Månadsarkiv: maj 2016

Among stars, lizzards and strong men

Time for a report on my every day life here in Sunny Paradise.

The stars are obviously the wonderful horses that I have the great fortune to work with! The lizzard is my neighbour, called Karl-Oskar, named after a Toy Story toy that I loved when I was little.

It´s still a bit unreal not to be cold for someone who is used to cherish every single sunbeam, who dresses with an electrical heat vest six months a year and who normally has to rinse the horses legs from clay when fetching them from  the paddock.


Mud free turnout

However our days start with pulling the rugs off,  nights are still not that warm. Emma and I prepare the first horses for Mette and Anna and then I brush off and saddle up the horse that I´m to start with.

Every single day I have my riding supervised by Mette and I dare say that I have improved my legs and also my seat, which is of course the foundation of the aids. Everyone who is in a developing process knows that when one thing starts working, another falls a bit behind, so the big focus right now is on my hands.


Valenzo and I

When all morning work is done, there are a few minutes for some cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. You can´t eat a lot when it´s up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) in the shade….

The afternoons are spent grooming, tacking and giving lessons. My lovely student JoAnne really understands what a Swede away from home needs! The other day she gave me a gift card at Starbucks! So sweet!

The last chores of the day include the Night Check, when I make sure that all horses are all right, put on the night rugs and fill up the water buckets.

As you notice we don’t muck or pack hay in blue IKEA bags to feed the horses, all that hard work is done by strong men (like I think is the case in many more countries except for Sweden). It’s a blessing to be able to save your physical strength to the actual ridning. One more concept that I really like about horse life here in the US!

It’s been a bit of a challenge for me to get used to a way of working that is dependant on the heat. We do have to get most of the riding done before it’s too hot out in the ring, which consequently means that we brush and saddle with some haste and do the proper grooming later on, in the afternoon. Having spent three years at Flyinge, where you do definitley not attend a training session unless the horse shines like crystal and get shouted at if there is a straw in the tail, I have needed some time to adjust to become a little quicker in the mornings. The horses here do also get very, very well groomed, but after the riding. We don’t rinse them off if it isn’t clearly needed, because of the drought in California.


Acilla and I

It’s Monday morning here, and since Mondays are our day off, I’m going to take my little car and drive away on a new adventure. Last Monday I was i Malibu, today I’m probably going to the ”Topanga Days”, some kind of hippie/flower power festival in the Canyon.


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A real challenge, but so amazing!

Today is the 23 rd Birthday of my beautiful BFF! Aristokrat Pan, nicknamed ”Nalle” (similar to ”Teddy” in Swedish), the most charming, gentle, funny, stubborn horse I have ever met…

Går med Nalle

Foto Credits: Ulrika Fåhraeus

Amiral 764 – Kew Gardens** – Flamingo 481
chestnut 1.68 m born 1993
Swedish Warmblood

The two of us met already in 2008, when we were both 15, but at that point I didn´t have the skills to manage such a talented and at the same time really strong and quite difficult horse.  A year later we decided to give it a shot and started off on our roller coaster journey towards the Swedish Junior Championships.

Nalle busar Nalle capriole
Every other day I sat in the corner of the dressage ring and cried and begged for ”a horse with breaks”, and the other day we excelled at training with 12 one-tempis.  ”Nalle” has an incredible temperament – he is relaxed, kind and cuddly in the barn, then goes out to the dressage ring with 110% energy.

Nalle och jag var 7:a i finalen 2010

Swedish Junior Championships at National Equestrian Center Strömsholm 2010. Photo Credits: Roland Thunholm

Together we have competed up t o f S class, Intermediate I. In 2010 we competed really successfully with many ribbons in M-classes. In the Junior Championships we placed as 7th. Even in 2011, we went for the JSM, but unfortunately Nalle stumbled badly in the qualifying session and we missed  the finals by 0,027%.

Mia med Gardenia och Nalle på Elmia 1993

Baby ”Nalle” with mum Gardenia at the national breeder´s fair Elmia in 1993.

”Nalle” was born at Stud Petter Pan, bred by Mia Holmberg. He was one of Sweden’s highest assessed stallions in his age group, shown by renowned Flyinge rider Susanne Gielen, with 8-9-8-9, at the age of 4.

In fall 2011, after our debut at Elite Prix S:t Georges, I decided that it was time to let this amazing horse retire, efter 14 successful years at the dressage tour. Nowadays he lives a very pleasant life as a senior citizen , with breeder Anja Andersson in Strängnäs. He’s so well taken care off; Anja rides him in the woods and every now and then he gets to do some dressage movements, just for fun.

Nalle and his tiny friend Acke

One of his task is to supervise and teach the 1- and 2-year olds some proper manners,  but most of the time he fools around in the pasture with the Mini Shetland pony Acke.


Bombay, watercolor by Kerstin André

My very dear Mentor Kerstin André gave me an incredible gift when I finished my apprenticeship at Stall André – a beautiful painting of her lifetime champion Bombay – with the hopes that I would once find a horse like that…

I know that I have already met the superstar of my life! Please share our Joy Ride:

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Such a brilliant concept!

I’d like to describe a brilliant concept, which is commonly used in the US, but is quite rare in Sweden.


I was really happy and proud to find out that one of the tasks Mette had assigned to me already from the first week here at Mill Creek was an ”Equipage of my own”.

The lovely mare in question is in full training with Mette Rosencrantz Dressage in the truest sense.

Minimum once a week I ride her and work her through properly. Except for the rest day, her owner rides the other days, always under my supervision. In practice this means that I ride the first 10-15 minutes of the session, feel the current status, trim her a little and perhaps shows some from the horseback. Like a mini-clinic for her owner,  five days a week :)

Then I sit off and we continue our session with training in the usual way . This is so clever !

What advantages! Of course, not for free, but what a fantastic return on the training of both horse and rider. Maybe even a cost saving in the long run… A horse ridden regularly by professionals could probably reduce the cost of veterinary care when it comes to, for example, wear and tear due to unevenness etc. And also, little flaws are hopefully detected early, when the horse is seen by an  experienced eye on a daily basis, and can be taken care of before they might turn into damage .

Moreover, it is extremely rewarding for me as both a rider and C- coach aspirant to have been given the opportunity to practice the combination in this wise way.

Below, Sunday Dinner with the team :)


Team Mette: Cory, Mette, Anna. Me, Sarahbell, Kajsa with Dooley, and Emma

Finally, I do have to share some touristic pics as well:


On the beach in the evening. Not too much sun for a pale Viking

Universal Studios with Kajsa, Emma and Drew

Universal Studios with Kajsa, Emma and Drew

More Universal

More Universal

Hollywood/Dolby Theater!

Hollywood/outside Dolby Theatre!

And of course the Walk of Fame

And of course the Walk of Fame

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What about some one-tempis?

Finally some photographic evidence of me on the horse back in Topanga. I’m just so lucky to have daily training sessions with Mette, mainly with Valenzo.
He is not just the ”Class Clown” , but offers both piaffe , passage and a bunch of one tempis.
The other day we did the Prix S:t Georges program and soon we´ll step up to Intermediate I.


Valenzo 1

I´m sorry that I’m a bit slow on updating the blog, but please join me on loidressage on Facebook and also on Instagram for more frequent news from my sweaty, hardworking and absolutely lovely life in California!

Those of you who already do follow loidressage on Facebook have probably seen this pic – a little bit of jumping during a dressage session last week. We like variation :)

Valenzo hopp

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California is amazing!

Så är jag på plats på Mill Creek Equestrian Center i Sunny California!

Resan hit gick strålande. Vi landade 45 min före tid, sen tog det en stund att komma igenom Customs och Agriculture, men inte så lång tid som jag trodde. Och jag fick tag i alla 3 väskorna, såg bara två först så blev lite orolig. Jag lyckades sedan hålla mig vaken till halv nio lokal tid, alltså halv 6 måndag morgon hemma i Sverige.

Vältajmat nog råkade jag anlända lagom till veckans lediga dag, så efter några timmars sömn åkte jag och nya kollegorna Kajsa och Emma in till Beverly Hills där en av stallets hästägare bjöd oss på lunch och sightseeing. En promenad med oss längs Rodeo Drive och alla butiker, Prada, Burberry, Balenciaga, Versace, Tiffanys, Dior, LV, you name it!


Sen åkte vi hem och bytte om till bikini och klänning, och så körde vi hem till Emma och la oss i solstolar vid poolen. Ingen ansträngande första dag med andra ord, vilket var väldigt skönt!

Alla är supertrevliga, stallet är jättefint, solen skiner och det är inte ett dugg synd om mig!

Första ”jobbdagen” i LA hann jag sitta på fem hästar, allihopa supertrevliga! All ridning var på förmiddagen, sedan blir det för varmt. (Okej, det var för varmt även på förmiddagen!) Jag har inte hunnit fota så mycket, men ungefär såhär ser miljön ut!

Återkommer snarast med mer rapporter :)

Imorgon ska jag bland annat hålla min första amerikanska dressyrlektion, ska bli otroligt kul!




Valenzo – ”Stallets clown”



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Nu kan ni läsa hela examensarbetet om kandar!

Jag har nu publicerat hela mitt Examensarbete från Beridarprogrammet här på min webbplats. Det ligger under rubriken Final Paper, ovan.

Än så länge är studien tillgänglig på svenska. Det finns dock en inledande sammanfattning på engelska.

En helt engelsk version är på gång senare under maj.

Exframsida m DC

Självklart är jag glad om ni delar med er, men uppge alltid källa! Tack :)

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