19.3.19

Getting back into it

If you follow me on Instagram (@roosa_rantanen) you’ll know that over the last few weeks I've been suffering from being incredibly frustrated with the weather! Over the last 2 weeks I've barely ridden and the horses haven't been going out properly - our fields are a soggy marshland thanks to the constant rain and the gale force winds have ensured that my feet haven't left the ground. Honestly it has been the longest period of high winds that I have ever experienced in my lifetime and even Basse, who I would trust with my life, has been wild to hand walk in the arena so you can only imagine what the other horses have been like! đŸŒȘ☔️
I really didn’t want to have a doom and gloom and woe is me blog post on here as I prefer keeping my blog a positive and encouraging space, but the truth is that a horsey life is hardly ever perfect... Two weeks of crappy weather as well as a horrible bout of flu that kept me essentially bed bound for days did a huge amount of damage to my motivation and to my self-confidence. Before this I was planning competitions as well as a trip to a local canter track, hiring an indoor arena and trailering up for hacks, but over the last few days I didn't even want to get on my horses. Riding horses is certainly never plain sailing and I’m not ashamed to admit that some days (or even weeks!) I struggle. It's hard to carry on but eventually you come through on the other side and get back into it. You just have to give yourself the time for it.
But on Sunday I put on my brave pants and decided to go for it - I'd had enough of my self-pity, my fever was gone and with the winds dying down by the hour I knew I had no excuses left. I made a plan to actually ride all the horses, rather than lunging because they'd been lunged all week. As I got on each horse I said to myself that "I am not scared, I am a brave rider" and this was the mantra that I repeated constantly as I rode. And in the end, I actually ENJOYED riding!! Yes they were all wired to the moon and yes I did sit to some very impressive spooks, but I got to end it on a good note on all of them. Afterwards I felt AMAZING! And even today more than 48 hours later, I still feel amazing. 

13.3.19

An interview with an international competition groom Tinja Hurula

I know this is something different to what I normally share on my blog, but I thought it was about time to add a new feature and expand the blog to include interviews with people who I think have interesting stories to tell! Tinja is a gem of a girl, whose positive attitude and love of horses inspires me and I'm so lucky to class her as a friend of mine! Tinja and I have been talking ever since last summer when I stayed at my brother's yard in Germany for 6 weeks whilst we waited for the sale of our house over here to be completed and I thought it would be a great feature to shed some light on the work she is doing. So I thought I’d catch up with her and find out more about what it's like being an international competition groom and share it with you guys! ⬇️
Tinja and Rossi after the GP Special class which Henri and Rossi won 🏆
Q: Tell us all about yourself and how you ended up working for Henri as a groom?
"I'm Tinja, I'm 25 year old and originally from Turku, in Finland. I've been working at various stables for about 10 years. I came from Finland to Krefeld in Germany thanks to being inspired by a friend, and after a year I ended up moving to come work for Henri at Gut Bertingloh."
Q: How do you prepare for a long trip with a horse which includes the horse having to fly?
"For a long journey to a competition that we have to fly to, I prepare pretty much the same way as for any other competition. However, there are a few things you need to bring with you in the plane that you don't need when the horse isn't flying. For example, things such as a brush, a rug and boots for the horse, a bucket as well as a spare head collar and lead rope! They must be packed in case the tack locker is delayed in arriving at the competition site. For the flight it's also good to pack a large hay net and mash for the horse."

11.3.19

Riding exercise of the month: halt to trot

As the spring/summer competition season starts to get closer and closer, I've been working on several exercises to polish up to the look of our tests and to make sure we get the best possible marks. As halt to trot transitions are asked for at the beginning of most dressage tests, it's the first movement to get marked and you really want to make a good first impression to the judge! If you ride a good halt which is followed by a smooth and straight transition into trot, you set yourself up to get good marks in the rest of the test. And even if you're not competing, halt to trot transitions are useful as a riding exercise to make your horse sharper to your leg aids and to encourage them to step underneath more! 
When I start riding direct halt to trot transitions, I find it very helpful to position my horses along the fence line rather than on the centre line as this makes it easier for me to keep them straight during the halt and the transition to trot. Apply both legs on the girth with a small squeeze to ask your horse to move directly into trot - at first you might have to use a sharper kick or a tap with your whip if you don’t get a reaction, but remember to praise lots when the horse does what you want. Positive praise gets you quicker results that negativity! ❤️ Obviously the strength of the leg aid depends on the horse - a sharp horse will need less leg than a lazy one, but after training this exercise your horse should move into trot from the smallest of aids đŸ’ȘđŸ»

9.3.19

Blogini tarina

Kun minut valittiin Blogiexpo19 'Pinnalla palkinon' ehdokkaaksi tĂ€nĂ€ vuonna, ajattelin ettĂ€ olisi oikea aika kertoa suomeksi blogini taustalla oleva tarina siitĂ€, miten blogini syntyi vuonna 2013 ja mitkĂ€ asiat heppahullussa elĂ€mĂ€ssĂ€ni johtivat tĂ€hĂ€n... TĂ€mĂ€ tulee olemaan pitkĂ€ tarina, joten ota kuppi kahvia ja tee olosi mukavaksi! ☕️🛋
Koska isoveljeni Henri on kilparatsastaja ja hevosalan ammattilainen ja Àitini on ollut hevosten kanssa tekemisissÀ pienestÀ pitÀen, ei ollut mahdollisuutta ettÀ en olisi kasvanut heppahulluksi tytöksi. YlÀasteella West Sussexissa olin kiinnostunut netballista, mutta sekin loppui heti kun oma poni tuli! Eli siis perheeni vahva hevostausta aloitti kiinnostukseni ja rakkauteni hevosiin kun olin ihan pieni lapsi.

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