Introducing a double bridle to your horse

This is a topic that has been coming up recently with a couple of my friends, who have been worrying about when to introduce a double bridle to their horse, or to even use one on their horse. I've had several conversations where people have been SO worried about the double bridle that they have avoided using it for years! In my opinion, a horse should be willing and able to carry his weight on the hind legs with uphill balance in the snaffle bridle, and only after then introduce a double bridle to them. I'd never put one on until I’m totally happy with the way the horse goes in a snaffle, which has little to do with age - Basse is now already 16, but this was the first time when I felt like both him and myself as a rider were ready to use a double bridle on him whereas Vallu was 7 when he first had a double bridle on (not introduced by me, we bought him when he was 9 years old)!
I think what needs to be remembered is that depending on how the horse is in the mouth, you need to pick the correct bradoon - I'd opt for a loose ring bradoon for a horse who needed more 'play' on the mouthpiece (e.g. Basse) and an eggbutt for one who responded better to a mouthpiece which stayed relatively still (e.g. Vallu who I'm still trying to find the right eggbutt bradoon for!)


"You can't be normal and be excellent"

I recently saw a fantastic video on Facebook which interviewed the Canadian dressage rider Cindy Neale-Ishoy and it was such an inspiring story from her, about her way of thinking and training. In case you don't know anything about her, she is a Canadian dressage rider and was a member of the Canadian team at the 1988 Olympics where she placed fourth in individual dressage, and won a bronze medal in team dressage. She also competed at the 1972, 1992 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
Hands down the most memorable thing she said in this short video was to "train harder and do better" 👊🏻 You do not get better from simply wishing you were better, you get better by training harder and working more! Stop making excuses and just be the best you can be because absolutely no one is going to do it for you. Train harder and go out there to win and be happy with what you achieve even if it's not a first place result 🏆 Those who are the best riders are the best riders because "they want to know more" whilst those who don't want to know or to learn more will always struggle. It was very interesting for me to hear that for her and George Morris the "biggest problem is that people don't want to know". I'm almost fanatical in my need to constantly learn more in order to become a better rider, and I can't actually see why someone would put so much money and time into a sport like this without wanting to actually learn more!


Petrie Verona riding boots

If you've been following this blog from the beginning you'll know that I've always had Königs dressage boots, but for the last 18 months I've moved onto Petrie boots. I chose the brown Verona boots originally because I wanted tall boots from a reputable brand but they needed to under €400 because I was planning on only having them as my second best boots for riding at home and hacking out whilst keeping my Königs boots as my competition ones. But these have lasted SO well that I went ahead and bought another pair, this time in black which can be my 'better' boots for training and competing in!
In my opinion the Verona is a super elegant riding boot - it has an extra high bow (6 cm!) and it's been designed to very slim around the ankle, which makes my notsoskinny legs look SO much longer, and therefore thinner! The front zipper extends down past the ankle, so you don't have to worry about that the zipper breaking as quickly as it does on boots where it ends before the ankle. The zipper is finished with a flap with buckle closure at the top, which is actually easy to close thanks to the press button, and I think this makes the boots less boring as there is 'something' going on, rather than the boots being entirely plain. I just now need to find spur straps that have gold buckles on them!
I REALLY prefer having a zipper at the front rather than on the inside or at the back, it makes the zipper last longer and is SO much easier to do up. Just last week the zipper kinda broke, so I took them to the shoe repair shop and they replace the slider because the zip itself hadnt broken, it was the slider! So instead of having to pay for a 50€ replacement, it cost me just 8€ to have the slider changed. SO even after 18 months of hard work, the zips on my brown boots haven't broken yet! 👏🏻


30 facts about me

Since so many people have joined in with this blog hop, I thought I’d join in too! Thank you, May As Well Event for this fun blog hop! Without further ado, here are 30 indispensable facts about me that you were probably not dying to know ⤵️

1. I've been riding since I was 5. Those poor Shetland ponies who had to put up with a super excited child.

2. My longest proper break from riding was 2 months when I was studying for my finals of college. Other than that I have never had a proper break from riding and don't see myself ever being able to stay away from horses.

3. My first pony was Briggsen. He was a little sh*t and threw me off everyday for the first 6 months I rode him, but he's the reason why I can sit to nearly all horses' bucks/rears/spooks nowadays! Thank you Briggsen ❤️
4. I was born in Kaarina in Finland, and we lived there until we moved to Reading, UK in 2001. We then moved to West Sussex in 2005 where I completed secondary school and did my GCSEs. We then moved back to Finland 2010-2012, then I spent 6 months in Germany at my brother's yard, then I moved back to Finland for a few months before going to university to Nottingham 2013-2016, and moved back to Finland in 2016. Moving back to the UK hopefully within the next 4 months and will hopefully be there for a good while!

5. I have no desire to ever go beyond advanced level dressage… I'm never going to be good enough/have a fancy enough small tour/Grand Prix horse so those levels are just are never going to be possible for me!

6. I love both dogs and cats 🐶🐱 We've always had dogs, but cats are still extra special to me because we've only had cats for the last few years, since moving back to Finland.


Trends to watch out for: Eskadron Classic SS18

I can totally get why some people think I'm a bit crazy, especially when someone asks me a question about anything that is equestrian style/brand related as I could easily talk for hours and hours and hours... Especially if the topic was Eskadron's collections! I'm always very impressed with each one of Eskadron's collections, and honestly out of all the years I've been following equestrian trends the only one that I didn't like was Eskadron Heritage 2016. But I think this collection is fantastic and deserves 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For this SS18 collection, Eskadron has once again gone for the classic navy and grey that they tend to have for each collection so these colours are no surprise BUT what was quite unexpected (at least for me) was the colour choices for this collection! There is a lovely light mint green (jade) and what looks like a nice strong but soft shade of yellow (sunrise). I'm not a big fan of yellow but this particular shade is really pretty! And I think it was a nice touch was to add a floral pattern in, which for this collection is the 'deep blue flower' which I honestly actually liked already when I first saw it in some leaked photos. I know it's gonna be a love/hate reaction to this floral pattern, but I believe a lot of people will actually like it rather than hate it... Eskadron have already done a floral pattern in their Next Generation SS17 collection, but I do think this one is a lot prettier? 💐 But anyway, the official colours are: white, jade, deep blue, sunrise and steel grey. 
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