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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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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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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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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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  

​​
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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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 ErnΓ€s

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. 

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