Outfit sponsored by www.klesarven.no
Batman and I went to the riding arena today! The arena is located across the field, and I have not been there with Bat before. He took it well and spent the first minutes exploring the new envoirement, and after that we did a few minutes of liberty work. He was quite eager and playful, so I had to have more frames around him than I usually need. He did a lie down, kiss, sidepass, jambette and some trot and canter work, and it went quite well. The next time we go there I will do some more “important” work to strenghten his back and hindquarters, mostly in walk :)
I’m wearing my Klesarven riding skirt in Brown in the photos, as well as a busserull shirt to stay warm! It was freezing cold that day. Get the skirt here and enjoy 20% off to the 18th of April by using the code RIDINGSKIRT in checkout.
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde
Last fall, Daniel and I visited Langedrag Naturpark, 1000 meters above sea level, hidden in the impressive Norwegian mountains. As if taken out of a folklore, the areas surrounding the beautiful buildings of Langedrag is the home of 300 animals. Everything from lynx to goats, to birds, cattle, mountain foxes, wolves, moose, reindeer, sheep, rabbits, deer, boars, musk ox, yak – and horses! And of course, not just any horse. At Langedrag you can meet a very special breed of horses, one that lies close to my heart; the Norwegian Fjord horse.
As if taken directly out of the world of Frozen, we were about to go for the ride of our lives, into the mountains on gorgeous Norwegian fjord horses.
It was a cold, misty morning in October when Daniel and I went out to the stables to prepare for a hack in the fairytale-looking landscape. Everything was completely covered in ice; the trees, the grass, the rocks and the buildings. We truly had ended up in a dream world that morning.
We met our horses, two lovely mares called Majadokka and Nuperosa, both traditional, Norwegian horse names. I was happy to get to spend the morning with such a lovely old lady. Majadokka truly reminded me of Belinda, a fjord mare I got to spend some years with when I was younger. She will have a very special place in my heart forever. Daniel and Nuperosa seemed to get along too, as we joined our guide Lars and went outside. Lars would show us the way into the wilderness and off we went!
The first part of the adventure went up, and for every meter up, the scenery around us became even more beautiful. We enjoyed Lars’ company; he was an amazing horseman and such a lovely guide! The day could simply not have started better. I could not stop pointing out the fact that we could not have been luckier with the weather – and that’s not how you usually react to dense fog while hiking in the mountains, haha! The mist matched the frozen trees perfectly, and the view over the foggy landscape was truly magical.
The horses climbed over rocks with steady, confident steps. Daniel has not been riding much in rough terrain, but Nuperosa took excellent care of him, and up we went! We stopped at a viewpoint to get some more photos, and I went for a trot on Majadokka while Lars, our awesome guide and now also photographer captured the moment. It was windy as we got higher up, but we had dressed well. The cold never bothered me ;)
We eventually ended up next to a lake – I could not even see the lake before Lars pointed it out! It looked freezing cold, so nope, no swimming with the horses today … We then headed down again, and the horses sure know where to place their feet! Rocks, roots, steep hills, bridges, streams completely frozen to solid ice; the horses knew exactly how to handle the terrain. I could not stop smiling: I absolutely loved every moment of the trip. The horses were well educated, calm and well-muscled, and we felt safe and happy on their backs.
When we came closer to 1000 meters above sea level again, the fog slowly lifted, and we suddenly looked down on the most incredible scenery ever. The crystal white trees were still covered in ice, but the surroundings now had the color of Norwegian mountains. The sun said hello, and the crisp, cold air felt refreshing. I went crazy with my camera, and the shots I captured turned out incredible.
On the way back to Langedrag, we had the luck to meet Emma, the biggest pig I have ever seen! I have been following Emma on Facebook for a while, so I must admit that I became a little bit star-truck when she suddenly stopped by to say hello to our horses. The pig was literally the same size as Majadokka, and Lars managed to capture us with my camera, yay!
Join us for the most magical horseback experience ever – enjoy the photos!
Visit Langedrag Naturpark for an unforgettable experience on horseback
If you consider visiting Langedrag Naturpark for an unforgettable experience on horseback, you can check out their web site here. Langedrag offers multple activites with horses, such as lessons in dressage, showjumping, eventing, riding in the mountains; from one hour rides to daytrips, riding-camp during schoolholidays, horse driving, sledging, vaulting, skijoring, riding for children, hikes with pack horses and more! I will definitely be back this summer!
I’m so excited for tomorrow! Batman and I are going to attend a clinic with Arne Koets, a jouster, historical European martial arts practitioner and instructor, knight, gladiator and of course – international dressage instructor! (How is that even possible …)
I don’t know what it is that surprises me the most here; that I’m going to ride for Arne Koets, or that I’m actually going to ride for a trainer! (Or ride at all)
It has been ages since the last time we attended to a clinic with Bat, and when we discovered some terrible news regarding Batman’s suspensory ligaments after a mysterious lameness last year, and the vets said “keep him in a small paddock, and restrict movement as much as possible, to spare his legs”, my world fell apart, and I was certain I would never feel Bat’s smooth trot again, and definitely not attend a dressage clinic! Everything after that day feels like the greatest gifts of all.
It’s almost been a year now, and well, Batman is actually alive! That’s great. And he is not only alive, he is not lame, not in pain, he is playful, goes for adventures in his mega-forest, will easily canter and trot by my side and enjoy short hacks with me a couple of times per week.
The past year we have engaged a number of experts to take care of Batman’s body, and one of them is the one and only Ellen Schmedling! Ellen follows up Batman’s muscles, back and pelvis region with chiropractic treatment on a regular basis. We brought Batman there yesterday, and his body was actually quite mobile and in better shape! He was also very calm during the treatment and responded well. That’s great news. His diagnosis remains unknown, but we keep DSLD/ESPA in our minds. Whatever it is that is causing the weak tissue in the tendons, it does not get better if you give up! ;) So Batman gets the best care available, and now his muscles feel better.
Today I had a short groundwork-session with him, and asked for shoulder-in and haunches-in for the first time in a year. I did not know what to expect, but Batman gladly showed some beautiful movements in walk. The exercises will do him good now, and it was amazing to see how body work that well. Thanks to Ellen’s magic, we did haunches-in over the diagonal, changed direction, into some small pirouettes, shoulder in on the circle and work in halt. I kept him in an open, low frame and let him stretch forward and down.
It feels like Batman is right now the only horse on this planet that does benefit from not putting more weight in the hindquarters … More pressure on the hind fetlocks is the last thing we need, so we are aiming for the ground – literally.
So it will be very interesting to attend a classical dressage clinic with a horse I want to put more weight on the shoulders! And to make the situation even better – I have not had any rein contact in over a year, and my horse has basically gone completely bridleless.
I therefore brought a cordeo, a hack, a bridle with a curb and a sidepull and a halter, and I have no idea what to not put, or put on his head tomorrow!
To be continued – over and out!
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde