Letting go of the reins!

I know it has been a very dry period when it comes to blogging. Not much has happened, and I am pretty much working every day with exams or at my job. The summer has finally come to Norway, and everything is green and warm, I love it!

Baldur had about three weeks off due to some back issues, so he had a couple of sessions with an equine masseuse. His body has improved alot in the short time, and I was able to ride him once before the next competition! You got it right, I rode him just once before riding at the competition. Since his muscles have not faded and his energy level has been on top, I decided a small competition will not hurt.

Himmelspretten, as it is called, is a very casualy competition where all kinds of equipages, from beginners to experiences. A perfect time opportunity to try something new! So I entered us in the class called T4. T4 is the same at the other tölt class, just that the last task is tölt on loose reins! I have always wanted to try this with Baldur, but I never dared to enter, because I have been expecting him to go crazy and just bolt off if I let go of the reins.

We haven’t really been practising riding tölt on loose reins either, it’s just been this thing that we do from time to time. To my surprise, Baldur did amazing! He was so stable, and he kept the tölt for over three rounds! Tölting Baldur on loose reins can be tricky, as he tends to fall over to trot if you don’t work him. So I had to constantly keep working and working him so that he wouldn’t transition to a trot. And it worked! In addidion, at the last competition, his weight boots broke. So this time we tried without weights, and he did great!

In T4 we ended up with a total score of 5,0 and first place! In V2(four gait) we ended up with a total score of 5,33 and 11th place!

IMG_9279IMG_9329IMG_9366IMG_9380IMG_9399IMG_9482

Photo above: After the first class, T4, we had about three hours until our next class. So we used the time wisely, walking around the competition area and getting him exposed to different things!

IMG_9595IMG_9623IMG_9644IMG_9652IMG_9660

Photo above: One of my favotite photos from trot! He is actually uphill here!

IMG_9667IMG_9709IMG_9741IMG_9754

Photo above: Photo from the fast tölt!

IMG_9767IMG_9774

Photo above: He looks so content!

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.

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC30227098_10160179522805557_520860609655341056_o30412555_10160179524060557_3638747660980060160_n30414979_10160179524010557_2455421438639734784_o30440978_10160179524050557_2789086560123879424_o

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

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.

IMG_4116IMG_4177IMG_4192IMG_4201IMG_4214IMG_4248IMG_4261IMG_6037IMG_6077IMG_6093IMG_6122IMG_6138IMG_6154IMG_6157IMG_6158IMG_6162IMG_6168IMG_6183IMG_6190IMG_6195

Above all expectations at Biri

I have to start off this post by admitting that I am quite speechless. Baldur really had me shook today, he kept surprising me over and over again! He was an absolute gentleman, and he performed like never before!

In the light of today’s competition at Biri Travbane, I also have to mention that today, October 1st, marks our second year anniversary. Exactly two years ago, I signed the contract for my amazing horse. Days like today make med look back at that moment and I know I did the right thing.

I was honestly expecting the worst today, as we have literally not been in the sand arena more than once in three months. The only training and working out we have done, has been on trails and hacks. This also proves that there can never be too many hacks! Baldur has been in great shape for a long time now, but since I never had access to ride in the sand arena, I have been anxious about how he would perform. But man did he surprise me today!

IMG_6044

My alarm was set to 6AM and at 6:30AM, me and Maja were picked up to head to the stables. I got all the tack and equipment ready, and then I groomed Baldur and put on his transport protection. At about 9AM, we arrived at the showgrounds. I was first in class, and the class was set to start at 10AM. I was really nervous, but the workout we had for Caroline Gleditsch Holstad a couple days before helped me keep calm.

Baldur felt really good at warm-up, and he was great in the arena! He was a little strong in T3(tölt class), but he had just the right amount of energy to handle. He collected nicely and had probably the best slow tölt he has ever had(with me at least). And he did great at the fast tölt as well, so he gave me a really good feeling. We ended up with a total grade of 4,83 which placed us at 2nd in the first class!

IMG_6149

In the second class, which was V2(four gaits), he also did great! We had a very slow trot(I tried to push him forward, but he was happily ignoring me at trotting on like I didn’t exist), but he still delivered! The tölt again was fabulous, so nothing more to say about that! His canter was a little so-and-so. He was a little feisty, so I had to hold him back quite a bit, and at one point he tried to bolt. I managed to get contact with him again just in time for the fast tölt!

Despite the two mishaps, we ended up breaking our old record! So our total grade in four gaits was 5,43, and I couldn’t be more satisfied! And guess what? This meant another 2nd place ribbon for us! I am extremely excited, as we have never come so far to actually get 2nd place ribbons, so getting two at one competition really exceeded my expectations!

Of course, Maja came with me as mental and physical support, as well as being the photographer! I am forever grateful to her for always being there for me. So I have to say that today was a perfect day. I am more than happy and it brought me so much joy to see and feel that Baldur was happy too.

IMG_6170IMG_6439IMG_6482IMG_6502IMG_6531IMG_6564IMG_6580