Been talking to myself 

Ola,

Do you know what the best feeling in the world is? It’s when you’ve been trying to get trough that level on candy crush forever and suddenly you did it. Yep, nothing can describe that feeling haha.

All jokes aside. Yesterday I did something I normally don’t do. Talk to myself. 

I decided after riding Grumpy in the arena to take him for a walk around the little gallop circle we have in the woods. It’s definitely not far from the stable, but far enough for me to freak out. But yesterday I had my big girl shoes on, and figured that if you want to overcome a fear, you gotta face it. So on we went. 

As per usual, Grumpy didn’t do a single thing… while me, I was talking to him like his ears would fall off. If people would have heard me they would have thought I was a nutter. “It’s ok boy, we’re gonna do this”,” don’t worry, almost there now”. Haha. But it did work and we did survive our little field trip. With every little step, that fear is getting less. Hopefully by the end of summer we can make bigger field trips. 


Picture from last time we tried back in December… 

x.m

SGW Clusius 2017 – My first eventing experience

Ola,

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Hope you’ve had a good weekend! As per usual nowadays mine been filled with all things horsy.

For the first time in my life I went to a eventing competition on Saturday. Manege Beukers and Clusius were organizing their yearly SGW which was also the qualifiers for the Dutch Eventing Championship. Lotte from my stable was going to compete, so I tagged a long to see how a day in a life of an eventer looks like.

I must say I’m so envious of the things she dares to do. She only 14, but the determination and winning mind that she has will take her far. She competed two horses yesterday, as one finished, it was straight onto the next one to compete that one. It does help a little that she’s not scared of a thing in the world. I often stand with my mouth open when she practices jumping 1.20m without hands back at the stable. Can’t wait to see how the National championship will go as she’s trough with one horse.

I was standing on the top of a hill taking the photo above and they told me the hill was used in the higher classes. pffft. If I were to try this I would probably close my eyes, pee my pants and squeal like a baby while Grumpy would take me around the course. For those that doesn’t know, Grumpy is an old eventing horse that used to compete internationally on 1star level. Knowing that the obstacles I saw yesterday were small compared to the ones he did I don’t understand how he did it.

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Eventing is so incredible cool! The atmosphere at the event was so different from the typical dressage competitions. People were really chilled, talked to each other and helped each other out if need to be. All the horses had their ears forward and seem to love life. Most of them were so used to tents, cars, people and so forth, so it was nice to be in an environment were everyone were just buzzing around. It was my first SGW competition, but definitely not my last.

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X.M

Failing at taking photos 

Ola, 

Hope you all are having a good Monday! Mine started fresh and early at the stable taking Mr.Grumpy for a ride. 

He was super good today. We are becoming more of a team everyday and he is relaxing a bit more everyday which is also a good thing. 

I only got to learn the boy some obedience. Today I turned away for one second and this happened: 


Guess the boy loves its food. 

Since it’s been freezing in the Netherlands like forever we couldn’t lunge for a long time, but yesterday I could finally do it again. I was meant to take photos of how he has been gaining wheights and muscles to make a comparison, but someone Ehm me, completely failed at the photo taking. I’ve got 50 photos of him on the lunge and not one of them are good. Here is the best one: 


The rest was something ala this : 


Ehm what?

Ah well, I will have to try again another day. The whole point was to point out that he has gained wheight and muscles since we started with some more food and muesli. We are going in the right direction! 

Now it’s pancake time, yum! Have a nice evening.

X.m

Dentist 

Good evening. 

As mentioned yesterday it was time for Mr.Grumpy to go to the dentist today. Just like me he totally hates the dentist and even hearing the sound down the hallway makes him nervous and spooky. 


So this morning I went to ride him early to make sure he was a bit tired before it was time for the dentist. The riding wasn’t anything special. I worked on loosening him up and making him tired so didn’t focus on anything specific besides that. Afterwards he got to eat a bit before he got sedated. 

Unfortunately it’s not possible to go to the dentist with him without it,  but it does work it’s charm. He did have some sharp teeth that had to be filed down, but for the rest it was all good. Afterwards he got to sleep out his sedation for a long while. Can’t be easy being that stoned, haha. 


The dentist that we had today has been following Mr.Grumpy since he was around four years old and could tell me that he was a case of wanting too much too fast. He was expected to do a lot at a very young age and if he didn’t he would be punished. So if you want a nervy horse like Mr.Grumpy that’s the way to go. It saddens me when people don’t see the difference in discipline and animal abuse.   It’s definitely a fine line. 

X.M

Why is Mr.Grumpy called Mr.Grumpy?


Good thing I’m not planning on selling him otherwise this would be a really bad advertisement for him. But so why do I call Mr.Grumpy?

1. I hate everyone, except for a few 

Mr.Grumpy would definitely belong to the cool group at school if he was a human. Only a few horses are ok. The rest are out to kill him. He particularly hate frisians or small quick horses. He prefers females or his best friend Tristan. 

2. I’m going to hang if you put me there 

If your going to brush or do something special to him, it’s better not to put him on the chains. Then he will either stand on his back legs or freak out completely. Hence why I generally saddle him alone by the closet so he can stand freely and look. 

3. Don’t touch me 

I unfortunately don’t know too much about Mr.Grumpys past, but if you touch him in the wrong places he will either bite or kick you. His stomach is definitely a sensitive area. I’ve been working on it for a couple of months now, so now I’m allowed to touch and brush him there without him lifting his leg, but putting a blanket on him, oh my….


4. Vets & dentist 

Pffft. Going to the vet or dentist is definitely not a walk in the park, it’s a big fat nightmare. Tomorrow he is going to the dentist and will have to be sedated to do so. Taking a blood test generally takes 3-4 people if you want to be quick. 

5. My precious 

On one side it’s rather sweet, on the other extremely annoying. If he feels that I am in any circumstance not safe he will protect me. This means attacking any dog or horse that comes to close. Only issue is that he forgets me in the middle of it and can easily jump on me instead of away from me. 

In the beginning when I had just bought Mr.Grumpy I thought I had bought a nightmare. I was such a newbie and he really reacted to that, but now that I’m used to it I know how to move and be around him so we don’t have any issues anymore. He is definitely a horse with a manual, but on the other side he is the perfect learning horse. He is really safe outside, won’t buck you off and will give you all he’s got. He can also be quite funny and is great with children. He is definitely not a boring one! 


X.M

Travers – lateral movements 

Good evening,

A bit of a late one today, but I wanted to share this picture below that might also help you guys out how it helped me. Mostly how I do it when I want to learn new movements is that I check out other riders(people I know do them well) and YouTube videos that include explanation. However sometimes it’s a bit hard to see how the back of the horse should really be positioned, which I think this picture shows very well. 


Unfortunately I only have it in Dutch, but think it’s pretty self explanatory. 

Today’s lesson started a bit slow, think Mr.Grumpy was a bit stiff and had a bit of pain in his back as his movements weren’t like they were last week. However after a proper warmup he felt better and we did some pretty decent travers. Luckily for me he is pretty good at them so I can learn from him. My own riding was so so today, I was quite tired which translated into flying arms and legs again. Gotta find a way to keep those hands still. If you got tips, feel free to holla.

X.m

2016 – a up and down year

We are almost at the end of 2016, which means it’s time for a year summary! 

It’s the first full year that I’ve been the owner of Mr.Grumpy. It’s been a year with ups and downs and even tough I’ve had a few times that I thought “gosh, now you’re being put up for sale”, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. 

January – February 

January and February was spent doing loads of private lessons. Generally we spent the lessons laughing, specially since I never managed to get into left canter and would swear A L O T. I was such a newbie at this point. 


March

Finally I bought a new saddle. The old one killed my back and wasn’t good for Mr.Grumpy so it was good for both for us. The riding went so so as I was very tired. Thankfully I have a very understanding instructor that would let me have slow lessons as I didn’t have much energy to give more. Luckily for me Mr.Grumpy had Nicolette that would take him out for hacks and generally take great care of him. 

Finally spring was around the corner as well and the rugs were left back in the closet when he went outside!


April – May

Because I has been so tired I had some extra time off in April and May. The time was spent letting Mr.Grumpy out everyday. We also took part in some clinics and our riding was becoming better little by little. 

The weather was great during this periode so I also learned to lunge him without a rope by his old owner which was a lot of fun. 


June

June must have gone by in a second as I can’t remember much of what we did together. It was the month I bought my new boots which gave me the worst flesh wound ever. We also spent a lot of time riding outside. 


July – August 

July and August wasn’t great for us. Mr.Grumpy started coughing and suddenly his fur was very tick. When riding he was extremely slow, lost all of his muscles and didn’t seem happy. Within a two week periode the vet was called in 3 times I think, all for different reasons. We started suspecting that he has Cushing as it was way to warm for his tick fur. I cried my eyes out to the vet as I thought we had to put him down, I literally didn’t stop for two hours. Haha( miss overdramatic over here). We did manage to get in some nice rides and I went on my first proper hack though. 


September – October 

In September Mr.Grumpy still wasn’t himself. So we changed his food and vitamins in hope that it would make it better. The vet let us know that his back was being very bad so we had to start lunging 3 times a week. For the rest I spent a lot of time cantering in the forest and generally trying to make things more pleasant for him. In October the virus finally started to lift. The fur started to shed and he started feeling a lot better. We also got to know that he didn’t have Cushing(ppid) at all. We could finally start to look forward. 


November – December 

November and December was spent doing  a lot of group lessons. It was the first time I finally felt we had a good flow in our riding and that we were becoming more of a team. Our riding now compared to the beginning of the year is a world of difference. It has become so much better. 

Mr.Grumpy finally started growing proper muscles again and had more energy. It did end a bit on a low note as Mr.Grumpy became sick, but hopefully it will lift quickly and we can continue learning and growing in 2017.  


A long read, but if you came this far, I hope you enjoyed it. 

X.M

Leather Apron for grooming

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You know that feeling, when you’re standing there, braiding your horse and you realize you either need a new tie or something else and you have to step down from your stool and go and get it. How smart isn’t this leather apron from the Stockholms hastbutik? So easy to put everything in there so you can get done at once. Now I’m the worst sucker in the world for beautiful leather, but I think it looks really nice too.
I saw it first on the blog of Nina Rademaeker and you can buy it here for about 80 euro.
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