Change of schedule 

Oh finally Friday. This week felt like twelv years, it was like it was never going to end, but we made it guys. Finally on the sofa with my favorite liquorish and movie. 


Yesterday I had the worst ride. Grumpy hates circles, I therefore hate circles. Man, I even screamed in the lesson that he was for sale. The monster Maria comes out when I’m tired and nope it’s not pretty. Grumpy spent half an hour getting warm and less stiff and then he spent half an hour being a super strong neurotic racehorse. My arms where complete jellyfish afterwards. 

Today on the other hand he was much more relaxed and we could follow our own routine as we were riding alone. I’m starting to notice on Grumpy that he is finding the group lessons harder and harder. He becomes stressed when it’s to many horses and I’m not always able to warm him up in the way I know works for him. So moving forward there will be some changes to our riding schedule. I know some is going to say this is redicolous, but it’s time to listen to what he wants so I’ll make sure to take a group lesson less a week. If that makes him more relaxed then so be it. It will be more enjoyable for the both of us in the end.


Sunday we are staring to practice for our first competition together. Eeeek

Have a lovely weekend! 

Entering annoying times

Ola,

You gotta excuse my overly negative header, but let me explain.

This morning I showed up at the stable around 08.25 and let me tell you. It was cold. Very very cold. Which means the most difficult question of this period of the year arises:

Should you put a rug on it or not?

Grumpy is the biggest diva I know. So he gets cold really fast and then puts on a thick bearsuit. However its way to warm during the day to have a rug on him the whole day, and I don’t have the possibly to get to the stable in the morning to take it off. Oh the drama. Today I put on his summer rug when I was there in the afternoon so that he has something on overnight. I did see that it will drop to 10c tonight tough, so will have to take out the rugs from the shed I guess. The ultimate reminder that the autumn is coming!

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Our ride today wasn’t anything to write home about. He was really forward, which is something good, but then I need to learn to use that positive energy. Today we were a bit all over the place. Luckily we were riding alone, so no one noticed. haha.

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Tomorrow its time for another lesson!  Have a good Sunday eve 🙂

x.m

 

 

First dressage test

Pfft, I don’t think I’ve been this nervous in a long long time.

But yeah, let’s start at the beginning. Some time ago me and some stable mates decided that it was a good idea for me to do a try out dressage test at another stable. At that point in time it seemed totally fun. That all lasted all the way till this morning when I realised what I had signed up for.

But heck, I’m also to stubborn to quit, so on we went (you never get away from fear without facing it right?). Luckily I didn’t have to go alone, cause that would have not ended very well. Grumpy feeds on my nervousness, so I got Ivonne and Inge along for the ride to help me out with everything(Holla at Ruben and Sabine for the gezelligheid).

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For some reason before today I was really nervous for the transportation and how he would react to a new arena. I had this image in my head that he would freak out and fall off the transportation or so. Not logical at all as he has never done this, and he didnt either. He went on like a dream, transported totally fine and when we came there I let the ladies do their thing as they know him and I didn’t want to make him nervous. Now I know why professional riders have grooms. haha.

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When I came to testride Grumpy for the first time, he gave me this feeling of security, which he did again today. Riding around in the big outdoor arena felt so nice. He wasn’t spooky at all, which I had expected him to be as he can do some twist and turns on me at home. But nada of that, he listened well and if I just could have taken that feeling with me into the test I probably would have ridden the first test better.

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That arena was really really big.

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Wow.

The second we entered the indoor arena everything went blurry. I was too nervous and he hated the white bars and the jury table at the beginning of the arena. But on we went. The longest five minutes of my life. At a certain point all that went trough my mind was “just get trough it, there is light at the end of the tunnel”. More or less everything that could go wrong, went wrong. He didn’t want to get close to the white bars, and I had my reins to long to force him. But oh well, we survived(yes you can call me miss dramatic). Can’t believe I survived holding my breath for five minutes either…

Luckily we got a second chance to redeem ourself and I got a second to breath and it went a lot better. Knowing we can still do a lot better it was still a good feeling to be able to go home knowing we got trough it properly the second time. We still got a lot to practice on, seeing the photos I definitely need to sit better, get my stirrups longer, keep the connection to the bit and loose some weight. Grumpy needs to be a lot more collected, but for now thats all alright. We got things to work on and the first step is taken so we are moving forward.

Looking back I’m so happy I bought a horse that can teach me everything I need to know and that shows me everything I do wrong, without being an ass about it. I’m also really happy I got such great stable mates that are there to support me. Thank you for the help today, couldn’t have done it without you.

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To everyone starting out with dressage tests or just want to get better at riding tests I can highly recommend Proefgericht clinics by Marlon van Wissen.

 

 

 

 

Friday eve

And there you go again, the week pass by so quickly. Wasn’t it just Sunday? Anyway, a long weekend ahead, so can’t complain!

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I was dumb enough to clean his saddle on Tuesday, which meant slipper slope on Wednesday. That together with having to have the stirrups longer because of a flesh wound on my knee made for a very interesting lesson in balance. And now your thinking, “But you shouldn’t clean the top of your saddle”. I know I know, but I normally put conditioner on it afterwards and then your literally stuck in the saddle instead. ah well, a little balance training can’t hurt anyone.

As I started my new job this week, Grumpy had to be put a bit on the back burner till I get settled. Need to come up with a new riding plan as well as I can’t ride earlier on the day anymore. I don’t understand how women can have full time jobs, children and then a horse. Must be superheros with more hours in a day then me! But ill figure it out somehow, just have to get used to it again.

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These photos are from exactly one year ago. So funny to see he haven’t changed much, just a bit more muscly.

Now I’m going to crash in bed, my brain is literally fried after a lot of new information entering it. Hope you’ll have a lovely weekend!

X.m

Put some new shoes on 

Good evening and happy weekend, 

Hope you are having as chilled time as me, laying on the sofa eating M&m’s. 


Today it was time for Mr.Grumpy to get some new shoes. After having a  discussion with my farrier we came to the conclusion to try a new type of shoes this time. When his normal ones are getting worn out he has a tendency to start slipping on his back legs, which I’m definitely not a fan of as that kicks back into his back. So after some discussion we concluded we would try aluminum shoes. Apparently they are way lighter and gives a way better grip. So we shall see, they are at least very shiny. 

Probably should have cleaned and smeared the hooves before taking this picture. Haha

After he got new shoes it was time for a lesson with my instructor again. I truly wish Mr.Grumpy could get new shoes every week, as he walked better with the new ones. Unfortunately my bank account says “no ,thank you” to that… 

This time we went back to the basics and focused on me keeping my arms still and working more with my legs then my arms. To ensure he works from behind instead of with his front legs. Generally I like learning the flashy stuff like movements and so forth,  but have realized lately that bad looking flashy stuff is not really cool compared to a person who rides without you seeing it(when you don’t see the person giving the aids). I remember visiting the Young horse dressage championship last year and seeing an equestrian ride so still and harmonious. That will be my future goal for now. 


Hope you will have a great weekend. Tomorrow boyfriend is playing at a huge festival here in the Netherlands, so will write about that on Sunday(trying out that personal touch you know).

X.M

Who forgot to turn on the heater? 

Ok, let’s get straight down to business. Who forgot to put on that heater called global warming? I am officially freezing my toes off.  “Yes, my jokes are dry, hoho” 

Mr.Grumpy is currently wrapped in like a little Christmas gift. He seems to be warm and happy under two layers though. I was afraid I wouldn’t have a warm enough rug since he ruined his baselayer rug last week, but this seem to work for now. Currently using 450 gram Rambo rug with a Rambo dryrug. 


It might be all in my head, but it seems like his new food is giving him more energy. Yesterday we tried going for a walk together, but it quickly turned into a Mr.grumpy walking me situation so the walk didn’t last long. 

Today I had to ride instead of lunging because the ground is frozen outside. When riding I could definitely notice he was more forward, but he spent all his energy on hating this cute little pony that was also in the arena. Even if it was like 15 meters away he wanted to attack him. So guessing that’s a side effect of the new energy. However I rather want that and just learn to ride with it, then him being lazy and energyless. 


Tomorrow I am riding in a lesson again, so then we can work on channeling the energy. 

Hope you have a nice evening!

X.M

Pre selection for Dutch dressage championship 

Today when I came to the stable Mr.Grumpy had a sweet little surprise for me. 

He had decided that his layer rug was not the one for him so he tore it apart for me. 


Thanks buddy, exactly what I wanted to spend my money on this month after paying the saddle fitter, farrier and later this month dentist for you…. horses sometimes… 🙄😂

Anyway, I didn’t have much time to think about it as I was going with Lotte and the owners of the beautiful Fries Wilma B, Ronald and Carolien to the pre selection of the Dutch dressage championship. Lotte was to compete in the class L1 against 25 other people. 


We arrived well in time to take a look around the stable and check out the competition. There were some really good horses riding in between all the contestants. 

It soon turned out that loads of the horses had issues with the arena. The stable is notoriously known for being a problematic one as there for example today, were heaters in the corners and people screaming or making noises from the other side of the wall in the middle of your run. 

Lotte did two really good runs, but in the first one Wilma suddenly decided to jump to the right in the canter as someone hit the wall on the other side. As Lotte is a seasoned rider she went on with her run as well as she could and the rest went totally fine. The second one went by the book with some minor things here and there, but not much to put a finger on. 


As it was 3 hours remaining till the last contestants where done and you would hear if you had won or not we took Wilma back to the stable before riding back again to wait for the results. Of course you hope to win, but in the car there I don’t think either of us was thinking about how it would end. We didn’t have time to see many of the other contestants so it could go either way. 

However the image below says it all. Lotte became first in both runs and is now trough to the region championship. How cool isn’t that? 


Super proud of you girl. Well done! 💪🏻👌🏻 

Considering that Wilma is only a year under the saddle and Lotte was up against some really good riders, this is quite the achievement. 

It was a really nice experience to see how the championship worked and how different the levels are of the riders. In my head I went there thinking that there would only be insanely good riders, but there were riders from all walks of life. Some of the horses though. Man, I need to win the lottery! Hopefully the next one I will be able to compete in as well.

X.M 

What to buy on sale

January is known for being the huge sales month in many countries. In the Netherlands several of the largest equestrian sites have their winter sales on at the moment. 

I personally love sales(why wouldn’t you want to buy something for less money. Haha), but I do know there are people that find them to messy or don’t want to buy “outdated” product. However there are certain things that are really smart to buy on the big sales: 

Saddle pads 

I can’t remember the last time I bought a saddle pad at full price. I personally prefer the euro star pads, but at 70 euro I find them too expensive. So I buy a couple of them when the sales is on instead. Like this one for example: 


Kingsland victor saddle pad. Normally 80,- now 40,- at Divoza

Show shirts

I don’t why, but seems that someone decided that showshirts should be redicolous expensive eventough their full of polyester(my favorite fabric -not). Show shirts change little season by season, so you can save quite a lot on buying them at the large sales in winter and summer. For example the ones at Kingsland haven’t changed all year. So why not buy them a bit cheaper?


Kingsland classic show shirt. Normally 45,- now 35,- at De Kroo.

Rugs 

Winter rugs/ turnout rugs are definitely one of the most expensive things we can buy for our horses. Generally the rugs don’t change much from year to year. So if you know that you need a new one next year it can be smart to buy them on the winter sales instead of at the beginning of autumn. At the moment you can even get Bucas rugs up to 30% off which doesn’t happen a lot. 


Bucas 300 gram smartex winter turnout rug – normally 255,- now 178, euro- at Dochorses

Halters 

You always need halters and saving some dollars here and there on them is never bad. Their certainly not expensive, but buying them at 50% off feels better then buying them at full price no?


Schockemöhl Tennessee. Normally 17,95, now 8,98,- at Epplejeck

Boots 

You need boots all year around, but generally they don’t go on sale as much the rest of the year as they do now. So why not buy some at 30-50% as a delayed Christmas gift for yourself? 


Petrie Melbourne – normally 299,- now 199,- at Ooteman

Here you got a list of the sales going on at the moment or coming up: 
Divoza – up to 50% off 

Ooteman – special sale starts 15 January, for now 30% off

Dochorses – up to 30% off on rugs from Rambo, Amigo, Bucas 

Schockemöhl – 50% off certain items 

Epplejeck – winter sale with up to 50% starts Sunday 8 January

X.M

2017 – New year New opportunities 

Raise your hand if you have bought a New Year’s Eve Lottery ticket? Me me me.

Hopefully I’ll enter the year winning 30 million euros. If so the list below will look a bit different, but for now this is the goals I hope(will!) achieve in 2017.

I need something to strive for, otherwise I don’t move forward.

Horse 

Of course the main goal is to become a better rider, but I feel that’s such a difficult thing to pinpoint, so I’ve set up some more tangible goals that are easier to reach: 

Competitions 

Eek, the big word, competitions. Even just the word makes me cringe a bit, but it’s time to get starting. The next couple of weeks me and my instructor will start practicing some of the tests to make sure I know how it works. How the girl who can’t figure out left from right is going to remember all the A B C letters I don’t know, but we shall find a way. I might need a secret ear piece so someone can scream into my ear if I ride the wrong way. 

Core core core 

I wish I could look down at my belly and see a six pack, but at the moment that’s unfortunately not the case. I’d probably do Homer Simpson proud,  but let’s face it, that’s not a good thing.  

Because I don’t have enough stomach muscles I end up putting pressure on my back while riding, which again leaves me with pretty bad back ache. So it’s time to get cracking and start strengthening my core. Not only will it help my back ache, but also my riding and sit. 

Get rid of the jellybean legs 

I give to much aid. Thinking I have to do it to make Mr.Grumpy move forward, but it’s all in my head and I need to stop doing it otherwise Mr.Grumpy will turn into Mr.Lazy. So 2017 is going to be the year my jellybean legs turn into graceful pinup legs that don’t give aid unless it’s absolutely nessescary.

Facing those fears 

The minute I step outside the indoor arena with Mr.Grumpy, it’s like Anna from Frozen come out from hiding and sneeze at me and I turn into ice(yep, spent Christmas with my lovely cousin who loves her, hence the methapore).  

This summer I spent loads of time outside, but I had one episode where I felt I didn’t have control over him anymore and now it’s stuck with me. Mr.Grumpy needs a hack or two to perform optimal during the week, so I better just buckle up and head out there with him.


Personal

2016 was a transition year for me. I’m not going to lie, 2016 was not the best year, but I learned a bucketload about myself and also others. I’m totally ready to start 2017 with clean sheets. 

No more doubts 

I wonder how many times I’ve wanted to do something and then I end up not doing it because I start doubting myself. In 2017 I’m going to bring out my inner Beyoncé and just go for it. They say brutal people own the world, so it’s time to become brutal. 

Becoming good at failing 

This goes hand in hand with doubt, but I can’t stand failing. And when you can’t stand failing you have a tendency not to try. What happens when you don’t try? You don’t grow. 

In 2017 I’m going to become so good at failing, that even if I fail at all my goals, at least I’ve tried and learned that it’s ok to fail. 

Travel more 

In 2015 I did over 40 flights, in 2016 I did less then 10, it’s time to change that in 2017. There is so many beautiful and interesting places on this earth I want to see. Time to spend some more money on myself instead of Mr.Grumpy. Haha 

So that was my goals for 2017 so far. I have a few more, more personal ones which I won’t share here, but overall I’m really excited for the new year. Hopefully it will start with me becoming a millionaire 😉

X.M

Sick little man 

I wish I could come with some pompous update about doing flying changes and pirouettes, but unfortunate I can’t. Mr.Grumpy has been hit by the flue epidemie that is flying across the country and his currently coughing really badly. 

I tried riding today, but he became totally out of breath and started coughing more, so tomorrow the vet will have to come by. Hopefully it’s just something little and it will go by quickly. When he started coughing this summer it ended up in a 2-3 month weird virus, which I’m really not interested in this time around considering he just got back in shape again. So cross your fingers that everything will go well!

I myself am flying back to Norway for Christmas vacation tomorrow. Luckily I know Mr.Grumpy is in good hands while I’m gone, so he will have everything he needs. 


I’ll update from the land of Santa next time. 

X.M