Chia seeds, part 2

At the end of August I blogged about Chia de Gracia sending me a sampler of their chia seeds to try out for Vallu (blog post here!) and now that we're starting to settle back into our 'new' home, I thought I'd share some thoughts about this.
1. Look at how shiny Vallu is! Looking back at old photos, I have never seen Vallu this shiny before. I've received so many comments about his coat and how good he is looking just before we left Finland, in Germany and here in England as well. I think it's the Omega 3 fatty acids from the chia seeds which is doing it, there's nothing else different in what I'm feeding Vallu.
2. The magnesium calms hot and nervous horses - I have a horse that was calm at home both in Finland and here in England, chilled travelling from Finland to England and relaxed to ride when we were in Germany. He's also been very good (re riding in the outdoor arena and hacking out by himself and with others) I know he is eating MgB12, but he's been much better since eating chia seeds too!
3. Faster growth and stronger hooves - his hooves are looking great!  It's normal for his feet to suffer when travelling, especially since Vallu's hooves aren't the greatest to begin with. It will be interesting to see what the farrier says, but to my untrained eye they look good.
4. Boost for the immune system and resistance to disease - considering how many different horses he travelled with and how many different stables he stayed at, I'm amazed that he didn't get anything e.g a cold or flu. Travelling through Europe is tough on a horse's immune system, but Vallu has coped incredibly well.

No flash, this is his actual coat in slight sunshine!
Bright eyes ♥︎
Again, NO flash - this is what he looks like when brushed clean!

I definitely would love to keep using this, but unfortunately the shipping costs to the UK are so much that then the price becomes too much for me, even though I know how many advantages there are to feeding this to Vallu! We'll just have to wait and see if the shipping costs will come down some time in the future, but Chia seeds for sure will remain in my top trusted and useful supplements for a long time to come!

UPDATE: Chia De Gracia's chia seeds will soon be bought from http://www.equinutritive.co.uk!!


Success again!

 Vallu has moved to another stable, and this is the biggest stable in the yard, and he is feeling like a king! It's massive, and he immediately went to have a nap in it. Since I've been unfortunate to get a cold already(!) Vallu was more than happy to go for a group hack. The first ten minutes on the bridle path he decided to jog but after that got bored and was more than happy to plod along behind the other horse. Good pony!
Hollie's #hackingselfie
We've even managed an alright ride in the scary outdoor arena, which this time last year was impossible to ride on. We only stayed in the lower half of the arena, and had several little spooks, but to able to have some sort of ride during which we achieve something apart from testing my skills of staying on, is very gratifying. Must remind myself that even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction, and that everything is an improvement and a testament of how far we have come so far!
Fancy boy after riding outdoors
This! ♥︎



"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts" Winston Churchill
So proud of us ♥︎

Might have had a couple of happy tears in my eyes when I got back to the stables after an absolute amazingly calm hack by myself with Vallu! Unfortunately Hollie was too ill to come out with us, so I bravely (or stupidly) decided that I have to go no matter what and so off we went...
The view most of the time!

I seem to have learnt that there's a difference between Vallu's 'omgwe'regoingonahackimsoexcited' walk and his 'omgthisistooscarywehavetogetbackasap' walk. They're nearly the same, but there's a distinct sharpness and tension to the second one which wasn't there today! I even felt good enough to take some photos of the stunning views, you just have to love the English countryside. I'm really looking forward to being sneaky and going for a potter round the fields, and take advantage of the good autumn weather that we're having!

Well done pony, and more well done me. Roosa's fears of hacking out 0 - 1 Roosa!


Back in Nottingham

Vallu and I are now back in Nottingham, and alive! So tired, I've been sleeping for 12 hours or more for last few nights, so I think I might be slightly sleep deprived :D Vallu has been enjoying life now that he's back home, he's happy in his big box which is the same as last time. His face was so cute when he arrived in the afternoon on Thursday, it looked like "Oh thank God we're done with travelling." 

Yesterday was his three year anniversary with us, and he seemed to know this by celebrating his paddock... Apparently he'd first put his head down to eat grass, after which he had literally exploded - trotting and cantering around his paddock and trying to make friends with his paddock neighbours. So it was no wonder when I turned up in the afternoon he was snoozing in his stable and was ridiculously lazy to lunge...

Yesterday I rode him, and I was pleasantly surprised! There was an unaff SJ competition going on, but Vallu coped incredibly well with all of the horses, people and the general busyness of the place. We had no spooking, and in the end I got a good feeling. He's just a bit lazy and behind the leg, but I'm not complaining, I'd rather have a lazy happy horse than a hot spooky horse! And today, he was slightly more awake, and after a thousand transitions, I even managed to get a couple of flying changes too!
More of these types of Sunday afternoons please!
Tomorrow we're going for a hack, as I want to get over my last fear of hacking with Vallu, the dreaded bridle path, where last year he scared me so badly. As soon as I can get that done and dusted with, there's not a lot left to conquer for me personally (fear wise!) Hacking around the fields in Germany got rid of my first hacking out related fear problem, and I want to get rid of this one too! Hollie is coming with me, and she's hacked out Vallu all of last year so she knows how he can be, and she also keeps me calm, so this should go well! :D


Nearly there!

I'm writing this onboard the ferry from Rotterdam towards Hull, after having driven from Krefeld, Germany for nearly three hours. I'm exhausted, but we're alive and getting closer to Nottingham, so it's all worth it! There's nothing quite like driving to Rotterdam, with the amount of lanes constantly changing from 2 lanes up to 6 lanes!!! Talk about having to concentrate at all times... 
Last minute grass before leaving Germany for Nottingham!
Staying in Germany has been amazing, once again. It's so wonderful to have family situated there, it makes moving between Finland and England so much easier ;) It's been great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones too! As much as I love both England and Finland, Germany has definitely started to become my new third home.
When I wasn't riding, I was watching and learning 
Henri and Marshall ♥︎
During Sunday to Tuesday, I had a lot of fun with Vallu. Since he had travelled so well from Finland, and literally exploded on Saturday when I was lunging him, I'd decided to ride him on Sunday. He was so lovely, even though he was stiff and a bit slow, he was so happy to be working and really tried his hardest. The indoor arena's surface is a bit softer/deeper than what he's used to, so he worked up a sweat in no time, but this also meant that I had a very happy and relaxed horse when we went for a cool down walk around the fields. On Monday, after having watched so much fantastic high level and correct riding, I decided to do a short and intense training session, with the aim of getting Vallu straight and properly forward going. I only did fifteen minutes of proper work, but boy was Vallu a super star!
Vallu didn't want to stay out, everyday he just went and rolled and then walked to the gate, wanting to go back in
When I first started properly training and riding Vallu, it was during the summer of 2012 in Germany, and I used to dread having to take Vallu to walk around there. He would spook and piaffe/passage/trot the entire time because he was so scared of the place. This is also the place where he managed to start my fear of hacking out with him, because he once spooked, did a 180ยบ turn and galloped off with me having lost both my stirrups and being the closest to falling off him ever. I definitely managed to get rid of this fear during these couple of days riding there. On Tuesday, as a thanks for being amazing the previous day, Vallu got to trot and canter around the open fields. It definitely became the highlight of my week, and the best memory/moment with Vallu so far. If only someone had been there to witness it, and taken photos, you would have seen the biggest smile on my face! 
Look at how enormous these fields are!
And we trotted and cantered along the edges of them!!! SUPER PROUD MOMENT
We should both be home tomorrow, and I'm so looking forward to not be constantly travelling and moving about. A week of driving around Europe really does make you appreciate your own bed and room. And talking of rooms, I've got an empty room in our new house waiting for me to unpack and get settled in. So much to do, and so little time before university starts again!
I also went and visited Henri and Senta's house, and met their lovely Shetland pony family (Roswitha and Bacardi)
And Roswitha's baby Eddie, the cutest thing on earth ♥︎


In Germany!

Outside the walker
We're alive and happy in Germany, but with limited internet we have, blogging is slightly impossible!

I wonder when UK will get Dujardin street, Germany already has it ;)


Packing up

The last week has been really busy, with training, the photo-shoot, a farrier day, and my leaving dinner. In the middle of this, I've been trying to prepare for our departure. Vallu is being picked up on Wednesday afternoon, and I'll leave the day after on Thursday. Vallu should arrive on Friday evening, and I'll be there Saturday morning. I'd far rather be there to put Vallu on the horse box than be there when he arrives, I think it'll be easier for both us that way. Unfortunately I can't do both because the ferry timetables don't match up. Luckily Vallu is used to being at my brother's place in Germany and the girls there know him well, so he'll be in good hands before I get there the next day!
I still have some rugs at the cleaners which need picking up, and a lot of stuff to pack!! But at least my first aid kit is ready ;) All of his rugs, riding stuff (saddle pads and bandages, bandages liners, boots) night bandages and pads, travelling pads, saddle, bridles, girths, lunging equipment, and then all my stuff too! Vallu's transport to Germany is now sorted, but I still need confirmation that the transport company is willing to transport him to Nottingham, so it's all a bit stressful still. But I'm sure everything will get sorted, it always does :D

Here's hoping for a smooth travel back to Nottingham!


A fairy tale