GOPRO – Sunny hack with Baldur

So this day was really something! If you know me and Baldur, you would definitely not believe it if I said I was on a hack with Baldur and another equipage cantering and tölting on long reins. For about a year, it has been almost impossible to hack Baldur together with other horses other than at a walk. Because if we went any faster, I would have a bolting horse.

But Baldur has been absolutely amazing lately, and I do believe our new feed is helping a lot in that department. I will be writing more about the supplement I have started using in another blog . But that will come later! Anyhow, I know that it has had a big effect on Baldur. He is much more calm and relaxed, and even with traffic he is a gentleman(he is normally a very nervous and skittish horse when it comes to traffic).

Back to this day, it was me, Baldur, Maja and Drifandi riding a small route(about 40 minutes) in the beautiful landscape we have in Hamar. It was so sunny, warm and it was just a delight with calm and relaxed horses as a cherry on the top. A success if I can say so myself!

Training tölt – Aztec Diamond Equestrian

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I just have to start this blog post by expressing how awed I am by Baldur today. He was an absolute champ and he worked his heart out. He really did impress me big time, he delivered in so many ways!

I recently received two base layers from Aztec Diamond Equestrian, and I have to say that I had a little doubt in them. But they surprised me by the quality of their products! I have only used the navy base layer once yet, but so far I am in LOVE with it! It fit me perfectly and it breathes so well, perfect for training in hot weather, as we did today. And of course, the design is beautiful. I believe this is the kind of training/workout sweater I have been looking for. It fulfills all my criteria. It is a tight fit, it breathes, and it looks awesome. I will of course be testing these base layers more, and I do believe they will be a standard in my riding wardrobe.

But moving on to today’s workout, Baldur was superb! He was calm, but he still had a lot of energy to bring on the table. I was worried about action as I forgot my whip(not for touching him), but he really proved that he was in the game today! He was light, energized and so focused on his job. He was such a delight to ride.

Oh, and I almost forgot that I entered us in a competition that is in a months time. I feel like we are ready to get back into competing now. I am not expecting much, but a B-finale would be so cool. I am hoping for the best, so now we are focused on working hard and enjoying the ride!

Oh, and an update on the saddle front! I am again just more and more in love with this saddle, and I am so confused on whether to purchase it or not. I am planning to try out another saddle very soon, so I am guessing that my choice will be made between those two saddle. Exciting!

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Riding at the speed of tölt

It took some time, but I finally managed to finish making the video from the lesson/instruction we had for Stian Pedersen. We are still not very stable at the tölt, but I do believe we are moving in the right direction!

As I informed in my last blog about this lesson, we had a lot of fun and we learned a great deal about how to improve and what to work on. I am also planning on entering me and Baldur at a competition in the start of October, so I am really excited about that! I will be entering us in the V2(four gaits) and T3(tölt) classes, so hopefully we will be able to show some progress from now to then!

I also just invested in buying a new camera, the GoPro Hero 5 Session. I have been drooling over the GoPro’s since forever, and now it was time to grab the bull by it’s horns and buy the thing once and for all. I am currently just waiting for a memory card, and after that, we are all set to get some videos going! I don’t have many ideas yet, so if you have any ideas or requests for what kinds of videos I can publish using the GoPro, I will be forever grateful!

And as a little update on the Geysir Gold Plus, we still love it! I keeps growing on me more and more. I can absolutely recommend this saddle, gaited rider or not, this saddle is GOLD.

But enough chatter, here is the video!

A much needed hoof-makeover

Today Baldur got a much needed appointment with the farrier. It has only been 8 weeks since the last time he was shod, but his hooves are so dry that they are cracking. The cracking makes me nervous of course, but I was assured it was not a crisis. 

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Baldur’s shoes before taking them off to start the trim. On the right front hoof, I actually pulled off one of the seams, as Baldur had stepped on himself, bending the seam outwards. At first I used a hammer to get it back in place, but the next day the result was the same, so I simply pulled it out. Better than having it in, and the part of the hoof was gone anyhow.

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Baldur’s bare feet ready to be transformed!

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Baldur is actually very good when it comes to being shod. He is a spooky and careful horse, but with the farrier he chills out as if nothing is going on. He is also the type who will lift his feet before the farrier even asks him to pick it up – such a gentleman!

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I am always fascinated with how light his hooves can be when they are filed. But the next day they go back to being tan again. I could of course scrub them every day, but who does that?

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Baldur thought it was smart to lean his head and use the farrier as a pillow. At least he doesn’t have trust issues with him!

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The finished result – before I go crazy with the hoof oils!

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If you focus on the tip of the shoe, you can see an upside-down Icelandic horse doing the tölt! One detail that I love about these shoes!

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Shiny feet after being thoroughly oiled by me, an attempt at keeping them moisturized to prevent cracking!

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While I was at it, I also decided to take a photo to show you guys Baldur’s confirmation. Right now he has a little bit of belly fat and not much in the muscle front, but he hasn’t been worked as hard this summer.

Tips&Tricks – Photographing horses

Have you just started photographing horses, or just want to learn some quick tips and tricks? Then you have come to the right place! In this blog,  I would like to share some of my personal tips when it comes to photographing horses. As we all know, horses are unpredictable animals, so knowing how to be able to freeze and capture a special moment, is a big factor in photographing these precious creatures. Here are my tips and tricks to photographing horses!

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Clean horse – It is important to always start with a clean horse. If the horse is not clean, groom it well so that there will be no dirt visible when photographing. It is important that there are no stains, as mud or any other kinds of dirt will be a disturbing element in your photo.

Lens use  An optical zoom lens is what gives me the best result in photographing. What I use is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens which is able zoom in a great deal. Stand around five to ten meters away from your horse and zoom in. This will cause the background to be blurry and will create a soft and professional look.

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Shutter speed – A fast shutter speed is always important when photographing horses. If the horse spooks, jumps or starts running, you’ll need a fast shutter to freeze the moment. With a slow shutter, the photos will most likely just get blurred.

Background choices – Use a clean background, preferable nature. Keep the background plain with no disturbing elements as fences, buckets or anything that will cause disturbance. What I do is to bring the horse and model to a place where there is either mountains in the far background, a forest or a field. That way it will be even easier to create a blurry background(because of the distance from the horse to the objects behind him).

Lighting – Lighting is an important factor in any photo. To create a silhouette, place the horse and/or model between the camera and the sun. This will create a light background and a dark object(horse), which will result in a silhouette. For better silhouette results, photograph in the sunset or sunrise! The best weather for photographing(my own opinion) is when the sun is slightly covered by cloud. This will create a soft, but still light photo with details. Shooting in the broad daylight on the other hand, will create sharp shadows and a great deal of contrast(what is bright will be brighter, what is dark will be darker) which will create too much contrast and is not what I prefer when photographing – I would rather add more contrast when editing the photo later.

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Perspectives – Shoot your photos from a frog perspective, get down on your knees and hold your camera at about the height of the chest/shoulder of the horse you are photographing. Notice that if you go too far low down, the legs will look longer, but if you go too far up, the legs will look shorter.

Attention, ears forward – Get your horse’s full attention. One of my great tricks is to download horse sounds in to your phone. Have a variety of whinnies and snorts to play. This will get your horse’s attention, and ears will most likely prick forward wherever he may look.

Be innovative – Try new and different angles of the horse and model(if you have a model with the horse).

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Be careful – Remember to be careful! Don’t put yourself, the horse or the model in any unnecessary danger. The model’s poses can be done on the horse’s back, on the side or in front of the horse. Placing yourself under the horse is risky and I do not recommend doing so. Remember that a horse is a wild animal, and there is not much that will come in between a horse’s fight or flight instincts.

Have fun – Make the best out of the photo session. The more fun you have(both photographer, horse and model), the better photos you will be able create!

 

Riding for a world champion – Stian Pedersen

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This really was the day! I have for a long time wanted to ride for Stian Pedersen, and when the opportunity came, I took it. It isn’t every day you get the chance to ride for a world champion, right? I also got to take advantage of the opportunity to drive a horse trailer with Baldur inside for the first time. And then we traveled over to “Stall SP” to get some insight in what we can do to improve.

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Over: I didn’t know what to expect, but that Stian was going to come driving a four-wheeler with a cowboy hat was not the first thing that came to my mind!

When I arrived at the barn at home in the morning, I started off doing the daily “chores” such as mucking the stall and making feed. After that was done, we grabbed Baldur and brought him inside to be groomed. I fetched all the necessary equipment and loaded it into the car. At around 12, I put on Baldur’s transport leg protectors and loaded Baldur into the trailer. And so my first horse trailer drive with Baldur inside started! It actually went really well, I was driving very carefully, and the horse was calm and relaxed on the trailer!

We arrived in one piece, and I unloaded Baldur. He got another good brush before Stian came and asked me a little bit about Baldur, where he came from and what I was expecting to get out of his lesson. I had literally no expectations at all, I just wanted to learn more of how I can ride Baldur in a better way for us to reach further when it comes to gaited work. We saddled up and walked down to the oval track. Stian wanted me to warm up Baldur how I usually do it, and we took it from there.

Immediately we found out that I am sitting skewed on Baldur when we ride on the left rein, his “bad” side. This made it harder for Baldur to use his body correctly, simply because I am blocking him from doing so, in all ignorance. He loosened up a lot after we corrected my skewed-ness. It will of course not be fixed in 1-2-3, this is something I have to work on continuously for it so feel natural to sit straight. Because right now, sitting skewed feels natural to me. So when I lean more to the left and straighten up, it feels very awkward for me. The only thing to fix this, is to ride more straight and just get used to it and make it the new normal.  

I addition to this, I have to be better at giving with my hands, I tend to get stiff and not letting my hands follow the movements in his head. I think this was the hardest thing to do the entire lesson. It was straight up hard. I know, right? A thing so simple is hard for me to do. I have to learn to lift my hands as I sit down in posting trot. And when Stian told me to do just that, it was like asking me to scratch my head with one hand and stroke my belly with the other – while riding a horse! I was totally confused and felt like I couldn’t do it, but it loosened up after a while. I also have to work with loosening my hips in canter, the same way I loosen when I sit down in trot. One of the reasons I struggle with sitting down in the saddle, is because I stiffen my hips and can’t follow the movements. This also improved very fast!

And I have to brag a little. As if it wasn’t enough that Baldur behaved exemplary, but Stian told me that he very much liked the way I communicate and work with Baldur. For example when we first started cantering, Baldur was very unbalanced, 4-beated and stiff. So instead of me correcting and pushing him, I let him find the canter on his own, and I waited for him to find his own balance. After that, he loosened up and we had a nice rhythm. I also asked if we are ready for competitions soon, and the answer was a clear yes. We are definitely ready now!

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Over: Baldur was very smooth and light in the slow tölt.

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Over: Back to the skewed-ness. I ride Baldur too much to the right, making the saddle slip a little bit to the right and ends up laying on his spine. So I have to start putting more weight in the left stirrup, until it feels normal – when that happens, we are on the right path! 

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Over: During this lesson, I also noticed that it is easier for me to obtain a correct posture when I ride in the Geysir Gold Plus. I feel like I am sitting more correctly!

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Over: This is where we were working on my hands. I literally shouted at Stian “it’s like you are asking me to scratch my head while stroking my belly!” It was very hard to accomplish, my brain almost boiled! 

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Over: I also have to show you the new bridle I bought from Hrimnir. I have been drooling over this bridle for over 6 months, and I finally grabbed myself by the neck and purchased it. I have never in my life bought an “expensive” bridle before, that is why I was thinking about it for so long, but it had to be done! And Baldur fits it so well, don’t you think?

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Over: Here we are showing the fast tölt! Stian gave me a tip to actually speed him up during the short side, or turn, on the oval track instead of speeding him up on the long sides. This will make it easier for the horse!

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I am so pleased with Baldur’s effort in this lesson, he worked like a hero! After the recent visits from our chiropractor Harriet, Baldur’s body has grown in muscle and really taken shape. But he also puts his legs well under himself and stretches them good! So now I am hoping we will be entering the first gaited competition we can, as for now, it looks like we will be entering the Sleipnir club competition – exciting! We have never entered a show in Hamar!

Why chiropractors are so important for horse well-being

For over a year ago, I had my first experience with having a chiropractor on Baldur. You could say that is has opened up a whole new world for me. There was chatter in the barn about a chiropractor coming to visit, and I chose to get a checkup on Baldur, just to make sure that everything was fine.

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When the day came for the chiropractor to visit, I was very excited. I had never experienced something quite like it. It was at this time I had owned Baldur almost a year. I am the kind of person who wants to insure that everything is ok. When it was Baldur’s turn to get a treatment, I watched closely and asked a lot of questions. It turned out that Baldur had some issues connected to the fact that his back is so long, so he needs a checkup from time to time. After the treatment I ended up with a completely new horse, Baldur was a changed horse! He started relaxing immediately, and not least, I felt a big change in his gaits – especially walk. Hen went from having a short, “hard” walk, to being so soft and really longing his strides. That half an hour could this much difference! And I felt insured that my horse was feeling good.

What Baldur struggles with the most, is locking in the croup that makes him skewed. Now, for the last two months, I have had two chiropractic treatments on Baldur. It turns out he was actually having a lot of after-pain from the time we both hit the dirt this winter, but he has done a very good job at hiding the pain, so I never knew. Harriet, as my beloved chiropractor is named, treated him at the end of May this year and she came back a few days ago for a follow-up. Baldur has started using his body more correct, resulting in more muscles in the right places, and his body was looking so much better in comparison to the treatment in May. So yet again, I am ensured that my heart horse is okay.

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But I wanted to use this blog to underline how important it is to check that your horse is doing well body-wise. By my own experience, it can be very hard to even understand that the horse is walking around with pains. Horses are flight animals, and if a predator saw a horse showing signs of being hurt, it would be easily targeted. This is why many horses hide their pain, from instinct. So I would recommend to do a check-up, even if the horse doesn’t seem to have any pain. It doesn’t have to be pain either, it can be discomfort resulting in the horse not using itself correctly.

I would also like to issue that it isn’t just any person that should be treating your horse. Be conscious of who you hire to treat your horse. Does this person have proof of their education? What type, how much and where was the education taken? It is important to be very critical to whom you chose to treat your horse. If it is someone who isn’t skilled, it can do more harm than use.

“But my horse doesn’t hurt!” How do you know that? Your horse can’t simply tell you that he is hurting or if something is wrong, and many horses don’t even want to show that they are hurting at all. Baldur was “normal” when I decided to give him his first treatment. But what I thought was normal for Baldur, wasn’t normal at all. After experiencing first hand how much of a difference it made to my horse after just one treatment, I don’t think I will ever stop giving him these treatments, because I have experienced myself how big of a difference it makes.

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Having chiropractic treatments on your horse doesn’t just help if your horse has discomfort, it can also help to prevent injuries that could arise at later occasions. Prevention is so important, because when the damage is already done, it is suddenly gets way more expensive to fix. I would dare claim to say that chiropractic treatments works almost as an insurance to prevent damages based on muscles and bones. If you have an opportunity to prevent damages on your horse, I would definitely do anything in my power to ensure that my horse is going to be sound both now and in the future.

I would absolutely recommend all horse owners to have at least one treatment on their horse. If you are sure about the well-being of your horse, check anyways, if you haven’t already. It is extremely important that the horse body is sound for the horse to be able to function optimally and to perform their best. And for all the reasons in the world, prevent if you can!

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Finishing off this post with a picture of Baldur and his beloved chiropractor, Harriet.

Baldur’s relationship with water

I think both me and Baldur have some unresolved arguments when it comes to going to the beach and into the water. Baldur was never really in love with water when I first started to lease him, but I on the other hand, love the water. So of course, I try to make him like it too. The thing is, Baldur is an insecure type.

Baldur scares easily, and he doesn’t like to be put in positions where he thinks there could be danger. One of the first things I noticed with Baldur when we were in water, was the fact that he is scared because he can’t see his feet. This was proven when I started stroking his feet underwater, and he freaked like a baby. He rose on his back feet and tried to get away, almost like me when I walk into seaweed(I hate seaweed).

So after this, I have basically been trying my best to make the water a good place for him. I can ride him a little bit in the water, but both me and Baldur feel more safe when I am in the water with him. He usually tries to cling to me and becomes a little too pushy, but he usually back off when I’ve had enough. He is also the type of horse who thinks it is so much fun to splash water, and then gets scared because it splashes too much.

Today was no exception. We started off riding, and it ended with me jumping into the water with him. The water was actually quite nice, even though it is in a Norwegian fjord. The sun kept us warm and the water’s temperature was just right. We didn’t get to go as far out for a swim as I wanted to, because the tide was too far up to reach the deep parts of the beach.

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Q&A – Instagram asks

To get a little kickstart on this blog, I thought it would be a good idea to do a Q&A so that you all can get to know me and Baldur a little better. So I asked my followers on Instagram to ask me whatever they were wondering, and here is the result! I also want to give a big thanks to everyone who sent in questions, there well over 30 questions from different people!


What’s the one thing that makes Baldur special to you? – Question by @simon.seljak

Well, to be honest he is a very weird horse. He is very fragile(mentally) and he needs to be treated accordingly. But he is also the sweetest horse on earth. He is special to me because he has taught me so much over a few year. Especially being patient and working hard to achieve goals. He may not be an educated horse, but he has definitely educated me through the years!

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My question is a bit more personal, about something specific with my horse; we are trying liberty so whenever I walk, he follows. Which is great, but when I turn the the inside, he ignores me and walks right past me, cutting me off. He doesn’t know he’s doing anything wrong, because I haven’t corrected this, I don’t know how. Do you have any tips for me? – Question by @carino.and.me

If Baldur did this to me, I would first start working on stop and start while following. For example, if you can feel your horse is going to walk past you, try to let him know you want him to stop as well. A simple “whoa” or whatever cue you use to slow him down, now is the time to use it. Not after he has passed you, but before he does it. If he stops, reward him massively, if not, try again! I am sure your horse does not do this to be rude, he just doesn’t know what you want. And if this does not work, start using a halter with a lead, and slightly hold him back if he tried to pass you, then give treat when he stops. And when he gets it, move on to doing it without the lead, then without the halter and so on! I hope this helps!

I do wonder how Baldur’s training schedule looks like, how long you train, what you do together. I also wonder what you’re favorite trick is and what Baldur’s favorite trick is and what his favorite snack is. – Question by @kittygulloy

Baldur’s training schedule depends on what we are planning to do, and where we are. Earlier this year, we would have jumping lessons once a week or twice a month, as our focus was to get ready for show jumping competition. We would also do dressage 2-3 times a week and the rest is hacks and a day or two off. This was in Hamar, and we have been in Ålesund for almost two months now. We have not been jumping, only doing dressage, gaited and hacks. My interests have moved to gaited competitions, so we are doing our best to prepare for the competitions we want to enter this fall! Of course we always fit in some trick training and free riding once a week.

My favorite trick is the rear, I know many people dislike the rear, but I love the action as well as this tricks helps Baldur to activate and use his back and haunches. I believe Baldur’s favorite trick is the smile or kiss! After I taught him to kiss, he has become less head shy and he seems so much more social towards people. He really opened up after I taught him this trick. Baldur’s favorite snack is apple flavored treats!

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What was it that made you buy Baldur? – Question by @ridingwithunicorns and @sarasnikon

I had leased Baldur for almost a year when his owner announced the was selling off some of her horses. I was desperate because I knew I was not allowed to purchase a horse, and I had literally fallen head over heels in love with him. So I spent a week trying to convince my parents to let me buy him. After a lot of back and forth, they agreed that I could purchase him. They did not help me financially, I managed to pay everything on my own, and I have done so for almost 3 years now.

For how long have you been riding and did you have any special reasons for starting it? – Question by @ck.carla

I have been riding since I was 8 years old in 2004. The only reason I started to ride that late was because that’s when my parents thought I was “old enough” to start taking lessons. I had literally been nagging them forever to start riding horses.

I would like to know more about the traits of Icelandic horses, or at least that of Baldur. I’ve always been fascinated with the breed. – Question by @zarasmile72

Well, the biggest trait of the Icelandic horse is the fact that they can have up to 5 different gaits. As well as they are very powerful, and easily carry a grown man. They are pony-sized, but they fall under the horse category because of how they are built and the fact that they can carry so much weight. And as a bonus, Icelandic horses can have all coat colors in the world! Some are more rare than others, though. I am especially in love with the silver dapple blacks!

Is baldur a 4 or 5 gaiter? And do you often train the gaits or do more dressage and jumping and such? What has your biggest struggle been with Baldur? – Question by @demixwodanxevax

Baldur is a five-gaiter, but we only use four gaits on him. He hasn’t been taught to pace properly,  both because of my interest, and because the last gait(pace) can ruin his other good gaits. So we are keeping it at four for now.

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Gaited versus show jumping? – Question by @team_emblaogthor

Definitely gaited!

How did you get your coorperation with Lukar Norge? – Question by @tinkythetinker

They actually had a photo contest on hest.no that I participated. I came in contact with them through that, and I was offered to be their ambassador.

Did you always want an Icelandic Horse? – Question by @tinkythetinker

No way! I used to be very stuck-up when it came to Icelandics. I believed they were just some furry, useless ponies with useless gaits. It wasn’t until I met Baldur that my beliefs changed!

How did you start riding? – Question by @mette_and_ketill

I started riding as soon as my parents let me take lessons!

Are you planning on selling Baldur? – Question by @julieogmari

Absolutely not, I would never plan on selling him. And if I ever sold him, it would be if it was the last option in the world.

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What are your future goals with Baldur? – Question by @tonii_023

My future goal with Baldur is to start competing gaited again, and my absolute goal is to get a character total of 6 in competition(so far we have reached 5,40).

What kind of camera do you use? – Question by @leonie242431 and @hanne.melbye

The camera I use for my photos is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

When did you meet Baldur? – Question by @silje.gulbrandsen

My first encounter with Baldur was January 12th of 2015!

How long have you had Baldur? – Question by @saraogbalder and @eq_ruutaa

It has been 2,5 years since I started leasing him, but I have almost owned him for two years now! Our anniversary is right around the corner!

Your best tips for getting an Icelandic in shape? Recently got a new Icelandic home, that’s quite fat, and I would love to have him looking as nice as Baldur! – Question by @klara.rindeberg

Thank you for that! My number one tip is do not give your horse more feed than he needs! Too often I see owners give their horses much more feed than the horse needs, causing the horse to over-feed and get fat. Getting a horse that is over-feeding fit, just makes the job so much harder for both you and the horse. Tip number two is to be consistent in the training. I would rather see a horse being used 20 minutes each day, than 1 hour hard training a few times a week. Mountain climbing is also a goldmine! Climbing helps the horse build and use muscles that it won’t use in a training ring. So going for a hack or climb every other day is recommended!

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How high is Baldur? And how did it all start with you two? – Question by @icelandic_horse_kiljan

Baldur is 146cm tall, approximately 14.3 hands high. It all started kind of random, because I was looking around for horses to ride(by horses I mean big horses, ala warmbloods and etc). I came in contact with Baldur’s previous owner, and she wondered if I wanted to try out Baldur. I actually turned her down at first, but after thinking it through, I agreed to meet them. And this is how it all started.

What made you want to start riding gaited? – Question by @united.equestriian

When I started riding Baldur, there were mostly just Icelandic horse riders at the stable he was at. So I naturally joined them in riding, and it spiked my interest for gaited, and I was soon interested in starting competitions.

How old is Baldur? – Question by @sofie.and.rebell

Baldur is 12 years now, born June 15th in 2005!

What is the best thing about Baldur? Is Baldur your first Icelandic horse? – Question by @tallintarinoita

The best thing about Baldur is definitely his personality. I have never come across a horse like him. And of course, a bonus is that he grunts like a pig! Baldur is not only my first Icelandic horse, he is my very first horse!

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What stable are you staying at now? And are you happy with your progress with Baldur? – Question by @christineogbwana

We are staying at a stable called “Stall Sætre” right now, but in August we are heading back to Hamar and staying at “Stallen i Rognstad” in Stange. Yes, I am thrilled with how far we have come! Especially since I was at the brink of quitting him in the start, it was the worst. But we have learned together and I believe we have grown a lot. So I am very happy with how far we have come!

When did you start riding Icelandic horses? – Question by @_.liiviia._

I rode my first Icelandic horse in 2012, when I leased Logi. But he only had his three gaits, so I never got to experience tölt on him. It was not until I started to ride Baldur that I first got to know the tölt!

How high have you and Baldur jumped? – Question by @mette_and_ketill

Me and Baldur have together jumped 1m10, but he has loose jumped 1m20 and I have jumped 1m20 with another horse!

If you got permission to ride tackless at a show, would you do it? – Question by @lene_olesen

Oh yes, I would! But of course with a lot more training and preparing, if we were just to go right now, we would probably fail terribly!

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Can Baldur lie down on command? If not, would you want to teach him this? – Question by @naturtoelter

No, he cannot! But we are currently working on it. It is taking a lot of time, since Baldur does not trust anyone around him when he is down, but he does sort of understand what I want. He laid down for me around 8-9 times the last time we worked on this!

How long did it take you to learn to ride without tack? – Question by @zarasmile72

I have been riding bareback for as long as I can remember, so removing the bridle was not really a problem to me when it comes to balance. Baldur is a strange horse to ride bareback, his trot is very bouncy and hard to sit, so we are working on that as well. But when it comes to give directions tackless, I learned through Baldur. He taught me alot, and I am still learning. We started from the ground and worked our way up. We are not perfect, but we try our best!

If you could intern under one person, who would you choose? – Question by @bandfreaxx

Good question! I would absolutely love to intern under Kathy Sierra(@intrinzen on Instagram) or maybe Anna Marciniak(@onehorselife_official on Instagram). These two are amazing at what they do, and being able to learn just a fraction of what they know would be a dream!

Testing the Geysir Gold Plus

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A little while back, Skoies horse equipment had a Facebook campaign where they were searching for a rider to be a test pilot for their new saddle, the Eques Black. When I learned about this, I of course sent in an application, and I waited in patience. Some time later, Skoies announced that they had picked out a rider(not me) to test out the saddle.

But a few moments after, I received a mail from Skoies where they told me that because they liked my application so much, and what I do with Baldur, they decided to have to test riders instead! And that is how I ended up with testing the Geysir Gold Plus.

I received the saddle in the mail about a week ago. It is custom fitted to fit perfectly to Baldur, and I think they have done a great job! I have used the saddle about 3-4 times now, and it is still growing on me! It feels like the saddle is just getting better and better each time we use it. The seat is deep and the support is great! And to be honest, I think I have a better posture in this saddle. Not that my posture is good, it’s just not as bad.

The reason I was a little skeptical in the start of trying this saddle, is because it is very different from the Draupnir SP that I already have had for over a year. So it was a new experience for me to ride in the Geysir Gold Plus, but as I mentioned earlier, it is growing on me!

I will of course keep you guys updated on the saddle front, and I will try to get some videos in action! Some of you have repeatedly requested videos showing Baldur’s different gaits and how we work out, so I am hoping to make that happen very soon!

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As you can see above, this saddle gives massive support!

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