First of all, thank you so much for all your questions! I hope you appreciate my answers, and I just have to excuse any typos. Writing 6300 words in English for the first time in 6 years, half asleep in the middle of the night with sloppy fingers … Well, at least I hope you at least can understand my answers.
Do you have any problems with Batman? Trailer loading, testing/dominance or anything or is he so perfect and balanced as he appears to be?
We used to have 100 huge problems, he used to run away, bolt, be difficult around the horse trailer, he stressed in open places, he stressed in narrow places, he panicked if he was left alone, he would not follow me outside the stable, he was dangerous to be around when tied up because he got claustrophobic and stressed because he did not see the other horses, he was spooking in the arena etc, but it was all caused by lack of trust between us. Nothing else. I did not buy a “problem horse”, not at all! He was and still is a great horse. But he was a very sensitive one. Suddenly he lived in a huge stable with lots of strange people, horses and places. And it was a huge task to support him with all the new things suddenly happening in his life.
It was visible through symptoms like stress, Batman running away from me etc. He is my mirror, if I’m not 100% there, we won’t be either. I was 15 years old, unsecure as many others in that age, and did not know what to do with my life. I also had a bunch of haters on the internet, and bullying in the stable (mostly from adults!) did not make it any better. Horse people can be so mean to each other.
Nowadays we simply enjoy our lives together. We are grown up, calm and happy and we don’t have any major issues, because I have worked very very hard to get rid of them for years, and I also worked a lot with myself :) I’m proud to have followed my own path in life, I made myself a career, I fought for myself and my war is won. It also helped a lot that we in 2011 moved to a better stable, with nicer people and a much calmer environment for both of us.
But sometimes, if I’m sick, stressed etc, our old problems can appear, but that’s just 1% of what they used to be and I know how to handle them. We are of course not perfect, nobody is, but Batman is pretty easy going now because we spent so much time figuring things out.
Are you interested in traveling around and holding clinics and private lessons in liberty?
Many people ask me about this and I take it as a huge compliment, but unfortunately my answer is no. It sounds fun to give a few lessons every now and then, but I don’t consider myself ready for doing clinics and stuff. I simply don’t have enough knowledge about teaching and horse behavior. I might be an expert on training Batman, but that don’t make me an expert in horse training in general :)
How long did it take before you started to feel that Batman trusted you?
It did not just happen one day, it was more like that we had more and more good days together. And when the years went by, it was more good days than bad days. Now we have 99,8% good days!
What’s the biggest mistake you have ever done with Batman, which really affected you in a long period of time?
I’m not sure about this one. Of course I have done MAAANY mistakes, but no mistakes that have caused a total chaos (thank you Batman for your patience…) I think I must say that me trying to reach other peoples goals instead of my own. Inside my heart I never felt to do dressage contests, cross country, jumping, you name it. It was what everybody else had expected me to do from the first day I sat on a pony. “Do you want to do dressage or jumping?” Playing around in the forest was not even an alternative! Personally I always wanted to have a horse that I could play with like I play with my dog and just spending time with that horse. Nothing more. Nothing less. I still remember crying after dressage lessons with trainers everybody told me to ride for. My arms hurt so badly, and that was because of the trainer telling me to hold the reins even tighter. And tighter and tighter. It did not feel right. Once, I cried in the forest with Batman for an hour after letting a trainer ride him. It was rollkur, and he looked terrified and confused because of the trainer’s mixed signals. (It doesn’t matter who the trainer was, and I never wrote about this in my blog either.)
How did you start doing liberty?
I simply spent time with Batman without any tack in the arena and tried to make him curious. It took a loooong time before he got interested in what I did and actually came over to me. He is a great teacher, and he gave me nothing for free! It was a hell of a struggle to actually figure out how to deserve his respect and attention.
How did you start teaching Batman things at liberty, for example lunging?
Positive reinforcement. I rewarded every attempt from his side. I rewarded energy, I rewarded curiosity. After a while he became more outgoing and started to offer more and more, and then I combined perfect timing and rewarding + a cue, and suddenly we started doing really cool things like canter work at liberty and fun tricks. Most of the tricks were learned through “mirroring”, he copied my movements.
How do you recommend teaching a horse to lie down?
No ropes, no halter, nothing but a empty arena and a relaxed, open mind. Get connected to the horse, when he follows you and mirrors your movement and energy, you can start focusing on the ground. Walk slowly, look at the sand, and try rolling a couple of times yourself. Sit down and breathe. Maybe the horse will join you! I recommend doing this after a relaxing liberty-session. Slowly, you can start rewarding the behavior and add a cue.
How do you ask Batman to lie down?
It depends on his day. Some days he is not in the mood and then I have to sit down and stare at the sand and say “go lie down!”, maybe getting his attention a couple of times before he actually lays down. Other days I can simply point to the ground and he will lie down beside me. It depends on his mood! I use 100% positive reinforcement, so if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to either!
Do you ever ride with a bit?
Yes, I do! Rarely these days, but I have nothing against bits as long as the hand and seat is educated properly. “A bit? If you don’t need it, you may use it.”
Do others find it irresponsible that you ride on trail rides in a cordeo?
Some people if the internet do, but it’s very rarely I get negative questions about it, and I’m so grateful for that! It’s a huge compliment to me that people trust my decisions with my horse. I’m so thankful every single day. It means the world to me that I am able to do whatever I want with my horse like I do. I think your horse should be in control, but it don’t matter what tack you use or do not use as long as you can control your horse and not be a treat to the safety of others. That means other people, horses, cars, you name it. You must know what you are doing when you handle horses in general.
100% of all other accidents I’ve had, I have not managed or been able to stop from happening, have been with full tack, such as a saddle, bit and a bridle.
I have never fallen off Batman tackless or with cordeo ever, not one single time. Batman have never spooked or taken off with me tackless. I have never been unable to stop him when cantering tackless. He has never been so scared that I did not manage to calm him down quickly and dismount in just seconds without a bridle. I have got injured many times because of Batman being a little nuts. Six concussions, two of them made me unconscious, two broken collarbones, lots of sprained feet and knees, I have been bucked, thrown off, runned over, dragged after… and the list goes on and on … NONE of them bridleless or tackless. When working together with strong, fast and powerful horses, teamwork is the shit. Batman can’t be broken, ever. I simply had to learn to work together with him. That’s the safe way. I’m always extremely aware of Batman’s body language when working with him, especially bridleless, and safety is my priority number one! I’m always careful and observant, and if he does have a “spooky day”, I work from the ground instead of riding. When I ride on hacks bridleless, I always have a rope halter with me just in case. I’m extremely good at reading his body language and feelings.
And a few people (on the internet anonymously of course) keep telling me that what I do is dangerous. Ignoring the horse’s signals and covering it up with more tack like many unfortunately do, that’s what’s dangerous, well, at least my statistics say so. I used to ignore Batman’s feelings and it’s a miracle I did not get hurt badly. “At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust.” Never trust a horse trained with force. Ride with our without bridle, but always pay attention to the horse! You can’t control a 500 kg animal with force. One day, it will all fall apart. My body is still hurting. I learned the hard way.
But I will not recommend people to ride on hacks bridleless like I do. Have a sidepull or a bridle with reins hanging loose just in case. Batman is, trough years and years of training, being prepared for this and it takes 100’s of hours to get to our level. And all horses are different – Batman is one of a few horses I would ever do this with.
Do you jump with Batman?
Not so often nowadays. Sometimes we jump, but mostly from the ground. I’m terrified of destroying his balance over the fences and I’m definitely not the person to help him with his technique. I’m so far away from a jumper you can get haha! I’m not brave enough to try learning it either, because jumping is so scaryyy! I can do small fences every now and then, but that’s enough. Agility is more our thing!
Have Batman ever used one of his tricks against you? For example the rearing?
No, never. Batman thinks rearing is one of the hardest and heaviest things to do and he would never “use it against me”. I taught him rearing more the classical way than the “normal” trick training way (focusing on the front legs), I asked him to collect and lower his hindquarters and haunches, and that takes so much strength to do and it’s really heavy and difficult. It’s not like I’m asking him to go up with his front legs, I do the opposite. I ask him to lower his hindquarters :) It’s more like a dressage exercise in my opinion. Have your horse ever used the canter pirouette against you? Haha :D I’m not interested in a 700 kg Batman standing there with straight hind legs and waving with his huge hooves. He have never used the jambette against me either, but if I’m boring or stuck writing a text message when I’m training Batman, he will lay down to get my attention :D
How do you praise him?
I use looots of voice praise, like “gooood boy”, “well done” etc. all the time, and I scratch and cuddle a lot with him. I also use carrots. But the best praise for him is when I sit down and just relax beside him, and give him a break.
Why do you use your whip? Do you really need it?
No, I don’t need it, but I prefer to have one! I use the whip to give noise cues or other cues, for example, making lots of noise with the lunging whip means “come here!” and that makes him canter towards me, maybe from the other side of the arena. Pointing at his bum means turn your butt towards me, perfect when mounting from a block, pointing at his tail in trot or canter means collect the gait etc. I never use the whip for punishment and I can of course work with him without a whip, no problem at all! But when your horse knows 50 different cues, some voice cues, some body language cues +++ it’s easier to separate them :) Some cues are much easier to give with my voice, others I use my hands, some is better to teach with a whip. But the foundation of all our communication during trick training and working from the ground is BODY LANGUAGE and ENERGY! I can never put those two aside :D
Do you have a big dream to achieve with Batman? Like if you can do anything in the world with Batman, what would it be?
Yes, I used to have many big dreams! And most of them actually came true! Riding Batman tackless is one of them, get him to willingly lay down is another. To be able to play with him from the ground at liberty was another one. Today, we do all that and I’m very happy and proud about it. At the moment I just want it all to work smoother, learn more exercises and tricks and get them all perfect, for example I want to teach him to lay down in all kinds of environment. We are also working on the bow/compliment, but it’s hard for me because Batman is heavy and need some support doing this, and I suffer from muscle problems in my back and can’t hold his leg for more than a few seconds at the time.
Maybe a very random question, but what brand of bareback pad do you have? And are you content about it?
My bareback pad is a Christ Lammfelle Premium Plus from www.horsedream.co.uk (damn I have given them loaaaaaads of customers through the years haha) and I love it! I got mine in 2011 and I still use it all the time. It’s comfy for both you and your horse and provides great contact :)
What was the main reason for you to change from «normal» dressage to liberty and bitless dressage?
“Normal dressage” did never feel 100% right to me. It seems like many trainers have forgotten the point of real dressage. Real dressage is a feeling that can never be measured. Real dressage is about making the horse prouder, healthier, more athletic, stronger and more confident. Many trainers nowadays break their horses down instead of building them up. Then I discovered old style classical dressage and the Academic Art of Riding, which I love. It feels so much better to me and Batman so I prefer the old style of schooling the horse. I combine Academic Art of Riding with tackless dressage, but all my dressage training from the ground and riding is based on the principles of the Academic Art of Riding, such as my seat, my aids and my way of educating him :) Academic Art of Riding make sense to me, and that’s why it’s so interesting.
My question is how can I make my horse feel proud? When I see Batman I can see him glowing and growing from pride and I’d love to see my horse that proud and confident. I understand if you can’t explain it without seeing him but thank you for the opportunity to ask anyways.
First of all, thank you so much for this amazing question! And thank you so much for your kind words! Many people seems to break their horses down instead of building them up. This starts when the horses are young, and continues all their lives. The horses doesn’t get the opportunity to be creative, explore and try new things. Their trainers will correct all that kind of behavior. Without knowing it, they break their horses down! They destroy their confidence, and especially if you have an insecure horse, it can do much damage to the horse’s mind. How on earth can you expect your nine year old horse to try a canter pirouette for the first time if it all his life has been punished for trying new things?
Batman’s confidence was a major issue. He was so insecure and introverted and I spent years trying to get him to be more outgoing and curious. It’s impossible to work with a horse stuck in its own mind. I simply had to reward all kind of curious behavior. I rewarded him if he wanted to go in front of me, I rewarded him for walking over to the scary mailbox, I rewarded him to TRY. And after the years went by, he became a different horse! I had managed to bring his inner foal back, and he got interested in trying new things, because he was no longer afraid to fail. Have FUN with your horse; do not take everything so bloody serious. Be relaxed and happy together and go out exploring!
How do you deal with the German training scale?
I think the training scale itself is perfectly fine. I think the trainers, judges and the FEI itself don’t really care about the traning scale. They reward young horses being destroyed and that’s so far away from the training scale you can get.
What do you think about Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro?
I think they really revolutionized the dressage world. They showed the world that dressage can be done without animal abuse such as rollkur and other unethical training methods. Valegro looks 100 times happier and healthier than many other horses at that level and Charlotte and Carl deserve a lot of respect for what they do.
Name some Norwegian trainers you can recommend!
Classical dressage: Per Waaler & Alexandra Myhren. Academic Art of Riding: Martine L’Orsa, Siri Stenberg and Stine Larsen.
Do you think it had been better if you got a more experienced horse than Batman? I can remember you had a pretty turbulent start.
Define “better”. It had been easier, yes. People would certainly have been nicer to me. But I would never be on the level I am today if I got an older, fully educated horse. I would also be bored out of my mind. And we do have maaaany great memories from our first years together! Batman was a better teacher than all experienced horses in the world combined and he was exactly what I needed in my life at the point, even though it was painful, harder than you can ever imagine and felt completely hopeless many times. We grew together and now we are stronger than ever. I would never do it again, but I’m really really glad I found him.
How do a normal week look like for you, how do your week schedule look like?
Monday: Do whatever you want to do.
Tuesday: Do whatever you want to do.
Wednesday: Do whatever you want to do.
Thursday: Do whatever you want to do.
Friday: Do whatever you want to do.
Saturday: Do whatever you want to do.
Sunday: Do whatever you want to do.
Just kidding, no, not really, I’m actually serious. I rarely plan what to do with Batman. I just go there and make plans after his mood that day. I learned the hard way. If you make huge plans, but the horse is not in mood for what you planned to do at all, you are going to end up disappointed. Because I’m trying to avoid forcing Batman to do something he does not want to do, I listen to him and make plans based on how he feels like instead. So far, it works perfectly!
We spend our days doing hacks in the forest with lots of climbing, trick training and playing at liberty, bridleless dressage, pole work, agility, photoshoots, etc :)
What would you like to learn more about with horses?
I’m very interested in biomechanics and anatomy and would love to learn even more. How the horse use his body with a rider on his back is very interesting, and if you do have knowledge about that, you can make your horse last longer, be healthier, happier and stronger. And that’s important to me. Dressage is made for the horse, the horse is not made for dressage.
Have you finally started listening to music?
Hahah YES! 24/7.
What series expect from Game of Thrones do you watch?
The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock, Vikings, Suits, Orange Is The New Black and Outlander. I LOVE OUTLANDER! I’m totally obsessed with it nowadays. I started watching it because they use friesians, but I fell in love with all of it. The first season was filmed in Scotland and it’s all so beautiful! The nature, the costumes, Sam Heughan … Bahaha! I want to move to Scotland and walk around in woolen clothes!
What horse related literature do you recommend?
Bent Branderup’s books, Rebecca Dahlgren’s Aktivera din häst, Schooling Horses In-Hand – For Suppling and Collection by Richaard Hinrichs, Horse Training In-Hand – A modern Guide to Working from the Ground by Ellen Schutof Lesmeister, Art of Riding – Classical Dressage to High School and Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage – A Search for a Classical Alternative by Philippe Karl, Search for Collection – Science ad Art in Riding by Paul Belasik, Training the Horse in Hand – The Classical Iberian Principles by Alfons Dietz and Schooling Exercies in Hand – Working Towards Suppleness and Confidence by Oliver Hilberger. I also recommend Marijke De Jong’s videos.
What’s your favorite food?
I eat everything that has never had pulse, and mostly vegan. (But I’m a vegetarian) Favorite food? Mexican Chili with chickpeas, beans and lentils! Yuuum! The easy way: Buy GoGreen’s Mexican Chili, add vegan sausage, 1 fresh onion and 3 tomatoes cut in pieces, 1 pack of chickpeas, 1 pack of corn, 1 pack of kidney beans, 1 pack of lentils. Boil for a while and serve with wholegrain rice and one avocado + a dash of vegan sour cream. I also love vinegar chips. I eat vinegar chips every single day and keep a huge box of them in my kitchen. I’m still waiting for the day I will start to smell like vinegar chips. Lol. When the box is getting empty, I drive to Sweden to buy 30 more bags. I’m totally insane.
Do you have any tips to relax in your body?
I’m really struggling with a lot of stress and chronical pain because I simply can’t relax in my body, so I don’t think I’m the right person to ask, but yoga never hurts! Yoga + breathing techniques.
When you ride on trail rides in cordeo, what do you do if Batman gets scared and starts running?
I simply stop him. So far he has never been so scared that I did not manage to get him under control within seconds. If you do have problems with your horse stressing or bolting, NEVER ride out without reins and a bridle for safety! Batman is a very special horse and I read him like an open book.
When we ride in the forest with a cordeo only, my horse uses to stop to eat. How can I avoid it?
Teach the horse to not eat without you letting him to do so. Use positive reinforcement, reward the horse when he listen to you and make yourself some small goals. If your horse stops to eat, ride forward before he reach the grass. You have to learn to read your horse to be one step ahead of him. Every time he is focusing on you instead of the grass, reward!
Are there any clinics you recommend joining?
Not in a general basis, no. Because it depends so much on what your goal with your horse is. Become an Olympic dressage rider? Get your horse easier to load? Learn tricks?
I can on the other hand recommend Horse Vision in Hällekis if you are interested in liberty training and Academic Art of Riding :)
Do you have any exercises to get the horse to trust you more?
First of all: Spend time together in general, and walk together every day side by side. Outside the stable, you will face challenges and scary noises and obstacles, and you will manage to get past them together. That creates a stronger bond. You can also make a course in the arena, with obstacles such as plastic bags, tarpaulins, poles, umbrellas … Use your imagination!
When did you start doing archery? Did you learn it by yourself or did you take lessons?
I started 8 days ago. And so far, Youtube is my teacher haha! I read a lot and watch videos every day to learn how it should look like, and I’m also practicing every day. But a few lessons would be great, because I’m struggling with my shoulder (I suffer from chronical pain), and that makes it hard to me to get it right. But I’m getting better at it every day!
Where did you buy your bow?
My bow is from a local store in Oslo. Nothing fancy, but it works!
Have you read the Game of Thrones-books?
No, I haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire yet, and I’m not sure I want to because I’m going to cry so much haha!
Which Game of Thrones character is your absolute favorite?
I love this question. YGRITTE!!!!! I cried for hours after well you know, and I cried even more the next episode. I cried so much. Oh my gosh now I start crying again. I love her so much. I love her personality, I love the story, I love Jon Snow, I love every single scene and line. Her personality is absolutely awesome and I think more people should be a little more like her. People nowadays live to please others, they focus on the wrong things in life and might be afraid of just saying what they really want to say.
I wish they made a GoT spinoff all about her and Jon Snow running around in the mountains :P I have the largest collection of things saying “You know nothing, Jon Snow”, you have no idea. I have necklaces, clothes, my iPhone cover says “You know nothing Jon Snow” … And I’m actually together with my boyfriend because of that line as well. You guys must think I’m nuts. I confess. I am!
What season of the year do you prefer?
I love them all, but I think I must say early autumn.
Who is your role model and why?
Jared Leto. He is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Because he worked really hard, and because of that, his dreams came true. He is a huge inspiration to me, together with Tomo Milicevic and Shannon Leto and their band Thirty Seconds to Mars. If you can dream it, you can do it. I believe that you can do whatever you want to do, you just have to work hard enough.
If you could change life with someone for a day, who would that be and what would you do?
I would change life with a person living 1000 years ago, and just enjoy the world as it was at the time. I think we are heading in the wrong direction.
Do you go to the stable every day?
Almost every day, but I run my own company and sometimes I have really much work to do, so some days I simply don’t have time. But I prefer to be there every day!
What was the hardest part when you started riding Batman in cordeo?
The people around me, telling me what I did was dangerous and silly. Some people only care about competitions and prizes. *sigh* Batman on the other hand, was no problem at all.
What’s your best advice for starting riding in cordeo?
Always have a halter with reins on, in case of emergency. Never put yourself or others in danger. Relax and feel your horse without tack disturbing your balance. Don’t focus on your hands and the neckrope itself, focus on your body and mind.
Do you have any must haves when it comes to hoofcare and hoofcare equipment?
Low sugar-hay! Does that count?
Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to horses and horse training?
Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Rebecca & Christofer Dahlgren, Bent Branderup, Honza Blaha, Frédéric Pignon, Eva Roemaat, Clemence Faivre … And many more! Because they make their horses look proud.
Why did you start doing Academic Art of Riding, but nowadays it seems like you quit?
I did never quit – I do Academic Art of Riding every day. It’s the basis of all my riding.
How is the real Batman? Is he so calm he seems to, or can he be restless?
The real Batman is patient, silly, strong, stubborn, adorable, stunning, proud, hungry and honest. But he is a horse. Not one single horse is 100% calm all the time. Batman has more blood than most of my photos shows, and he can be a handful. He is huge, and like all other horses, he do have his days! (But it’s not often) He is far away from a lazy, old gelding, he is a purebred friesian and you can see that on a windy day. He can spook, he can do passage all the way home from a trail ride with waaay too much energy in his body, and when he stand there with his head 2,5 meters above the ground and snorts so loud you start wondering if that is a horse or a dragon …. You can clearly see that he is no dolahorse ;) It took me years to get him to where he is now and back down to the planet Earth! But I think all my photos shows the true Batman, because when we are together, he is mostly very well behaved and focused. Nowadays, I think it’s just fun when he is a little bit more crazy one day :) His mood depends on the weather. Cold, rain, wind, snow = energic Batman. Sun, heat = calmer Batman. But if you ask nicely, he will have all the energy you can imagine.
What have been you and Batmans biggest challenge?
To get him trust me enough to not run away. He used to run from me when he got a little unsecure. A person walking in the horizon was enough to scare the hell out of him and his reaction was to run. He could go from totally calm, to running in 60 km/t in just seconds. Many times in extremely dense forest, he did not care at all. I have never seen a horse run that fast off road in Norwegian forests ever. And with a horse of that size it’s impossible to control that kind of behavior with force, but people told me to use more force all the time. I never did. Instead I started taking the tack off. He could drag 3 men after him with a lead rope, so using force would only make the situation more dangerous. If I showed any sign of being unsecure, sick, not paying attention … He would run away, back home to the other horses. He was no easy horse to handle at age six and seven and it didn’t help that I was young and unsecure as well.
What is your meaning about the exterior of the friesian horse?
Well, I don’t think friesians is built for riding at all. They look very odd and you have to know what you are doing when you place 60 kg of human on the back of a friesian. I think it’s extremely important to ride them correctly, and build muscle so they can be ridden in collection, carrying their rider and themselves without taking any damage of it. Many friesians are ridden wrong, with too much focus on the position of the neck and flashy movement, and people seem to forget that their horses are using their bodies in a very wrong and harmful way. When a horse is doing extended trot, the back should not look like a bridge about to break on the middle!
What it Batman’s best quality?
I love his honesty, he is always 100% honest with me, he is my mirror, the mirror of my soul. His personality is beautiful and he is extremely intelligent and emotionally sensitive. He is also really caring and if I don’t feel well you can clearly see that he wants to take care of me and protect me. We are very connected and we have been trough a lot together, so we know each other very very well. I can feel how he feels, and he really reflects me. If I don’t care about my own well-being, Batman will respond to that and force me to take care of myself before doing anything else. He will remind me to sit down and breathe. He simply doesn’t want to hang out with me if I’m not feeling well. If I’m sick, stressed, tired etc, Batman will clearly become worried, and show stress, go in circles etc. If I have a day with lots of bad energy, he will simply walk away. If I’m sad, he will always be calm and protective. If I’m scared and insecure, he is scared and insecure. If I’m brave, he will be brave. And THAT made me learn the hard way. I guess many people will not consider a horse that sensitive the perfect horse, but I do. We can do everything we want and he would walk trough fire for me, if we want to. We don’t have any limits.
What is your best quality?
I’m stubborn, honest, outgoing, kind, very sensitive and takes care of everybody around me.
Do you have a driving license?
Do you want a Subaru Impreza as well?
Over my very dead body. I want a Land Rover :D
Do you go with Daniel to car related events etc?
Yep, but he don’t go so often. :P
Are you planning on buying Daniel a horse, or do you consider to buy another horse to yourself?
Nope! I’m a one horse is more than enough kind of person.
What do you think of FEI and the Grand Prix dressage today?
I would like to see them following their own rules for once … That would be great!
What do you think about Philippe Karl’s School of Légèreté?
I did read some of his books and I’m positive to him, but I don’t have enough knowledge about his methods to say anything about it. I did ride for a Philippe Karl-trainer twice and it was a very positive experience.
Do you want to compete more with Batman?
Not at the time, no.
If you had to change Batman with another horse, what kind of horse would that be? Any special breed?
No horse on this planet will ever fill his shoes. I can’t answer this question. Batman is unique and no horse will be as perfect to me as he his.
What’s Batman’s biggest issue?
He seems to be worried about starving to death :P Maybe he is preparing for Ragnarok.
Have Batman ever injured you?
Never on purpose – but yes, many times! Broken collarbones, several concussions … And the list goes on and on and on.
I would like to know for how long you had «problems» with Batman in the beginning, like how long did it take for you to be «safe and happy» with each other?
It was not like we suddenly one day became happy and safe. We started to have more good days than bad days the year I moved him to a better stable, in 2011. (Nicer people!) But we had a few good days together in the start as well. But it’s the last couple of years we have really enjoyed life together as a team.
How long is a regular liberty session for you two?
From 5 minutes to one hour. It depends so much of what we are doing. I always end it when he is doing his best. If we keep it going for an hour, that includes at least 30 minutes of breaks. Normally, we work for 30 minutes max. I think that’s enough – Batman learns the best when he is not in the arena, but when he is thinking about it afterwards.
What are you going to do with your huge collection of bits when you almost don’t use them anymore?
I have no idea. For now, they can just hang there decorating the wall in the tack room :)
Who is looking after Batman when you are on holiday?
My beloved friends!
What do you work with at liberty? Is it only tricks and get him to collect on a circle? I feel so little creative when I play at liberty with my horse.
We do EVERYTHING! All the tricks, dressage exercises as shoulder in, haunches in, sideways, canter from halt, trot from halt, canter to halt, trot to halt, collect the trot, extend the trot, collect the canter, extend the canter, circles when I sit down in the middle … And combine lunging with tricks. “Stay” when I run away .. We do pole work, agility (jumping fences from the ground), we do lots and lots of cuddling, we just run around like crazy .. Call him from the other side of the arena and run towards him to greet him when he canter towards me … We simply play together using energy. Its a thousand things you can do with your horse from the ground and normally I use the whole arena. There is no reason to be stuck in circles! We need to cure the circle-disease!
Feel free to comment! Navn means name, epost means email and nettsted means website. I will fix the translation soon :)
Peace, love and friesian hugs from Batman & Matilde!