Endurance Training Without Leaving the Yard🏇💨 


I wish every ride was as nice as tonight’s endurance training with Popgun.💥🔫🦄🇸🇪

 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. 🚜 🌾

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. 🏇💨🌾🏁🌙💫🙏

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 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸 and 🔹Puls och Träning Kungsängen🔹

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A Confident Rider makes a Brave Horse

Tonight’s jump training showed us that we are slowly heading toward where we want to be. 💛🦄🏆🏅

Maybe we will sign up for a small pay&jump before or next endurance competition? 🤔  And if we do: where and when should we go? 

It was obvious that we still have some insecurities every time we try going over a new jump. But as soon as we’ve flown over a particular fence in a good way then we can jump it again without an extra thought. This  could maybe be a problem at a competition since one wouldn’t get the chance to jump the course a few times before starting. I guess, unless we sign up for multiple classes. 

Anyway, I am not quite sure how show jumpers usually start out a new horse’s carrier. Based on past experiences, I would say that most people tend to be less careful(or paranoid) than I am and I feel most people just sort of go out there and take a leap of faith. I am not sure. Perhaps there is something to be said for going and getting that first nervous competition over with. Maybe that is exactly what we need to do just because it goes against the perfectionist inside of me that loves to scream for stability and order. 

Popgun would probably think it was quite awesome as long as there was jumping (and running) involved. 

Another thing that I thought about a lot today was how much my own attitude between the jumps rubbed off on Popgun. 

We had just landed after the small black, red and white fence and were cantering towards the red oxer when a sudden flash of uncertentity came over me. 

I felt like I needed another second to prepare myself for the new jump since it was new and for some reason felt ginormous combated to the other fences ( even though it wasn’t). And this tiny change in attitude from my side immediately rubbed off on Popgun. 

My short moment of hesitation was enough to make him sort of run sideways and miss the next jump, which would count as a clear refusal in a competion. (And that is something you don’t want because it counts as 4 faults, assuming this endurance rider remembers correctly.)  

It took one more failed attempt before I took the extra time to clear my mind and properly convince him that I wasn’t afraid anymore. Then he jumped. And let me tell you, when we’ve got our flow working properly, my unicorn sure can jump.  

To me this just shows what a differance my attitude can make when it comes to our performance together. I have a feeling that I might need to remind myself about that in the future(probably on multiple occasions too.
One thing is certain: my Popgun sure looked good in his new saddle pad from Exclusive Horsewear 💙 💛 It has his name embroidered onto it with gold letters which made our outfit really Pop. 💥🔫


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Sponsored by 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸and 🔹Puls och Träning Kungsängen🔹

Packing list for Jump training

This evening we are going to do some light jump training at Johannesberg’s Castle again. It is a 30 minute drive to get there with a trailer, which means that we have to be somewhat organized in order to get there on time. 🦄👑 

The actual training starts at 18.00 so we usually try to start loading up around 17.00, just to make sure we don’t end up late. Before then, Popgun needs to be wearing all of his trailer equipment and everything else needs to be packed.

Things usually take longer than planned so it makes sense for me to make things as easy as possible to get ready. We also need to make sure we have enough time to bring the horses in and preferably finish up all the stable chores before we go. 

To speed things up and to make sure we don’t forget anything, I decided to make a little packing list for us to follow. 

Packing list: 

Trailer:

  • Trailer protectors 
  • BellBoots
  • Tail protector
  • Trailer Cover from Exclusive Horsewear
  • Halter 
  • Leadrope 
  • Bucket with tasty treats for Popgun
  • Hay
  • Warm gloves
  • Empty Bag to store trailer equipment in

Riding:

Sponsored by 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸 and 🔹Puls & Träning Kungsängen🔹

Ready for our Flag 🇸🇪

Arshaq’s new saddlepad from Exclusive Horsewear makes my little baby look ready to take on the world. 🇸🇪💛🏆🐴🌟

I really like the yellow with blue and gold trim on Arshaq and I love seeing his name things. I just know that he will and We took a ride in the snowy paddock to celebrate. ❄️🙏

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, that 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, despite (or perhaps because) the reins being attached to the sidepull again (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) 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 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸 and 🔹Puls & Träning Kungsängen🔹

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 Ernäs

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 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸 and 🔹Puls och Träning Kungsängen🔹 

Poopgun

Shahina and Adam joined Arshaq and myself for a refreshing 35 minute walk in the paddock today after finishing the chores. 

We changed directions often and I tried to keep Arshaq thinking as much as possible by mixing in some trot and asking him to stop and then back up. He tried to dance around the first time we started trotting and made a (not so graceful) bounce when one of the other horse cantered close by us (one time), but other than that he was very well behaved. 

Afterwards, Popgun and I followed mom and Nipeta for 11,15 km on the hilly road down past the lakes. We kept the tempo quite slow since it was a little icey in places so the ride time ended up being almost exactly 2 hours.

I had to dismount (and then get on again) 5 times during our ride, which took a good deal of extra time. (I got off twice to help adjust my mom’s stirrups, once to push Popgun‘s poop off the road, once to pick up mom’s glove and then finally at the end before going back into the stable to thaw out my toes..)

I would have had to jump off yet another time if Popgun, or Poopgun, hadn’t luckily managed to poop while I was still on the ground helping mom. 

For some reason I wasn’t properly dressed today so I almost froze into a popsicle, even after all my gymnastics while getting in and out of the saddle. But now, after some pony cuddles and a warm shower, I am able to properly move my toes and face again enough to feel happy after a long day. 🦄💛 

Jump training

We liked the jump training at Johannesberg’s Castle so much last week that we decided to go back again today with Popgun. We brought Shahina along as company again too. 

Popgun more than lived up to his name today and was almost as strong as a Shotgun instead of a toy gun. He practically dragged me around the course, which is not exactly ideal. At last he shows a lot of enthusiasms. So all I need to do now is install a set of breaks and we will be good to go. (Or not. Our technique needs a lot of work as well.)

The fact that Popgun had rested both yesterday and the day before probably didn’t make things easier either. Yesterday evening, my mom and I went to a an interesting presentation on equine respiratory conditions. The night before I needed to do school work and my mom went to a presentation held by Endurance rider Annelie Eriksson (which I was told was really great). Both days we only had time to do the chores and neither of us got out riding at all. 

But I am really hoping this jump training thing has turned into something we will do every week. Not only do we get to work on our jump moves, Popgun also gets some extra trailer training. 

The only problem for me is that my own confidence level can, at times, get properly pushed down. We are both so new to jumping after all so sometimes look, quite frankly, ridiculous. It takes quite a lot of rider meditation to tell yourself that it is alright to always be the one that the trainer needs to lower the jumps for. You’d think I’d get used to it but apparently not. I will be singing with joy on the day when we are on the same level as everyone else. 

I put together a little movie of both good parts and mistakes so try not to laugh too hard when you watch it. The music is fun too so make sure to turn it on by turning your phone off silent mode. 

Sponsored by 🔹Puls och Träning Kungsängen🔹 and 🔹Exclusive Horsewear🔹 

This is what Saturdays are meant for 🏆


The day started with a morning ride on Shahina with Marie and her horse for 1,5 hours on some new roads. This was the first time we rode together but I have a good feeling that it won’t be the last. 😉  


Shahina prefers to walk first but followed them nicely as we went out exploring. 

I am constantly looking for new dirt roads to explore since we spend a lot of time out on the trail. 


Once we got back to the stable I brought Popgun in and gave all our ponies their lunch. 

I then saddled Popgun and we waited for Rebecka to saddle her Paloma. Her mom, Henrietta, took this funny picture of the little nest I made while posting the picture from Shahina‘s ride on instagram.


I then rode Popgun with Rebecka and her horse Paloma down past the lakes. 🦄❄️ We were out 1 hour and 45 minutes for about 13 km and had fun climbing on my favorite dirt road. 

We walked for about 20 minutes both at the start of and at the end of our ride but the rest of the ride was mostly nice and calm trot.

 Popgun and Paloma got along very well and I think they had a lot of fun. Popgun did drool some on Paloma though as we took a few pictures. 😂💛

Popgun was well behaved but had a little extra pop in him today and didn’t particularly like the cars that made weird noises next to us on the ice. 


When I got back, Arshaq and I took a 30 minute walk as the sunset colored the fields as golden as my daydreams.  🏆🦄🏁🇸🇪🏅

We just need to wait one more year until we will be out competing together in endurance

Arshaq enjoyed stopping to eat some grass every once and a while and we also practiced trotting up for imaginary veterinarians. This is something we will need to do at competitions in the future so it is good to practice as much as possible. Popgun saw that we were trotting and started racing around in the pasture next to us. So we went back to walking, even though Arshaq luckily didn’t get excited this time. 

Tomorrow our trainer Per is coming out to teach Arshaq and myself some new dressage moves and Maja is going to come ride with Popgun and Shahina and myself. So this weekend is going to be full of wonderful rides! 

Sponsored by 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸and 🔹Puls&Träning Kungsängen🔹 

Dancing in the Dark 


Shahina and Adam came along to babysit when Arshaq and I went for a 20 minute walk today. She is so amazing to bring along with the young and less experienced horses and she really likes feeling part of what ever it is we are doing. 🦄👑 

It was dark and icey on both the roads and in the paddock so I decided it would be best to stay in one of the summer pastures again today. Things usually feel a lot scarier for everyone in the dark.

But Arshaq was very well behaved, even though he did do one small surprised dance. To be fair, that was only because our wonderful Shahina made a small bunny jump as a light outside the stable turned on. 
Baby also made some dragon noises at a rock that he thought might be acting suspicious. But being the adventurous 4 year old that he is, Arshaq continued by it and didn’t look at it the next few times we past it. (It is strange for me that he is already 4 this year. Just think, next year we will be able to do endurance clearrounds already.) 

Arshaq walked first the entire time as usual, which works surprisingly well. We even walked away from Shahina a few times and also took an extra lap around the yard once Shahina had gone inside. 

We’ve got a fun weekend ahead of us with a lot of riding. (And I’ve got lots of nice pictures from the competition to post too.)   

Sponsored by🔹P&T Kungsängen🔹 and 🔸Exclusive Horsewear🔸

Dressage and a new flashy bridle

Today Popgun and I got a light dressage lesson from our trainer Per. We were originally planning on riding in the paddock but the ground was so icy there that we ended up riding in one of the unused pastures intead. 
We focused on the basics and mainly stayed on a large circle around Per. It was a little windy but the weather didn’t bother us too much as we tried to move between walk, trott and canter as softly as we could. Popgun was a little overly enthusiastic about wanting to canter, but he was otherwise very well behaved. He has been only walking by hand and resting during the past 4 days since the competition, as usual, so it was easy to understand why Popgun was a little extra excited today.

At times it felt like we were doing everything just right. Per said that it looked as though we had remembered to do our homework this time. 

We still really need to work on move gracefully between speeds and directions but I felt as though we are making progress. 

I was initially planning on riding a lesson with Arshaq as well, which always teaches us both a lot, but I decided that it would be better to wait until this Sunday instead. That way the ground might get better in the paddock before our lesson. 


While Popgun went out to kiss his Shahina for a while, I did all the chores with Adam’s appreciated assistance.


 It was then Shahina’s turn to be brushed and saddled before a ride with Mom and Nipeta. Shahina got to wear her new bitless bridle from Ridtights. I matched it with my favorite pink gear from my sponsor Exclusive Horsewear


What you see in this picture is the main reason why I don’t get as many nice pictures during the winter. 

As you can see, the sun goes down around 3 pm in Sweden this time of year which sometimes makes it very dark once I get to the stable. On those days I thank my lucky stars for our great headlamps and for our kind horses who keep us cheerful dispite the dark. 

Believe it or not but it can actually be quite relaxing riding in the dark sometimes. There are less unimportant things to look which makes both the horses and myself more focused. 

But after 1,5 hours of walking I did eventually get quite cold this time. I wasn’t wearing enough layers and the wind was blowing in my face. 

Shahina was very enthusiastic and made it clear that she enjoyed getting out and stretching out in her new gear. She practically sings as she walks. 

Sponsored by 🔹P&T Kungsängen🔹 and 🔹Exclusive Horsewear🔹