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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Gala tonight!

Morning

Protein powder mixed with oats and banana for breakfast. 🍌 🍯

Lunch

We looked over our ponies while they ate their lunch. πŸ¦„πŸŒ± Adam and I mucked out the boxes, cleaned water, switched Popgun’s legwraps and then mixed grain buckets.

Emma will come this evening and bring them in, prepare hay and check on them again.πŸ’›πŸ’πŸΌ

AfternoonWe got in the car, did a quick stop in my hometown Uppsala and then started our 3 hour drive all the way to Kristinehamn. πŸš—πŸ’¨

Tonight we are going to the annual endurance gala. βœ¨πŸ’ƒπŸΌ

I am a little nervous that I picked the wrong dress for this evening. πŸ˜‚πŸ’›

I decided that I am going to do my makeup in the car, so I hope I don’t end up looking like a clown. 🀑 πŸ’„ πŸ’…πŸ»πŸ˜‚ But first I am going to just sit and listen to podcasts.

Adam and I stopped in KΓΆping and went food shopping for some snacks to eat in the car. It feels like we’ve been to all the supermarkets in Sweden after all the competitions in the last few years.

I have two looks.

1) barn rat

2) glam queen

Let’s see what wonders make up can do.

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What do you do to cheer yourself up?

Dear Diamond,

we all know who really is a girl’s best friend.

Sincerely yours,

HorseπŸ¦„πŸ’Ž

I had to do something fun today because I woke up feeling awful. I almost wrote that “I woke up feeling as if I’d been run over by a car”. But I don’t even find that joke funny myself.

So today, Shahina and I enjoyed a beautiful outing in the woods for about 8 km in 90 minutes.πŸ¦„πŸ‘‘

My Queen looking out over one of our favorite mini-mountains. πŸ”πŸŽ 

One looses a lot of the light when one gets in under the trees but there is something peaceful about the woods.

The ground is frozen and quite uneven in some places at the moment, so it is even more technical right now to ride there. No match for my careful and experienced lady. You don’t get to 26 without some special qualities. Good thing Shahina has many. πŸ‘‘βœ¨

Perfect place to clear ones mind. 🎠✨🌸🌿

After this, we cantered down a dirt road and Shahina was very excited to get to run a little. πŸ˜‚πŸŒͺ

Shahina does her best to make me feel safe, but it feels so nice when the roads are empty. πŸ’›

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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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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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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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