31.12.14

Looking back at 2014

These are some of my favourite moments of this year, that made me laugh. Our year did not go as planned, but still I am more than happy with where are right now. We might not be competing and winning like planned ;) but I do have a happy and healthy horse, and what more could you really ask for?!

January - riding took a bit of a hit whilst I knuckled down to revise for my January exams. This video makes my heart melt a little every time I see it, he is just too funny!
 
February - trying to cope with the crappy weather and having to ride outdoors a lot. We started getting quite good in the little outdoor, but struggled in the big outdoor. 
March - a big month for us, first solo hack ever and then both of us having to leave back to Finland, and me losing all of my plans for the summer.
April - after settling back into normal crazy horses at home family life, the highlight of the month was going for a proper hack with Nelli and Basse.
May - proper spring finally arrived in Finland. Loving life, everything was so pretty.
June - whilst Vallu was constantly struggling with both his hind legs randomly swelling up for the entirety of this month, I was able to carry on riding with Basse. 
Points to daddy for awesome photography skills
July - a busy month with lots of things happening and lots of photos :) My favourite riding photos with Vallu thanks to Ritva Waris Worlin. A first competition practise with Vallu, where we got 63% in a medium test. Rosi also arrived into our family ♥︎




August - Vallu learnt the magic of self lunging, and ended up being super for the entire month. I felt like we progressed a lot during these four weeks. Riding indoors or outdoors didn't bother us at all, and we even got quite good at hacking in the woods.

Giraffe/horse
September - driving back to the UK, and a massive month of just hacking out at home, in Germany and back in Nottingham, something to counteract the stress of moving back to England. It felt like I'd faced my big hacking out fears by cantering in the fields in Germany and hacking along the bridle path in Nottingham. A very powerful personal victory for me.

October -  first AF lesson since coming back and it was amazing, got a proper kick up the bum for the entirety of October :D
November certainly wasn't our best month, Vallu struggled with a poorly/tight back and it felt like we hit rock bottom. Slowly but surely we improved throughout the month :)

December - the month where everything started coming back together, and we eventually got our new saddle. Also attended the FFM Xmas party and amazingly didn't buy anything. Spent 10 days relaxing at home in Finland.

This is my 300th post, what a nice way to end a hectic 2014. Who knows what 2015 has in store for us, but please dear God let me do even just one competition with Vallu. And fingers crossed for another wonderful year with a healthy horse ♥︎

27.12.14

Christmas break

Woah, can't quite believe I haven't blogged in 8 days. I've taken a much needed break/holiday from the rest of the world, and have been cocooned in my own little world with my family dogs and horses
Christmas went past in a blur, but we all got very spoilt. As much as I love getting and giving presents, the most important thing to is have the family all together especially since at the moment we are spread across three different countries... We had to have it on the 20th in order to have the whole family together, so whilst other people are only now just able to start their post-xmas relaxing, we've been stress free for over a week now.

I was fortunate to be able to ride nearly every day, and I got to have a go on all of the ponies ♥︎ They're all doing great, even Nelli who will be 21 soon! Riding Basse is always good for my soul, riding him is so easy cos I know all of his tricks and evasion tactics :P It's a nice change to not have to be 100% concentrating on what is going on around us to be able to predict the next spook and to just ride. But saying that, riding other horses does make me realise how very special Vallu is, and how much he has taught me along the years. Can't wait to get back to him.


We were also blessed to get a white Christmas. Last year I was bitterly disappointed to have a wet cold and grey Christmas, so this made this year even more special. It made for some stunning views, such as these...

Boxing Day walk
Hope you've all had a relaxing and lovely time with your families and friends over Christmas! 
♥︎

19.12.14

Keep calm, it's Christmas soon!

With Vallu being a little super star during our AF lesson on Monday, I've been overly cautious with him this week. He really worked his socks off and it felt like he was having fun as well, so on Tuesday morning after the saddle fitting I had a rather grumpy-cos-he-was-tired Vallu. I think he'd expected a hack out or a lunge or a day off and instead he got another ride in the indoor. Poor pony, get a new saddle fitted is hard ;) 
 
So Wednesday was a day off, followed by a in hand work session on Thursday. Vallu was in a great mood, and so convinced me to ride him today bright and early in the morning.But when I got there, I wish I'd managed to capture a photo of his face when he saw me... A stark contrast to his normal whinny/came to the door, he seemed to look at me, think WTF and then close his eyes. It was only after some polos emerged near his nose did he open his eyes again :D
A little bit of de-spooking...
Now that I'm gone for a bit Vallu gets to take it super easy. We're trying a new tactic, of very little work just to keep him sane but with the aim of giving his brain and body a holiday over Christmas. And after Christmas we have a couple of easy weeks getting used to the new WOW saddle. It felt great to sit in, but I can feel my body going "this isn't normal" and I think a couple of weeks of easier work will do us good before we attempt anything more advanced.
 So from Vallu the biggest Christmas wishes to all our readers! The next posts will be from back home and the other ponies will take over the blog :) 
He's just SO pretty

18.12.14

WOW saddle, part 2

My long awaited for saddle is FINALLY HERE  (you can read part 1 here)
After months of waiting thanks to stupid production delays the saddle is finally here, and gosh was it so worth the wait ♥︎ There is so much space for Vallu's shoulders and withers, and it is so comfortable to sit on, and it makes me sit straighter and taller. It feels so weird for a saddle to support me as much as this one does, but still at the same time it doesn't restrict me at all. Even with a very tired and spooky Vallu, at no point did I feel like I was losing my balance. Wonderful.






It'll be very interesting to see if AF notices a difference. We just had a lesson with him the day before the saddle arrived, and then our next lesson will be at the end of Jan, so there will be approximately a months time for Vallu to develop and to see if there is any noticeable difference. I just love it. There aren't words to explain how comfortable it is to sit in, but at the same time it is supportive and also helping me to improve my seat and position.
Thank you LT Equine for making us the perfect saddle and the biggest thank you ever to mum and dad for giving me an absolutely amazing 21st birthday present. I have been dreaming of getting a WOW saddle for Vallu for over a year now, and to finally have it is unreal :)

17.12.14

Wordless Wednesday






13.12.14

Early Christmas present

Thank you grandparents, these are amazing ♥︎ Bought from Fur Feather Meds







11.12.14

When ill

It is the last week of university for this semester and boy am I feeling it... My last essay was done on Monday night, due in for Tuesday and when I woke up on Tuesday I had gotten my flu/cough (which has happened after every single semester since secondary school) So what to do when ill? Well trot pole work and lunging in gale force winds of course :D
Not bored at all eh?
 I was going to do a long training post re: pole work, but that requires effort that my body just doest have at the moment. On Tuesday I fell asleep at 5pm only to wake up at 10am on Wednesday totally confused. My body needed 17 hours of sleep and I feel only marginally better now. But riding over poles was actually fun :D We both seem to have started to actually enjoy this type of work in recent times, so we'll now be doing this a lot more often. I can feel whilst riding him how beneficial it is to him; he has to pick up his hind legs and stretch over his back, and afterwards when untacking he looks rather tired ♥︎
So much to look at
The colours ♥︎
Still not feeling up to riding properly on Wednesday, I decided to lunge (this was a very good call) It was so worth it, and the fact that Vallu has to cope with being in the scary outdoor arena makes all his spooking/jumping so much easier to deal with. We've been lunging outdoors for a good month now, and he is starting to be so much more confident in it which in turn is making me feel a lot better and able to get rid of any underlying issues that I have with the outdoor arena. Even today with the near dangerous gale force winds that were causing the gates and doors to bang and jumps and chairs to fall over, Vallu was very brave/ Any time anything made a noise he just jumped in the air, but we didn't have any of the temper tantrums and buggering off with me that we've had the previous times. 

I've been very proud of this horse recently, it feels like all of the bad times, tears and blood seems to be history *FINGERS CROSSED*
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