30.4.14

All The Small Things blog challenge

This lovely idea taken from LB Equestrian's blog (which you can read HERE)

With blogging, it feels like sometimes we can over analyze all the bad things that go wrong (in training, behaviour wise, or spooking etc) and you can easily get stuck in a rut. Take some time out and think about 5 small things that you love about your horse.

Vallu
#1 He makes my life a roller coaster of emotions, and I smile laugh cry and despair on a regular basis 
#2 He spooks at dad giving him an apple when it splits in half 
#3. He's willing to forgive all of my riding mistakes, and manages to make me look good when riding him
#4 He makes me progress as a rider and teaches me new things all the time - like the other we practised tempi changes on a 20 meter circle - a Grand Prix freestyle movement in my eyes ;)
#5 He gives the best kisses

Nelli
#1 She looks after everyone who rides her
#2 I can ride her bareback with no saddle or bridle on
#3 Most temperamental mare ever to ride, but once it clicks the feeling she gives you is superb
#4 She has such a low neigh that she sounds like a stallion
#5 She's in total control of all of the boys, they all respect their queen ;)

Basse
#1 He has white eyelashes
#2 Super schoolmaster, you won't get anything out of him until you ride him right
#3 He's the kindest, and safest horse to everyone else, and with me he'll buck and play and go slightly wild all the time
#4 How he tends to sleep all the time; in his stable in the night, during the day, outdoors in his paddock...
#5 How he closes his eyes when he is licking your hand after you've given him a sweet e.g. a sugar lump

Rama 
#1 He's such a funny horse, and he must have been a clown in his previous life as he makes me and mum laugh everyday
#2 He's so easy to ride, and everything seems to be easy for him
#3 He loves galloping really fast up the hills when we're hacking in the woods, and will immediately drop down to walk when you pat him on the neck and go "good boy, woaahhh"
#4 He plays with his brushes when you're tacking him up
#5 He has the best work attitude, he's always ready to go to work and he absolutely detests his days off

Let me know your favourite things of your horse(s) below, or do a blog post about it like me and send me the link and I'll check it out!

28.4.14

Saturday silliness!

We were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather once again on the day that we decided to go for a hack to the same local stables as we did last Friday (which you can read about here) This time we took Nelli and Basse, and they were so well behaved that we even managed to go crazy enough to have a small bit of cantering!!! 

Since Nelli had already been there last week, she was so much more relaxed this time. As soon as we took her out of the trailer and she saw where we were, she was calm and waiting to be tacked up. Basse was another story... He was unbelievably excited to be going to a new place, although luckily he was able to keep himself in check and stay nearly normal. We just had to do lots of walking in hand before he would stand still long enough for us to tack him up. Once I'd gotten on him, he stood still like an angel; but after we started riding towards the track that's when he started to get a bit antsy. It was like riding a fire snorting dragon, he wasn't able to walk properly so we piaffe-passage-trot-walked for the first five minutes. Apparently it was too much hard work, and he managed to start walking like a normal horse after that. Silly over-excited boy!
After a couple of rounds of walk, we started trotting and boy have I ever had to work so hard to do continuous half-halting in order to keep Basse for bursting at the seams... I was pleasantly surprised to see how fit he was, even after two rounds of trotting, when we changed direction all the small cross country jumps at the side of the track became incredibly scary because they'd changed sides, and thus were obviously alive and coming out to eat horses... Even the hare in the field close by was something worthy of spooking at! 
Ponies in the trailer on the way back :)
Hopefully we can visit this place again soon, next time I'm determined to take either Rama or Vallu (mum still isn't keen on this idea) I find hacking out incredibly relaxing, and so much fun to let the horses go fast, and have some fun in the middle of the woods in the sunshine.

24.4.14

Evening sun

Vallu such a poser ;)


It's great to have the horses at home and be able to turn them out whenever, so today after riding, mum and I turned Nelli and Vallu out again into their sand paddocks for the evening! Vallu looked like he was loving it, being able to have a proper roll after a hard training session...




Life has been crazy busy, but I'm managing to love every minute of it, even with the massive amount of stress that my upcoming exams are giving me. Luckily our crazy pets keep me happy and laughing. I can't wait for my exams to be over, then summer and proper horsing around can start :)
Niilo 
Our little guard dogs

Toivo


Waiting for the stick... 
Max the cat: "I'm ready to be let into the house human come open the door for me"

21.4.14

New riding hat in review

Those readers who follow me on Instagram will know that about a week ago I got a brand spanking new riding helmet, which I am totally in love with right now. Just the right about of sparkles, shiny leather and a good price to boot too...
I don't want to join the masses with the their Charles Owen, GPA and Samshield hats, and because I refuse to spend £500 on a hat that I will more than likely scratch and break within two years, I bought something a little different. I haven't seen anything like this anywhere in England and not that much in Finland either.  Mum and a couple of friends have had Euro-Lite helmets for a couple of years now, and they have stayed in quite a good condition so there is hope for this hat too :D
It's incredibly comfortable, and sits me very well. Some hats, no matter how lovely they are (e.g. Charles Owen hats) just do not fit my big head at all... But luckily this one does. I love the crocodile pattern and the rhinestones. It's something blingy that is just a little bit different to what everyone else has (can you tell that my inner hipster has woken up?)
Unfortunately the camera ran out of battery before I could take more pictures, so you don't get to see the lush padding inside and the really nice leather straps. The strap that's under your chin is a lot thinner to what I'm certainly used to, and surprisingly I find it much more visually appeasing and more comfortable as well. With a price just under 120e here in Finland, I'm thinking this was a pretty good purchase for someone like me. And who could say no to the rhinestones? ;)

20.4.14

Spring is here...


Yesterday I decided that it was finally time to start riding on our outdoor arena again. It felt like it had become soft enough to be able to ride on it, and it's such a great arena, after 5 months of being frozen and covered underneath tons of snow, it is still good enough to ride on even without any work being done on it! That being said, we are getting it harrowed properly to get it fully open from underneath next week. 


Vallu was quite good to begin with, but obviously he was feeling pretty fresh and has spring fever, which you can see in the little video below! It was so funny, he'd been so good for an entire 20 minutes with not a foot out of step and then suddenly he just went "let's go" and this happened. Funny pony :)

18.4.14

Happy hackers in Finland!

So like the rest of the entire equestrian community both here in Finland and in the UK I went out for a hack because 1. it was a day off for everyone else 2. the sun was shining and 3. it was really really warm.
We went to a stable close by (only a 5-10 minute drive) where they have a very lovely sand track that's about 1. 2km long, with some gentle hills and a very well looked after surface. I'm so happy that our friends had discovered this place, it is a little piece of paradise. There are no cars, the track is wide enough to have two horses side by side with a big enough gap in between them and the track's surface is really very good and well looked after so the horses feet will be fine - a very important for those who are just a tad bit paranoid about their horses feet e.g. me and mum. 
Hopefully we will be going there again soon with other horses (including Vallu) I just need someone who can drive a trailer... Maybe it's time for me to get a driving license for towing a trailer :)

13.4.14

Super star Rama

Since mum can't ride because of her arm, for the last week and a few days I've been riding Rama once again. He's a lovely chap to work it, but it has taken a while for us to get used to each other again. I don't know how top riders can just hop on a horse and go do a competition straight away, it took us more than a few days to fully understand each other, and now finally it is starting to pay off. The last couple of days Rama has been great, it appears that I've found which buttons to press to get the best reaction out of him, and which exercises work best to get him moving better...
Even though mum and I ride with pretty similar styles, I'd forgotten how different Rama is to Vallu, and so the first week was a big struggle for me. Rama also has a pretty specific and long warm up which he needs in order to be able to work well (obviously he needs longer because he is older, and more stiff than Vallu is) And as Vallu is so much quicker and easier to warm up, it took me longer than I excepted for my brain to understand that I need to ride a longer warm up.
As every horse is different, it is not a surprise that Rama would be different to ride, but having ridden one horse for so long I had forgot that as a rider you need to be much more flexible to each individual horse's needs and ways of moving. Rama needs a lot of inside leg to outside rein on the left rein to make sure he is around your leg, and not falling out of his shoulder. This becomes very apparent on a big twenty metre circle, where you will suddenly find yourself on a 12m circle if you don't pay attention to it! The left shoulder also needs attention when warming up in right canter, where he will easily go towards the wall instead of staying straight on the track. (If anyone has this problem, a great quick tip is to place your whip on the horse's shoulder - just resting - this will encourage the horse not to fall out of the shoulder, and you don't even have to use the whip on them, big bonus )
After work walkies
Check out our spring colour bandages ;)
I'm very excited that it's all started to fall back into place, and I'm already looking at some smalls shows to do with him over the summer! Next Friday we might be able to go visit a stable close by which has a 1.2km path that we might use to go for a hack :)

10.4.14

Evening sun



It's been great to have Vallu back home, there has been no chaos created by him returning all the other horses are acting like he's never been away! :D I was a bit worried about the first time turning them all out together since Vallu hasn't had proper turnout since October - but all of the ponies behaved incredibly well and stayed out for more than 4 hours. Because Vallu's temperature has stayed normal, he was lunged on Tuesday where he looked really good, and I mean really good - fit, happy and fully sound! Then on Wednesday I got to ride him, and I'd totally forgotten how big he is even though I've been riding Rama for nearly a week and he's not much smaller than Vallu is. Even though Vallu was a bit stiff (especially on the left side) he was more than happy to go forwards - even though it sometimes felt even too fast for me!


Next week we'll hopefully have our first training session and see how that goes! I've also been checking out some small competitions for the summer, maybe we can try doing some competitions here so that when we go back to Nottingham in the autumn we could immediately join BD and start affiliated competitions!

7.4.14

Vallu is home!

Gorgeous pony ♥︎
 So Vallu finally arrived home this morning!! I'm so glad to have him back home, it has been such a long week without him. Today he got to go for a walk in the afternoon, after which he got turned out with Nelli for about 3 hours so that tomorrow morning's turning out won't be such a big deal to him. It was a good idea, considering that Vallu spent the first fifteen minutes rolling and cantering and bucking around; luckily Nelli is far too wise to join in but the other boys for sure would have gone wild as well.

Nelli waiting for Vallu ♥︎
Dad brining the beginning of my stuff and the all important saddle 



Daddy and Vallu
Nelli and mum and mum's sling
After having a good roll, and check out how deep that bed is ;)
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