Friday, October 22, 2010

new blog!

I have started a new blog, mostly because i liked the setup and want to try to experiment a bit with it. For those of you who want to follow, the adress is

Clinic time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Clinic with Edward Gal at KOHS

Kingsland Oslo Horse Show is a yearly event here in Oslo, it is also the first indoor competition in the Rolex FEI world cup in show jumping. This is mainly a showjumping and family show, but there are some dressage classes aswell.

This year they managed to get Edward Gal to have a clinic in the evening on the first day. I attended this clinic and was asked to write a blog about it afterwards, so here goes.

First of all, I think mr Gal is a highly talented rider, he knows what he does and succeeds at it. I just don't like his training methods. You can call it rollkur, LDR or what ever you want, riding hyperflexed does not do the horse any good. You get the "amazing" front leg action, but they also carry a lot more weight than they are supposed to.  I could go on and on, but this post is about the clinic.

The horse mr. Gal brought for the clinic was a 6 (?) year old stallion which he had ridden for 3 months I think it was. It was a beautiful horse and in some ways reminded me of Tootilas, a powerful, black stallion.  Throughout the clinic he talked about changes in tempo, always keep the horse alert and thinking forwards even when you want him to go slower. Change the tempo, not the rythm. Since he rode an unexperienced horse he wanted him to go round, which by his standards means low, deep and round, which he did throughout the clinic. He only talked about 2 aids, legs (spurs) and hands, he has a good seat and uses it correctly but didn't mention it by one word, which i found quite weird.

After showing how to get the horse relaxed and alert by changes in the tempo in all 3 gaits, he started doing more difficult exercises. Like half-pass, canter changes on the diagonal and so on. To me and many others who aren't at that level, showing all these exercises were not so much something to learn from, as showing us how you can train your horse once you are at that level.

In the end of his riding session he actually collapsed somewhat in his seat. I am no one to talk, and we were a bunch of "seat nerds" (if I can call it that) who can find an error on anyone, but its good to see that even the best of the best can struggle with basic stuff.

The second half of the clinic, Edward was instructing the winner of the norwegian championship for junior earlier this year. I thought it was really brave of her to ride for Edward Gal, in front of that many people, but she did fine. She was asked to work with the same excersises he him self worked with on his horse. Especially getting the horse responsive to the aids, this horse was a bit lazy so everytime he was told to go forwards, he did for 3 steps then slowed down. They worked on getting him forward until he was told otherwise. The rider said that the horse was a lot better after the lesson.

A little bit of energy in this one aswell

Edward instructing the norwegian rider, this is at the end of the clinic

In the end i thought the clinic to be ok. I knew about his training methods before going to the clinic, so no surprises there, I just wanted to see how he trained his horses outside the competition arena. And you can say what you want about his training methods, but he is still a really really good rider. I especially like the fact that he uses light aids and that he has a good functional seat.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Spanish tack

Years ago, a friend of mine went to a horse show in Spain and bought some bridles. I think she used them a couple of times before leaving them somewhere, until now. I said I wanted to buy them, and now I have tried them on Bosco. I have only pictures of one of them, the other one looked weird at the moment. I have a feeling that it will look better  when he gets a bit older, but now it was a bit too much.

Here are the pictures!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hoof issues

In the past few weeks my motivation has reached a new low, mostly because we have no arena. But this week a new problem emerged. Bosco is barefoot and has never worn shoes. He grew up at Trollspeilet where the ground is mostly made up by river sand. This will not become as muddy or as hard as the ground where I keep him now. And we have got alot more gravel roads so his hoofs needs to adjust abit and before they do, he is not comfertable.

This was a problem in may, when it was wet everywhere, exept on the roads, and its a problem now.

The other day I wanted to train him in the round pen, but quickly realised that was not a good idea, as he was so touchy on his frontlegs he was almost lame. The roundpen is usually ok, but now anything else than grass was not comfertable. Of course I get worried that there might be something else than just sore hoofs (have no idea what the english expression for this is), so when the vet was at the stable on thursday I asked him to take a look at Bosco. He did not think it was anything else and I should keep him where he is comfertable until he comes back next week to see if there is any change.

This has also given me a kick in the butt, I have to get boots for him! I have been planning to order some for a long time, but since its impossible to buy boots over the counter I have hesitated since I want to try them on. I got a tip about someone who imports Renegades and she has boots I can try before ordering, nice! I think renegades is the way to go with his hoofs, atleast according to others who has tried different boots. So now we will try them out and be more carefull at spring and autumn, where his hoofs are the most sensitive.

Hopefully he will be allright with the boots, or else I would have to consider to shoe him, but I don't want to do that unless I have no other choice. Whats most important is that Bosco is comfertable.

He showed me today that he is more than comfertable outside in the pasture. When I let him out after feeding him he was really playful. Tried to get the other horses to play with him. Fist victim was Stelpa, a small medium aged icelandic horse who is the lowest ranked horse in the herd. She wasn't that interested, but Bosco kept chasing her around, throwing his neck, rearing and rolling over multiple times. After a while he got bored with her and moved on to "Flekken" (the norwegian version of the nickname Spot). With a full fronal assault he tried to get him to play with him, but no luck there either. I was watching with a friend and we tried to get her horses to play with Bosco, but no luck there either. We quickly realised that her horses are his ladies, and not playmates. Oh well, atleast he doesn't have any pain when he is in his pasture. I will just give him the time off while I buy boots and hopefully we have a solution!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WEG warmup

Here are some pictures form WEG warmup, seems like the new rules against rollkur doesn't work.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Clinic with Paul Belasik!

A friend of mine managed to get a riding spot in a clinic with Paul Belasik on the 23-24th of October. I was supposed to work that weekend, but by some lucky coincidence I managed to trade my shifts and got the weekend off. So I'm going to Sweden with my camera and my notepad, can't wait! :D

Paul Belasik is a highly respected international rider, trainer, writer and teacher, and an avowed proponent of classical equestrian ideals. It has been said that his diversity of qualities and skills place him firmly in a lineage of riding masters that traces all the way down from the Renaissance, but also marks him out as exceptional in a modern era that places ever more emphasis on specialization. (
Mr. Belasik is also the author of the books, Riding Towards the Light, Exploring Dressage Technique and The Songs of Horses, aswell as Dressage for the 21st century and A Search for Collection: Science and Art in Riding. 

 Picture stolen from

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lazy Blogger

Yes I have been a lazy blogger lately, but just needed to bring you one more update!

Last weekend, september 10th I entered my first dressage competition with Bosco. My goal for this year was entering LD, which is just walk and trot, mostly straight lines and transitions. It was not intentional to enter this competition, I had decided I didn't want to do it because I had no time to practice as we still don't have an arena (!) I'm not going to mention that I'm starting to get quite upset about this, ups, I just did *grrrrrr*

Last weekend there was small competition at Trollspeilet, and after riding for a bit a few hours before it started I was talked into entering. And when I was to decide which class to enter, I quickly decided to enter in LC. LC is above LD and you have to show walk, trot and canter, transitions and so on.

Funny enough it went quite well, we got 56%, not that I wasn't happy about that, but everything was a lot better earlier the same day. But still, our first competition, and we got approved! score:D

Bosco and his buddies outside in the pasture. 
From left to right: Aradis 4 months (Icelandic horse), Rikhard 7 months(or Banderas, his real name, Warlander (PRE+Friesian)), Bosco 4 years (Lusitano), Tussa 4 years(norwegian Dølahest) and in the back Bradamante, yearling (Lippizaner)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

European Championship, Horsens 2010

The last week in August there is a huge medieval festival in Horsens in Denmark, during this festival a norwegian jousting group arranged the European Jousting Championship. There were competitors from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Belgium, France and England.

I was there as a squire for one of the Norwegian competitors, but when I got there they told me that the other girl who was being a squire for one of the other norwegian was sick so I helped them both during the competition. 

I have too many photos from this weekend and I have spend enough time uploading them to different sites so I'm just going to post the links to my two blogs in norwegian so that those of you who want to can see the pictures :)

European Championship, part one

European Championship, part two

There was 3 different prizes in the competition. 1 place in skill at arms, 1 place in jousting, best score in total and the prize for most chivalrous knight.

First place in Skill at arms; Ole Bach from Denmark. His skills in skill at arms (no pun intended :p) was amazing, he was in a totally different class then all the rest of the knights.

First place in Joust; Petter Ellingsen from Norway. New horse made the skills course a bit difficult for Petter, but he was best during the joust!

Best total score, and the winner of the European Championship 2010: Klas Lundgren from Sweden. Good scores in both jousting and skill at arms, a just winner!

Most chivalrous knight; again Klas Lundgren from Sweden, he was surprised by this, but I think he was the only one! Always nice and helpful.

Below is a list over the different exercises the knights has to perform during the skill at arms competition, just to get a picture of the riding skills they need to show.

The different positions and transitions:
*Staying in halt until signal is given
*Transitions from halt to canter
*Transitions from canter to halt
*Transitions from canter to trot
*Transitions from trot to caner

Technical riding skills
Some of the exercises will be done in a conjugated lane (serpentine or circle) shoulder-in (in circle) in trot or canter to the right and to the left.
Leg yield in canter both ways (on the left lead, leg yield to the right and opposite).
Flying changes of simple changes (the last one is transition to trot before new canter) /alternatively staying in a wel. performed counter canter.
Haunches-in both ways in canter leading to: Half a pirouette to the left or the right (in canter).

Exercises with light lance (approx 2,3 meters long)
Quintain: The center of the small shield is 2m above the ground. in the opposite end there is a chain with a spiked head in latex attached to it (like a flail) You will get a better score by hitting a specific point of the shield (painted in white), to show you have control of your lance. If you miss this and hit the shield, the spiked head is comming to get you.
Catching the big rat (la rata grande) Running after a bit "rat" which is drawn in a rope. You shall touch it by placing the point of the light lances on it so it stops for half a second - enough for the "runner" to feel the resistance. Once the rat has managed to take cover under the guillotine, it's a lost case, so speed up... You shall continue with the lance in your hand.
Collecting high rings (also done with spear): the ring-poles are 2m and 50 cm high and the rings will have an inner diameter of 3, 5 and 7 cm. You will get a better scoring for collecting the smallest rings.
Dropping rings and placing the light lance in a barrel while you are cantering in circle: While you continue in canter, lead the horse into a circle and point the lance sideways and forward - approaching the barrel. Drop rings and place lance in barrel before you let go - if you have total control, place the lance in the barrel and canter around before you let go.

Exercise with more heavy lance and 30 cm balsa (approx 3,3 meters long)
Shock quintain: Heavy wooden "mounted knight" that you will splinter your lance on, if you and your horse have the power. A hanging timer-log with helmet and shield. We will measure the hit and give scoring regarding to this. (Last year the hardest impact was measured to transfer the power of 400 kg)

Exercises with spear (approx 2,3 meters long)
Picking up the spear out of a fallen soldier (known as 'Ian the impaled') while you pass in canter. (the 'soldier' is made in hessian/burlap stuffed with straw wearing partly a black tunic)
'Divide and conquer': separating and surrounding two soldiers in black tunics and helmets by riding a shoulder-in in trot or canter. You shall ride pointing the spear over the horse's neck in the left lea and on the right side of the horse on the right lead (you will achieve a better score the nearer you are the target -and to make it easy for your score: touch the helmet so the judges can hear you)
Plant the spear in standing soldier (known as 'Tim the target') while you pass in canter (the 'soldier' is made in hessian/burlap stuffed with straw). You will get points regarding where you hit. You achieve the best score if you hit the heart - which in this case is approximately 10 cm in diameter.
Collecting high rings: the ring-poles are 2m and 50 cm high and the rings will have a inner diameter of 3, 5 and 7 cm. You will get a better scoring for collecting the smallest rings.

Exercises with sword (preferably your own, but you may also use ours):
Saracens head; 3 heads (cabbages) to be cleaved on the right hand side, and 2 heads on your offside (left hand side) in course 1 while you pass. The massacre will be performed in a conjugated lane (circle) and in an alley. The run down Saracens alley allows you to take a rerun down again if you missed someone (higher score if you take all in the first run; collect your canter!)
Saracens 'brain': 1 apple to be cut.
Pommel strike; use the swords pommel agains a soldiers crest. Point is received for removing the crest.
Guillotine; A device on a pole is holding the rope attached to a guillotine. When striking and hitting a metal arm, this will release the rope and the cruel guillotine making evil heads roll.
Trebuchet: A device on a pole is holding the rope attached to a trebuchet. When striking and hitting a metal arm, this will release the rope and fire off the trebuchet. Beware of falling debris... choose your riding lane carefully.

Exercises without weapon
Soldiers jump - the fallen soldiers jump will be about 40 cm high and 3 meters from side to side and the soldiers themselves are three lying 'soldiers' made in hessian/burlap stuffed with straw, wearing dark, neutral 'wigs' and dressed in black tunics.
Farmers fury: a jump over two long cases filled with fruit (primarily apples/cabbage). Approximately 30 cm high. There will be a cart standing to one side of the cases.

More pictures in the links to my other blogs :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Clinics and Jousting

It's been a while since last post. First of all, it hasn't happened that much and when something interesting happened I didn't have time to write about it. But here comes a small update.

Last weekend I attended a clinic with Andrew Murphy. I was just watching some of the sessions and participated in the theory session on friday night. I have some notes but haven't had the time to go through them and make a blogpost, which I intend to do if I get the time! I was happily surprised about the content of the clinic and the theoretical approach. Next clinic is 2-4. september, I'll be watching the lessons on the first day, and I believe there is going to be a demo this time. Exciting!

Next week there is a medieval festival in Horsens in Denmark. The European championship in jousting will be held during this festival and one of the norwegian knights needed help with his horse and I'm stepping in. So for the first time 5 years I'm going to a big medieval festival, apparently the whole city is "dressed up" and apparently it's a lot of fun with loads of nice people. Just 3 more shifts at the hospital and I'm off to Denmark! :D

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Long reining/ground driving

I've been playing with the thought of being able to drive Bosco. I have never done that before, but the Lusitano is used for almost everything so why not give it a go? Several people at the stable have good experience with driving so I'll probably get some of them to help me eventually. But before that I've started long reining/gound driving (not sure what the correct expression is as the internet says a lot of things).

We have tried this once or twice before, and yesterday we took a little trip down the riding path. Bosco is not so used to me being behind him, but behaved remarkably well for the first time out of the arena. He only got spooked once, and that was from his own shadow I think. Transitions walk - halt - walk -trot went very well and I think he really enjoyed himself.

Hah! you want me to pose? think again *gnafs*

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clinic with David and Skills at Arms!

At wednesday and thursday this week I've been attending yet another clinic with David Oliveira. Seems it will be the last one of this year so I'm happy that I managed to attend.

Bosco is still quite young both in his physique and in his mind so we mostly worked at easy exercises for loosening of the neck. The day before the clinic I had asked Pelle to help me a bit with the left side since I've had some troubles with it for the past few weeks. Luckily for me, Pelle had just picked up David from the airport so they were both sitting beside the arena and cooperated on helping me. Win! This "lesson" I was to exaggerate the flexing to the inside on both hands. Keep the flexion until he released, then push forward with seat and legs. This worked really well and we managed to get the left side almost as good as the right side.

During the clinic we worked on the flexibility of the neck, alternating flexing to the outside and the inside. We also worked at mobilization to the outside and to the inside, not as much as we have done before but some to engage his hindlegs a bit more.

Cantering has been a problem for us because of the small round pen, we have just a small space, and Bosco isn't really strong enough to canter as collected as he has to. So while we had an arena we worked a lot on the canter. First we worked on both canters only in the big circles, then during the clinic we proceeded to canter at the circle, then over the diagonal, trot in the corner then new canter. We actually managed to do this quite well, I think we only missed one of the transitions. It was hard to maintain the right rhythm across the diagonal, but this will get better when he gets stronger. The last lesson we could actually do canter serpentines with canter, trot, canter transitions on the center line. They might not be good enough for a dressage test yet, but we're getting there, slow but steady! We also used trot, halt transitions, while at halt I was to collect Bosco and back up a few steps before going forward again. After doing this a couple of times his trot became more collected and I had some really nice rein-backs, which I don't think I've ever managed to do with Bosco. Fun fun!

Cantering is still heavy work, but at least he got his hindlegs with him

David managed to get Bosco a bit worked up and crashed into the other horses who, by coincidence was on the exact same place in the arena. 

Pelle is showing off to the photographer 
(he has got a whip in his hand, but aims quite well so you can't see it :p)

David and Pelle is playing knights with whips as lances

Wednesday was a hot day, Bosco almost changed color 

Flexion to the outside

I just want to finish off with this picture. I have never seen myself sit as correctly as this before. I'm quite amazed actually! Still got things to improve here aswell, but this is a huge step forward!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from thursday as it was pouring down all day. There was some pictures taken but the rain was so heavy that the automatic focus, focused on the rain.

After the clinic was finished I stayed for one more night so that I didn't have to drive home the same day. This morning me and a friend wanted to try out skills. Skill at Arms is a competition where you use sword, spear and lance in different exercises. Here is a video of Luke Binks, a knight from Australia who has been at Trollspeilet the last couple of months, riding through the skills course I trained at today. The amazing commentaries is done by Pelle. 

I tried the spear, sword and the lance and Bosco behaved amazingly good. I was quite surprised. Even with me hitting the quintain in full speed canter he didn't even flinch when I hit the metal plate. He might be a good horse for jousting! We also jumped the small jump, and Bosco jumped correctly and didn't even try to run on the outside! I beat my old record of spins on the quintain, the old record was 4 or 6 (don't really remember), now I got 8 and that was the only time we counted. Fun Fun!

And on a side note to this last bit, during the second weekend of july there was an unofficial world championship in jousting, in France. Norway won, out of 10 teams! The Norwegian team consisted of Lisa Holar, Petter Ellingsen and Erik Ryen. Second place went to the Australian team who consisted of one norwegian, Pelle, one from australia, Luke Binks and a german guy. Lisa, Petter, Pelle and Luke are good friends of mine so this was fun for many of us! 

These guys compete in full scale medieval armor and it looks spectacular! Pictures can be seen at this thread (on both pages). Pelle has a green shield with a white horse, Luke is wearing black and yellow, Petter has the brown and white horse and Lisas horse has a green cover. 

For you norwegian readers: here is a couple of articles:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Equine education?

So for the past year I have thought a lot about my future. What do I really want to do with my life, where do I see myself in 20 years and what do I need to do to get there?

First things first, I do not see myself working at a hospital ward for the rest of my life. The work is exiting and I learn something new about people everyday, but the payment is not that good, work-hours are horrible and somehow you always have to be the one that gets yelled at. Both from patients and doctors.

The first thing I thought about was further education within nursing. I have always pictured myself as an anaesthetic nurse, but this will not help with the work hours. I have also thought about taking a degree in economics, it would be helpful in combination with the nursing degree and by itself.

Then today, I had a nice chat with my aunt and uncle who asked me if I had thought about getting and education abroad. And yes I have thought about it, but not really considered it, until now. One of my dreams has been to have my own stable and run it the way I want to. Never really considered it an option because of the finances and my own thoughts of "no, I can't do that, no you  need a safe job" and so on. So I have spent this evening surfing colleges in the UK who has equine degrees, and it seems like the kind of thing that would suit me perfectly. I'm already in contact with one of the norwegian agents for one of the colleges, but I need to get some more information about the different places before doing anything else.

So to you bloggers out there, anyone got any tips on different colleges out there with equine studies on the schedule?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Saddle!

After talking to the saddler I got an appointment for today. So, with the help from a friend, I loaded Bosco on to the transport and drove for about 2 hours to the saddelers workshop. It was a combined indoor arena with a small stable and a working area at the side.

When we arrived the saddler was busy with another costumer so we just placed Bosco in one of the stalls. The transport we were using was of the old sort, with crappy ventilation so he was soaked with sweat when we arrived. He wanted to roll around in the sawdust, but had some problems due to the small space in the stall. Bosco has never rolled over in a stall, only outside, so he had to lay down and get back up about 5 times before he was happy. And he repeated this about 10 times before it was our turn.

After a while it was our turn with the saddler. First she took measurements of Bosco, and looked at his muscles. The first thing she noticed was that he had less muscles on the right side. This might explain why his right side is his "difficult" side. The saddler found a lot of saddles who could fit Bosco, some of them did, many didn't. Like most iberian horses he has a short and straight back, with some height on the withers. This makes it a bit difficult to find a saddle that is broad enough for the back and still gives room for the withers.

We tried out a lot of different saddles on Bosco, then took the best ones and I tested them to see how they were for me. After this we had eliminated all but 3, one of them I wasn't going to buy anyway (waaaaay to expencive) so we tried out the two others in the indoor arena.

The first saddle was a Santa Cruz Artur De Lux, this one was my favorite during the testing. It has a quite deep seat and it was really nice and comfy to ride in. After testing this saddle for a while, we changed and tried the other one, an Ideal Tonishia. The first thing I noticed when I got up in this saddle, was that Bosco felt more free in his shoulders and through the withers. I tried the saddles once each and both of them seemed to be correct for Bosco. At first I was leaning towards the santa cruz, since they both seemed correct and the santa cruz was the cheaper one, quite a lot cheaper than the Tonishia.

Then I changed again, and once i tried to trot with the santa cruz, Bosco tried to buck. There was another horse in the arena at the time, and it was cantering towards us, trying to buck as well so this might be why Bosco tried it as well. The thing is that he never bucks, if he does anything it's rearing, stopping or running sideways away from the aids. So after a while we changed the saddles again, and only by the way Bosco moved I decided to get the Tonishia. If it was up to me and my wallet, I would go for the santa cruz, but Bosco was quite clear about which saddle he preferred.

Happy horse and happy owner, altho one who would have to take a few extra shifts the next month to make up for the hole in my savings account.

What the Ideal says about the Tonishia model:
The tree in this saddle has been technologically designed to allow room for the muscle mass found at the thoracic part of the trapezius (base of whither). This is usually created by correctly schooled horses that are in top level/advanced work, but can also be found in Lusitano, Andalusian and some Warmblood horses naturally. 

This prestigious saddle comes in a luxurious and durable ’Texo’ leather with calf seat and knee pads. 

A truly inspired saddle that is already proven and esteemed by many top riders and their horses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm going to Golegã!

The Golegã horse fair (Feira da Golegã), also called the National Horse fair (Feira Nacional do Cavalo), has been the main meeting and traiding place for Lusitano horses. This fair occurs one week in November, and this year I will be attending!

Some friends of mine went there last year, but I couldn't afford it at the time. So when they told me they were going back this year there was no doubt in my mind.

We'll combine the trip to Golegã with some riding lessons at an, for the moment, unknown stable and a trip to Lisboa. I have never been to Portugal so I'm really looking forward to this trip.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saddle issues part 2

Another session in the "arena" with Bosco today. After warming up for a bit, I started to shorten the reins and searched for contact. Quite fast I noticed that something was abit off, I couldn't really put my finger on what it was, but things weren't like they are supposed to.

The past sessions it has been easy on the left hand, good support on the right rein and I can do almost what I want to without any protests at all. On the right hand he wants to have the support of the right rein and not use his right hind leg, but after some warm up exercises this is not really a bit problem to ride through. Today, he kept throwing his head about, everytime I tried to pick up contact on the right rein, on the left hand. I tried almost everything, every exercise I have used before and yes it got better, but not good. And for the first time I had problems with impulsion. He just didnt react to leg aid.

After a while I realiszed that there was something wrong. First thing I thought of was his wolf tooth, which was on the right hand side. If there was some more left it could become painful. So I searched his mouth, and he did not react to anything, other than he didnt like to get my fingers in his mouth.

So my next thougt was the saddle. I know it hasn't been the ideal saddle for him and I was planning to change it in the near future. So I took it off and tried out how he was bareback. BINGO! there was the problem. After removing the saddle I had my old horse back, just as reactive and sensitive as i know him.

So now I have called the saddeler and if I find a transport, I'll fix it during the next week!

Oh how I love that my horse lets me know when he is hurting! I have tried out saddles before, last time he would not trot, only canter. And at this time I had problems getting him to canter at all in the arena, so that one didn't fit either!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Observations from a day at the stable

Some interesting observations from today.

A single-jointed snaffle is weird when you are used to double-jointed. Horsie does not want to stand still while I try to tighten the girth, he goes against the bit, weird feeling, he rears. Then he gets frightened that I become unbalanced, and rears again. Next thing that happens is that I jump off (so I won't fall off), he gets spooked by this and tries to get away, again with the pressure and rears once more. 2 seconds later he realize that there is nothing to fuzz about, he snorts and walks up to me as if nothing has happened. "I have no idea what just happened, but I'm done! let's go!". I tightened the girth from the ground and get back in the saddle. Now he is allowed to walk freely down through the fields, relaxedly he blows his nose.

Going for a hack with the TC saddle is quite alright, lots of freedom to encourage swinging of the back and lots of natural impulsion! 

Riding with one hand is no problem. "Hey, this is what i was born to do!"

It's easier to sneak behind the bit while using the single-jointed snaffle, especially with a sloppy contact! When I took the contact as I am supposed to, it was working as intended. (I still like the double-jointed snaffle better)

Getting scratched on the head, forehead, the jaw and behind the ears has been underestimated for a long time. Now it's time to catch up for all the time spent not getting scratched! WITH interest! Bosco is like a huge brown (but very cute) mosquito, following me around the pasture "come ooooon, scraaaatch meeeeee!". This is only outside, when I take him in to groom him, he is not interested unless i scratch him on the areas he always loves getting scratched. Inside he is only focusing about what happens outside. He definitely prefers the pasture, he is much more relaxed outside with all his buddies (and enemies) around him!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

saddle issues

The fun of having a young horse!

Bosco has had the past week off, just staying outside eating grass. During this period he decides it's time to get a bit larger. So suddenly his withers has raised quite a lot, which then again leads to the saddle not fitting! *MEH!*

Well, it's not completely wrong yet, but if he keeps growing like this it will. Luckily I've got a nice Total Contac saddle, which is perfect in these situations, but not a replacement. I'll see if I can get a saddeler to take a look at him during the summer. It's just so irritating to change saddle when I know he will continue to grow for at least 3 more years. I can't afford to buy a saddle every 6 months :/

oh well, we will see how it goes, perhaps he has changed again in a week or so...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New riding boots!

During the last clinic with David my poor riding boots slowly died. They have been quite ugly for a while, but now they almost fell apart. The heavy rain was too much for them. They had survived for 10 years so I felt it was time to let them go.

So this week I went to the shop to see if they had any boots that fitted me. I have tiny feet and quite thick calves so I wasn't sure if I was going to find anyone, but I was wrong. When I told the lady who worked at the store that I had thick calves she just laughed at me. So we discussed what kind of boots I wanted and for which purpose, and eventually she found a pair of Mountain Horse Richmond High Rider Boots. They were a bit tight around the calves, but got elastics in the sides. They were also a bit too high around the knee, but after some use they will get a few cm shorter.

They look like this:

I tried them out for the first time yesterday. First of all it was quite hard getting up on the horse with new boots, had to pull down the zipper to get the flexibility in the knee. They were a bit uncomfortable to ride with at first, mostly because they were new and stiff. They give loads of stability around the ankle and once they have been "ridden in" I think they will be great!

Until then I'll have to ride with some protection on my heels :P

On a side note, Bosco was great yesterday. I had a short session in the round pen where we had some fights but mostly an understanding of what we were doing. After riding in the round pen I took him out for a short hack on the riding path, there I wanted to see how well the gas and brake worked together. After trotting for a while I asked for canter, as always he started in the left canter and after a while I did a transition to trot, then focused on getting him in the right canter. After a few tries I managed it, and on a straight line aswell! woho! A few 100 metres further on I started to push him a bit, he gently excelerated, I pushed some more, and gently he excelerated again and there was no tension or wanting to run away. So I started thinking about the brakes, funny thing with this horse is if you think hard enough about stopping, he will stop. Almost at once, and as a result I almost fell off. Haha! Nothing wrong with either the gas or brakes on this boy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Training week and clinic with David Oliveira

This week I have been at Trollspeilet, I've been working for food, housing and training. I was so happy to be able to work at an arena again and Bosco (and I) has improved from day to day. 

During the week we went out for a midnight hack in the forrest. This made me think about Marias blog "reckless riding". We were three girls and the horses was one cold-blooded trot horse, a knabstrupper and a huge old eventing horse. It was twilight and a bit of rain, so we could see the road a head of us. It was really fun, and it has been a long time since I've been riding in that tempo through the forrest :D

The training this week has been about adjusting the aids, and I've started working with lateral movements. Which means more adjusting of my seat since everything gets screwed up during lateral movements.

My back is almost straight! Still tense up in my legs and I need to sit more forward in the saddle. 

The weekend we had the walking clinic it was so dry and dusty that Bertie danced a little rain dance every night before going to bed. The rain waited for a week, and started pouring down when David arrived in norway. It was everything from heavy rain to light rain during the weekend, and when the last horses were let out after the last lesson on sunday, the sun peeked out from behind a cloud. 

This picture: Trollspeilet
Almost every time David has a clinic its raining, this one was no exception. 

This picture: Trollspeilet
Lovely weather

This picture: Trollspeilet

David and Bosco

My back is straight, but my legs are tense. 

Need more contact

This is from the first lesson on sunday. Bosco had a lot of energy and got easily tensed up, which led to me getting tense and fall back into my old habits. Need to use my abdominal muscles more to get my pelvis in the right position and relax my legs. 

This picture: Trollspeilet

One of Boscos small explotions. 
As David put it "perhaps (he has) a little more energy" hah! That's a huge understatement. 

"sometimes little fight, no problem" 
Bosco didn't want to go correct and started fighting against Davids aids. 

But when he realized what he was supposed to do he behaved. 

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the last lesson, it seemed that Bosco had some time to think about the previous lesson and figured out what was expected of him. David rode him a little while this lesson as well and Bosco behaved really well and did almost everything he asked without fighting. Even canter transitions from halt, walk and trot. Good boy!

Through out the clinic I worked with transitions in big and small circles. I was to stay off the wall, only work inside the arena so he would lean on wall of the arena. During the last week I have just started getting the right contact and use different exercises as shoulder-in and different kinds of lateral work. This means I have to start almost all over again with my seat because while doing lateral work i tense up all the way from my ankles up to the pelvis. I notice this on most of the pictures taken from the clinic and the previous week. 

I have gone from quite loose contact to an a lot more supporting contact in a short while, and my hands have to get softer! David talked about using elastics so that I could use these as a support and it would be easier on Boscos mouth. The problem with the elastics is that they wont solve my problem. I talked to Pelle about this and he agreed with me, so we are going to work at being softer in the hands.

David also installed some sort of power recharger on the outside flank, it's like you can almost hear him powering up when using the outside leg. And if you just power up and don't use the energy for something you will get some sort of explosion. Luckily he never bucks or do any big movements when he explode he just do weird stuff. 

I have had quite a few problems with the canter and the last week I have been using shoulder-in and made the transition out of that exercise. This has been working nicely, but now I got some new aids to work with. In preparing for canter, open outside rein, move inside rein forward and use outside leg for the transition. Works perfectly as long as I do it correctly. Fun! Canter transition version 1.2 :D 

David said that Bosco has improved a lot since last clinic, he also looked at his pedigree and says its quite good. Now we have sent all the papers on Bosco, Bilro and Brasil with David, he is going to help us with the passports and get the papers right. Good to know someone that knows how the system works, especially in a country where I don't know the language or how these things are done. Hopefully the passports will be finished until next clinic. 

Things to work at until the next clinic:
*softer in the hands
*canter to improove the trot
*Mobilisation to the inside and outside.  A few steps inside, a few steps forward, a few steps outside, a few steps forward and repeat. 
*shoulders back (the unique problem with the norwegians)

Funny thing this weekend, we had horses doing piaffe, passage, flying changes, (on purpose) capriole, levade and courbette (not on purpose) all done by 4 year old lusitanos. Fantastic horses! (and just to clarify, this is not the daily training routine.)

Pelle helped me get Bosco Lillestrøm where I could drive him the rest of the way home. But before we left Lillestrøm he got a nice pedicure by Lisa, Tank you! He walked straight on to the new transport and stood completely still the whole way home. When we arrived home there was noone there so I had to take him out all by myself, but he behaves when he has to so I had no problems unloading him myself. Good to know!

Little sweet Bosco