Dressage training with Jane Cannon: travers everywhere!

Whilst lessons with Basse were focused a lot more on my style of riding and what I needed to do with my seat, position, hands/arms and legs, my lessons with Vallu were a lot more what exercises I needed to do to keep him working better but also calmly. 
The best way to get Vallu more supple and flexible all over his body was to just do travers everywhere! Travers is something that I did a lot of during my lessons with Andrew Fletcher but I just somehow totally forgot about riding them since then and I'm so glad Jane reminded me about it because it made such a big difference to Vallu. We did about 5-10 minutes of travers in total, with the aim of building it up to 20 mins of travers everyday (in all paces). The best thing that worked for us was to do travers on in the ¾ line so that there is more space between horse and the wall but also because it makes sure you have control over both shoulders! πŸ™ŒπŸ»


Dressage training with Jane Cannon: be more authentic as a rider

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to get two consecutive lessons on Basse with our old trainer Jane who used to teach us for several years before we moved to Finland. We calculated that it must have been nearly 7 years since our last lesson together!! πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ I've been very reluctant to take Basse anywhere to find a new trainer for him because I'm so overprotective of him and I don't want to take him to a lesson with anyone who won't understand him, so when Jane came over for a short holiday to visit my parents I jumped at the chance to have a few lessons with Basse with her!
On the first day it was all a bit difficult. Basse's inherently lazy gene came out full force for having to work harder than he's had to for well over a year and this resulted in the funniest temper tantrum where he resembled a giraffe doing tΓΆlt/canter because he didn't want to canter like we wanted him to. Once he gave up he was obviously tired because he's not at full fitness level, and then we had to end the lesson soon after that because we didn't want him to get too sour. But before the temper tantrum and before getting too tired he produced some fantastic work that I was really pleased with.

The next day we were both ready to work our best so that the lesson wouldn't be as tough (I was also having lessons on Vallu and felt like death!). It was so nice to get on and realise that Basse was feeling happy and good in himself, I had been worried that he would be too tired. Instead I had a horse who went on the bit as soon as I picked up the reins and also relaxed through his neck straight away! #success


Trends to watch out for: Equestrian Stockholm SS17

This collection is just AAAMMAAAAZING. I first saw the ES SS17 Lookbook at the beginning of the year and I'm so relieved that I can finally talk about it with people! I've been so excited to see what other people think about it because I think it just might be one of my favourite collections ever. Although this collection has already come out in mainland Europe (Germany and Finland for sure) and it's going to be soon arriving in the UK, I feel like not a lot of people have yet seen or heard about this new SS17 collection. I'm not even sure that a lot of people around the world have heard about the Equestrian Stockholm brand so I feel like this is a great chance to showcase the brand a bit to you guys. I already have the midnight blue dressage saddle pad from the first collection which is my ultimate smart training riding outfit (which I've already blogged about here). We also already have the champagne pad and bandages which is a very beautiful set. What I absolutely adore about ES is how bloomin' classy all their products are, especially if you like a bit of bling like me.
From their website, you can find this statement: "Fashion, power and elegance are the keywords we have in mind when we develop our new collections. Our products are created using new and exciting sport materials, all with the environment in mind and having a feminine and cool design" which you can really see from their products. Also the fact that ES is inspired by powerful women makes me really happy to be supporting and buying from this brand, even more so due to the fact that Equestrian Stockholm is against down and fur, environmentally friendly and supports young women ✌πŸΌπŸ’πŸΌπŸ’•


Hey there wild Vallu!

A few weeks ago in one of the blog posts I mentioned that I was worried that both of the boys were feeling a bit blergh, but not anymore! I think spring is in the air and Vallu is certainly acting like it!πŸŒ±πŸŒΏπŸ’πŸŒ·πŸŒ»πŸŒΌπŸŒΈ I had my fire breathing dragon back which I am really pleased about even though there was no warning as his behaviour during turn out and in his stable hadn't changed at all. After falling off last summer I've finally managed to get back my self confidence so that even if he is wild and piaffes everywhere and threatens to rear, it doesn't paralyse me with fear anymore. Sure I get tense and I would prefer if he kept all four feet on the ground more, but it doesn't make me feel sick to my stomach anymore, thank god!
Practising our very very collected trot (one day maybe it might passage?)


What makes a good rider?

This post has been in my drafts folder since last year when I was doing nothing but my normal chores at the yard and hand walking/grazing Vallu but I never got round to publishing it because I was constantly too busy to try and finish a blog post that required too much thinking. But during that time and since then, I've had a lot of time to think about what a good rider. Not the Olympic, world class record breaking rider on their million dollar horse but a 'good' rider on their normal happy horse.
For me, a good rider has the 'feel', an appreciation for each horse they work with. We must all remember that each horse is different and has different needs because of their different skills and weaknesses. A good rider understands this and works with each horse to improve their strengths and to make each horse the best version of themselves. To just ride each horse the same way without any flexibility is pointless and the sign that this person isn't as good as they think they are because "anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful” Xenophon.


Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful

In my last blog post I mentioned that both boys had recently been feeling a bit blerghy for two weeks and it was making me feel quite bad. I've also had several people ask me about my competition schedule I was also freaking out about needing to go and compete until I realised that I have no rush to get competing until the boys and I feel ready. But then the following day both boys were fantastic! I think this maybe due to the fact I had been worrying so much about this until I wrote it down in the blogpost and having verbalised it, I then felt determined to figure out how to fix it.