17.12.16

Favourite moments of 2016

Although I can easily say that 2016 has been pretty much a miserable year for me with both boys being injured Jan/Feb time and then not being sure until autumn if either were ever going to be get better and be able to be ridden properly again. I’ve also fallen off from Vallu twice and ended up in hospital, ended up in hospital again from 20+ wasp stings, had a lot of personal, family and health problems, had a near mental breakdown from stress of trying graduate from Nottingham university and moved back to Finland when I had just started settled down and created a fantastic support network in the UK. Most tragically, we've also lost Rosi the Shetland and Nelli within the last 24 months πŸ’” but I’ve decided that instead of feeling miserable for our lack of progress this year and everything that went on, I should look for my favourite moments of this year and celebrate the good stuff!

1. Whilst Vallu was on the no turn out part of his rehab after his box rest, one Sunday afternoon I spent time de-spooking him. We had a Christmas tree and tarpaulin in the indoor arena and Vallu managed to be very brave. I remember this being the first time in weeks that I had smiled since his injury.

2. By the end of March I was starting to get myself back, thanks to my friends at home, at university and at the yard. I was forced to ride other horses and go hacking which I think really helped with my mindset and gave me hope, so the biggest thank you to my friends who have been so important throughout 2016 πŸ˜˜

13.12.16

10 Questions for December

Once again, massive thanks to Viva Carlos for doing these questions! I love reading everyone's answers
Does your horse need shoes? Yep, all of our horses have shoes because they all need the support, and because for the winter months they also need to have studs in so that they don't fall over! Basse also has had a 'special shoe' with a wedge pad on his left front foot since his injury in February to try and keep the hoof/foot in the correct position to aid healing and to try to prevent a new injury if he slips again.

What do you think of the barefoot vs shoes debate? I would love to try having our horses barefoot IF we were in a country where this was possible but in Finland, I would never have a horse barefoot because of the long winter. For those who keep their horses barefoot and healthy, well done.

Favorite season for riding? SPRING TIME!🌱 🌺 🌷 🌼🌿 🌸 πŸ’ When spring arrives, we've survived the horribly long winter months, the air is clean, everything is turning green and everyone is happy! It's not too hot yet so I still get to wear more than a t shirt (I love my layers) and I'm not constantly sweating or having to run away from wasps and flies!!

11.12.16

Yard decorations - a horseshoe ball!

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen pictures of our new horse shoe ball. It’s essentially just a big ‘ball’ made from old horseshoes that have been welded together. I think it measures 80cm x 80 cm which means it's pretty big!

5.12.16

10 Christmas gift ideas for your equestrian friend

With Christmas Eve less than 20 days away(!!!) I thought I'd share a list of possible gifts for your equestrian friends. We all have those horsey friends who have everything possible and then you are meant to find them a cute present that doesn’t cost the earth... πŸŽ„πŸŽ I can highly recommend Etsy for finding those awesome gifts that will surely be a hit with your friends!


1.12.16

Dressage training with Jenny Eriksson: when nothing goes quite to plan

There seems to be some kind of taboo surrounding writing blog posts about your failures or training sessions that did not go as well as you hoped, but I am more than willing to highlight how in reality it really doesn't always go as planned. I have no problem with showing people that with horses you can't be perfect, there will always be days when you go five steps back!

28.11.16

Trends to watch out for: Eskadron Heritage A/W 2016

Although this collection has already come out in mainland Europe (Germany, Holland and Belgium for sure, I think it's arriving in the UK as I write this) I feel like not a lot of people have yet seen or heard about this brand new collection from Eskadron!
In case you don’t know, Eskadron releases new collections twice a year, in spring/early summer (S/S collection) and in autumn/early winter (A/W collection) and for both times there is the Classic Collection, the Next Generation Collection and the Nici Collection. Confusingly, there’s also the Platinum Collection that comes out during the summer between the two main release dates. However, for 2016 A/W collection instead of the fun, bright coloured Next Gen collection Eskadron have decided to go for more muted, traditional colours with a brand new Heritage Collection. Although I’m a bit disappointed that there is no new Next Gen collection, I know a lot of people will be incredibly happy with the Heritage.

27.11.16

#rootd: navy and silver

Although I love bright colours, at the moment this set is my absolute favourite. I think it looks so classy and timeless ✨✨✨

So our outfit of the day is
Saddle pad: Equestrian Stockholm 
Bandages: Eskadron
Over reach boots: BR Equestrian Equipment
Browband: Pearly Ponies

24.11.16

10 Questions for November

The wonderful Viva Carlos to the rescue with her 10 questions for November!

How old is the youngest/greenest horse that you've ridden? I think a 4 year old Basse like maybe once a week when he was being trained by the professionals but I wanted to have a go! I think all I did was trot and canter in a circle but it was fun to be riding a youngster.
How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden? Probably around the 20+ year old mark. Nelli was 20 the last time I rode her but I'm pretty sure I rode a few older horses when I was young before I got my pony.

23.11.16

5 tips for clipping your horse when you hate clipping

It’s got to that time of the year when everyone starts clipping their horses. Mum has already clipped Rama three times(!) so this weekend I decided to clip Basse as he was really struggling with the warmer weather that we’ve had for the last few days ☀️😎 I’ve seen several helpful tips blog posts, but I wanted to make my own version for those of us who absolutely hate clipping and try to ignore it until you have to! 

So here are my 5 tips for clipping your horse when you really really hate clipping:

1. Give yourself plenty of time - there is nothing worse than being in a rush and trying to get the perfect clip when your stressed for time. I gave myself an hour and a half(!!) just to do an Irish clip on Basse because I haven’t had to clip a horse in over a year and I really dislike not being able to do an amazingly smooth clip in 30 minutes like some freakishly talented people I know. I also prefer clipping when no one else is at the yard so that no one sees me stressing!

17.11.16

Christmas wish list

I think I have done a Christmas wish list every year since I started this blog, and every year it seems like I write it earlier and earlier! This year I feel like that I'm both early and late to writing this post, early because it's only mid November and late because my brothers have already sorted out most of their presents and Christmas lights have gone up in Helsinki and even at home πŸŽ„πŸŽ

13.11.16

SO MUCH SNOW

Having acclimatised to the British winters, I can say it has been a hell of a shock to be riding in -15c with a foot of snow on the ground! Once I feel a little bit more normal, I think I may to do a "how to survive proper winters" blog post ❄️🌨

7.11.16

More bling!

"You can never have too much bling" is something that I heard a lot whilst I was living in the UK. There's definitely a cultural difference between Finland and the UK in the fact that no one over here has really blingy browbands. Sure, there are more people now than three years ago who have some form of blingy browbands, but I have not seen any 'megabling' browbands over here yet. So of course(!) I decided to order one for Basse from the same company that made Vallu's browband - Pearly Ponies πŸ’Ž✨

4.11.16

Vallu update

There's nothing quite like horses with their ability to bring you back down to earth with a bump! Whilst I thought our rehab of Vallu and getting him back into full fitness and proper training work was going wonderfully well, Vallu's leg decided that everything had been going to well for too long.πŸ˜“ Just when you think everything is going well and that you've done really well with the rehab and being careful, then πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯ and you put a stop to everything...
After our Ville lesson a couple of weeks ago, I decided to lunge Vallu the following the day to give him an easier day followed by a few days off. After 2 days off, I went to go ride and suddenly his front leg was swollen right where the old injury was! πŸ™„πŸ˜© And when I mean swollen it was really just the ligament area being slightly puffy with no heat so that an unobservant person may not have even realised that there was something different. Luckily, there was no heat and he was not lame/off at all in trot so no visit to the vet but it did mean he managed to bag himself a 2 week holiday whilst I berated myself for being a bad horse owner for doing something wrong (even though I still don't know what I did wrong!) After a few more days off the swelling disappeared and then due to my essay deadlines we decided that having another week off wouldn't hurt him or his leg, which is why you guys haven't seen him on Instagram or anywhere, because the fat potato has been chilling in his paddock or in his stable, enjoying his grooming sessions, hand grazing and hand walks.

This week we've returned back to riding work, and so far so good! The leg has not swollen up after riding, which I am over the moon about. Although we have only done walk, trot and canter in straight lines and on big circles, it seems like the two weeks off were just what he needed. Now to see if we can create a weekly plan where he gets worked enough to keep his a lid on his exuberant moves but not too much so that his leg flares up again or that he gets bored. Especially with winter arriving here with no warning, I really need to be able to keep Vallu calm so that he doesn't hurt himself in the paddock. 

 Voting is still open and you have until midnight on Friday 4th November 2016, to vote for Roosa's Horsey Life just click HERE and enter your email address. It will take less than a minute, I promise and I'd be so grateful for any votes πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ  Results are out Monday on Twitter, so come along to #HorseHour on Monday night from 8pm GMT (10pm in Finland) where Haynet will announce the winner! #HorseHour is always a great place to be, but this will be even more fun! ✅

1.11.16

Haynet Blogger of the Year 2016

Absolutely over the moon to have been included in the top 10 finalists for the Haynet Blogger of the Year for the FOURTH year in a row! It makes me feel really loved and special to know that people are 1. reading this blog and 2. consider this lil blog of mine to be worth being included in the top 10! So thank you very much everyone in the Haynet community and Sam for including us once again in the finalist group ♥︎

Although I found out about my nomination already on October 19th, I had so much essay work thanks to my master's programme that I have only just last Sunday evening emerged victorious from my essay hell. In the last 7 weeks I have written 11 different essays and research papers totalling around 17,000 words of which more than half were written last week. You can imagine how I haven't had much time for blogging and even both my boys have had a very easy few weeks whilst I've been continuously staring at my laptop screen trying to get everything done before the deadlines. Anyway, now that I've survived those I can get back to more enjoyable things, like riding and blogging!
TO VOTE FOR THIS BLOG: If you click on THIS you will get taken to the voting page, where you just have to enter your email address and then click which blog you would like to vote for. It's really that simple and I promise that it will take less than a minute! I also promise to be a lot better at blogging this month, my next set of deadlines are for the middle of December so November should have a lot more time for horsey shenanigans and blog posts! :) Thank you for voting! 

24.10.16

10 Questions for October

Copied from the wonderful Viva Carlos

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself? Anything over 60 cm if I have to jump! For anyone who does jumping on a regular basis then I consider anything over 1m to be high and really quite impressive.

What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? My current short term goals are to have both my boys in full work. That's it. I'm nearly there with Vallu and Basse has just started doing trot work so within a few months if everything goes as it should then both boys will be back to full fitness.

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? I definitely would love to compete at the higher levels and at do a PSG at least once in my life!
Bigbro winning the GP Freestyle at the Helsinki International Horse Show 2016
How many barns have you been at in your riding career? 5 in UK before we moved back to Finland, then our current yard that is our home and then the 2 yard that Vallu stayed at whilst we were in the UK for my university degree. I have also been at my brother's yard in Germany.

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? I've had so many trainers that I don't even know what number to guess? I had several different trainers and went to many different clinics with my pony, I don't even remember how many trainers have helped me with Basse over the last decade - jesus I feel old! With Vallu I've had three really good trainers (Ville Vaurio, Andrew Fletcher and Lili Brooksby Dalby) who have trained me and Ville for the longest time.

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do? For the first half of my gap year I worked at my brother's yard in Germany,where I was a groom so this included helping with the tacking up, grooming, clipping, lunging etc of the horses that we were stabled with him. I also went to the vet checks and to competitions and got horses ready for prospective buyers.

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn? I've been incredibly fortunate to have never had anything incredibly scary happen at the barn. The worst was when Basse managed to tear his nostril open and there was a lot of blood, and then when a couple of days later when he managed to tear the stitches open again and there was even more blood!
Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider? I've given 'green' beginner lessons to people as well as helping out my friends when they've been riding. I've also assisted more experienced riders by just reminding them of the basic stuff either at home or at competitions.

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online? I prefer minding my own business. Unless someone is training and competing at a higher level than me, I don't want or need anyone else's critique. I also prefer praising others' for their achievements instead of trying to bring them down with criticism about their riding skills.

What is the ideal height of a horse for you? I like anything above 160cm, but I think the best ones are about 168-170cm. Vallu who we think is about 178-180cm is definitely of the upper limit for me. No bigger than that thank you!

21.10.16

Helsinki International Horse Show

Helsinki International Horse Show is the one show in Finland that I want to go to whenever possible. Having missed it for the last three years whilst being away in the UK, I was super excited to finally have the chance to go once again to the biggest competition in Finland! It was made even more special by the fact that my big brother had decided to travel from Germany to compete in the Grand Prix class so obviously the entire family went to cheer him on :)
We were lucky enough to have the ring side table seats which are the best that there are as you are literally sitting behind the judges so you are really close to the riders. This made the show jumping classes and Grand Prix class even more interesting to watch simply because you were so close to the action. After having dinner and going round the Horse Expo area (so many shops!!) the GP class started at 9pm. Roble (Ravallo – Donnerschwee) and Henri managed to win the class being the only ones to break the 70% barrier with 70.460% and being nearly 4% ahead of the second placed rider. 
Henri on Roble in GP class 2016, kuva SRL Hanna Heinonen
SRL Hanna Heinonen
We are all obviously really thrilled that it went so well for him! There's nothing quite as special as seeing your big brother ride so brilliantly and then to top it off by winning the entire class ♥︎ I was so happy to see how pleased Henri was with the horse, Roble is such a great horse and I can't wait to see what they achieve together next year when Roble starts to properly relax in the tests and show just how good of a horse he is. I really believe that on a good day this pair can get 75% no problem! On Saturday we get to see them do the Grand Prix Freestyle, which should be really good.

15.10.16

Dressage training with Ville Vaurio: Soft and through the back

Don't you just love it when your training session goes really well and is much a massive improvement to your last one? Although to be fair it couldn't have gone much worse than my last session with Ville a week after I'd fallen off when I was just totally useless and quite scared!

Although we only did one main exercise, I had so many brilliant light bulb moments and we worked on lots of different things to improve how Vallu goes. It's so nice to be working with a trainer who has helped me over the last 4 years with Vallu on a semi regular basis and who has also ridden and trained Vallu. Because of this, Ville knows exactly what will work on Vallu and how to explain things so that I understand them :)
The only reason why I would ride so late is when we have training the next day!
So the main exercise was just a big 20 meter circle (possibly 25m because the arena is wider than normal) where you go from a medium/extended canter to a collected or pirouette canter depending on what level you and your horse are working at. Vallu and I had to do medium to pirouette canter in order to get Vallu soft in neck and through his back and pushing with his hind legs. As Vallu is a little lazy and likes to stay in his comfort zone and to not give a 100% this was a fantastic exercise. The first few times when we did the transition from medium to collected pirouette style canter, Vallu would either drop to walk or totally stop! A few times of "kick, pat and collect again" then Vallu realised that he should carry on working until he was told :D Ville also said to not be afraid of half halting when collecting in case Vallu drops to trot or walk, if he does that then you know that he's behind your leg and being lazy and to just try again. So don't be afraid of making mistakes!

Another really important point that I hadn't even really properly thought about was that it's not about the speed of the canter e.g. "I think I'm going fast enough " but about the length of the stride and the feeling of the horse being in front of you. Now that I've understood what the proper medium canter feels like, it's now going to be much easier to know what to ride for and to know when the canter is good enough. Not only did I feel a what a good lengthened canter felt like, but also what it should feel like when he's soft in the neck and through his back. Instead of a slightly choppy and upwards bouncy canter, it was a lot more forwards and a lot more comfortable to sit to. So that's what we are going to be working towards over the winter - getting the canter and eventually the trot a lot softer and more forwards going :)

14.10.16

Good news

On Monday we had the vet out to check on Basse's leg to see if the ligament had healed at all since her last visit at the end of July? We'd already discussed that if the ligament still looked like it did in July then we would have to seriously consider pts for Basse as the winter's in Finland are just too tough for the horses' legs. Keeping in mind that this was the same vet who in July told us that she wouldn't even try to give the horse more time off because he'd already been off work for so long, you can image how surprised I was when this time she went "wow, it's healed really well!" 
Apparently in the scans you can see clearly that the ligament has healed and there is no distinct tear to be seen! Obviously we still have a long way to go towards having Basse back in full work and we'll see if the leg can cope with work, but the fact that it looks so good in the scans means that we get to move onto the part of the rehabbing process! He's lost all his muscles and is generally very stiff (8 months off work will do that to you...) so not only do we need to build up the strength in the ligament by slowly increasing his workload, we also need to build up all of his muscles! I'm going to do the same routine as I did with Vallu this summer slowly increasing the amount of trot and canter by 5 minutes per week as it worked really well with him. So this week we're doing 5 minutes of trot - which has absolutely exhausted him, poor boy! Next week I'm planning on 10 minutes of trot, then the following week 15 minutes. With Vallu I we introduced canter work at this point, but because Basse's canter has always been his weakest pace I think we'll do trot work up to 30 minutes (so in 6 weeks) before I even try to canter him. Basse is also going  to have the physio come treat him every 2 or 3 weeks to try and sort out his neck/shoulders/back/quarters (e.g. all of him!) He really feels like he needs an intense few months of helping his muscles feel better.

But at last, some good news for Basse! The last few weeks leading up to the vet visit have been absolute torture for me as I've been fearing the worst whilst praying and hoping for the best. I was so relieved when she said that the ligament looks good I cried with happiness! I now have both my boys back in work ♥︎
My favourite #fatunicorn

13.10.16

Arena hire success!

Wearing our HV Polo RAF blue set from Fur Feather Meds
Last Sunday we hired the indoor at a local yard (15 minute drive with the trailer) to get the boys out once again. It's really good for all of us (me, mum and the boys) to get out on a semi regular basis to ensure that loading, travelling and working at a different place isn't stressful and that it can be fun! So on a horribly windy and grey Sunday afternoon Rama and Vallu loaded we trundled off to the local yard. I was expecting the worst as the trailer park is right next to the road and it's a really open place so you really feel the wind! But to my absolute amazement, Vallu had suddenly turned into an old pro who just stood there whilst I took off his travel bandages and put on his saddle and my boots, whilst dad was helping mum tack up since Rama decided that standing still for even a second was nigh on impossible!
And as you can see in the backgrounds of the photos, the whole arena was filled with jumps which made riding a bit more difficult than anticipated because Vallu decided that every single jump was out to eat him alive and Rama tried to aim for every jump because he thought he was there for jump training! But once both boys relaxed a little bit, I actually had a great training session.

After doing a good long walk warm up, I did a lot of forwards, long and low canter all around the jumps just trying to go him to relax and to focus less on the jumps and more on me. We did have a couple of moments where I was glad I a double bridle on! But apart from that it didn't take too long for Vallu to settle, which was really nice :) Thanks to the jump course I ended up doing the weirdest diagonals with single flying changes followed by doing four and three tempis down the long side of the arena and I managed to actually count and not mess them up.
I also tried doing a trot-piaffe-trot transitions (or something like that!!) after reading online about how that is a great exercise for strengthening the horse's hind legs and creating better push from behind for the trot. Although the first few attempts were either Vallu piaffing until he stopped because he wouldn't let me ride him back into trot or then he quite literally just halted from trot when I was asking for piaffe... And then his legs were all over the place so we probably looked like Bambi on ice, but once we both kinda figured out what to do I think there were a few successful attempts! Not bad for blind leading the blind ♥︎

9.10.16

HV Polo matchy set from Fur Feather Meds

How gorgeous is this?! I'm so lucky to have been sent this HV Polo saddle pad and bandages set from Lili at Fur Feather Meds to show you guys how nice the new autumn/winter collection from HV Polo is!

First up, the HV Polo Flinn saddle pad - quite possibly the prettiest pad that I have! Most of you know how much of a love/hate relationship I have had with HV Polo over the years... I love their designs but sometimes their  'full size' saddle pads have been made for cobs. This Flinn style pad is at last a really nice size and doesn't look ridiculously small on a ginormous horse like Vallu. I also really like the thickness of the pad (it's more like Eskadron cotton thickness) and it does not move at all! Like at all! My Eskadron duras do not stay in place most of the time and whilst my Eskadron big squares are better they still sometimes move... But this has not budged out of place a single time that I have ridden in it!! #success

4.10.16

Fur Feather Meds Fashion Show for EMW

What a weekend! The show managed to raise an incredible £4253 (still rising!) for the wonderful charity Equine Market Watch (EMW). It was an amazing evening and seeing Elaine burst into tears from happiness at the end of the night when the total was revealed made the lack of sleep and stress totally worth it!

First Lili did a demo on the fantastic Paddy who loved being in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people! He was such a good boy (Vallu probably wouldn't have even gone in the indoor...)
And then after the food and drinks we have the actual fashion show event to give people a chance to see the new Eskadron, HV Polo, Euro-star and Equestrian Stockholm winter collections in the flesh (they are all bloody gorgeous) Here are some photos of some of the sets that were shown:
Eskadron Platinum Coral on Zu
Lili and ze German Trainer (Jacob) 
HV Polo RAF blue set on Zu
Euro-star grey set on Zu 
Eskadron Platinum in Havana on Zu
Euro-star Emerald on Fons with Lara
Eskadron Platinum Grey set on Polly with Steph 
Our cat walk path! How cool was this!
It was such a great trip back to my "second home" and even more lovely to see old friends once again! Although I am still feeling the max six hours of sleep for the last week and then 20 hour days that I did over the weekend,  I'm so utterly pleased that it all went so well and that so much money was raised for such a wonderful charity, hopefully it will allow them a bit of breathing space over the winter months. 

28.9.16

Weekend birthday trip to England!

I'm so looking forward to retuning to England, even if it is only for 3 days! I'm going back to my old yard because Lili is hosting the FFM Fashion Show for Equine Market Watch. I'm going to help out at the event and to be a model ;) ahaha! But it's going to be so much fun and it's for such a good cause that I'm really grateful for my parents for buying me my flight to be able to go and have fun on the weekend before my 23rd birthday!

There are loads of amazing prizes to be had so even if you cannot attend, you could always buy some raffle tickets to be in with a chance to win! The last time I checked there were 52 prizes to be won. Raffle tickets are £2 each.

I'm also doing a lot of shopping from Fur Feather Meds (obviously...) #happybirthdaytomefromme and therefore am going over with an empty to suitcase that more than likely will be too full with everything that I am trying to get! Even the mothership has gone wild and decided to buy a Kingsland coat (drool...) and a burgundy Le Mieux set.

100% Euro-star set in the colour emerald that looks like the most amazing turquoisey colour that I have ever seen!

HV Polo training top to go with the RAF blue saddle pad and bandages
Vallu is also lucky as he's getting a new set of boots thanks to naughty Rama destroying the ones we had! I'm going to try the Le Mieux fluffy croco ones, they look so comfy and hopefully will last as well as my BR set did. I think I'm going to have the best dressed horses in Finland when I return ;)

25.9.16

Dressage training with a judge?!: what judges look for

Last week I was incredibly lucky to have a lesson with one of the best (if not the best best) judges in Finland. Tiina Karkkolainen is a 4* judge who has judged internationally and is constantly travelling around the world judging, which means that going for a lesson with her was such an amazing experience for me!
I was expecting to have to do some advanced level tests and practise test riding (as this is what several judges in the UK always offered to do) so when Tiina told me to go on a big circle in the middle of the arena and we started working on Vallu's paces and way of moving you could say I was a little shocked - in a good way! During this lesson I had so many light bulb moments that a 45 minute lesson felt like she had been teaching for over two hours. The main things we focused on were throughness and suppleness, rhythm and balance - all the things that judges look for in a test no matter what level. Simple things that every rider especially a dressage rider will have heard a million times, but this time they got engraved into my brain and way of riding so deeply that over a week later it's all I think about when riding!
I once went with Brooksby Dressage to a lesson with the great Jennie LC who then said to ride forward when they are spooky and this has stuck with me since then. It's worked really well with Vallu who shuts up and gets on with his work if you tell him to go forward when he's wanting to spook/has spooked. Tiina mentioned the same tactic for Vallu but it was more constantly riding forward not just when you think they are about to spook. I've focused so much on just kicking forwards when spooking but then at the same time have ridden far too conservatively and too much backwards to try to stop him spooking that I have totally forgotten about riding him forward ALL the time softly as a tactic to get him to not spook. How can a horse like Vallu have time to think about spooking when he's having to use all of his body and brain to work properly? And it really has made a massive difference in the way that Vallu has been to ride since then. Sure we have days when he's going at the speed of light and I have no breaks and I wonder what I'm doing, but then we have days when he's a 100% with me and it feels wonderful because he's not even considered spooking!
Through just riding a big circle in trot and canter (big trot and big canter always thinking forwards) with some leg yields in and out on the circle, Vallu changed his neck from tight and behind the vertical with a non existent contact to a totally soft neck and through the back in just ten minutes just from my quiet hands and getting him to be active behind! Sometimes it's so simple but just so hard to know what to do and to know what feeling to look for. I feel like sometimes I have no idea what I'm trying to achieve but for the last week every time that I have ridden I've been trying to get 'that' feeling again!

We are hopefully going to be going back at the end of next month for another lesson and I'm so excited to have another chance to train with her!
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