Meet the horses

Val De Mar
Val De Mar (also known as Vallu, Heart Attack Horse (HAH) and His Royal Highness)
2002 FWB gelding
Willburt x Rex 673
178cm (17.3hh)

Owner: Anu Rantanen
Breeder: Ismo Saarinen

Vallu is the most amazing horse that I've ever had the pleasure to ride, he's super talented and has been trained up to PSG/Inter I level by Henri. He knows all the fancy moves: tempi flying changes, all the lateral work in trot and canter, canter pirouettes and piaffe. Although he is a big mover and talented, he is also a spooky horse who is very sensitive (also sometimes a bit of a twat) and this can make it pretty difficult to ride him for an amateur like me. However, I do think that he is the perfect schoolmaster for me and I'm very privileged to have a horse like him ❤️ I've gained so much knowledge and skills in the last 5+ years from riding this horse that I will be eternally grateful to him.

He was originally bought as a new horse for my mother, but he was too big and scary for her and luckily my parents were willing to give the ride over to me. A rather quirky horse with a huge personality and a great sense of humour, there isn't a day where he doesn't make me laugh! We've been through two different major front leg injuries and various other ailments, but here's hoping that we might finally make it to a competition during 2018, but if not this will not be the end of the world as just getting to spend time with him and having the pleasure to ride this horse every day is a luxury for me.

Riverfield Bastitini
Riverfield Bastitini (also known as Basse and Fat Unicorn 🦄)
2002 FWB gelding
Fair Play BRD 97 x Napoleon

Owner: Roosa Rantanen
Breeder: Nadja Hitonen & Ville Arkkila
Basse came to us when he was 2 years old and he is still considered as the baby of the family. He was broken in by my brother and when he was 4 he moved to England with us when my brother and his horses moved over there as well. At the age of 5, I started riding him (I was 14 then!) and this was when he did his first dressage competitions. This started his competition career that consisted of about fifty unaffiliated and affiliated dressage competitions ranging from preliminary to elementary (helppo C-A in Finland) levels where he was nearly always placed. From 2008-2010 Basse and I competed in many shows in and around West Sussex, mainly at Hickstead, Oldencraig Equestrian Center and Merrist Wood. During this time our worst placing ever in at a competition was 10th place in big classes, but normally we were placed in the top three. Our best result was at Hickstead in a novice class (helppo B) with a score of 70%!
 In February 2016 Basse had a freak accident in his paddock where he fell over and damaged his straight distal sesamoidean ligament (SDSL) but after more than 11 months of rehab, a HUGE vet bill and some major stress, he finally started to improve slightly and when I moved back to Finland in the autumn of 2016 I started properly riding him again. I took 2017 very carefully with him, as having a horse out of work for nearly a year requires a lot of time to get them fully fit as well being mentally and physically happy! My plan is to get him fit in spring 2018 and if all goes well, carry on with riding him and just keeping him happy, healthy and fit. He's going to be my trusty hacking partner when we move back to the UK!
Flying on baby B!

Dybdalsgaard's Ferrai

Ramazzati (also known as Rama and GrandPa)
1998 KWPN gelding
Flemmingh x Kommandeur

Owner: Anu Rantanen

Our oldest horse Ramazzotti is an ex-showjumper turned dressage horse who came to us through my brother from France. In France he was a show jumper until 2007 when he became a dressage horse after a major ligament injury that ended his jumping career. He has competed up to 125 classes in SJ and in dressage he's done affiliated advanced medium levels, where he's gotten +70%! 
Rama is one of the kindest and funniest horses that I have ever met, because he is also such a clown! Rama is incredibly vocal when I go to feed the horses at 6am, he is always whinnying and demanding his food, and before turn out he can be incredibly hyper BUT when he is ridden he will never put a hoof out of place.  He's also super soft in the mouth and you only have to take the reins in your hands he will be on the bit, and thanks to his SJ background he's got a very expressive canter. He's an absolute dream of a horse to own, my mother is so lucky and what a great addition to our little gang. Although he's 20 this year, he's showing no signs of slowing down or wanting to be retired so mum has got her hands full with him!

Spirella (RIP)
Spirella (also known as Nelli and the Queen)
1994 Danish WB mare

Owner: Anu Rantanen
5.6.1994 - 23.6.2016 RIP
Nelli had been with us for over 10 years and has taught everyone so much about everything! Nelli was the most amazing horse that I had ever come across and she managed to get me off her more times than any other horse! When I fell off my pony in a bad way and was so scared that I seriously considering quitting riding, Nelli was the reason why I still to ride to this day. She was such a kind horse and made me feel so safe that I was able to feel comfortable riding again. Everyone needs a horse like this in their life at some point. Vallu and I had only been back in Finland for 3 weeks in the spring of 2016 before her teeth were beyond repair from diastema and she has to be PTS as her quality of life had decreased too much. It's been nearly 2 years now and I still have days where I cry for her because she was the biggest character on the yard and such a massive part of our lives, especially my childhood. I will never forget the moment when her heart stopped and mine kept beating.

We all miss her so much and I hope she is ruling the roost wherever she is. Rest in peace my darling. In my dreams I get to see you and I can't wait to be reunited with you at some point. 

Nelli taught me flying changes when I first moved from ponies to horses


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