Dressage training: Just think more rationally

On Thursday I had one of the most motivating and inspiring lessons that I've had ever since leaving the UK and my lessons with Lili from Brooksby Dressage. Sometimes it just takes a while to find to someone you can connect with and suits both you and your horse and I was quite bitter about having to stop my lessons with Lili when I moved back to Finland as she (like Andrew Fletcher before her) understood both Vallu and I. On top of this, ever since Vallu's injury I've been utterly paranoid about having lessons because I'm worried that a new trainer won't understand that he needs/I want to give Vallu lots of walk breaks when working so there is the smallest possible chance he hurts himself again.

I've been lunging Vallu over poles once a week for well over a  month now because I realised how absolutely bored he was with his normal lunging session. He put zero effort in until he saw he had to get his little hooves over the poles after which I built them up to tiny jumps and I now have a very happy horse whenever he realises he's being lunged. Despite this, I've not wanted to do pole work when riding on my own because I've felt very insecure and worried that I would mess up and somehow Vallu would end up hurting himself (see how my brain works now? #eternallyworrying) So you can image how much I was panicking for agreeing to a pole work lesson with M (I won't share her name because I'm not sure if she wants to be named on my blog!)


Prolite dressage girth review

For what feels like the longest time, I've been looking at different ways to improve Vallu's comfort when riding him. I've blogged several times about how much I love the WOW saddles and how totally I believe in them being one of the most comfortable saddles for horses for many reasons such as the Flair Flocking System where the panels of the saddle are filled with air which has been proven by pressure testing to be the best out there. WOW's also have the biggest range of changeable head plates as most saddle manufacturers will only supply trees with angles from 80 degrees (narrow) to 110 degrees (extra wide) whilst WOW has a range of 73 to 143 degrees - the list goes on! This saddle has been a godsend for a sensitive creature like Vallu, but I've felt like there's been something missing to help his comfort even more  🤔 I even got Jins last summer in the hope that they would help me keep my heels down and get my legs to be more still (and they have helped with this!) to ensure that I don't affect him as much.

But even after all of these, I felt like there was something missing and I ended up doing quite a bit of research on different girths by plenty of different brands and talking to a few good equestrian friends. I ended up going for a Prolite dressage girth that is manufactured under license from Fairfax Saddles Ltd's intellectual property rights.


New year, new goals?

Oh wow.

Those are the only words that come into my mind that adequately describe the shock that it's now actually already 4 days into January 2017 and woahhh Christmas is over, although it has been so nice to have a long break from blogging! Although I spent most of Christmas on the sofa thanks to a horrible flu, I was still able to see all of my family and spend Christmas Eve just chilling and spending quality time with the best people ❤️ Due to my flu, both the boys had several days off and Basse somehow ended up having a week off(!!) after which he has come back better than ever!
I have never been good at new year's resolutions, so there’ll be no new year and new me but this time I have decided to make goals for 2017. My biggest goals for this new year are to do competitions with both boys. I've had a long enough break from competing and definitely need to get back into it. Although Vallu can start practising for competitions pretty much whenever because his leg seems fine, I think Basse will need a month or two more before his fitness level is good enough - our current max is doing 3 canter circles on the left rein (bad rein) on the bit without getting confused about what leg goes where so I think even the easiest level test is still a bit too much to ask from the Fat Unicorn. But hopefully he might be ready to rock a prelim test in a few months! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 
Vallu (who is also known as Heart Attack Horse) has had his halo on very firmly for the last week  😇 and I'm hoping the he keeps it on for a while even though we are now experiencing -15 to -20°C temperatures and I think theres a good chance that he might turn into a fire breathing dragon spaceship rocket if this morning's behaviour in his paddock is anything to go by... 🔥🐲🚀💥 In early December I hit a big wall with him because of his massive spooking episodes but this seems to have disappeared with his new Prolite girth and by changing the head plate on his saddle to a size smaller. I'm definitely going to do a review of the girth because it has made SUCH a big difference to his way of going (his trot is so big now that I can barely sit to it!) and I think it's 'stabilised' the saddle a bit too which makes staying on and sitting to his spooks a lot easier.

Has anyone got any new year's resolutions? I'm just hoping 2017 is a lot easier and happier for my family and our horses.
Now THIS is my type of new year's resolution
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