We won!

I guess it’s pretty clear in the title, and yesterday’s competition was perfect. If we look away from the awful weather, that is!

I was actually thinking of eliminating myself because I was feeling very sick. I had been up since 5 in the morning with stomach ache and cold sweat, and I was so out of strength. But I had to at least try to get myself up and to the competition area and see. After eating breakfast and drinking more water, my body and me were getting more and more along.

I am so glad that I decided to go, as we had an amazing day! We did not only break one personal record, but we broke two! In the tölt class(T3) we ended at a total score of 5,5. The ground was rock solid like pavement because of the cold weather, but Baldur didn’t mind. We ended up at a third place with a blue ribbon in that class!

Later the same day, we had our second class, the four gaited class(V2). Since it was after noon and the weather was much milder, the rock solid ground had turned into a muddy disaster! Not only that, but it was snowing like crazy! The weather Gods weren’t on our side. But again, Baldur didn’t mind, and he happily performed! We ended up with crushing our old record and getting a total score of 5,63! We are getting closer and closer to the big 6! And as the title says: we won.

When I found out that we won the V2 class, I literally cried. My friend and competition, Madeleine, had to hug it out with me and calm me down. It has been half a year since Baldur was diagnosed with cancer, and I was sure that I was never going in the ring with Baldur again. So I have to say that it feels like we can do anything from this point on.

I am so happy, and Baldur was such a great companion! His ears pricked and he was always looking for treats and cuddles. He is a true champion to me.

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A big thanks to Camilla Bastiansen for the two first photos, and Anne Kirketeig for the rest! You can find her photography page here!

Painted dream horse on the loose

The snow is slowly melting away, and with the melting snow comes the grey grass and mud. Another stage before we finally get spring. But we have managed to get a few more photos in the Norwegian snow!

We let the horses run loose on in the outside riding arena, and they had quite a bit of fun! From rolling, eating snow and chasing each other at full speed. The weather was once again on our side, and the photos speak for themselves!

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Bitless and bridleless

It has been a lot of focus on working the tölt for the competition lately. And since we had such a great experience at the competition, Baldur has had a little break from the hard training. It’s important to give the horse variation in training, so that he won’t get bored or lose interest. 

I’ve tried to be a bit spontaneous lately, which has resulted in some nice hacks, bridleless work and some trick traning! Baldur has been very relaxed lately, and I think that has to do with the temperatures rising. But it’s quite nice to have a calm, steady horse(apart from when he spooks, though)!

We rode bitless and bridleless, but with a saddle this day. I can’t lie, Baldur is horrible to ride bareback. His trot is almost impossible to sit down to, so I safed it by choosing my sturdy saddle. We haven’t done much bridleless work lately, but Baldur still remembers it. He behaved like a gentleman and gave me such a good feeling. It was pure joy to ride, and that is exactly what I strive for in my riding and horsemanship.

Although I don’t ask much of him in collection, we like to work on the basics like turning, moving the front end and moving the hind end. One of the things we work most at is actually the “stop”. It is an essential thing to have when riding with less gear. So I try to make the stop a fun and rewarding exercise. It has helped in many situations where I for example lose balance and need a quick break.

However, we can’t get too dreamy just yet! There is another competition coming up in just two weeks! So we will hopefully be ready by then to show everyone what we can do!

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Photo above: Baldur trying to be a dressage horse perhaps? Sadly no activity in the back!

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Photo above: This is more like what I want. Relaxed top line.

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Photo above: When something is spooky and your horse forgets how to horse. His legs came to half the length!

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Photo above: No hands, no problem!

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Photo above: My absolute favorite picture!

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Photo above: You can see how loose my girth is! I think Baldur does blow in air to make himself fat when I tighten the girth. But the saddle stays!

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AEG Shopping Haul

I finally get to show you what I bought while I was at AEG! It wasn’t much in quantity, but in quality rather! I earned quite a bit of money on selling the photos I took at the competition, and I actually managed to afford the pants I’ve been drooling over for the past few years! I was hoping to be able to earn money so that it could almost “discount” the pants, but I actually made enough to buy three pairs(I only bought one pair though)!


Under this paragraph you can see a photo of my new pants. I had to go up two sizes because they are so small in their sizing! These are the Top Reiter “Pocket” Softshell riding pants, and the price is at 2479,- NOK, or roughly $320 USD. I have never tried on better riding pants than these. And riding in them is on a whole other level! They are absolutely amazing riding pants and also my new favorite pair. It felt weird to have so expensive riding pants in the stable.

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The next item on the list is also from Top Reiter! I was actually not looking for a new girth, as I already have an OK girth from before. But I was of course in a shopping mode and I couldn’t resist getting this wide, Easing-Girth. It is meant to evenly distribute the pressure around the girth area so that the ride is more comfortable for the horse. And you all know that I do anything to make my horse feel like a king. The cost of this girth was 1449,- NOK, about $190 USD, a little pricy this one too! Picture below!

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Next up is something that I have been wanting for a while(since I bought the Icelandic Harmony shanked bit for competing). It is a Hrimnir Cavession, a high noseband. It has really soft leather and fit Baldur like a dream! It’s also the same brand as the neck piece I already had(with the similar browband as in the photo below). The price on this noseband wasn’t too bad, at 549,- NOK, around $70 USD.

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I wasn’t planning on buying a new bit, but I have been kind of in love with the bits from Hrimnir for a while. The detail is gorgeous! They had them on AEG for 1099,- NOK($140 USD), but I was lucky enough that my friend Anneli was selling hers in the right size for half the price! It’s good to have some variation in the bits, so now I have the double jointed Hrimnir as well as my straight eggbut bits.

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It was about time to get Baldur a new stable halter for “regular” use around the barn and such. I mean, I haven’t bought him a regular halter since I first bought him two years ago. I fell in love with this tan and marine halter from B Vertigo, and there was no doubt when I purchased this one! It fit Baldur perfectly! It was on 50% sale as well, so it only cost me 180,- NOK, approximately $20 USD!

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And lastly, I couldn’t resist picking some treats for Baldur. There was a Lexa stand where they sold treats. You’d pay around 80,- NOK($10 USD) for a bucket, and you could fill it as full as you possible could, as long as you could get the lid on. Surprise, surprise, I filled the bucket so full that the lid had a curve in it. But hey, it stayed on! Getting the most out of my money on this one! The flavors from left to right are: Carrots & beets, pineapple, multi mix and mint!

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I do believe these are all very necessary items! I have also began feeding Baldur with EQmach again, as well as I just got in a new supplement called MSM. It actually contains a lot of sulfuric acid that is hopefully going to help Baldur on his summer eczema. But anyhow, what do you think of my little haul? 

Treatments and Witanor

It’s nothing new that I am doing the treatments of Baldur alone, but yesterday we got to document it as well. This is the second time I have done treatment on Baldur, and it’s not looking too bad. 

I found one of the spots on the darker skin that I thought I might as well put some treatment on, as they look like the papillomas. Better to be treated than not, I guess? I had a veterinarian come out to drug him with Plegicil to let him drop, and I did the rest myself. It’s easier for me this way. Being able to look closely by myself(I have been through this too many times and know exactly how it’s supposed to look), and treat him alone is also the cheapest option.

The veterinarian has sent in an application to get a prescription on Plegicil gel, so that I can try to drug him myself again. Since the regular sedative gel(Domosedan) didn’t work well enough on him, I have to try to get Plegicil. The thing is that it’s not prescribed to just anyone, so I hope I get it. It would make everything much easier and not least cheaper.

I am still thinking back at how well Baldur has been and is handling the treatments. I was told by my regular veterinarian that the horses who are treated can get tired, loose spark and have big wounds in the area of treatments. Baldur has done impeccable and he has shown no sign of change in behavior, and he is as energetic as always. I think a lot of this is thanks to the supplement I have fed Baldur on for the last 3 years. It’s called Witanor Horse, and it is enzymes and probiotics. The wounds from the chemo treatments heal so fast.

Not only does it help with keeping the lactic acid at bay, but it has done wonders on Baldur. He used to be so hyper before and run off in a bolt any time he seemed fit. But I think Witanor helps to keep him sane and “down to earth”. And of course, it helps a lot on his summer eczema. Less itching and more mane and tail growth! I should also mention that ever since I started Baldur on this supplement, he has never had a bad stomach. His muck is always nice and firm(I know horse people love to inspect poop). He doesn’t even get travel stomach, nor does he react to sudden change of feed.

Have you heard about Witanor? And would you try it if you had the chance? I know that a lot of Norwegians swear by this supplement(as do I). I know that it is being sold world wide as well! You can check out their website here, by the way!

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Photo above: Can you see the huge papilloma-like spot?

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Photo above: Another small papilloma(at the tip of my middle finger).

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Photo above: My little man after the treatment was done! I am so glad to have such a kind horse. Standing still with no argument while being treated. 

A surprising comeback

I am back from this years first competition, and I can say with no doubt in my heart that my horse is my life force. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and he makes my world a much brighter place.

Ever since Baldur got the cancer diagnosis, I was sure that this was it for us. No more hard work, no more long hacks, and definitely no more competitions. Baldur has been a literal hero(definition: someone who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities). I have so much gratitude towards this horse, and I will never be able to give back what he has given to me through these years.

Today was supposed to be a competition we entered just to get back into showing, to get pinpoints on how to get better, and to see where we stand. I was of course hoping to get a placement, but it was definitely nothing in my expectations. We actually managed to get over 5 in score at the tölt program(T3 senior)! 5,10 to be exact. We won a green ribbon for 5th place! Last competition, where I thought we did amazing, we got 4,83 in tölt, but Baldur has really showed improvement even though we have been struggling these past months with the whole cancer deal.

When I was warming up for the second class, one of the competition staff came over to tell me that one of the judges really liked the way I rode Baldur. They thought the way I rode Baldur was nice. That was such a nice thing to hear, that they appreciated the way I ride him. It really gave me a confidence boost!

In the four gaits(V2 senior) Baldur also did great! We actually managed to get the trot right as well as he did not bolt in the canter. We got a score of 5,37 and were placed in seventh place. I was so happy when we were done that I couldn’t stop smiling and gaping like a fool. I felt like the happiest person on earth, and I think Baldur understood it, because he was also so pleased and happy! Today has been a milestone, and I hope this is one in many that we get to experience together!

We got some great scores in V2! 6 for fast tölt and 6,5 for trot! I also have to add that is was extremely cold today. It was thankfully sunny most of the day, and that helped a lot for riding in between -10 and -20 celsius!

Maja come with me to the competition and took some amazing photos of us. Camilla also helped with some filming, and the video will be posted in a couple of days when I get time to sit down and edit it.

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Doing treatments alone

It’s been a while since I last talked about cancer, and the reason for that is that there has been a couple complications. First related to Baldur not willing to drop while using Domosedan gel(oral sedative), and secondly when I did not get the right sedatives intravenously from a veterinarian.

After taking Baldur to Oslo for the specialist to look at him, we were put on a plan to wash Baldur every week, twice a month with sedatives so that I could give him a thorough wash. To cut it short, the oral sedatives did not do the job. I tried two times, once before AEG and one right after. It did not do the work. My regular veterinarian just had her baby, so I had a new vet come in. I instructed that I needed the one type of sedative(Plegicil, it makes them drop easier), and that I would be able to handle it by myself.

That did not go to plan as the veterinarian did not bring the sedatives I specified, drugged him with another sedative, and Baldur did not drop. It was a bit chaotic after that and I panicked hard, as this is a very touchy subject. I talked with my regular veterinarian, and she could recommend me another one to come and sedate Baldur. Thankfully she came and brought the right sedatives, so I could wash him properly and inspect him!

There were sadly three new papillomas, but I was able to put on some of the chemo treatment, and I am hoping they are gone till next time I get him sedated. It was such a relief that it wasn’t any worse, since it had after all gone over a month since we were in Oslo. We were two weeks over due, so you can probably understand my panic.

Other than that, I “look forward” to washing him every week, that a great way to bond. Haha. In two weeks we will hopefully be entering the Mjøscup 1, one of two competitions in the cup at Biri Travbane. I am really excited to see how it goes, and of course to see how we are doing so far, judging and all.

I forgot to bring my fancy camera, so I only got phone photos for you this time!

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Photo above: Having had vets in and out for the last half year, I have built up quite a nice box of medical supplies.

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Photo above: Baldur drugged and ready to go!

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Photo above: Two of the new papillomas I discovered.

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Photo above: Finished with applying the chemo treatment by myself, am I a veterinarian soon or what?

Freezing cold at full speed

It’s been a while since we have let the boys run outside, so it was about time to let them loose! Baldur has been tricky to bring inside lately, hence the reason for his halter being on. Just so that I could catch him again after they were done running. Wouldn’t risk him not willing to come back inside and freezing to death!

It was a lot of fun and the horses kept running and running. They were really pleased with the situation, and happy to go on and play! They actually came back to us when they were “done” and we gave them lots of love and treats.

I am actually very impressed with how short Baldur’s coat still is. It’s almost three months since he was clipped, and I think it’s going to hold until spring when the summer coat comes creeping in! I think the new stable is hotter at night, so they are not at cold as they used to, very nice!

Back to the release of the Iceys, they had a blast, and the sun was shining in a nice way making it perfect photo conditions. I just had to capture the moments, and I believe the photos turned out good!

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Moving forward and working out

I can easily say that I am glad we are having a “break” with all the cancer drama. It’s not gone, but it’s not now, do you feel me? The specialist is not worried, which makes it a heck of a lot easier on my behalf. I am finally starting to stress a little less and I can focus on the good stuff.

So today(this was a few days ago, but I wrote it at the same time day I posted this blog post) we got to try the new bit I bought! I was looking at a specific bit from Skoies that has an anatomic double jointed mouth piece. I was literally drooling just looking at it, but it is on the expensive side. So it was pure luck that I saw an ad that was just posted by a woman who was selling hers in the size I was looking for! It was never used and she sold it for half the price – a steal! I had no doubt when I told her I’d take it. A couple days later, it came in the mail!

Moving on to today, we finally got to try it out! It has a little bit longer shanks than the one we tried, but it fits him perfectly! It couldn’t have fit him better, as quoted by Madeleine who helped me fit it! Baldur was literally a dream to ride today. We have only been hacking for over a week, and he was fit for fight! He had so much willpower and energy, he was fantastic!

We will be riding for an instructor hopefully next week and then keeping it at a regular basis. We haven’t ridden for an instructor in half a year, so I think it’s about time!

I am looking forward to developing myself and Baldur even further this year, who knows how far we can reach? I am not going to stop trying, my motivation is back!

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Photo above: There is definitely no lack in hind end action!

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Photo above: Something that we have to work on is the slow tölt. I need to get him to sit more on his hind end and really work!

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Photo above: Tölting on loose reins – no problems! Maybe we will enter T2 one day? T2 is a  tölt class where the focus is on riding without contact on the reins!

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Photo above: One of my favorites! Fabulous hair and fabulous form!

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Arctic Gaits at AEG

I’ve been working at Arctic Equestrian Games since friday now, so I am on my 6th day of working for the press! So far it has been a lot of fun. It’s very tiring, but it’s definitely worth it!

On saturday and sunday, the Icelandic Horses entered the arena. I was of course in my right element. I had asked prior to the event that I could cover everything connected to the fluffy ponies, and I got my wish granted. I covered the four gaits and five gaits qualifications and the clinic with Stian Pedersen on saturday, as well as the finals in four gaits and five gaits on sunday.

I wanted to share some goodies with you from the four gaits and five gaits, both the qualification classes and the finals from sunday! The horses and riders performed like champions, and I love how they so elegantly represented the gaited breeds.

I will be staying one more day at AEG, and hopefully I will be back to my own gaited horse by friday. I have done a little bit of shopping as well, with the money I have earned so far and I am looking forward to share it with you!

As for now I hope you will enjoy the photos I got under the gaited shows. Have you been at a gaited show before?

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Photo above: Mona Tysland Lillehagen on her horse Hlekkur fra Løvik. They won the finals of five gaits.

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Photo above: I don’t think it’s possible to get a serious photo of Stian, he happily poses for the camera!

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Photo above: Mane and forelock on point! There is no lack of hair flying in the win in these classes!

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Photo above: Stian Pedersen(who gave me a lesson here) on his horse Bylur fra Breidholti.

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Photo above: I have till now witnessed a ton of awards ceremonies though out my stay at the Arctic Equestrian Games, and I have not yet to see anything more calm than the Icelandic horses. These ponies are definitely a solid kind.

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Photo above: Agnes Helga Helgadóttir on Sigur fra Jakobsgården who took the first place in four gaits. 

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Photo above: Yet another prideful pony! This is Christina Lund riding Salmur fra Ytra-Skördugili. Did you know he is Baldur’s cousin?

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Photo above and under: Christina Lund got the same score as Agnes, but the judges had to make a second evaliation, placing Christina Lund and Salmur fra  Ytra-Skördugili in second.

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Photo above: Another great equipage, Gabrielle Severinsen on Tigull fra Kleiva.

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Photo above: Hallvard Kjøllmoen Steien on Sökkul fra Dalbæ.

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Photo above: And of course we cannot forget Caroline Gleditsch Holstad riding Jökull fra Svalbarðseyri. Caroline has also given me a few lessons, and she will be helping me more in the future!

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