Equestrian Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated for the Equestrian Blogger Recognition Award! I want go give a big thanks to Sophie(teamtunnaheventing) for nominating me for this award.

blogger-recognition-award

What is the Blogger Recognition Award?

The Blogger Recognition Award is awarded to bloggers by bloggers who appreciate the hard work, dedication, and vast amount of hours we all put into each and every post.

In order to accept this award, I must nominate 15 other bloggers, that I feel are also deserving of the award. The rules listed are as follows:

  • Thank the nominating blogger.
  • Respond to the nominating blogger with a link to this post on their blog.
  • Write a post about the award.
  • Share a story of how and why you started your blog.
  • Offer at least two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Pass on the nomination to another 15 bloggers.

 


 

Passionforhorse’s Beginning

It all started with a young girl who had a big dream. Going by “passionforhorse” on every platform except the blog. After blogging as “equestrian” on a norwegian platform for 7 years, I decided to take the leap and make my own platform for blogging – and blogging in english. So 20th of June, I published the very first post on my new blog. I was pretty used to blogging from the norwegian platform, but there, the audience was pretty limited to only norwegians. So going onto my very own blog and blogging for the entire world to see is a big step.

The very day I lauched my new blog, I searched around on Facebook to see if there were any groups where I could post and get in touch with other bloggers – and that is how I joined Equestrian Bloggers on Facebook. I have learned tons in being there, and I have been inspired to blog about different things and being more active in the other medias. So I later made my Facebook page Mathilde Kvernland, for posting news and blog posts as well.

I have no idea where this blog will take me, but I am sure ass hell coming along for the ride!

20161006-IMG_2491

Advice for New Bloggers

  • Get in touch! Find a group, a forum or anything where you can connect and get to know other bloggers. I have learnt so much just by being in contact with fellow bloggers, and it’s a great way to be inspired and inspire others as well!
  • Don’t be photo shy! If there is anything I love with a blog, it’s the use of photos to illustrate what you are writing about. Did you lunge your horse today? Get a photo so that your readers can see what you are seeing when you write. We want to know how it is to be you!

 

My Nominations

The 15 equestrian and pet blogs I have chosen are ones that I personally follow and interact. These people and pets have made a difference in my life and how I run my blog. These bloggers are a support system and an inspiration.

Blog review: The Scottish Rider

In light of an amazing group I am lucky to be a part of, also known as Equestrian Bloggers on Facebook, I made a little challenge to the members. The challenge was to join be assigned a blog to review honestly, and in return, getting a review back from someone else. Excited to see how this goes, and if this will be a success or not. But I do hope it helps to put more bloggers in the light. I was assigned to review Fiona Murray’s blog The Scottish Rider.

Let me start by introducing Fiona Murray and her horse. It is not unclear that this equipage is located in beautiful Scotland. She bought her stunning red mare at her last year of university, and she is currently working full time on developing her own career as well as her mare’s. When her mare was purchased, she was still very green. They ended up at a barn that holds competitions on site, and they are ready to really start developing together.

gerger

My very first impression when going into Fiona’s blog is the layout and header. The layout is very clean and easy to navigate, which is lovely! And the header image is of her beautiful chestnut mare. I think the design itself is very nice and simple, not too much going on, and not messy at all! Which makes it very comfortable to navigate through her blog!

Something I find interesting about Fiona’s blog is that she posts the competition results in a page of it’s own! Something I will most likely take inspiration from on my own, as it’s super clever to have so both you and your followers can keep track of results! And as a number two, I love the timehop memories, it’s really great to look back at earlier days and reflect! If there is one thing that trumps the two reasons mentioned above, it’s Fiona’s use of GIF’s(especially in the moody mare and rider fitness blogs). It’s absolutely hilarious and it’s impossible to stop reading when she uses the GIF’s!

Fiona Murray sitt bilde.

As for the blog content, I find her blog very helpful! Not only does she post about her daily life in the equestrian world, but there is also much knowledge to receive! For example rider fitness and horse rugging.

When it comes to photos, I would absolutely love more of them! I think there can never be too many photos, even if it is in a blog! I am not a huge fan of mobile phone pictures, but in this case, I feel it gives more of a personal trait to the blog, and that’s not a bad thing at all! But again, I would love more photos!

All in all, Fiona’s blog is definitely worth a peek! Her blog is fresh, only a month older than my own blog, and I love being able to follow her from the start(almost at least).

Oh, and Fiona! I loved your first vlog, I would love to see more!

Check out The Scottish Rider here!

Pray this isn’t cancer

This blog post is going to be somewhat messy and chaotic, but I am trying my best to collect my thoughts. I recently noticed that Baldur had swelling in his sheath, and I contacted the vet and we made an appointment. As well as checking up, I decided to get his teeth fixed in the same go.

The vet showed up at 10 AM monday morning. Drifandi(Maja’s horse) had his teeth floated first, Baldur was second in line. The floating went really great, and his teeth was perfectly fine, nothing wrong.

The vet gave him a “special” drug to make it easier for Baldur to drop his “magic stick” for inspection. It was not pretty. There were loads of tallow, dirt and it just looked very infected. The vet cleaned everything up, and then noticed that Baldur had white spots all over his manhood, as well as discoloration. She told me not to take my sorrows in advance, and not to panic, but she had treated a horse that had the same symptoms – and this was cancer.

When the words fell out of her mouth, I think I kind of died on the inside. How, what, why? I was completely clueless and lost for words. Of course, this was worst case scenario, and it wasn’t sure at all that this is cancer. Best case scenario, this is “just” an infection that can be treated with antibiotics and such, but I am honestly just so worried and I am of course fearing the worst.

Behavior-wise, Baldur is unchanged, and he is acting like normal, thankfully. The competition is still on, but I have really changed my mindset. I am not entering to get good grades and showing off my horse. Now I am entering because I can. The day after the show, we have a new appointment with the vet. She will inspect again and see if we need to get a biopsy to send to the lab.

I hope and pray that it is only an infection and that it does get better in these two next weeks, but I am, as mentioned earlier, clueless. October 1st is our 2 years anniversary, it is supposed to be a day of joy, happiness and celebration, but I don’t know how this day will be. October 2nd is the next appointment with the vet, and I pray to the higher forces for a healthy horse.

IMG_5886

Photo above: Baldur had is first dose of the drugs before floating, slowly getting tired.

IMG_5891IMG_5894

Photo above: Dose number two, as he was still too awake.

IMG_5907

Photo above: The floating begins!

IMG_5911IMG_5918

Photo above: A couple hours later, he is enjoying his meal outside in his paddock. I used his rebound time to do some fur-clipping.

IMG_5925IMG_5931IMG_5941

Photo above: To try and keep the area as clean as possible, I shaved around his sheath when I shaved the rest of him too. 

IMG_5945

Photo above: Baldur enjoying his meal and new clip!

IMG_5961

Why I would never get a prosthetic leg for my horse

Recently, a photo of a horse with a prosthetic leg has been roaming the internet(this horse was later put down because he didn’t get better). This is not the first time I have seen these “glory” cases of horses being “saved” with a prosthetic leg. So I give myself the opportunity to tell you why I would never choose this life for my horse.

If I, as a horse owner, ever got into a situation where I had to choose if I would put my horse to sleep or do a surgery that will guarantee my horse pain and restrictions, there is no doubt what my answer would be. To be completely honest, I believe it is very selfish to keep a horse alive this way.

Firstly the surgery aftermath. There will be months in and out of pain and adjustments. If the horse ever adapts to the prosthetic leg, there will still be pain from not only pressure wounds and sores, but think about the anatomy. The horse will not be able to use his body correct, which will most likely end up in heaps of lockings in their muscles. I don’t think any chiropractor would be able to correct that either.

Photo above: This is the photo that was roaming around, creating heated discussions.

Some may think that I am heartless for choosing to let my horse go to sleep instead of doing surgery, but think about the quality of their life. They will not be able to run with other horses, nor will they be able to buck out or roll around. These are basic things that horses enjoy doing almost every day, and taking that away from them, what life will they have? Exercise? Nope, forget it. Riding? Nada. I am not saying that a horse needs to be ridden to be happy, but no basic exercise or movement at all is not in a horse’s nature.

I do not condone “pasture puff” horses from the start, so having a horse who won’t be able to use his body at all without being restricted is not a life I would wish for anyone. I know it is heartbreaking to say goodbye to your best friend, but sometimes saying goodbye is the best thing to do, and the most humane.

I know there are a ton of people with other opinions, but at some forums it can go overboard. Today I was bashed for being a spoilt brat because I would rather let my horse go than to keep him alive in pain. Is this where we are at now? “My opinion is right and if you think otherwise, you are a spoilt brat”. This person also had to show being superior from 20 years of experience, which I to be honest, couldn’t care less about. It doesn’t take 20 years of experience to see that an animal is suffering. That, ladies and gentlemen, is basic humanity.

To end off this post, I know there are many mixed opinions on the subject, but as we say in Norway, “a dead horse doesn’t suffer”.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

 

Riding with your seat as aid

We have all heard of the term “riding with your seat”. Using your hips, leg aids and to distribute weight right. But what is really riding with your seat, and why is it so important to do it? We have all used our seat in riding at one point, even if you are conscious about it or not. Riding with your seat is to give signals to your horse using your seat and posture. Seat, leg aid, balance and weight. I am not an expert at this subject, but I will try my best to explain.

20161006-IMG_3350

Why is it so important for us to use our seats when we ride? It is simple to take the easy way out and only use the reins to control and give signals to your horse. But when you first teach yourself to ride with your seat, I can promise you, you won’t look back. In my own opinion, riding with less rein and more seat will increase communication and create harmony. I’m not says that bits and other aids are torture, but to be able to signal the horse without, or with less, use of reins/extra equipment is something that both you and your horse can take advantage from.

Communication is the number one most important part of riding. The signals you give your horse should be easy to understand and perceive without confusion. Riding with your seat can help you to create a horse who is more responsive and sensitive to the signals you give.

How do you ride with your seat? Riding with your seat is actually very straight forward. This is where pressure and release comes in. A horse shouldn’t need to be taught to be ridden with the seat, they do basically understand what we want if we are clear enough with the signals we make. Through hundreds of years of domestication, horses have learned to give away to pressure. So the result of putting pressure on one leg is for the horse to give and move in the direction you are pressuring to. And of course, how much a horse will give to the pressure comes back to each individual and how much practise is behind.

20161006-IMG_3298

Photo above: Here is a great example of riding with the seat. I am putting my leg on his left side, as well as closing and squeezing with my seat to the right. My left leg is open, giving direction as well as my whole upper body is pointing to the right. 

If I ride and want my horse to move right, what do I do? Well, it’s as easy as shifting my weight til the left and opening myself to the right rotating my upper body, I will also give pressure from my left leg aid. Halting a horse? Sit down, lean back, squeeze your buttocks together and say “whoa”. If you practice enough, stopping a horse without saying “whoa” will be a walk in the park.

Why should we avoid unnecessary rein use? Excess rein use can contribute in creating and irritated horse. It’s not abnormal to see angry horses going against the bit and almost screaming “stop pulling me in the mouth”. And as if that wasn’t enough, having “aid deaf” horses(as we say in Norway) is not such an uncommon thing anymore. This happens because the horses get “used” to all the jerking and pressure, making him almost immune to the aids. Some even go against the aids. Having an irritated horse who goes against the aids is something no one wants to end up with, and the only way to fix this, it to go back and change the root of the problem.

20161006-IMG_3408

Photo above: Baldur halting from a canter by using seat and voice.

But why can’t I just use my reins to move the horse? By teaching yourself to use your seat and posture as an aid instead of your hands, you can save both yourself and your horse. To hale and drag in the reins can become very tiring for the rider, and not least for the horse. Learning to move the whole horse instead of just turning it is also gold itself.

What you get out of using your seat more is better communication, flow and understanding. Cooperating is easier, and the horse will respond more for smaller signals. It’s easier to avoid an “aid deaf” horse. Extra equipment becomes more and more unnecessary. Is extra equipment a shortcut? Does it do more harm than good?

My personal experience is that I have seen many riders pull and jerk the reins in trying to get a result. I was once in this group of riders, but now that I have opened up to using my seat more, I have changed my views completely. I have realized that I can obtain the same, if not better, by using my seat more than I use my hands. I have noticed big changes in my horse. He is much more sensitive to pressure and responds more to less pressure. Being able to aid and direct a horse without a bridle says a lot about what is actually possible to do with these creatures as long as you have the perseverance to make it happen. It takes time, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run.

20161006-IMG_2491

And finally; what are your thoughts on the subject? Do you actively use your seat when you ride, or do you not think about it? Do you believe riding with the seat is a good aid?  

Summer eczema – our routines

Life with an Icelandic horse with summer eczema has it’s struggles. I have had three years of experimenting and trying products to make Baldur’s life with eczema a little better, and I thought I would show you all what our routines are for preventing itching and keeping his condition at bay. 

The number one thing I always have available(and stocked up) is Shapley’s M-T-G. This product has really helped us get through the summers, and for mane growth and itch prevention. When I started leasing Baldur, he barely had any many, most of his mane was gone, his forelock was thin and his tail was scratched. Compared to now, he looked awful, but we have slowly worked our way towards a long mane and a full forelock and tail. M-T-G has really done it’s job on Baldur. I use this product once a week when the conditions are good, but in worse condition, I will apply this daily or every other day.

20160630-IMG_4419

Ultra Shield is also a thing I keep in my locker. I do not spray him every day, but the days where the insects are at it’s worst, he does get a little shower of this bug repellent! It works great, but I am thinking of finding something stronger for next season.

20160630-IMG_4414

One of the most important things for Baldur’s summer is the eczema/fly rug. This keeps the insects from biting him in the covered areas. He does also go out with a full-coverage fly mask to prevent eye infections and bites to the cheeks.

20160630-IMG_442720160630-IMG_4428

Note that the rug has been fixed after this photo was taken, he has two different rugs so that it is easy to switch if one get’s ruined.

20160630-IMG_4436

As for applying M-T-G, I take a generous amount of product on his roots and rub it in. I apply it on the roots of his tail, mane and forelock.

20160630-IMG_4458

It’s also less greasy to use a brush, but I like to do both just to be sure everything is coated and massaged in.

20160630-IMG_446620160630-IMG_4478

I can with joy say that the last couple of years have been Baldur’s best years with summer eczema, and I do believe we have “won” over this pest. But I will continue the search for even better products to make the summers even more comfortable for my four-legged love.

Playing dress-up

I figured I would post the photos from this shoot we had late summer, before I decided to cut my hair short(BIG MISTAKE). The weather this day was actually quite perfect for photographing, the sun was up, but it was cloudy enough that the shadows would blend in a nice way. Talking photo-geek language!

And as the equestrian I am, I bought this dress, used it in this photoshoot, and it has been forgotten inside my closet ever since! So much for photos, am I right? I might be a little too excited about photos, but to me, quality is the number one on my priority list! My poor friends who get so much instructions, “do this, sit there, crawl here”, it’s weird they don’t get mad with me!

As a little update, I am thinking of digging inside my norwegian blog archive and translate my “golden posts” that received a lot of attention. I have planned to translate the blog I wrote about using your seat when riding, and also some other “opinion blogs”. Just so that I don’t bore you guys with only photoshoot blogs and updates.

I think it will be a nice way to “present” myself more to you, my readers, and let you know what I feel and think of about different topics.

IMG_0605IMG_0606IMG_0617IMG_0659IMG_0678IMG_0740IMG_0792IMG_0819IMG_0907IMG_0833