgun was wearing our new saddle in navy, Royal blue and Gold from Exclusive Horsewear. It looked smashing and matched  the blue biothane bridle perfectly. 

Our ride in detail:

  • Walking 20 minutes (100 meters + 800 meters * 2 = 1.7 km)  
  • Trotting 2 big laps in both directions (800 meters *4 laps = 3.2 km)  
  • Cantering 5 small laps clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 1.5 km in 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 small lap clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Cantering 5 small laps counter-clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 1.5 km in 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 small lap counter-clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Cantering 2 big laps counter-clockwise (800 meters * 2 laps = 1.6 km) 
  • Cantering 2 big laps clockwise (800 meters * 2 = 1.6 km) 
  • Trotting 2 big laps clockwise (800 meters * 2 laps = 1.6 km) 
  • Trotting 2 big laps counter-clockwise (800 meters * 2 laps = 1.6 km) 
  • Walking 20 minutes ( 800 meters * 2 laps = 1.6 km)  


Approximate time and distance in each Gate: 
Walking: 40 minutes of walking a total of 3,3 km (20 minutes * 2). 

Trotting: 35 minutes of trotting a total of 7 km (3.2 km + 30 meters * 2 laps + 3.2 km) 

Cantering
: 20 minutes of cantering a total of 6.2 km (1.5 km * 2  + 1.6 km * 2 ) 

Time spent stopped, moving between fields,  slowing down and walk in sharp corners: 10 minutes.  

Total: 16.5 km in 105 minutes. 
Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ and ๐Ÿ”นPuls och Trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น

Ready for our Flag ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช

Arshaq’sย new saddlepad from Exclusive Horsewear makes my little baby look ready to take on the world. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ†๐Ÿด๐ŸŒŸ

I really like the yellow with blue and gold trim on Arshaqย and I love seeing his name things. I just know that he willย and We took a ride in the snowy paddock to celebrate. โ„๏ธ๐Ÿ™

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,ย thatย 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, despiteย (or perhaps because)ย the reins being attached to the sidepull againย (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)ย 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.

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ and ๐Ÿ”นPuls & Trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น

Exciting rides and Ponyspa

Today Arshaq and Popgun both got out riding and I took the chance to try out a new bridle to see who it suits best. In my personal opinion I would say that yellow looks best on baby. 


Arshaq was not only looking cute today but also equally sweet to ride. We walked and trotted in all the figures I could think of and practiced stopping and moving sideways. 

Some kids were playing in the woods and two other horses were cantering on a field close by but he didn’t bounce around. Not once. 

I was pleased to see him behave as well as he did and I trusted him enough to ride with the reins attached to the sidepull and not the bit. 

A good deal of this security from Shahina being there to supervise. She was there bra she my Dad was helping me bring her for a walk after her ponyspa treatment from our equine physiotherapist Susanne Ernรคs

Susanne was so nice to make time and come out today to help Shahina after a rather scary incident that happened yesterday. I will talk more in a later post about what happened but for now I can say that she is shaken up but is going to be alright. 

After bringing Arshaq and Shahina out to the pastures, I brought Popgun in and saddled up.  

Pretty Popgun and I then warmed up by walking actively for 20 minutes. First, we went around the big field twice (800 meters * 2 laps) and then walked around the summer pasture (300 meters). 

We trotted two laps in both directions and did some of our dressage homework before starting our planned canter training.

I kept Popgun collected in the corners in order to keep the canter smooth and organized and keept our speed equally calm on the long and straight bits. 

I would prefer finding a bigger track to canter train on but this worked fine for the slow pace we kept today. The ground was also soft in the grassy pasture and more suitable ground is impossible to find during this time of year. 

It was a fun and interesting ride and he felt relaxed yet eager in just the right porportions. 

While unsaddleing I noticed that he wasn’t at all swetty anywhere on his body. His muscles also felt great while I checked him over and massaged him, which makes me feel confident that we didn’t do too much for his level of training. 

Below is a summary of Popgun’s canter session. 

Our ride in detail:

  • Walking 20 minutes (300 meters + 800 meters * 2 = 1,9 km)  
  • Trotting 2 laps in both directions (300 meters * 2 laps = 600 meters) 
  • Cantering 5 laps anti-clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 1,5 km in 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 lap clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Cantering 5 laps clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 1,5 km in 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 lap anti-clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Cantering 5 laps anti-clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 1,5 km in 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 lap clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Cantering 5 laps clockwise (300 meters * 5 laps = 5 minutes) 
  • Trotting 1 lap clockwise (300 meters * 1 lap) 
  • Walking 20 minutes (300 meters *3  + 800 meters = 1,7 km)  


Approximate time and distance in each Gate: 

Walking: 40 minutes of walking a total of 3,6 km (20 minutes * 2). 

Trotting: 8 minutes of trotting a total of 1,8 km (300 meters * 6) 

Cantering: 20 minute of cantering a total of 6 km (1,5 km * 4 laps) 

Total: 11,4 km in 68 minutes. 

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ and ๐Ÿ”นPuls och Trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น 

Dressage in the Dark

Tonight Maja came out to the stable to ride some unicorns. We were initially hoping to go trail riding and meet up with Maria and her horse in the woods. But the roads were so icey that we decided to do some dressage in the paddock instead were the ground was better. The roads looked so strange, almost like the inside of a freezer.

I rode a well behaved Popgun and practiced riding lots of figures and moving laterally. Maja rode Shahina and I tried to supply as many Princess charming tips as I could think of. We finished after a little more than an hour and I rode her for a little while during the last while. I had a good time riding her around a saddle but she was a little bit less interested in dressage than usual.


Shahina worse a hackamore as usual and Popgun wore a new sidepull bridle that I bought second hand this week for a great deal. I am so loving the yellow. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿฆ„

Sponsored  by๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ and ๐Ÿ”นPuls&Trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น

Grand Prix dreams ๐Ÿ˜‚


Monday afternoon our dressage trainer Per came out and trained baby Arshaq and myself.

Arshaq was quite focused and well behaved, which I appreciated a lot. 

We tried to keep his young mind as busy as we would by keeping the pace brisk and by doing as many riding figures as we could think of in both a walk and trot. We practiced doing serpentines, diagonals, 20 meter circles, 10 meter circles and riding down the center line while pretending that we were at a Grand Prix dressage competition. I can dream at least, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’›

I am sure my show off Arshaq doesn’t see a problem with that idea at all. 

We also worked on stopping and starting from a walk and a trot as smoothly and as gracefully as possible. This, I think, was the exercise that went best. 

By the end we also cantered, once on each side on a big 20 meter circle. 
I then let baby out again in the pasture with Nipeta and I hurried home with my Dad to finally eat. 

We came back after not too long to finish up with the chores. I also tiddied up my locker which desperatly needed doing.  

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”นP&T Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น and ๐Ÿ”นExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”น 

Talent over love?ย 

Maria rode Shahina and I rode Popgun this evening for about 1 hour.We trained dressage in the paddock and then cooled off by taking a walk outside around one of the fields. ๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŽโœจ๐ŸŒ™ 

With Popgun I focused mainly on extending his strides while carefully trying different lateral movements. He was very well behaved and soft today, which made everything feel a lot more fun and easy. 

Afterwards, young Arshaq got fussed over a little more than usual, which he really loves. I feel very blessed to have such kind horses who really love cuddles. ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’•

I don’t think I could ever own a horse who I didn’t deeply love, no matter how talented the horse was. It is wonderful to win, sure, but I could never put that above a loving bond with my horse. I need to feel my heart melt every time I look in to their big brown eyes. This way I remain inspired and even the longest days feel worth while. 

But how could you not love these faces? 

As you can see, Arshaq got to act like a big boy today and wear a saddle while I finished up the rest of the stable chores. Pink isn’t exactly Arshaq‘s color so I can barely wait for the flashy new blue and gold saddle pads I have ordered from my dear Sponsor Exclusive Horsewear. They are going to look great on all of them! 

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ and ๐Ÿ”นPuls och Trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น

Overcoming Fear

Our dressage trainer Per came out today and trained Arshaq and myself.

We worked mainly on my own confidence as a rider since that needs a bit more improvement.

My main problem right now is that I need to stop letting my mind paint up a million scenarios which all end with Arshaq bolting home and falling on the ice.

The idea of any one of the horses getting hurt terrifies me more than anything. But Arshaq is the youngest and the one most likely to do silly things while riding, so naturally I worry most about him.

This fear of him falling on the ice has been stuck in the back of my mind for the past month and I feel like it makes me look tense and ride worse than I can. I really want to (and know that I need to) work on it and eventually get over it. But it doesn’t get better when the best place we have to train dressage right now happens to be in such an open and vulnerable place as the summer pasture. It felt so much easier in the paddock that isn’t right next to the other pastures (with horses in them that love to join in on our fun games).

I keep telling myself that I love the opertunity to practice these sorts of things. (But right then, as I sit in the saddle and wait for Popgun or Shahina to set off at a canter right next to us, I quite honestly do not.)

A trainer like Per being there to supervise makes all the difference to me. He tells me when to “be brave and do my job” and when to let myself feel proud and take a step back.

And thank goodness for Adam who joins us out in the freezing cold during every training, just to film and make me feel more safe and confident.

So today we took some steps back to work on my attitude. We walked around in big circles, changing directions and trying to keep Arshaq’s (and my) mind busy. It was cold and a little windy and I could feel that Arshaq was a little excited. We kept turning, stopping and walking while I tried to separate the safe reality from the endless number of “what ifs” that were starting to tunnel their way through my brain.

Once walking felt natural to me again, we started trotting for a little while and nothing dramatic happened. We then went back to a walk and tried working on some “baby leg yields” which went surprisingly well despite me still being quite distracted. Arshaq appreciated all the praise and I started to feel a little bit more confident.

We then tried trotting again in a big circle and I gradually felt like I could breath properly again and trust him enough to ask him to trot faster. All of a sudden I could laugh and smile again!

Since this felt like a big sucess and the perfect time to stop, we finished up and walked back to the stable while I still felt like we could conquer the world again.


After Arshaq’s dressage lesson, we brought in Popgun and Shahina and let Arshaq out in the pasture to play with Nipeta.

I then rode Popgun while Maja rode Shahina for 13 km in almost 2 hours. ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ‘‘ We went on the road down past the lakes and took it quite easy due to all the ice.


The best part about riding on those roads is, without a doubt, all the climbing. It makes even the calmest rides feel like a good workout.
My Shahina loves cantering, especially up mountains, and was a little excited on the way back but otherwise it was quite a nice calm ride. Popgun was still quite poppy again today but was looking quite nice I thought while we were practicing our dressage homework out on our trailride.

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”นPuls och trรคning Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น and ๐Ÿ”ธExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”ธ

Getting things done without stress

Picture taken by Maja (@ticitic)

Tonight Maja came to the stable and we took turns riding Popgun and Shahina for about 1,5 hours. 

I was initially hoping that we could ride in the paddock but I felt that the ground was still too icey for us to ride on, despite spikes. So we made our way over to one of the summer pastures instead and rode some light dressage work there. 

This was Maja’s second time riding Popgun and her first time ever riding my Queen Shahina so we took it very slow. It’s clear that they are all going to get along just fine. 

Popgun was rather excited today though and didn’t seem the least bit tiered or bothered from last night’s jumping adventure. I think he will like going back there again next week and try to show off some more.  

It was great getting so much wonderful help today at the stable from Maja, Adam, my dad and my mom. I almost felt a little strange being at the stable for only 3 hours and still getting everything we needed to do done without a lot of stress. 

So now I am going to take my time and order some new saddle pads from my lovely sponsor Exclusive Horsewear. My brilliant plan is to match the colors with my favorite flashy covers, as seen in the picture. ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ’™ 

Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”นP&T Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น and ๐Ÿ”นExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”น 

Three rides in one dayย 


Today Popgun and I went on 11 km walk in 2 hours with Nipeta and My mom.๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ’› 
Popgun and I worked on our dressage moves he was looking pretty fancy. I ended up getting so cold by the time that we turned so I got off and walked the 5,5 km back to the stable. But it was totally worth it. ๐Ÿ˜‚โ˜ƒ 


Baby Arshaq and Queen Shahina also got dressage lessons today so I ended up spending a total of 11 hours at the stable and I am now quite tiered. 
Sponsored by ๐Ÿ”นP&T Kungsรคngen๐Ÿ”น and ๐Ÿ”นExclusive Horsewear๐Ÿ”น