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

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Walking vs Riding

This weekend I have been attending a course designed to give us the knowledge on the similarities between walking and riding. The course was at Trollspeilet and Pelle and his brother, Torodd were the instructors. Both of our instructors have an educaution in human physiology, and Torodd is working as a physiotherapist at a huge training facility. They got a lot of knowledge between them as to how our body works, how it affects both us and the horse when we are riding. 

On saturday we started off with general physiology and how we walk. Most of us who were attending this course know each other from before and we all know we got some things to work at, and many of us struggle with the same problems. After going through some of the theory we went out to the arena to have some practice First we were told to walk around while they corrected us. My main problem while walking is the same problem I have while riding. I have to get my pelvis in the correct position. At the moment I'm no where near strong enough to keep it in place without too much of an effort. This is something I have been working on for quite some time while in the saddle. Its really weird working at the same problem while walking. Another problem I got is that my feet are facing too much inwards, so I also have to focus on walking straight with my feet. This first exercise was just walking straight forward in our own tempo, just trying to adjust to the new movement.  

The next exercise was standing straight in bearing, then shift the weight on to one leg, then lift the other by just lifting the pelvis on one side. We were walking around, in bearing, with straight knees and just lifting the pelvis to go forward. This was a fun exercise and you really had to work to get loose enough in the hips and keep the pelvis in place. 

After a few rounds in the arena we decided to "take a break" and have a riding lesson before the next walking session. While riding we were working on the same things as we did while walking and i was surprised of how much easier it was now that I had more control over the movement in the hips. 

During the next sessions we walked, ran and sprinted uphill. None of us were in any good shape, but it was fun when you got the technique right. This is easier on the joints and very effective training.  

In the end of the course we talked about nutrition and exercise. Not that much I haven't heard before, but one thing he said and it is very true. It is very important for a rider to exercise other than only riding. While riding we are mostly using the core muscles, if we get tired it always affects the core muscles before the others. So after this I'm going to try to train in other ways than just riding, perhaps some intervals?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


We opened the last section of the pasture today, loads of green grass, dandelions and pictures!

Newest member of the herd, borned 00.45 on may 31st. This was her first time outside.

Everyone wanted to say Hello, but mummy dearest kept them away from the little one.

Mai and Tussa, came from Årungen on saturday

Thursday we are leaving for Trollspeilet. I got a week +  a few days off work so we are going to attend two weekend courses. The first one june 4th-6th is a course where we will be focusing on not only our seat while in the saddle, but also how we walk. We struggle towards making the horse carry it self correctly, but so few of us actually walk correctly in our daily lives.

The next weekend, june 11th-13th, we are all set for a new clinic with David Oliveira. Unfortunately we haven't been able to train as much as I had hoped between the clinics, but I'm quite sure we will learn alot anyway.  

In the week between these courses I'm just going to work at Trollspeilet and earn a living while I am there. Not sure what my assignments will be, but it doesn't really matter as long as I get to train my horse in an arena! I can't wait until we get one at home!