December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas

After an unusually mild autumn, we have finally got some snow and the world is much brighter.
(How do you cope, all you guys out there in milder climates with just rain and darkness???)

It has been nice to have some milder temperatures - last winter was tough - but it is so dark without the snow that I feel my energy level gets affected.

Last weekend I had a lovely ride with my daughter.

The last one together with our horses.

My daughter is not well, but her health is improving and she has started school again this autumn after two years absence.
Unfortunately this drains her for energy, and after contemplating the matter for a long time we decided to sell her pony.

Charlie left us last weekend to a very nice family with a 13 yo daughter.
We will miss him very much, but I believe it was the right decision.
still have got Fame to share. 
I just hope it works out because in my daughter's eyes, Fame is my horse - even though I actually bought Fame for her once upon a time. 
My daughter has had her own pony since she was seven, and that is close to ten years.
No wonder it feels strange being without. 

The autumn has been hectic, and I just haven't had the energy to keep the blogging up to date.
Fame and me have been training a lot though. 
Those of you that has been following the blog know that I have been struggeling with tenseness in Fame. 
Even if it is less now than it was a year ago, it has crept up from time to time - as usual (aarrgggh) much caused by me.
It is so easy to tense up when your horse also is tense.

Anyway, I feel that we have managed to solve much of it lately, and that is so nice because then you can proceed with everything else. 


Still some mountains to climb...

I wish all of you a marvellous Christmas, and all the best for the New Year!

September 13, 2011

Vacation's over!

I was about to say that the summer here is too short to spend in front of the computer.
Well, now we are writing September, and the summer never came.
So I can't really blame it on the weather, can I?

We have had a very unstable summer and autumn this far.
It seems as if it's been raining every day.
Not quite true, but the fact is that Oslo in the beginning of September reached the average yearly downpour, with three months left to go.
And I was hoping for a nice autumn as the summer weather was wet...

Have been spending time with the horses though, even if they have been on summer vacation. This year we had them down at a friend's place where they also had a riding arena, about an hour's drive from home.
They had five weeks off, but I rode Fame in average three times a week, so it was not quite the lazy days as we have had earlier.
For which I am thankful.
Having vacation, without riding and a lot of time on your hands to have the Winnie-the-Pooh way of thinking on "time for a smackerel" is not healthy for your body.

One of the nice days this summer.
Fame can splash around forever.

I just love the way the sun lightens up the bottom of the creek,
it is like rays of gold down there.

..and it is grass here too, see?
We can both eat and have a bath! At the same time!

End of August. We have more water and
the path on the left hand side is flooded.
Fame still thinks bathing is a super idea.
I get dizzy watching the fast swirl of water around us.
In September the water level has
increased even more and we cannot cross at all.

Where has the grass gone?

How long time does it take to learn how to ride, I wonder?
I have been trying for the last 42 years, and I am not quite sure weather I have another 42 coming up.
I have to speed up the learning process a bit, I guess.
(Not easy if you are a middle aged, office working person. )

But - the main thing is to have FUN, right?
And it has been quite fun lately.

I have had two super training weekends, one with Andrew Murphy, international instructor and member of TTT together with Stephen Clark, Arthur Kottas, Charles de Kunffy - all real heavyweighters in classical dressage.
It was two very, very good sessions, and something that I feel really boosted my riding.

A week later it was time for our monthly training with Jimmi Sørensen, our Danish trainer.
Fame worked very well. I am so happy that Jimmi is coming over once a month as I feel much is happening every time, and he puts us on the right track for the work ahead.

A pause and some pep-talk with Jimmi.

I decided not to put on shoes on Fame after her summer vacation, and see how she does.
She has good hooves, and so far it has been no problem. (I kept her unshod until she was four.)
I have to take more consideration on where and how I ride though, and the plans to start some X-country competitions this autumn had to be abandoned.
That is a small sacrifice if she benefits from it in the long run.
And I love the soft sound of an unshod horse.

We fortunately have some nice paths that also suits an unshod horse, and last weekend we had a very nice hack, Fame and me.
And - wow! it did not rain!

Hope you all have had a nice summer, and hopefully with some better weather than here.

See? Nice and soft for small hooves...
A canter?

June 19, 2011

Hilltops and views

One of the most wonderful ways to waken up is by the sound of a bumblebee and the curtains softly moving in the summer breeze.
Summer time is lovely.

Even if there has not been much happening here, I have been working hard on my riding.
I find that riding often feels like climbing stairs, or hilltops.
You work, and you work and not much happens.
Until one day you're reaching the hilltop, and suddenly you can see the view.

I feel that we are at a shift now, Fame and me.
We're not at the hilltop yet, but I can feel we are approaching.

I have struggled with my seat and position for so long.
Problem is that when you've used your body in a certain way over time it is really tough to get rid of your bad habits. They are good old friends with your body, and your body moves quite contrary to what you are planning yourself.
Very irritating.
Anyway, as you know we had a training weekend with Wiola and Kari from Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy.
I got some very good input, and an extensive written feedback as homework too. I felt it helped a lot both in January and now in May.

In addition to the weekly training we have the Danish trainer Jimmi T Sørensen coming over once a month.
I am very grateful for this because he both put us on track, as well as pushes us a bit further in the training.
I thought we had a good session last time, but this time it was even better!
- I rode Fame in a double bridle in training for the first time, she was a gem.
- And we managed tempi changes in every third stride on the diagonal. (for those of you that are not into dressage: flying changes in every third stride on a straight line)
I am proud as a peacock!
(you have to bear with me here, because I will probably not land on Planet Earth until next week)

Best horse there is!

June 03, 2011


As some may have noticed there has not been much activity here lately.
Summer came...
And after a looong winter (as I am sure you can understand) staying outside has been much more tempting than sitting in front of the computer!

Today we had +28C/82F, and what could one do after a day at work?
Go bathing with the horses of course!

My daughter even took on a swim suit.
I kept my riding breeches on, but rode without shoes. No sense in keeping them on, as they get soaking wet anyway!

Fame did not see the point in standing still at all.

All the plants have been growing like crazy lately.
Unfortunately, also the nettles....they are reaching toe height!



I have some pictures to share from the last month, so here they are.
We start end of April:

The first flowers has come.

I just love that intense, blue colour.

The melting snow feeds all the waterways.

Beginning of May:

I had a lovely ride with my daughter.

Riding in a carpet of spring flowers:

Mid May:

Above: a grey day, but I just love those cloud formations over the mountains.

Above: Ferns starting to come up. Looks like an alien invasion!

Fame is contemplating the fields turning green. Pasture time soon?


We also once again had a visit from Wiola and Kari from Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy.
Another super training weekend - thanks guys!
My daughter has a friend visiting, and they are making Texmex for tonight, so I had some minutes over.
Can't sit here. I think I will chill with a beer in the sun.

April 18, 2011

It's not only me...

....who loves spring!

Still some snow left in shady places

These last days Fame has been bursting with energy.
I took her out on a bareback hack on Saturday. Not such a good idea.
Starting out, everything was spooky. 

Favourite spooky place #1,
no matter how many times we have passed here...

We zigzagged our way between this and that, didn’t really matter whether it was a stone, some remaining snow heaps or what-not.
I gave up to get any reason in it and concentrated on my balance training...

Favourite spooky place #2, slightly less bad than #1

So I decided we needed to get rid of some surplus energy, and put her to work.
We kept a fresh tempo of trot and canter, steadily climbing upwards on the gravel roads.

We got to a long straight part, still with a steady climb.
I thought she was sufficiently tired and let her go some.
Oops. Bad idea.
She grabbed the opportunity and took off, throwing in some happy bucks too.
Speed was high and the gravel road looked hard.

With a sidepull and riding bareback, this was not a good idea…
I growled NO, tried to get her head up, kicked her forward and managed to hang on.

Walking back, it is allowed to eat some.
After searching for grass in vain, the only option left was pine needles...

...yum, yum. Maybe?

Sunday, we started at a training show jumping arrangement.
Having had a serious workout the day before, I thought perhaps that she would be a bit more sensible.  (At least I had a saddle and a bridle on, haha.)

Have to cross the creek first, belly high today

Time to canter now?

It was about half an hour’s ride to the arena, and I could feel I had the same energy bomb as the day before.
Starting the warm-up, she was spooking at everything. After some work she was concentrating a bit more, but still a lot of energy.
When our time came to ride the course, she enthusiastically threw herself at everything in our way.  In turbo speed.  

As it was a training arrangement, we could take the course once again.
Did not improve much.

Fame was enjoying herself though.
I was somewhere in between laughing and pulling my hair.
Then we rode home, zigzagging again.
I will take her on a 4-5 hrs trail ride during Easter.
Maybe I manage to get her tired?

King of Hunt LOVES spring

On the watch

Up all night takes its toll
Hunting season has started, and the going is good.
We get new presents on our doorstep every day...

April 14, 2011

I just love spring

Before riding Fame, I had a coffe with newly baked apple pie that my daughter had made on the entrance stairs, basking in the sun.
Afterwards I feel asleep in the sun for half an hour.

For the first time since the autumn, I rode without my long johns.
The outdoor arena has dried up.
It is light until 8 pm.
We can keep the entrance door open, and the sun shines into our living room too.
King of Hunt brings a Mouse Present. Luckily he loudly calls out a successful hunt, so we can close the door in time...

I just love spring.

April 11, 2011

Stockholm - once again

Old Town

Fortunately this time it was lovely spring weather, and no snow storm!

Stockholm is a beautiful town in spring and summer.
The city is built on several islands and the water combined with the old buildings create many scenic views.

Fishing with the Royal Castle in the background
The Royal Castle

The Royal Opera

Old Town

Gamla Stan, the Old Town,  is the oldest part of Stockholm, and it is so nice just to stroll around there.
To sit down and relax over a cup of coffee when you need to rest your feet.

Not even wide enough for a horse!

The lovely spring weather makes people crowd
on all outdoor cafees with a place in the sun

An old telephone booth

And horses!

Bye for now!