Life With A Friesian Dream

Painting Batman’s coat and building a school

The reason why I painted Batman pink after receiving an email from Leila Hafzi: I’m trying to bring attention to a good cause, and together, we can build a school!

I know for sure that I’m one of the luckiest people in the world. I was born in a wealthy country, I have a warm bed to sleep in every night, a cosy and safe apartment, clean water in my kitchen, heat and electricity. We don’t have any hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanic aeruptions or wildfires here.

When I was a child I walked 15 minutes to my local school, also a safe, warm building. A perfect place for a child to learn, get new friends and get an education. I’m forever grateful for living such a comfortable and safe life. And now I’m in a position where I can help others.

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Leila Hafzi, designer and one of the amazing initiators behind Rebuild Nepal. They are currently rebuilding a primary school for children in a small village called Olang, in Nepal.

Can you imagine getting your education in a windy shed? We have an oppourtunity to change lives – and I will do everything I can to support their project.


Rebuild Nepal over the past year ensured electricity for about 1,500 people and rebuild a stretch of road at 3.5 km affecting approximately 9,000 people and ensured that 50 families in Muchock region gained access to galvanized (corrugated iron) sheet before monsoon 2015.

Right now, they need your help – they are in the final phase of the process of reconstruction Gyan Jyoti Primary School.

All technical drawings, licenses and soil samples are in place, now we they need your help to reach our goal with the last phase of the project. All funds raised will go to the school building, desks, chairs, blackboards and the establishment of a small stretch of road.

The school has at present only the capacity to teach a few of the students in makeshift facilities (shed) made of corrugated iron. The makeshift school building consists of open space with a dirt floor and walls and ceilings without doors, which students are exposed to the elements.

The construction of the new school will start in November – let’s build a school!

I painted Batman with Rebuild Nepal’s logo to bring attention to this cause, and support their amazing work. Every dollar we receive counts! Come on guys, please help us reach the goal so they can finish the construction work.

Help us rebuild Gyan Jyoti Primary School in Nepal. Please donate a dollar or two – everything helps!


Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde

A special thanks to my dear friend Lisa for taking the photos and helping me out today. You are the best!

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Life With A Friesian Dream

Six common mistakes to avoid when you are riding bridleless

Riding horses without a bridle or reins, with a so called neckrope or cordeo, is becoming more and more popular. I’m a huge fan of bridleless riding, and think most riders would learn a lot if they ditch the reins every now and then. But riding bridleless is not about simply removing the bridle!

DON’T FORGET TO READ: Bridleless for beginners

We all do mistakes, and that’s natural. Starting to ride bridleless is a journey – and you will be learning every single day. But in the beginning, it can be smart to keep this list in mind to make the process a little bit easier.

1. You are placing your cordeo higher to gain more control

I often see riders pull their neckrope waaay to high and then use it as a pain device to gain control. If you do so, you are so far from soft riding and equal communication as possible. This is an extremely vulnerable part of the horse’s throat! You can actually do damage to the arteries, and other vessels and pipes located in this area almost unprotected. Never place your neckrope higher because it makes the horse easier to ride. The neckrope are supposed to rest on the chest and only be used for seconds at the time, with a light hand. Every tool used wrong can easily be turned into a torture device.

Correctly placed cordeo and the anatomy of the horse’s throat.

2. You are removing the bridle on a horse who is not ready

Riding bridleless is not riding with a cordeo or neckrope, it is about riding with your body and seat as your primary aid, not using the rope to steer with. Simply taking off the bridle of a horse that has always been ridden with reins is dangerous. Learn more about how you can prepare a horse for bridleless riding here.

3. You are pulling the neckrope in frustration

Just because you are without reins, it does not mean that you can’t cause damage. A rope around the horse’s neck is a rope around its neck, so handle it with care. Pulling harder to make your horse stop won’t help. Never use force. Use a bridle with reins for safety and use the reins instead if needed.

cordeo neckrope

4. You are trying to ride in trot or canter before mastering the walk

The first time you are trying to ride without reins should be a shorter session with focus on walk and halt-transitions for light signals. Don’t run around. If you master the walk, you will also master the canter. Focus on the small, important things. Feel how the horse responds to your seat, and praise a lot when he willingly does a good halt for a very light signal. If you spend time in the beginning perfectioning the walk, canter an trot will be easy. If the first thing you do is to gallop around, you will lack a lot of perfection of signals later.

You’ll get to do anything you usually does bridleless as well pretty soon – don’t hesitate in the beginning.

5. You are not inside a safe area

The first times you are trying neckrope without a bridle on for safety, you should be inside an arena or paddock with fences – not on an open field or on a hack. All horses can spook. When you are going outside the arena for the first time – use a bridle with reins and let the reins rest on the horse’s neck. You can pick them up if you need them.

Hacking bridleless is a lot of fun – but behind this photo? Five years of hard, dedicated training.

6. You are constantly giving signals with the neckrope

When you ride with a neckrope, you should only lift the neckrope slightly for a few seconds when you give a signal, and then let it rest on the horse’s neck again. There are no need for having contact at all times. Give your signal, and release. Follow the horse’s movement with your body, and keep attention to its body language. That should be your main focus.

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Do you ride bridleless?

Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde

Life With A Friesian Dream

Your horse will never be bored again

Now it is only 21 hours left of MovieMask’s Kickstarter campaign, and your last chance to get the super early bird price! Your horse will never be bored again. He can watch Spirit or have a Lord of the Rings maraton while you are at work or in school! GENIOUS. Just kidding.

But the MovieMask will allow you to have a cinema experience, anywhere and anytime. It is made to watch movies from your phone, but make you feel like you are in your own, private cinema. I’m proud to be working with these guys and I was the second person in the world supporting their Kickstarter-campaign! Go get your own MovieMask by clicking on this fabulous link. They are both comfy and the quality is actually impressive! And I’m still trying to convince them to make a prototype for bored horses. Like, imagine our horses having movie nights in their boxes while we are at home and asleep! Eating popcorn and hay. The Arabian mare can watch Princess Diaries while the old warmblood will enjoy Inception. 😂 Awesomeness.

Batman is watching The Dark Knight Rises in this photo. His favorite movie. Because he is in it, obviously.


Life With A Friesian Dream

Batman Blue mane flower clips is back in stock!

Sponsored by Fleur À Cheval, photo by Une Susrud

Did you know that Batman have his very own collection of mane flower clips named after him? 💙 He do! In California, actually! The midnight blue mane flower clips from Fleur À Cheval he wore during our 7 year-photoshoot become very popular – and now they are back in stock on!

Fleur À Cheval is a startup ran by the two friends Maryam & Kayla. They are based in Southern California, and their hand made mane flower clips for equine mane and tail are shipped to horse lovers from all over the world. I’m proud to be an ambassador for these girls, they are doing a great job and their product is perfect for decorating both you and your horse for photoshoots and special occasions. Build your favorite set of flowers yourself and support their brilliant work!

Follow them on Facebook 💙 Follow them on Instagram

Processed with Rookie Cam