Throwback Thursday: Bob Le Cob

Serious face...
I've been planning on doing one of these types of posts for a long while, but I could never pick on what to write about. When I was scrolling through old Facebook photos the other day, I came across these little gems, me riding Bob Le Cob at Hickstead in 2009! Bobby was at the same yard where Nelli and Basse were before we moved to Finland, and his owner is still one of our best family friends.
Happy rider :D
I can't remember why I was competing him, or what our result was but I do remember that this was the first time that I'd felt properly disappointed with the score, and learnt to empathise with those people who do not own that certain type of warmblood that the judges love. Bob did a great test, worked hard, gave it his all and I was super happy with him. I'm certain that if I had been riding Basse, I would have gotten at least 5% more... But it doesn't matter, the horse was great ♥︎
A time when I didn't stress for competitions ;)
After riding Bobby I realised three major things: 1. I will at some point in my life own a cob 2. I will own a piebald horse 3. Cobs have a great character. Oh my goodness this horse was a saint, and I am utterly and truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to ride and compete him. Nowadays Bobby is still working hard for his mummy, and to the best of my knowledge is still being a good boy ;)
I still have this Pikeur coat <3


New favourites

 Oooh I think I'm in love! Because the summer sales have started over here, we went shopping for some new stuff and I ended up buying a lovely set of brown?!? Not exactly a summer colour at all, but oh my goodness the photos do not do it justice at all. It is so gorgeous and because of the sale price, I could get the Eskadron 'big square' pad'. I have been wanting to get since it since I first started buying Eskadron products but it's always so much more expensive than the cotton saddle pads so I can never justify the purchase to myself! I also got new Roeckl gloves (in brown) so that it all matches ;) and because of the sales managed to save 60€!

Toffee colour from the Eskadron S/S Classic collection 2014


Weekend fun

Although the weather has been appalling here in Finland for the last week, it hasn't totally stopped me from having fun! It's meant to be the warmest part of summer, but we've had rain, wind and hail storms with some small breaks of sun. The temperature has been +12C at it's warmest, and one day we had +4C... That wasn't our best day! But still, we've tried to have fun :)
Niilo waiting for us to come home from training
I've had the opportunity to ride Basse as one of the people who loan him is on holiday, and Basse goes so stiff when he isn't worked at all, so we decided to keep him lightly working in order to avoid that. And my god do I love this horse, he is so easy for me to ride because after 5 years of riding him I know him so well and know exactly what will make him better. I'm always surprised that even though I haven't ridden him properly for more than five months, I can still remember what works for him. It was also lovely to note that he felt much better this time than when I last rode him during my Christmas break; the only thing that needed work on was getting him in front of the leg and making him softer through the left rein. But these are very little things, and his general way of going is great!

Rama has also found a new toy to have fun with. He has a massive bucket that we put his hay in to try and stop him from spreading his hay all around his paddock, but now he's learnt to pull all of the hay out of it, and then play with the bucket (which you can see in the video below)
I also have a training session this week (possibly two!) which I am very excited about since we've had nearly two weeks off due to Vallu being poorly and our lessons are always so inspiring and fun ♥︎


Vallu is back

After five days of nothing but worrying, Vallu is now back in work! His antibiotics course finished yesterday, but his leg has been looking good for the last couple of days which I am very pleased about. In my last blog post about this, I couldn't quite convey exactly how worried I was about Vallu, but I am over the moon that his leg has gotten better so quickly.
During the last couple of days of only hand walking, we could all tell that Vallu was feeling very bored and unloved. He was difficult to walk, he kept spooking and jumping at everything and would shake his neck like a wild stallion. I honestly think his brain got bored of not being challenged ;) So I decided to ride him lightly just to make sure that his leg was up to it, and to help him to relax a bit. Can't say that it was our best riding session, as Vallu had apparently forgotten all about being on the bit, about half halts and my seat and leg aids. It was like riding a wild 4 year old, legs going here there and everywhere!
But he is healthy and happy, and that's all that I can ask for! ♥︎ Now just to go and work on being on the bit ;)


The importance of hacking out with your horses

 Once again I've seen the huge difference that hacking out can bring to a horse. Basse has been hacked out walking in the woods since the snow melted away, but he hasn't been allowed to canter properly for a long time (probably since last autumn when I last hacked out with him?) The difference between his way of working before and after being hacked out was nearly impossible to believe unless you witnessed it for yourself. Not only was there a massive change in his attitude to work, but also in the way that he moves (he was more through his back, and his hind legs moving a lot better, and were more underneath him)


Poorly Vallu

Last night when we went to do the evening stables, when I went to check up on Vallu immediately you could see that his left hind leg was more of a tree trunk than a leg. You could not see any of the normal structure, it was just full of fluid and incredibly hot, and it looked like it could burst due to the pressure at any moment...

After one very quick phone call to mum, we decided to start walking him (in the pouring rain, outside...) and the swelling went down incredibly quickly? Rather weird, but I was happy that only after walking for ten minutes, it was starting to resemble some form of a leg! But no, after standing still staring at his leg and starting to clean the leg, it was already swollen. Bugger! More walking helped, but every time we stopped it became swollen again.

Today Vallu's leg has been slightly better, even after the night it wasn't as badly swollen. Huge sigh of relief. It seems applying pressure on it helps, so he is now wearing stable bandages in the night as well as during the day, and when he is outside, I've put boots on his hind legs and it appears to be working. Yay! And he also started an antibiotic course today, so hopefully he will be on the mend soon. It's always so sad that when everything is going superbly well that something like this happens. Luckily it is nothing more serious (yet) and fingers crossed we have a healthy Vallu soon!


Dressage lesson with Ville Vaurio: Refinement

I had probably the funniest lesson yesterday in a long long time. There were several times that I had to stop riding so that I could laugh out loud, because laughing whilst riding means that you can't breathe properly :D Vallu was a super pony once again, and after a worrying start we managed to finish on a brilliant note again.
This photo basically sums up my life with Vallu
I think it's very important to train with a normal bridle as well as a double bridle, and I don't do it enough... Which meant that when Ville told me to shorten my reins, I couldn't figure out how to get Vallu soft and short. My brain just went "whaaaaaaaat!?!?" And apparently tensing up and using a harder hand isn't the right solution.... Nope. The right thing to do is to leave your hands soft and still and in the right place, and just ride pony forwards and do the exercises (e.g shoulder in or travers) and ta-daa, you have a soft, well connected and forward going horse. Magic ;)
We practised shoulder-in and travers today, which was great since during our lessons we don't focus on these very often either. They are rather easy, but you can always refine it. Tiny corrections included letting go of the inside rein during shoulder-in and to prepare for the travers already in the corner so that it flows better. 

And one of my new pet hate exercises is a medium canter on a 20 meter circle. Arghh, it is super difficult. We can do medium canter on a diagonal or on the long side no problem, but on a circle?!? I never knew that being on circle, keeping Vallu soft and supple and doing medium canter could be so tough. But we got there in the end, it just requires a lot of preparation and careful riding from me. When I ride it right, then Vallu can do the exercise right! Quelle surprise ;)


Vallu 06.06.2014

All of these beautiful photos were taken by Ritva Waris Worlin ♥︎

(Obviously all of these photos have been bought & paid for!)


Happy birthday Nelli!

Happy birthday our forever young and crazy and beautiful mare <3



Finally my first year of univeristy is over, I finished my last exam yesterday and boy am I happy that it is finally over. I'm so glad to be able to just concentrate on the horses, and relaxing so that I'll be ready for next year of uni! 

All I can say is that thank god we have horses, otherwise I wouldn't have survived these exams. To be able to have an hour or two where your brain hasn't got the ability to focus on anything less than riding, is great. I don't know how non-horsey people do it, I need my daily dose of relaxment in order to be able to then focus on work again. These people are obviously missing out a lot.
Canter pirouette and check out the doggies in the background :D
The poor ponies will now be coming back into full proper work. The last couple of weeks I've been taking it a bit easy with them; lots of hacking out, lunging and chilled riding sessions so that everyone (including me) stays relaxed and happy. Now that there are no more exams, I can start putting some more pressure on and training again, without having to feel guilty about not being inside revising. Ahhhh, what a great feeling!
And can I just say how quickly does time go?!? It feels like I just left for England, and now it's all about to begin again in September. 

Summer 2014 here we come! My blingy boots are ready for action ;)