Equilab – Horse app 

Ola,

I just came across an app that seems great for us horse lovers. 


The app is called Equilab and what it does is literally keeping a diary of your trainings. It checks how many minutes you use on walk, canter and trot. It also sees how far you’ve travelled with the horse and for how long you trained. 


It’s super easy to set up and you can track several horses. It’s also super easy to share the details of your trainings with your coach. If you put in body wheight of you and your horse it will also track how much energy/calories you’ve used. You can also put in the stable you ride on and share the details with other stable riders if you want

I must admit I haven’t used mine yet, but read about it on Lina Dolk’s blog and found it really interesting. Going to test it out tomorrow. You can find it on AppStore under Equilab and it’s totally for free. 


If you test it out, let me know how it went!

X.m 

Flexchair 

Ola,

Long time, no see! 

Now I’ve finally settled a bit in my new job and have time to focus on the blog again. 


Today I did something super interesting called a flexchair. For those who doesn’t know what it is: you sit on a chair that is formed like a saddle that is connected with a laptop. On the laptop you can see if you for example sit in the middle of your saddle , if you lean to one side, if you move your pelvis in the right way and so forth. Super useful when it comes to horseriding as you can see if you put pressure on the horseback in the wrong way or not.

Before I went in I was a bit afraid that the outcome would be that I sit skewed as you see this with a lot of riders(leaning to one side or the other). However my outcome was that I sit very straight, but I need to dare to release my back and move my pelvis better front to back and vice versa so that I move better with the horse’s movements. She said I had a really good moving pelvis(how dirty is that word by the way?), I just had to learn to use it in the right way and release it. As she had dealt with horses with kissing spine she gave me some really good tips to use while riding Grumpy as well. 


I almost think they should make such chairs obligatory if you ride on a certain level as it gives you great insights. It can save your a lot of trips to the vet if you find out early that you sit skewed and you can fix it. I at least found it super interesting and useful. 

Now I’m going to read trough an article my instructor gave me to learn some more. 


Hope you’ve had a good Sunday!

X.m

People who inspire me 

Ola,

(Be prepared for cheesy quotes to get you going) 


Some people grow up being super fans of certain bands or celebrities, but for some unknown reason I’ve never had that. However there are certain people that I follow/look up to based on how they perform or keep their horses. Whenever I’m in a dip I think about the list below and remembering what I’m working towards. 


Horse riding : if there is one thing I can watch for hours then it’s people that steer a  horse around without moving at all themselves. Unfortunately you hardly come across such people(let’s face it, even Isabel Werth have coach potato tendencies), but Charlotte Dujardin does one heck of a great job. What I love the most about her is that she doesn’t believe she’s done learning. So many people think their already Anky, and if you believe that, your never going to improve. Besides her I enjoy watching people that show off young stallions at shows cause those are the ones that really hustle and generally ride great.

Horsekeeping: Carl Hester. A lot of Carl’s principals when it comes to horse keeping crosses paths with those of mine. He believes that you need to start handling a horse from a young age and get it used to the environment to be able to enjoy it later on. He also believe in a very varied schedule and a lot of turnout. Bored horses become troubled horses. And people wonder why their horse is stiff when it’s been inside all day….. Hoho


Rider fitness: Anne and Lotte Meulendijks. If you’ve ever seen the vlogs of Anne and Lotte Meulendijks you’ve seen that they have one hell of a tight training schedule. When your sleeping, they are in the gym. I wish I had their discipline, but I really need to strengthen my core if I want a better positioning in the saddle. So every time I’m being lazy I’m remember why it’s so important and it makes it a bit easier to get going. 

So,  now I can forget the horrible riding I’ve done this week and move forward haha. 💪🏻

X.m

The week that went by 

Ola, 

So I guess it’s right what they say. The older you get the faster the time goes. The weeks are currently flying by. 

so update Grumpy:

The last couple of weeks I’ve worked a lot on the lunge to make him stronger on his left side. The left side has always been a weak point for him, so he would always have a bit of trouble going into left center. But now my friends, I’ve worked so hard on it that his right side is becoming weak……. dang. Haha. 

Due to him becoming stronger on that side my left arm is currently dying while riding. For some dumb reason I completely put it on lock when I ride and get cramps. So thinking of planning in some private lessons next week to see if I can get rid of it before the whole arm falls off. Making a horse straight is really an art on its own.  

I’m also realizing I’m really happy I don’t have children cause Grumpy is getting fat. Yep, I’m a feeder, I’m admitting it. Luckily it’s a lot easier making Grumpy move then children, so the next weeks he is going on a diet to get back in shape. I did buy a “light” candy, which is good for horses that easily get laminitis though. Grumpy seems to love it(who am I fooling, he eats anything eatable), but if you are looking for a better option, this is the one. 


Last, but not least. Grumpy finally got to go on the land today together with his boyfriend Tristan. It’s so funny to see how good friends they are and enjoy hanging out together. He still haven’t figured out that he can eat through the mask so he just walks around saying hi to the other horses. 


Now it’s time for trash tv and chai tea. 

Hope you’ll have a great weekend.

X.m 

I ride a horse, therefore I am a great rider 

Throughout my life as a handball player/coach and during my time working for the largest sport company in the world, I’ve met a lot of athletes. From athletes that are starting out in their sport to athletes competing at the olympics.

Not one of these athletes has ever come across the way a lot of the equestrians I meet do. Why is it that most equestrians completely miss out when it comes to judging their own abilities as a rider? And where on earth does all the cockyness come from?

I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to a person bragging about their riding skills and then seen them ride afterwards and not been able to see any of what they’ve just told me. Same goes for people that loves to give you tips on your riding and then you see them ride and wonder what on earth their doing on a horse. Don’t you realize that the minute you step on that horse I will see if you got skills or not? There is no hiding from that point on. 

If you can explain so well how to do it, why can’t you do it yourself? 

Maybe this is the explanation to it all. It’s hard to see how you look like while on a horse. You think you look like this :


While in reality you look like this:


I personally only listen to riding advice given by professionals who I’ve seen riding a horse well or that I know have a track record with horses. Why? Cause most of the time(leaving out the occasional idiot) they know what their talking about. 

You’re never done learning as an equestrian. Even Charlotte Dujardin says she learns something new everyday, and if the Olympic gold medalist says that, then it applies for us too 😉

Let your riding to the speaking, not your mouth please. 

X.M

Stiff as a brick 

Ola Ola, 

Anyone else than me addicted to the tv series The O.A? I started watching it last night and completely lost track of time. 

Boy did I feel that this morning when not one bone of me wanted to get out of bed. The serie is really good so far though, so for those liking a bit weird sci-fi stuff it’s a good one. 

Another one who was having a hard day today was Mr.Grumpy. He was so incredible stiff that for the first 30 min that I was on him I was contemplating calling on my instructor to help me out. 

Horse grumpy bucas

But then I figured out I had to do it myself if I wanted to call myself a proper horse owner. So on we went with loads of transitions, excellerations and sideways movements and little by little he got better. It took me about an hour to get him relaxed, but at least we got there. You know, that turtle that won the race? Haha . In the end we got to practice the left canter transition as well. I am practicing to get him into the canter wherever I want. Three corners went alright, but the last one I probably had to do ten times before he did it, but at least we got there. Afterwards we spent a long time to slow down to avoid his muscles turning sour. 

Horse bridle schockemöhl

After the session he got some snacks with vitamins to help with his muscles plus he stayed under his therapy rug for a while. Considering trying out the solarium/sunbed tomorrow to see if it will help him a little. 

Grumpy therapy Recuptex Bucas

I am happy that I decided to go on by myself. It feels good knowing that I can now get him relaxed on my own, which wouldn’t be possible a half a year ago. My own riding today was both good and bad. My hands are slowly moving towards where they should be without to much movement, but I still give to much aids which I need to work on. Luckily tomorrow is another day and another day to practice to getting better. 

Boyfriend is gone for the next two days because of a radio show, so this lady is going to enjoy a Melanzane I just made and some Netflix series. 

Hope you’ll have a good evening. 

X.M

Will you win a dressage competition depending on which judge you got? 

Good night,


Today me and this handsome fella above have been to a dressage competition. My instructor Kim went for her first competition after giving birth to her candy as I like to call her child (Snoepje). Together with Ivonne, we had a really nice day filled with laughter and Kim did great for her first time back competing since ten months time. 

The competition was around 20-30 min from our stable, so not too far away, and it wasn’t so busy which was nice as well. However walking away from the competition I had a bitter taste in my mouth. 


Growing up I played handball. Handball it’s pretty easy, you score the most goals, you win. You got no one else to blame, but yourself if you don’t score goals. However in dressage it all falls in the hand of the judges. I know they should be, but do they really manage to stay objective? Do they remember that they should look at how handy a rider is and how well he or she does the movements and not at how spectacular the horse is? Will you get more points if you got longer legs cause that looks “prettier” or when you got an expensive attire? 

I have my doubts..

What I find good horse riding can be completely different to what another person finds good horse riding. I want to see a relaxed combination that flows together where you see both enjoy what their doing in harmony. Not a horse forced into a specific position with a rider riding with a harsh hand. 

Watching the combinations warm up today I noticed a girl that was riding a really nice horse, but she rode the horse in a way that I would almost call animal abuse. Her aids were all over the place and as the horse didn’t understand what she asked the reins became shorter and shorter until the horse had its head on its chest. She moved the horse around the arena in a way that made me want to gag. 

The fact that the horse didn’t buck her off, showed how much shit he actually put up with. At one point I stood with another groom that I had never spoken to before and this rider comes in front of us and clearly makes a point of that she could steer the horse in extremely small circles.  The other groom looked at me and we both start laughing at how redicolous it looked. But then she goes in and got second place, because today, tight riding on”spectacular” moving horses was what the judge found good riding. 

But what can we do about it? Not much. As long as there isn’t a general guideline to what good (animal friendly)riding is, there is going to be loads of different opinions and scores depending on the judge. I get that it is that way, but I must say, my “overly fair heart” bleeds just thinking about it. 

X.M

When you got nothing to do 

Good evening. 

Hope you all have had a nice Sunday. 

This morning I was meant to go to another preselection for the Dutch dressage championship, but when the alarm went off at 8 I didn’t understand where I was or what was ringing. So when I finally came to reality I turned it off, turned around and slept till 11. Haha. Well it’s Sunday after all. 

Mr.Grumpy got a well deserved day off today. He has been great the whole week, so think it was good for him to get a low key day. Outside the ground was freezing and inside there was a dressage contest, so we couldn’t do so much anyway. But instead of leaving him in the box we went for a little stable stroll, so he could cuddle with his best friend. 


Thereafter we did a proper spa treatment. Cleaned the legs and smeared in the hooves, cut the upper as well as the lower part of the tail.

 And then you guys, I thought I was going to be good and cut his mane. I think we all should be very happy I’m not a hairdresser. Cause now Mr.Grumpy looks a little bit like this :


Ugh…..

I don’t know how people cut manes so straight with those curved scissors. I’m going to buy a straight one. Yep, im totally blaming it on the scissor. What else could I blame? Myself? Naaah never. 

I remember when I was 12 and a hairdresser did the same to me. I went home crying to my grandfather who just looked at me and said “if you are going to sit there and cry over a little bit of hair, you’re going to have a very hard life”. 

Luckily it’s just hair and it will grow out again. I can already hear my instructor tomorrow though “why on earth is it so short”, just like last time. Haha. Can’t wait. 

Have a nice evening!

X.m

Dumb and dumber 

Sometimes my own stupidity really amazes me.

Yesterday I had to be a bit quick after riding Mr.Grumpy and normally if I take of the bridle and hold open his box door he walks straight in. However yesterday the big man thought he would be funny and decided to not go into his box, but instead decided to walk backwards and to the door that leads out of the stable.

His box door automatically closes so standing there trying to hold open the door while making him walk in, was not the easiest task. Probably for five min I was walking back and forward to open the door and back behind him to make him go in. In the end someone else had to come and help me. Misses helpless over here. Haha

✌🏻️


The reason why I had to be quick was because I was going to a clinic of Marlon van Wissen that one of the instructors of my stable(Christa) was riding in. She rides zz-licht which equals advanced medium in Germany or England(why don’t we have the same levels in each country?) so I got to see a lot of stuff Im far away from doing, but want to learn. Eventough it was very cold(last time I’m whining Simon!) it was really useful. Marlon has a really good way of explaining things that makes it easier to understand. Had a really nice Friday eve with the team.


X.M

Taking it slow 

You know that feeling when things don’t work out and you get all stressed, throw your hands up in the air and consider crying? That’s how I feel about left canter. 


“Random video from today. Glad he took it slow as the ground was frozen”

But today, today Mr. Grumpy decided to listen to me. Which meant we could do transitions till we turned green in our faces without any problems. Instead of making him go really hard and wish that he falls into canter(yes, very professional) I decided to take it slow to see if that worked and it did! That feeling when you manage to do something you’ve been wanting to do since forever is so good. Now just let hope he will be this good tomorrow as well. 

After the workout he got his well deserved muesli with carrots. 


Now I’m going out to celebrate my bestfriend’s birthday in Amsterdam. Can’t be all horses all the time!

Hope you have a nice evening! 

X.m