Lovely visitors!

My sister was here over Easter, she lives in Stockholm so we don’t see each other very often. She brought her two kids and visited me at the stables! Neither of them had met Fordson before, so it was really nice that they came to see him.

Here are some pictures from the visit!

Aren’t they cute? Their names are Lorenzo and Leona.

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Preparing for a clinic

But not just any clinic…

Two times a year, me and a handful of geeky friends arrange a clinic with Monika Sanders. Her own words: ”I am a licensed Bent Branderup® trainer in the Academic Art of Riding and passionate guide of the Spirit and Mind connection between horse and human.”

She’s my biggest inspiration when it comes to riding and horse communication. If you ever get the chance to see her in action – take it. For me and many others, it was a life changing experience to start riding for her.

The first clinic this year is happening next weekend, so this week I’m gonna bake 4-5 different cakes and prepare a sandwich grill so people won’t go hungry. We do serve lunch as well but that’s not my responsibility.

I look forward to it so much! I’m nervous since it’s always a lot of things that could go wrong though. Loading, driving, remembering everything, making sure Fordson doesn’t break out of his box/meadow etc etc. Fordson is the kind of horse who can’t be left alone in the meadow, he’ll break through and come running after his friends. Luckily Lina and Balk will be there! Since Fordson and Balk loves each other (check the post below this), we’ll just keep them together in a meadow so they wont have to be alone. The only annoying part will be when Lina is gonna have lessons with Balk, then I gotta bring Fordson into the arena too just so he won’t be left behind.

Fordson is gonna have to stand still and wait for 30 minutes, 3 times that weekend.

Fordson is not the kind of horse that likes to just stand around and wait. He finds his own things to do.

This will be interesting… At least the audience will have a few laughs.

Here are some pictures from the last clinic, August 2015. Maybe I managed to capture a little of the magical feelings we always have!

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My horse life

I grew up in a city with parents who knew little to nothing about horses. I’ve always been the kind of person who loves every animal I laid eye on, so they let me start in riding school when I turned 7.

There, I was taught a lot of things…
Let the horse know who’s the boss!
He’s just being dumb, whip him!
Shorten the reins! You gotta have 1kg in each hand!

These were things I was told over and over again. At one point, I refused to whip my pony when he didn’t wanna trot. It ended up with the riding teacher picking up a wooden board that was laying around in the paddock for some reason and hitting him over his back with it, just behind the saddle. Of course, the pony panicked. He ran around and bucked until I flew off. I think that was the point where I grew a bit unsure while riding. I remember crying every time I was about to go to the stables for my weekly lesson, my parents had to force me. Once I was there, it was usually fine since it was my only way of spending time with horses – and I love horses.
I never really liked riding though.. Not like that.

In my riding group, I was pretty much an outsider. The other girls were really focused on the riding and honestly didn’t really see the horses as more than something you ride on. They would get praised by the instructor when the horse bent it’s neck – even though they pulled one rein at the time and ”sew” the horses head like that.

After 3 or 4 years of that, I finally switched to another riding school. There I had a much better instructor and I was taught to be fair to the horse, even though it was still a lot about leadership and being the one in control.

When I was 13, we found out I had become allergic to animals. I had to give my cat away and quit riding. That was easily the hardest time in my life. I, who had loved animals since I was born, couldn’t be around them anymore.

Luckily, my allergies turned out to get better through the years. (Thank god!) So when I was 17 or 18, I started riding again. This time, on a private horse.

That was the beginning of my new, improved horse life.

I’ll continue the story in another post, another day.

 

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Me (on the pony) and my relative who we visited a couple times a year. She’s always had horses and I was SO excited to go there every time!

Long Reining

I’m so happy right now! Today, I took Fordson into the paddock and did some long reining for about 40 minutes.

He did SO well! First of all, I did it bitless. I was a little scared he’d ignore my commands but he listened better than ever.

It’s so rare to have a training session where he listens and stays 100% focused the ENTIRE TIME! He never went against my aids, he never questioned me, he never got bored!

It’s such a great feeling, it felt like I was floating around on a cloud and I just couldn’t praise him enough. He’s really the most amazing horse I ever worked with.

I can never say this enough but I’m just so lucky to have found a horse like him.

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An amazing drawing of Fordson by friend Ellinor Levin

This is great

If you create a great game – a game described to be the next generation MMORPG.

To quote them:
Pack your cloak, sharpen your weapons, and grab as many bags as you can carry, because it’s time to set off on an epic adventure! The highly anticipated MMORPG Black Desert Online is out today, bringing with it the deepest character customization system yet.

See what awaits in the all-new launch trailer for Black Desert Online, featuring sweeping landscapes, ferocious monsters, and action-packed combat.

You’d think the graphic designers would look up how a bridle looks.

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Great moments

I looked through my old pictures and came across this gem. It’s a picture taken last March by my friend Amanda Olsson. By the time, Linnea recently moved into our loose housing.

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Fordson and Clooney had so much fun together, being 3 and 4 years old.

One of our favorite things to do was to let them loose inside the indoor arena, of course when nobody else was around. Then we would play around with them and watch them have a blast, running around, rolling and jumping.

Sadly the owners of the stable put a rule down that nobody was allowed to have their horse loose in there anymore, so we had to stop doing that. But it’s still some of the happiest memories I have with Fordson.

He loves following you around. When you play with him, he really blossoms!

 

Focus

I never realized how hard it is to stay focused for a long period of time. Looking back at it, I always thought I was focused while riding. I was so wrong…

That’s something Fordson taught me. He’s the kind of horse who never gives you anything for free. You gotta earn it.

As soon as your mind starts slipping away and you lose focus of what you’re planning to do next – he stops listening.

He’s favourite thing to do is to simply go to the gate that leads out of the paddock. Then you know, you failed to keep him interested.

It’s a harsh teacher but the best one I had so far in my life. No forgiving riding school horses could teach me this; To always be in the moment.

It’s much harder than it sounds. It really is.

 

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Fordson.

You’re just never bored around this horse. He has such strong will (that can be soooo frustrating at times) and a huge personality.

When you ride him, you gotta stay focused. You gotta keep him interested. If you somehow give mixed signals or bore him, he’ll come up with his own ideas.

But when it all works, those moments when everything is just right – then it’s amazing.

I feel so privileged to be able to have a horse like him. He teaches me things every day.

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Fordson & Me, Tino & Lena