Trends to watch out for: Le Mieux SS18

 Ah thank goodness, we are finally getting to my favourite part of the year, when the new spring/summer collections start coming out and leaked photos start floating about on Facebook and Instagram. It means that we are getting closer to the end of winter and that we have so much to look forward to - sunshine, longer days and new matchy! ☀️💐🌿 It gives me so much hope that we might actually survive through this horrible winter and hopefully we can soon reduce the amount of rugs that the horses have to wear...


HayGrazer E-Rider January competition, part 1

A few weeks ago I was contacted on Twitter asking if I'd like to enter a class in the HayGrazer E-Rider's online dressage and showing competition, and of course I said YES because what better way to start the new year by prepping for competitions with an online competition that didn't require me to leave home! At least in Finland there are no competitions held over the January-Feb period as the weather tends to be too horrible so it was lovely to be able to 'do' a competition where I was guaranteed the chance to ride in a warm(ish) indoor arena where there weren't other riders riding over me. And the weather is totally abysmal that day, so having to leave home and drive an hour to get to a competition did not sound inviting at all. Instead I plaited up, then tacked up as normal and we walked over to our neighbour's indoor arena! 🙌🏻
(This blog post includes a free entry for a dressage test that was obtained in cooperation with HayGrazer E-Rider)


Fake it till you make it

After Vallu had his week of very very light work to give his legs a bit of an easier time, he's now lost the balance between a normal, well behaved, forward going horse and a crazy fire breathing dragon that I have worked so hard to achieve over the last couple of weeks beforehand. The last two rides with him have been him trying to trot like Valegro followed by an explosion of energy and it's made me realise how far I really have come with him in the last 5 years. Instead of being petrified of his spooks, they now mostly either make me laugh or then I ignore them and kick on!


#HorseBloggers vlogging challenge

I've purposefully avoided vlogging ever since starting this blog because I've always thought that no one would want to watch me talking on video, but when I saw that there was a vlogging challenge in the #HorseBloggers group, I decided to join in 🎥
Sam from Haynet who runs the #HorseBloggers group paired us up, and my 5 questions are were sent in by Rachel from Heels Down, Kick On. She writes so well and I really enjoy reading her blog. I'm so glad Sam did this, not only was it a good motivation to try out vlogging but it has also introduced me to so many new blogs to follow! 🐴✍🏻💻


5 year blogiversary!

 I must admit that I am starting to feel a little old now... FIVE YEARS?! How has five years just flown by so quickly? It just feels like just a year ago that I started blogging but in fact it's 547 posts later! 🎁🎈🎊 🎉 I'm still SO glad I decided to start blogging all those years ago. I've had the chance to create a great group of equine bloggers, been given great opportunities to review products and gain work and experiences, last year I won Equestrian Blogger of the Year and most importantly, I have years worth of memories and photos of my horses!


Henri Ruoste dressage clinic at Equestrian Centre Aino: don't overcomplicate things

It was a slightly surreal experience going to a dressage clinic where the 'superstar of the show' was your own big brother...! There was already a lot of hype beforehand and I already knew lots of friends and acquaintances who were coming to it, but honestly nothing prepares you for the onslaught of hundreds of dressage fans coming from all over Finland to see your brother teach ⭐️
Photo © Margit Ticklen from Horsemail.fi
The first lesson was the young horse group which had a pair of lovely young horses, and whilst the two riders were a bit nervous Henri just went as said "forget about dressage, just ride", which made both the riders smile and I think this is a good point, sometimes we need to take a step back away from 'dressage' and remember to actually ride! Once the young horses had to started to relax in the new environment, Henri made the riders do transitions within paces, both in trot and in canter and for young horses, the collection back into a smaller trot/canter is just 2-3 steps back and then go! (Note: remember you can't punish the horse if they buck or take off with you because you are wanting and asking forwards!) And coming back is just small steps - it doesn't matter if it's piaffe or passage or a Shetland pony trot, just as long as it is small tiny steps and the horse is reacting to you. Practising these transitions within the pace gave the riders a chance to play with the power and balance of the step  and both horses improved, and in my opinion of the horses became REALLY nice after this exercise. This simple exercise was actually amazingly effective for both riders, as during the transitions between the paces the riders had to become quicker themselves in order to get the horses to become quicker.


January 2018 sales haul

A lot of my non-horsey friends are currently being all frugal and sensible because of one responsible adult reason or another.... But not me! 💸 Even though I was thoroughly spoilt at Christmas and I did kinda half promise/mention to people that I didn't need to treat myself to anything but come the January sales and I found I just couldn't resist a bargain. Which is how all the below happened! ⤵️

I'm so pleased with all my sale buys this month that I wanted to share them with you. Both are from the Eskadron Classic AW17 collection, I bought the big square pad and bandages in aqua marine and the glossy wave pad in navy from Feather Dressage. Hopefully I won't be an enabler here and encourage any last minute January spending - if I do, then apologies in advance!


"Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring"

 I did a little research and tried to find who was the first to say it but I couldn't find an answer, it seems to be one of those famous motivational quotes where origins are lost to us. I was just surprised that with nearly 5 years of blogging behind me, last autumn was the first time that I'd heard of this saying - and I'm a BIG fan of inspirational/motivational sayings! 💞
But anyway, "be strong, you never know who you are inspiring" casts quite a wide inspirational net. The higher and more public you are in social media, the broader your potential ability to inspire is. Many people are watching you, and sometimes very carefully - whether you want them to or not. So it's about tone you create, because the small things can make a big difference. Recently I've been told that my blog posts about different riding exercises have been really helpful and that people have even gone back to them to re-read them when struggling with something and this makes me feel SO good! So we all need to be aware of the power to inspire in every single blog post and social media post. By honouring that you honour those who find you motivating. 


#rootd: rose and grey

I hope that you all had a lovely evening, my New Year's Eve was spent at home trying to keep the dogs from freaking out about the fireworks and doing checks on the horses to make sure that they stayed calm too - luckily we had a couple of bottles of champagne at home!! 🍾 But anyway, lets start the new year off with a bang - a rose peachy pink and grey riding outfit suggestion! This could be a "new year new me" riding outfit for those of you who have never used pale peach pink before 😜 But since I've been a long time fan of rose gold, so when I heard that Eskadron were releasing a rose gold inspired collection, I was on it like a car bonnet to order the rose big square glossy pad and bandages from the Heritage 2017 collection. I love the fact that Eskadron and Pikeur follow the colour trends of the big fashion lines, so lots of normal non-horsey shops like H&M have got clothes that match - sorry Pikeur but your prices for sweaters and hoodies are sometimes quite extortionate!

Saddle pad: Eskadron rose big square glossy
Bandages: Eskadron rose
Over reach boots: Eskadron Platinum grey 
Top: H&M sweatshirt in powder pink
Breeches: Pikeur grey Piana breeches
Snood: Pikeur anthracite snood