Dressage training with Jenny Eriksson: practising test riding

On Friday I was fortunate enough to have a private lesson with Jenny Eriksson, and this was my first one on one training session with her because I've been over protective of Vallu's legs and I haven't wanted to cause any proper strain on them until I was 150% sure he would cope with an hour long private training session. If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll remember that my first lesson with her was a total disaster and my second one was near perfect so I was really optimistic that this one would go well too. Just before I got on Vallu I did have a few moments of self-doubt and worrying that what if this was not the best decision regarding his legs, but two days later his legs still look good! Phew!! 🙌🏻
Such a serious horse sometimes!
I normally go to my lessons with the idea that we'll focus on whatever the trainer thinks we need to improve on. I always suggest something e.g. improving Vallu's walk work or polish up my ability to ride the half pirouettes, but I'm totally happy to do what the trainer sees that we need to improve. This time I decided that I really wanted to work on practising test riding. I know Vallu and I can do all the movements, now it's just a case of putting them all together in a sequence and being able to ride a big horse round a 20x40m arena! So I picked BD's medium 71, showed it to Jenny, told her which parts of the test were causing me the most trouble and then we went to work on them.


Sundayfunday: arena hire!

On Sunday we took Rama and Vallu to a local livery yard to hire out their indoor arena. Their indoor arena is brilliant, it's 25x65m, the surface is amazing and the mirrors are huge which is really helpful. We like to take the horses there every now because it's really good for them to remain used to travelling and working at a different place than at home, it makes life much easier going to shows or somewhere else for training. Since it's only 20 minutes away from us, it doesn't take too much time away from our day and it's 100% worth it IMO 👍🏻


Ice blue Equestrian Stockholm set

Months ago I wrote about the new SS17 collection from Equestrian Stockholm (which you can read here!) where I said that I absolutely loved all of it, but I was totally in love with the silver/blue pad and bandages. If you're following me on Instagram you'll have seen that last week I received them after the parcels had done a round all of Europe trip 😆 


'Come what May – 10 questions' blog hop

I love answering questions from blog hops and can always use the help with creating more content so much thanks to Rhiannon from The Horse Is Not Black for creating this fun little blog hop! 👏🏻
1. What are your summer goals?
To enjoy the horses! The summer months are the best months for having horses, it's warm and everything is beautiful! I want to get the boys hacking out as much as possible, going training as much as possible and then having them out on the grass paddocks as soon as there is enough grass! 🌱🌿 I'm also looking forward to having a proper photoshoot done again this summer - our last one was over a year ago!

2. Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?
Lots of fly spray in the mornings and turn the horses out as early as possible! In the middle of summer ours go out 5am-10am and then again late in the evening when there are less bugs, flies and horseflies. I also couldn't live without our fly masks and fly rugs, especially for Vallu who is super sensitive to the flies and he will come through the fencing if they have annoyed him enough!

3. How often do you bathe your horse? 
I wash them down with warm water after every ride if they've gotten sweaty, especially when we are using lots of fly spray. Apart from the first spring bath, the horses only get proper baths before a show, training session or a photoshoot.

4. Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine related or otherwise?
Yes indeed! We are moving back to the UK at some point, but I'm hoping it will happen at the end of summer. This means we will be going to Sweden and Germany with the horses as they travel and we'll hopefully get to stay at my brother's yard in Germany, which is stunning.


Happy Basse

I often write about the fact that I want to give my horses the best and most fun life that they can have. Since we are lucky enough to have the horses at home, we aim to have them out as much as possible and every week I try to engage their brains in different ways so that they don't get bored with their work. Yes they need to focus when we are training (2-3 times a week), but especially with Basse I don't want him to turn sour from work and like it's often said "variety is the spice of life".

Since hacking on the roads is too risky (read as: lethal 💀) here, I like to take the boys to our neighbour's sand track in the middle of their woodland. It's only a short track, but it's bloody hard work with really steep hills that makes them focus on where they are putting their legs! I really love going out for a hack and sometimes I miss going hacking like we used to in England, but it's SO nice not to have to worry about silly car drivers who try to overtake you on a blind corner. Here the biggest thing I have to worry about when hacking in the woods is that I don't fall off when either of the boys decide to have a sneak snack attack when I'm not paying attention and they just suddenly stop and put their head down to eat!

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