Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A visit from the dentist

I don't think anyone has checked Bosco's mouth before so when I had to have him revaccinated I figured we could take a look at his teeth at the same time.

We quickly discovered it was about time, lots of sharp edges that had made some wounds in his mouth, and he had what we call "wolf tooth" in norwegian. It is the tooth that comes up right where the bit lies in the mouth. After a closer examination, the vet discovered that the tooth was broken and he couldn't say if he would be able to get everything out. Poor Bosco was not comfertable with the vet digging inside his mouth, but after lots of sedative, local anaesthetic and deep local anaesthetic he actually managed to get all the pieces out! Took quite a while, but then I won't have to worry about a remaining shard becomming a problem later. After removing the tooth he used one of those drills to smooth out the edges of the teeth. The vet was a really good, explaining evetything he did and showed me what was wrong, and let me feel the difference before and after the treatment.

Sedated Bosco supported by the vet's assistant

Not sure what to do, hindlegs go further and further back. 

Not a pleasent "first trip to the dentist"

Still drugged, the vet checked his genetalia to make sure there was no dirt in the skinfolds and that everything looked normal. After the vet left and I was just waiting for the sedation to wear off, I took the opportunety to groom his face abit. Usually he doesn't like to get groomed in the face so he still got alot of fur left. I took my time and managed to get quite alot of fur off of him. At the same time i cut some hair of his ears and cut the mane behind his ears so its easier to fit the bridle without all the mane messing it up. After a little trip into the "shower", he woke up and was ready to go out again.

This weekend, most of the horses changed herds. They are now divided into the fat herd and the thin herd, so that they can easier control the amount of hay they eat. Bosco was very happy about this because this meant he got his mares all to himself. Before the change he was in a herd where the boss was a gelding called Petrick. He was not really good at it, he only kick harder than the rest of them. Petrick, Mamora and Miriel knew eachother from before at Trollspeilet so they were friends. Bosco was friends with Mamora and Miriel, but Petrick didn't really want him near them. Now Petrick is on the other side of the fence and Bosco got Mamora and Miriel all to himself! He is a happy horse at the moment :)

I can't use a bit in a while and Bosco needs to take it easy after being vaccinated so not much training for us the next few days. Anne, who has a couple of horses at the stable had both a sidepull and a cavesson I could borrow, so I can do some light training. I want that cavesson, the one i got is really ugly and doesn't fit. I might wish for a portugese cavesson, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

woot wooot

I just passed the drivers test for the BE lisence, which means I can drive with a trailer. At last! Now I don't have to depend on other to drive me to clinics or shows :D

And today is Boscos birthday! 4 years old, big boy! Hooray!

This picture was taken April 4th, he has alot less fur now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just keep swimming

This thursday I had a most interesting lesson with Hanne. It is usually Pelle who stops by, but this time he was sick and Hanne came in stead. Hanne and Pelle are marriend and they've got the same opinions and teach by the same principles, they just approach them in a different way. Pelle is straight forward and very talented at removing flawes from the rider. Hanne, on the other hand, picks up the pieces and combine your strengths with new input. The different approaches complete eachother quite well and makes the learning prosess more fun.

It has been a while since I last had a lesson with Hanne, and I had a feeling it would be tough. I was right. Apperantly Hanne had been "spying" on me for a while, I guess during the Oliveira clinic, and had a clear mission for the lesson. The main problem with my seat is that i sway in both my upper and lower back, and I have a tendency to get what we call "stiff in the hip", which means I don't follow the horses movements correctly. When I tense up in my legs, I block all movements in Boscos back and the result is not plesant.

So, as I said, Hanne had been spying on me and knew exactly what she wanted to "fix". As usual it was my lower back that was the problem. I had too much movement in the back so we needed to straighten up the back, and keep the movement in the hip-joint. The "mental image" I had to think of was to try to pull the symphysis and the sternum together, and this worked like a charm! I felt like the hunchback of Notre Dame, but both Hanne and Sissel asured me that I was quite straight.

I was working with my seat in seated trot for a while and tried to make Bosco stretch his back and into the contact. The last part was quite difficult as Bosco didn't really want to and I keep struggeling with keeping my weight on the inside, which again makes him struggle to keep balance. In the end, we had some moments where we managed to do what we were supposed to, but during this lesson it was mainly my abdominal muscles who took the beating.

The mental image of pulling the symphysis and sternum together was a bit of an eyeopener to me this lesson. Since the trainee course I have been struggeling with the fact that my seat often works backwards instead of forwards. The reason for this is simple, I am seated too far back in the saddle. Thinking about the symphysis and sternum being pulled together, just like doing a "crunch", automaticly placed my seat correctly, and as a result, my seat was working forwards. So, mission acomplished! Now I just have too keep this in mind and do this everytime i ride so I'll strengthen my muscles (they need it!).

Other things I need to work at; floppy elbows! For a while I thought I had them under control, but during this lesson where I got my torso in place, my elbows started flopping again and made sure i could not keep a steady hand. Unsteady hand = no contact! *sigh* To keep my elbows in place I have to think about flexing the trapezius and latissimus dorsi. However, this time that did not work. I'm not sure why just yet, but it might be related to a small overload on the thinking part of the riding. I will try to explore this subject further during the next sessions.

Checklist for me
  • Pull the symphysis and sternum together
  • shoulders back
  • "lean on" the abdominal muscles
  • chin up, look forward (with the head, not only the eyes)
  • loose in the hip joint
  • during light trot, remember the two-beat-rythm. Light seat, weight in the stirrups, not on the back.
  • weight down in the stirrups
  • weight on the inside while riding circles and other exercises.
Checklist for Bosco
  • warm up with mobilisation to the outside and to the inside
  • contact
  • if you want him to bend to the inside, give him room on the outside
  • transitions, transitions, transitions
  • while doing transitions to canter, use the "outside mobilisation"
Some day I will manage to keep both my body and Boscos in place, but until then I'll just keep training!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bosco, showjumper?

Friday, I decided that I wanted to check out how Bosco would react to fences in the arena so me and Astri let Bosco and Miriel have some fun.

All pictures: Inga and Astri Rebbeng

Bosco and Miriel, quiet before the storm


Bosco had a lot of fun, running around like a complete maniac

No need for fences

Look what I can do!


Miriel knows how to jump aswell


I love this picture! They are so cute together

I look like I'm almost asleep, but Bosco knows how to pose

One day, I'll test how he reacts to fences with a rider on his back. He has alot of power in his hindquarters allready so I think he will do allright in showjumping, just needs to get a little older and stronger.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Clinic with David Oliveira

This weekend we were attending a clinic with David Oliveira. David is from Portugal and is a former world champion in Working Equitation. He has tried show jumping, dressage, eventing and didn't think it was much of a challenge so now he is trainig for bullfighting.

I am always a bit nervous before loading Bosco on to the transport, but everytime we have rented an Ifor Williams trailer, he doesn't even hesitate. Such a good boy and I love those trailers! At Trollspeilet he was reunited with his old friends, Brasil, Misty and Ares. Brasil is Boscos brother and the same age, Misty a Norwegian warmblood, also 4 years old and Ares, a 3 year old Norwegian warmblood. A few high-pitched noises from Brasil when i let Bosco out, after that they ran around and played for a while.

First I just have to appologise for the weird english in this blog, Davids english is a bit limited so I get used to using the same words, but I'll try to explain.

Before this clinic we have been training like David has told us to train the young horses, "Training young horse, boring, circle, cricle, circle, turn, circle, circle, circle. Forward." Now we started on the exercise David calls "mobilisation to the inside and to the outside". This means you face the horse to the outside or inside of a circle and get him to step in under himself with the hindleg. I have been struggeling alot with the right hand canter, so we used this exercise and voilá right hand canter is no longer a problem ! "See?, it's easy!"

David rode Bosco for a few minutes during the second lesson, and he said that he was alot like the spanish horse I had last year. Even tho he called Bosco a baby he said it was a good horse and that he would be really good in a couple of years. Thats always nice to hear :)

The last lesson he was quite tired, but we started working on transitions, transitions, transitions. Difficult for me, dificult for Bosco, but in the end you could really feel the difference, even tho the horse was tired.

So until next clinic in june we will be working on transitions and mobilisation with Bosco, and I have to keep working on my seat. Shoulders back, weight in the stirrups and I need to "detatch" my legs from the pelvis, so I hopefully will relax more in my hips.

It was a wonderful sunny weekend, and for once I watched my trainer, Pelle, really struggeling while riding Jupiter. It usually looks so easy when he is riding, but this time he had to work hard. Moahahah!


David riding Bosco

We had to ride in a roundpen, since all the fields and the arena were too wet. Quite crowded but not a problem.

Not sure what David is doing here, it might be the chicken dance

Right hand canter, yepee!

Bosco is a little tired

Sunday without the icy wind, almost summer!
Behind me is Hanne (one of my instructors) with Brasil, Boscos brother

Now I just have to recover from this weekend, it hurts all over, but it was worth it!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Here comes the sun

Today, the sun came out again, I took my camera to the stable and here are the result. 

Bosco and friends




Trying to make some dry areas so the horses won't have to stand in the mud all day. They didn't mind the big machines.

Hestehov!! First one of the year :D

Miriel, Astris new horse, came from Trollspeilet today. Meeting an old friend, Petrick. Bosco watches in the background. 

Everyone wants to meet the newcomer 

and follow her around

a popular little lady

Bosco, who had been the newest arrival, followed Miriel around and wouldn't let her out of his sight

Such a sweet couple

Fun fact: Last year they discovered by accident that Miriel was pregnant, one of the stallions was the father, noone know who. Maybe these two has had a little adventure in the past?