Guest Blogger Filippa about her horse’s living arrangements, organising good training schedule and importance of having fun…

Hi! My part for this week will be a little bit about the environment and organising training schedules!

Drottningholm - Chinese Pavilion

Drottningholm – Chinese Pavilion (Photo credit: khoogheem)

My horse Bella lives in a stable on a large yard which is located on an island called Ekero in an area called Drottningholm.

The stables was an old farm originally and both they and the surroundings are really beautiful. There are about 30-40 horses stabled at he yard and Bella’s box is in the corner near the exit. She has a little window which is open in the spring and summer so that she can look out throughout the night if she wants to.

The whole yard is quite big and includes large grass paddocks. We have a long barn with indoor stables as well as an indoor and outdoor arenas.

Now you know a little about Bella’s living arrangements I will tell you about my everyday life as a horse owner. This chapter is about training schedules.

Every week I do a training schedule for Bella. I am writing down what Bella is going to do every day, why and how. The schedule exist to give Bella a versatile training because I believe versatile training is good for her health. I never want it to become boring for her. The schedule is also so that I can remember what has been done or what I need to do and for me to get an overview of the week.

I adapt the schedule to fit the particular week in a way that considers Bella’s needs and accommodates the days that we have practice as well as my own school schedule and my life in general. The latter is mostly because riding when you are, for example, stressed, never ends up a good workout for anybody. That is why the schedule is very important for me to.

I think versatile training is the most important thing for a happy and healthy horse. Bella loves to jump, and so do I but every rider needs dressage too in order to develop as a horse back rider.

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Filippa and Bella hacking out

I think that the most meaningful part for a happy horse and a happy rider is to have fun. To ride outside in the wood a few days instead of walking around in a tiny area of the indoor school. To canter across the green meadows. That is the most amazing feeling ever. Some riders forget to find that feeling sometimes, everything evolves around the important training sessions all the time. You get a motivated horse by having fun sometimes. Bella loves when we are out riding in the forest, sometime I combine the dressage practice and the outdoor practice. That way she has to work, but she thinks it is really fun at the same time. It´s really good for the horses health to be outside to, to breath fresh air and to walk on different surfaces. A healthy horse is a happy horse.

Here’s an example of a weekly schedule for Bella:

Monday– That’s her resting day. Her day off. Mum goes on a walk outside with her. I know that they have such a great time together, I believe this is Bella’s favourite day.

Tuesday– We have show jumping training. It´s usually strenuous but really fun to jump. My show jumping trainer is great, he knows Bella very well because he was the owner of her when she came to Sweden from Denmark as a six year old. We often jump courses or different lines.

Wednesday– Wednesday is Bella’s calm day. She gets to trot in a long form to relax and to walk for a long time. It´s to prevent lactic acid build up in the muscles after Tuesdays hard work.

Thursday– Is our dressage practice day. My trainer is herself a competition dressage rider. It is useful practice. Right now we are training mostly lateral work.

Friday– I practice her ability to listen to me. Poles and cavaletti. I make a little course and combine show jumping and dressage. An example is that she is going to take her self over the poles, then jump over the small cavaletti, then halt and then step back and then go forward into canter and so on.

Saturday– We ride out in the forest to have fun. Right now its hard beacuse the ground in Sweden is frozen and snowed over. So you have to be careful beacuse it is slippery. However, I make sure that she comes out in the wood at least once a week.

Sunday– Sunday is the ”my choice day”. Sometimes the riding session is about the things that didn’t go so well earlier in the week. Sometimes it’s outdoor riding. That’s my choice.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Lo and I will be back next week, otherwise you can reed our Swedish blog at boella.horseworld.se, where we update every day!

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