Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Keep Your Head HIgh

Malena Lutz ja Valo. Kuvaaja Petra Lönnqvist, hestafoto.com

I used to be a very proud rider. Someone with a great seat and a soft yet strong gaze. Centered Riding pioneer Sally Amsterdamer talks a lot about the importance of our gaze and where we look. It is actually one of the cornerstones in her teachings. 

For the past years I have not only paid attention to where I look, but also how I wear my head and my body in general. Do I slump? Do I look at the horses neck or do I wear my gaze and my head high? Do I direct positive energy toward the horse or is my energy blocked? Am I supple yet strong? And the list goes on. 

It is easy to think about these things in theory but to really feel our bodies and our mind I think we  also need to work on ourselves when we are not on the horse. We should exercise in any form, do yoga, meditate and just take time to slow down before we enter that stable. 

I have not been a very proud rider lately and I think it really has nothing to do with the time I spend around horses. It is more about the fact that I have been tired and my energy has been low. And when my energy is low it is also hard to stay a very focused rider. I usually tell my own pupils that they can imagine being a very proud Indian riding without a saddle in the nature in full canter. That they are open in their upper bodies and that someone is pulling them up from the middle of the head toward the sky. I think all metaphors and portrayed images are great when we ride but if we don't really feel proud and energetic or good about ourselves it doesn't really work. It only works on the surface but the way we move and what we do in that moment is only temporary. 

So work on yourselves as much as you can. 

I promise that when you become more at ease with yourselves, you will also be more at ease with your horses (and the horse will be more at ease with you). And listen to yourself and to the horse. I think it all comes down to having fun and enjoying that ride. That we not only come with good energy to the stable but leave with even better. Don't let anyone put you down or tell you that they know better. It is your moment with the horse and it should be just that. 

I chose the picture of Malena Lutz and her horse Valo for this blogpost because I love the feeling in the picture. Valo is blind but has been leading Malena around in the Finnish forest for years now. It is a beautiful story of trust and commitment to each other. 

More similar posts can be found here
Also read how I found out that I really need to stop and work on myself

Monday, February 19, 2018

Yoga and Horses

Yoga and riding is the perfect combination. Can you spot my skewed hip? How much do you think that it affects my riding? Without yoga I would not have the same perception of my body and minds strengths and weaknesses. I am so grateful to have all this. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Winter Wonderland

 Beautiful Oittaa

The past week has been magical. Finland has been a real winter wonderland and we have mostly been out in the forest with Thor and Jack. The weather has been fantastic. It has not been too cold and there has been a lot of snow. We have also been out on the ice skiing with our friends and the past few days we have had the company of the sun that has been warming our faces out on the ice. 


Thor has been great to ride and he has been very patient with Jack. I am so proud of him taking such good care of little Jack and I am thanking him every time he acts so nicely with Jack running around his legs when we are out hacking. 

Yesterday Jack joined us out on the ice with the skies for the first time. It was so uncomfortable to wear the leash and the beginning was so difficult. Then I met an old couple who told me that they usually keep their dog free on the ice. So I decided to let Jack run around and so he did. He really seemed to enjoy himself to the fullest and even if he ran long distances he stayed very nicely close to me. He is slowly learning and even if I still am afraid of letting him loose I think that the only way to learn is to be able to run around as much as possible. 

This week is winter holiday from school in Finland and Ella is spending it with her father and their family in Thailand. So I will just work, ride, spend time with Jack, see friends, go our for dinners and go to as many yoga classes as possible. 

We also had time for a really nice dinner at restaurant Nokka yesterday.