Unless you have read my blog for many years, this blog is filled with surprises! Enjoy!
I had my first meeting with bridleless riding in 2007
Looking back at this bring tears to my eyes; Belinda was the world to me and I had the honor to spend time with her every week back in 2007. I was 13 at the time and getting the chance to enjoy long days in the stable with this incredible Fjord mare meant everything. Long hacks in the forest, canters through the field, friends, laughter, safety and trust. I will never trust a horse like I trusted Belinda. She was a special lady at the age of 27 when I met her, but she felt like she was half that age. In June 2007, Belinda gave me the first meeting with “liberty” riding; a sunny, lovely day I walked around in the arena with her with only a halter on. She felt great, so I tried to remove the reins and made a neckrope. It worked out very well and that experience definitely planted a dream in my mind. I am forever grateful for the years I got to spend with her, I think being with a horse like her in such a lovely stable is the best thing a 13 years old girl can do.
I was a fancy bling-loving dressage rider with shiny black boots and matching tack
When I got Batman, dressage was the discipline I wanted to succeed in. I took lessons, attended to many clinics, had expensive boots, a hundred different saddle pads with matching fleece bandages and so on, inspired by the Swedish blog Dressyrmupparna, I showed my readers the new tack and today’s outfit. Omg. Although I only went to two competitions and it was definitely not something for me. I first disqualified in the easiest class in the country (and I was the only one riding that class), and the second time I got the last place. Haha! After an unfortunate experience with a violent trainer, I took distance from all unethical training methods and learned a lot about how dressage is supposed to build the horse up. I was aiming for classical dressage with a big focus on biomechanics, correct movement and a healthy, strong horse. Even tho I do dressage bridleless now, my number one priority is still listed above.
But all my photoshoots included matching bandages and saddle pads, bling browbands and polo shirts, hahha! I was the worst shopaholic! GOSH, this is so weird to look back at. Later, I step by step moved to a more tackless apporach. I can’t remember the last time I used a regular saddle pad and all my colorful ANKY pads is sold.
I traveled across the country for a clinic with Grand Prix dressage rider Marc-Peter Spahn
In 2013, I sent Batman across the country, to Stavanger in the western part of Norway, 554 km away, with a horse trailer, to attend to a clinic with the famous dressage rider Marc-Peter Spahn! I headed to the airport while he was on the road, and I stayed in Stavanger for a week. I lived in a small cabin during the stay, and it was the first time in my life I traveled alone, haha. It was a success for us both and we learned a lot!
I trained Batman for a western competition
I actually did! I liked western a lot and trained to get Batman ready for a western pleasure class (easy level). We never got to the point of actually attending to any shows unfortunately, but I had a blast. We also tried barrel racing and a simple reining pattern. This is the reason why Batman knows neck reining very well and is easily ridden without rein contact.
I trained Batman to drive all by myself
In 2011 (I was 17), I started the process of teaching Batman how to pull a cart. I had never driven a horse before, Batman had not been trained to drive, and it was a long process. I spent a long time on all the important steps of preparation, and did a lot of long reining with him. Later I taught him to pull a tire, and then water cans for the horses. I was patient and careful and everything went very well! We did not have any problems along the way, and the first time I put him in front of a cart, I had professional help by an experienced trainer. Except from that, I was on my own. It was a super fun project and Batman is excellent in front of the cart. Nobody believed we would ever make it but we proved them wrong! Best feeling ever. In 2014 we even attended to a driving competition and Batman behaved so well!
I learned most about horses in a field in Sweden
From 2006, I spent many of my holidays in Sweden, at my godmother’s farm. The best place in the world. I watched Nevzorov’s videos, learned about bitless riding, horsemanship, body language, keeping horses barefoot, I rode long hacks in the forest bareback and spent hours and hours in the horse’s huge pasture, just observing them, being with them, playing with them. Once in a while I climbed up on one of the horses and held on for my dear life when the herd cantered around, playing. I was simply close to the horses.
Here, I realized that I had not learned anything from the riding school at all. It is not reins, legs and aids that matters! It is being WITH horses! It did definitely change my way of thinking forever. I remember the first meeting with the Haflinger who lived there, I could not have been older than 9, and he was young too. I walked towards him in the paddock and I have never respected anything living that much in my entire life. I asked him if it was okay for him to have me there as it should be the most natural thing in the world. I’m still holding on to that question. It is not our right to be around, and absolutely not on horses.
I have way too many saddles!
At the moment I have one dressage saddle, a Fryso Legacy, one western saddle, unknown brand, one Wintec jumping saddle, one Marjoman baroque saddle, a complete harness and one Christ bareback pad for Batman. And I can’t even remember how many times I struggled with deciding what tack to use when! NEVER have this many saddles!
I celebrate Batman’s birthday with cake and balloons every year
And I have been doing it since 2009! I love this tradition. We gather human friends and horse friend and celebrate with colorful balloons, presents, lots of apples and carrots, and of course chocolate cake. I have photos from every single birthday and it is so nice to look back at them!
Did you find something you did not know from before?