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.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.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.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.