New season

It is a new endurance season for Snowelf Racing! We made a good start by entering the 42 Novice GER at Cerne Abbas and cme 3rd in our class regarding Performance Formula. Which was a nice surprise! I was happy over the fact that we made it round the course in our 2022 debut!

Looking forward to the next ride – redoing Piddle this year and hopefully it will be our last novice class! Training is going well, and I’m confident we can manage our way around the 41 km Novice GER.

Amazing views on yhe Cerne Abbas ride 2022!

Baby friendly 1st year birthday cake, safari theme

For my daughter’s 2nd birthday cake (yes, I made one for her actual birthday, day 1!) I made a safari theme baby friendly cake, that has no added refined sugar and is dairy-free. I will update this post and add the recipe below shortly😊

Project 1. Comic book

I finally started project 1. It is an equestrian comic book, which I will produce and publish for Kindle. I’m hoping it’ll kickstart my renewed ambition as an artist and hopefully bring joy for anyone who reads it! My aim is 20 pages, I have illustrated 3 so only 17 to go! Sometimes, having a practical goal is great for getting a job started and done – no more no less. I have always loved illustrating and realised that maybe there is a nische here for me 🙂 Aiming to be done by the end of 2021! Wish me good luck! 😀

Canter transitions.

Jargo is doing progress with her canter changes, amazing what a French trotter can learn if you put the work in. Hoping to go jumping next Sunday at the Grange Equestrian, just baby jumps but still. Jargo did it so well last time, she had one down but she Did the course without looking at anything. Thinking she has never been ridden in an indoor arena before, that was great. So this time I hope we jump clear!

My tip with canter work is to do it methodically and slowly to work the horse’s balance. Especially with trotters who aren’t famous for having good canters (Rollo being the exception?!) I have been practising 3-5 steps of canter from walk, then back to walk. I focus on getting the transition right, with outer leg underneath before asking for canter, then as Jargo went in to it only asked for a few steps before letting her walk again. It has definitely gotten us more progress than cantering for ages in a circle “trying to get it right”. Her canter is not great as you can see in the video, but compared to how it was last year, it has improved tremendously. In the video we can now canter quite collected and change circles with a few trot steps inbetween lead changes. I’m very pleased, especially because Jargo understands what I want from her.

Hang in there, your trotters and pacers can do this too!

Canter transitions.

Resources to get started with natural horsemanship.

Okay, so I’m mostly self-taught when it comes to riding, horse care and natural horsemanship especially. I have scanned books, Youtube, asked my farriers over the years for hoof care advice, picked other trainer’s and friend’s brains – and I have gained an assortment of knowledge where I have chosen what advice to use and what wouldn’t work for me. I have rarely paid to go to a clinic or lesson with my horses. There are tonnes of horse trainers out there, doing their clinics and selling their books. And if you have the money, great, go for it. If you are more conservative and want to learn anyway but in your own time, I can recommend 2 books that I have found most useful out of the bunch I have come across over the years. Here goes:

Dancing with horses by K.F. Hempfling. I actually only got this book second hand after many years into my discovery of horse communication, what I made most use of was the FREE Youtube material on this guy’s channel. Don’t blame me, I was a poor student stubborn enough to own a horse!

So this is probably the most known guy in horse communication. I would say that while most other trainers are good at working with pressure-and-release methods to teach their horses to listen, obey, and become motivated, KFH actually gains immediate respect, compliance and happiness of the horse from just being a leader who use their own body language. Whenever I watch a video from some random trainer who goes “and find out the solution to this problem by paying for the rest of the video” I turn it off. Not saying their method doesn’t work but I’m not interested in listening to salespeople. I understand that they want to make a living but I’m for the open source approach, when it comes to software as well as everything else in life. Rememeber that information sharing is noble! Be noble or be a salesperson. So, KFH sure is an entrepeneur, but the amount of free material online is enough to become quite proficient in horse communication. At least I got from newbie to confident on this material only. This book brings up a large summary of situations and how to use your own body language respectively.

Essential Hoof Book by Susan Kauffman and Christine Cline. Horses were born without shoes and can definitely live without them in all environments suitable for horses. This book is very informative on hoof function, anatomy, common problems and diseases, and thoroughly explains the aspects of a healthy versus unhealthy hoof. I trim my horse’s hooves and a lot of my confidence comes from gaining information from various online/literature sources and farriers. A lot of what I have learnt is summarized in this book.

So there you go: 2 books to read when starting your natural horsemanship journey. Good luck!

Two books to get you started with natural horsemanship.

Cirencester inter regionals 2021!

So we did a Novice 40k GER at Cirencester on July 10th! It was awesome! A great experience for both me and Jargo, to go to such a large event and test ourselves in the wonderful Cotswolds landscape! We participated in the team competition as well, and I think we scored quite well and gained points for team South west 😊 It was amazing to do that on our 2nd ever endurance race! Jargonaut did so well, she behaved impeccably, both on the site and on the course itself, although she kept thinking we were finished at every check point when she saw a viz vest standing around! 😄 Next up is the Pegasus ride, this time a bit closer to home!

Plastic free – part 1: decisions.

I have plastic consumer anxiety. Honestly been thinking about this for most of the early hours of the morning and realising that I really need to do something about it. I don’t want to drink from a reusable plastic water bottle or store leftovers in tupperware anymore, for the fear of ingesting microplastics. I don’t want to wear everyday clothes that contain artificial non-degradable textiles, which pollutes the water with microplastiscs when I wash them. I don’t want to buy fruit or food in plastic wrapping, which I will discard and create waste from… And I don’t want to contribute to plastic consumption and pollution by using or buying more plastic single-use products. So here we go part 1 – phasing out what I can from my personal plastic use, the only exemptions will be clothes and things that I only wear very occasionally or things that I definitely feel will cause minor ingestion/pollution risk of microplastics.

To be continued with an update of what I will phase out…!

Piddle Ride

The Piddle Ride was our first ever competition in the UK! It was extremely hot and sunny, but we made it! Jargo behaved, she still has her silly moments now and then, but overall I’m quite pleased with her – the fact that she is a complete novice makes it easier to forgive her silly behaviour sometimes! 🤣 it was an ambitious outing and next I will plan things a bit diffefently, but it was also superfun to complete the ride! 🤗

Season premiere…

I’ve entered me and Jargo to a 35 km ride in June! Season’s first and actually my first real competition in the sport. It’ll be in Dorset and I’m really looking forward to it! There was also a 45 km one but I think a 35k is reasonable to start with. A 40k ride is very doable for any horse that is being hacked a couple of times a week, so I’m sure we will be able to go around it! There will be some river crossings but I’m not too concerned about that 😄 I’m really looking forward to it! Sadly there have been so many cancelled rides in the area and I need to start getting into the sport if I’m going to advance to Open level next year!

Jargo is ready.

from mediocre to unique