Quick update!

Vallu in Germany
I have arrived home in Finland yesterday, and Vallu has arrived at my brother's yard this afternoon! Phew. Big sigh of relief, I was getting more and more wound up that I hadn't heard from ETA or anyone and worried that something that happened. Vallu now has tomorrow for resting, then Wednesday morning/midday he is being picked up and is he should be home Friday midday! I cannot wait to see him again!
I have been spending lots of time with Basse in the mean time, getting used to having two horses again!


Goodbye England

As the big move back to Finland comes closer and closer (as in only five days away) I wanted some photos of Vallu at the yard before we left. This yard has been my saviour of the last year. I have met some totally incredible people who I am glad to be friends with, I have had an unmeasurable amount of laughs and screams. My yard family have been there for me through every single bad ride, good ride, swollen leg, muscle soreness, scary hack, good hack, lame horse, gallop across fields, exam stress, essay stress, not wanting to adult moments for the last year and I am incredibly grateful.
 I have been to so many competitions and training sessions where I have learnt so much from, I have met some of the best British trainers and riders and I have loved every second of it. Thank you England and every person that I have met, the last three years have been a rollercoaster ride but I would do it all over again if I had to chance.

 (I was fortunate enough to be at the yard at the right time when Lili had her camera on her and had five minutes to spare so she took some really lovely photos for me! Thank you!)


Hey hey how's it going?

 I have finally resurfaced from my two week essay and dissertation hell and I am so excited to finally be near the end! I just have one exam left before I am ready to graduate :) Whilst I have been working manically on the essays and the dissertation, Vallu has been having a really easy time. I know the vet had wanted me to gradually up his walking per week, but in all honestly I don't think Vallu has minded one bit that instead he's been going out in the afternoons as well as the mornings.


Yard hack

There's nothing quite like being a yard with fantastic people. Last weekend we went on a big yard hack to celebrate the sunshine and beginning of summer. It was a wonderfully quiet and non spooky hack - just what I needed, a break from working on essays and my dissertation. I will terribly miss these kinds of hacks, lots of chatting and five very happy people and horses. What more could you want on a Saturday morning?
Be bright, be seen, be safe!



Learning from others: Brooksby Dressage with Richard Davison

A few days later and I am still so excited, proud and buzzing from Lili's (from Brooksby Dressage) Richard lesson. Lili always says that the lessons with Richard are like going to the doctors and coming out with a cure. We arrived a little earlier than planned, and we were fortunate enough to watch the lesson before Lili's. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to go watch lessons from the best trainers and riders in Britain. 

After Lili had finished warming up, Richard said the start of the lesson was like the end of their previous lessons, which was just further proof of how much progress Lil has made in only a few months. The connection between horse and rider has become so much stronger and both of them react  better to spooks/tension than before. 

A lot of the lesson was again on making the horse more supple and over the back through different lateral movements (shoulder-fore, shoulder-in, travers, leg yield) The indoor has mirrors everywhere so Lili also had to work on making sure Fons was always straight, or that she was riding him straight. Richard said something that really stuck with me "the horse always responds to how the rider is riding" e.g. the horse will not go straight if the rider is not riding the horse straight. Something so simple, but it was a really big 'light bulb' moment for me! So often you hear complaints of the horse not being straight, but instead of the rider making sure they are riding straight it seems to always be the horses fault! The next time I feel like my horse isn't going straight, I'll make sure to check that I am sitting and giving even aids to the horse.

One of the main themes was being able to ride the horse at different tempos in any of the lateral movements, such as during the leg yields. Being able to ride the horse in different tempos in different lateral movements is just the ultimate test of whether the horse is on all the aids. Overall, it was a wonderfully successful lesson, I said to Lil afterwards that I have never heard so many adjectives for good in just one lesson! I was even prouder when I heard Richard say to Lili that Fons is a "great horse" :) 


Fat camp

Happy May everyone! Vallu has been having a great time with his increased walk hacks and increased turn out and I am even happier that his leg seems to be coping really well with the increased amount of work. We have had no swelling or heat, and I am hopeful that soon we shall see some weight coming off too! 

This week we're up to 50 minutes of ridden work a day (twice up and down the drive with ten minutes in school or a short hack on the roads) In respect of our annual May bank holiday Monday morning hack, we decided to risk getting soaked through - thank you to the weather Gods! - and did a nice hack on our 'safe' route. I would say it would have been a lovely hack except for the fact that I experienced my first near (very near) falling off of 2016. We went from walking on long reins on buckle end chatting to Lisa to suddenly Vallu doing a 180 and galloping to the middle of a massive open field. Oooppss... Vallu's hacking halo just slightly slipped out of place, but went firmly back on when Lisa's horse had a wobble at kids screaming in a garden on electric scooters and Vallu piaffed his way past and we didn't end up in the ditch/hedge like I thought we would!