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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Pop-POP-Popping!

90 minutes of riding an excited πŸ…ΏοΈπŸ’›πŸ…ΏοΈπŸ”« today down past the lakes for 11 km.

Poppy looking smooth, as always. πŸΏπŸ”«

I put on loads of reflectors on today, though I wasn’t planning to go out for long.

My core muscles really had to work on our ride!πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦ He was full of energy and mini-spooking at everything so it felt nice having my dad driving behind us on the car road, just in case.πŸŒͺπŸ‘»πŸŒΏπŸ‘€πŸ­πŸš—πŸ’¨

I decided to let him trot a little more today and we even cantered, which was so much fun!!πŸŽ πŸ™πŸ»

But Popgun sure was ready to go Pop-POP-Poping!πŸΏπŸ’›

I do love all the climbing we get to do. Even if the cars scare me to bits. πŸ”β„οΈ

You know that feeling when your horse is so happy to be out with you? That feeling was there during every second of this ride!

I love these little gaps in the road. They let us get off the road when people are driving to fast while passing. πŸš—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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Rise and shine πŸ’Ž

Just got back to my apartment after feeding, letting out all the 12 ponies and sweeping out the stable. πŸŽπŸ’¨πŸŒͺ🍏

Now I get to eat my own breakfast before my first dressage training that starts at 11am. I think I am going to ride Shahina first, but I am not quite sure yet.πŸ¦„πŸ My dad is going to pick me up, so I hope that he will bring one of his cameras and maybe film or take pictures. πŸ‡πŸΌβœ¨πŸ’›πŸŽ¬πŸŽ₯πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŒΎ

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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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These boots were made for..

I am taking it very slowly forward with Popgun since he kicked himself with the ice stud almost 3 weeks ago. So we’ve mostly been riding at a walk for the past 1,5 weeks. That sure is better than boxrest and walks by hand, but.. πŸ˜‚πŸ™„

I should be used to walking by now since I do endurance, duh. We do a lot of walking to build up, specially in the winter.β„οΈπŸŽ 

We have all been told how important walking sessions are, no matter what discipline you do, but they are not always very exciting.πŸŒπŸ‘€

One thing that helps me to keep up the motivation is to ride in the woods and do some extra climbing.πŸ’πŸΌπŸŽ πŸŒΏπŸ”That way, there are more interesting things to see for both horse and rider and you both also need to spend more time thinking about where they put their feet! πŸ‘ βœ¨

You could also try singing but watch out for lurking joggers.😳🎡 Been there and done that.

Popgun enjoyed today’s slow ride, even if it was only 70 minutes short.🍿🐼

We started off today’s ride by going down a path that usually is off limits because of the sensitive ground. The snow means that we are allowed to ride there. But there were so many frozen puddles, sticks, uneven ground, trees, holes and other things blocking our way. So we turned back after only 5 minutes or less.🌿🏞

Instead, we climbed up to the regular woods. Popgun is looking so gorgeously straight forward in this picture because a big herd of deer decided to bounce out in front of us. πŸ¦ŒπŸ’¨πŸ˜πŸ”

The view from on top is beautiful.πŸžπŸ”

Once we got back, Popgun got to go out inte the pasture again.πŸ₯•πŸ’‹

Shahina and I then joined Mom and Nipeta again for a nice 2 hour long ride, but sadly it was spent in the dark.πŸ¦„πŸ˜‚πŸŒ“βœ¨πŸ’›

After finishing up at the stablework, Popgun got me to spend a long time cuddling. What a little Sweetie. πŸ’›

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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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Endurance Training Without Leaving the YardπŸ‡πŸ’¨Β 


I wish every ride was as nice as tonight’s endurance training with Popgun.πŸ’₯πŸ”«πŸ¦„πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ

 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. πŸ‡πŸ’¨πŸŒΎπŸπŸŒ™πŸ’«πŸ™

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. 
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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. πŸ’›πŸ¦„πŸ†πŸ…

Maybe we will sign up for a small pay&jump before or next endurance competition? πŸ€”  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 πŸ’™ πŸ’› It has his name embroidered onto it with gold letters which made our outfit really Pop. πŸ’₯πŸ”«

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