Guest Blogger Filippa shares a few words on her latest intensive training with Emma Emanuelsson

Last week I was a part of a very special training for two days. The trainer is a well known Swedish rider called Emma Emanuelsson. It was so much fun and I learned a lot!

FilippaSwedenWe did not jump so much on the first day and focused on flatwork instead. The training consisted mostly of tempo changes in different forms. One of the exercises was trot and canter work between two poles on the ground. Bella did very well in the warm up and in the dressage practice. She was very happy and alert, just like I want her to be.

It went well when we started jumping too. There were two small obstacles on a circle, an obstacle on one of the long sides, two poles in the middle and six obstacles on the other side. All ending with an oxer.

Emma’s training was quite different to my own so it was a new exciting experience to train with her methods.
Bella was very tired after the first day of training probably because we have never ridden that long or so intense before.

The second day the warming-up was not as long as on the first day. Bella felt a bit tired, she was not as alert as on the first day.  She did not have the same energy as on day one. The jumping was not as good either. The jumping course was a lot like a course you might see on a regular competition in show jumping. It consisted of twelve obstacles, with a combination of two obstacles and a lot of oxers. There was also an obstacle that I don’t know the word for in English for, but I am going  to try to explain it. It consists of three single obstacles in line, all together and quite intense for us to jump.

At the end of day two Bella was very tired. She did her best. She has never been on that kind of two-day showjump training before. It was very high and very long. Even I was exhausted. We both celebrated that we made it with a shower and extra meal portions!

 All the best,


Guest Blogger Filippa about end of holidays and Bella’s paddock dynamics


Hi! I have had a wonderful vacation. I never wanted it to be over. School starts on Wednesday again so no more sleepy mornings. Everything, especially my daily schedule, will go back to normal again.

Now it is 2014. Another year with Bella. I am looking forward to it and hope that 2014 is going to be great year! (but it is going to be hard to beat 2013).

This week a new pony moved into Bella’s stables. The new pony is going to spend his days in the same outdoor paddock/pasture as Bella. The paddock that Bella uses during daytime is quite big. It is a forest-paddock shared by 3 ponies: Bella and her two friends who are both geldings. Bella is the only mare, which is unusual. The new pony was released in the paddock and it did not want to fight or cause any trouble. Some ponies try to compete for the first place with the leading horse to decide who should be the top-dog in the herd. The one who is deciding is the leader, the horse who is highest in rank. The new one seems to be very friendly.

In Bella’s paddock, one of the geldings is the leader. It was her who used to be the leader before that gelding came but now it is him who is in charge. The new pony did not seem to argue with current status and because of that all the others where nice to him. He found his place quickly in the herd. Lowest rank.
The geldings are often very interested in the mares. They seek their attention. In Bella’s paddock, everyone wants to be with her. She is the only mare and she loves the situation!
The new pony started to stand close to her wanting her to notice him. She is a very nice girl, very happy, kind and very self-assured. The more nervous horses often calm down in her presence. However, when the new pony came a little too close to her, the leading gelding chased him away as if saying that Bella was his girlfriend. He is the highest in rank and he should get the most attention.
Bella is always standing very close to him and when she leaves the paddock he always becomes very unhappy. After a while the new pony came sneaking back again. This time he stayed at a distance from Bella. A wise choice. They quickly all found their place and rank and seems to be very satisfied with the situation.
Hope you liked today’s little catch up. For more, written by me and Lo, visit
See you next week!

Guest Blogger Lo about her New Year’s Dressage Training Break in Portugal


Trying to escape the Swedish winter with complete darkness after 3pm and lasting until 9 am, the cold as well as muddy paddocks, we went to Portugal!


We have been here, or more precisely in Hippikos near Braga, for the last week. Hippikos is the equestrian centre where I got to know Wiola two years ago.

[This is exactly so! I met Lo while working at Hippikos. She was this little skinny girl who rode one of the very sensitive but strong mares beautifully even back then 🙂  She also did a great job of the exercises I gave her on the gym ball! Below is a bonus photo of Lo, myself and one of the best dogs in the world – Pinta! just about a year ago during New Year week 2012/2013. Wiola]


For me it’s the absolute paradise with wonderful Lusitano stallions, great instructors and the very best Pinta. I come here as often as I possibly can: four times in 2012 but only twice in 2013 as I now have my own horse and don’t really have the time. My dream would be to bring Boy here and stay for a whole summer. That would be absolutely amazing.

I have been riding four horses this week: Aortico, Zebruno, Vista Alegre and Vento de Levante. They are all stallions and wonderful dressage horses. Even though it’s possible to have both dressage and jumping lessons I focus on dressage while I’m here as I feel that I learn more and the jumping horses can be a bit fresh, at least in the winter when the weather is cooler.

Dressage is also what I enjoy most and what Boy and I compete in. The horses here are also so well educated that I can practice movements that one does not usually do on ponies, at least not in Sweden: passage, piaffe, Spanish walk etc.

Talking about the weather it has been less than good this week, as it’s been raining almost constantly. Yesterday it got even worse as there was a thunderstorm during our lessons. I thought my horse would freak out with the lightning and rain that was louder than the instructor. Fortunately everything went well and I didn’t fall off.

Bye, see you soon!


Pinta – a very special Jack Russell Terrier

Guest Blogger Filippa about Bella’s health scare and investigating hay quality

Hi! This is the third week that Lo and I are writing on this website. It is so much fun and I’m glad that we got the chance.

This week we have had a few issues with Bella. For a part of the autumn she has been a bit unlike herself. She has been tired and unmotivated periodically. One day when I came to take care of her, she was bleeding from her nose. At first I was not sure if it was nose-bleed from illness or if she had just hurt herself and was bleeding from a scar.

Filippa and Bella

But it turned out that Bella was bleeding through her nose from inside. At first I was very scared, it´s never fun when your horse is bleeding anywhere. We quickly called the nearest veterinary. The Vet came to examine Bella trying to find out what was wrong. A horse with ordinary flu does usually have fever but Bella didn’t. The same day my Mum found some mould in Bella´s hay. Some of the hay-bales smelled like old mushrooms. However, most of the hay-bales that where mouldy where at the back of the stack. The vet took some blood, for tests, from Bella, with hopes of finding out what could be wrong. The tests showed that Bella had had an allergic reaction to mould in the hay. Even if all of the bales was not mouldy, the spores had spread throughout them all. Bella rested for 2 weeks and later quickly became fully recovered!


However, in the beginning of this week Bella was coughing and had a higher temperature than normal. Some of our hay bales were affected again. Bella  developed an allergy against mould. Now we are trying another kind of hay for her to eat, silage. It has higher water content than hay and it’s generally easier for hay to get mouldy than for silage . I hope that she will not have to rest for a full two weeks like the first time she reacted.

It is Christmas break from school right now for me. It’s great to have and I will spend my vacation with Bella. We are going to have so much fun. Lo and I will be back next week. Otherwise we update daily on

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!


Spores under microscope…Source:

If you too have hay quality issue I highly recommend having a look at HayGain hay steamers:


Related articles: 

Do not feed mouldy hay to horses

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.

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.

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

Guest Blogger Lo about getting ready to dress up and being judged by Gustav Svalling!


This is my first real post here so I am really exited and I hope you will like it! At this time of the year it is almost impossible to ride outdoor, because it is so cold that the ground freezes and then it gets very slippery. It is also difficult on weekdays as when I get out of school at three o’clock  it’s already dark.

So right now I train indoors almost every day but when I have the chance I try to ride outdoors because Boy thinks it is much more fun. As I wrote in my presentation I am a dressage rider who jumps once a week because Boy really enjoys it.

Lo and Boy outdoors

This and last week I have been training dressage together with a friend. It is because on Saturday there will be a special club event at my stable. We are riding a program together that we both have competed in this fall. It is going to be really funny because everyone has to dress up. Then your costume gets judged! Your riding will also get judged as in a normal dressage competition, in this case it is going to be done by Gustaf Svalling, the highest qualified dressage judge in Sweden. Everyone at my stable is going to take part, from riders who have never competed before till Grand Prix riders. So it is really a mix of riders at different levels which is fun!

This week all dressage training is preparation for Saturday. I jumped yesterday and it was very fun. We trained on having different number of strides between two jumps, without using the rains. It was a really good but difficult exercise because the horses got really exited and you had to trust that they listen to your every move.

Continue reading Guest Blogger Lo about getting ready to dress up and being judged by Gustav Svalling!

Meet new Guest Bloggers! From Sweden: Lo with Uptown Boy and Filippa with Risdalens Bella

Dear Readers,

Please meet two lovely girls who will share their horsey lives in Sweden with us on here. I believe it’s wonderful to be able to have an insight into equestrian life in various countries as well as share the spirit of improvement and yearning for better communication with our horses.  I hope you’ll enjoy the ups and downs of two very determined young city girls as they fit horses into their lives!

Over to Lo and Filippa:


We are two girls, Lo and Filippa, who are blogging together. We are 14 and 15 years old and come from Stockholm, Sweden. You will get a more personal presentation of us both now so you get to know us and our horses. We think it´s really fun and a great opportunity for us to guest blog here! We will add a post every week from now on! Hope you like it!


Lo and Boy

My name is Lo and I am 14 years old. I am rather ambitious and know what I want and I do what it takes to get me there, but I am also a very happy girl who just likes to chill whith her friends.

I started riding almost nine years ago, so I’ve been riding as long as I can remember. I was riding at a horse back school 2-3 times a week and thought it wasn’t enough. I was mostly interested in dressage because I thought and still think that jumping is a bit scary. So when we started looking into buying a horse we looked after a real dressage horse that could jump a little, but it was in dressage I wanted to develop my skills.

Almost precisely one year ago I became the owner of my dream horse! It was amazing and sometimes it still feels unbelievable that he is my very own horse! His full name is Uptown Boy but I always call him Boy. He is a twelve-years-old dressage horse who with his last owner competed up till FEI level. Boy is a Swedish riding pony and precisely 148 cm.

Lo and Boy

When I was riding him for the first time I knew from the very first moment that he was the perfect horse for me. He is well schooled, not afraid of much but with a lot of energy and a will to work. The only bad thing about him is that he sometimes has too much attitude. When he doesn’t want to do something he can stop and kick. But that is the only bad thing, so otherwise he is perfect.

I train twice a week with my dressage trainer and I try to jump once every week because Boy really likes it.

My goal in riding for next year is to qualify at national level and to be able to compete next fall. But the most important is off course just to have fun!


Filippa and Bella

Hello! My name is Filippa! I am 15 years old and live in an area called Malarhojden. I am a very happy but focused girl, if I have a target or a goal, nothing can stop me from getting there. I am also very competitive. Lo and I usually write our blog in Swedish, so writing in English is kind of a new thing for me. I hope I’m doing well.

I started horse back riding when I was about 7 years old. Before then I thought that horses where quite big and scary. I started riding at a riding school called Sundby Ridning club. I took lessons in both dressage and showjumping. I also competed, mostly in showjumping. When I was younger, I thought showjumping was way more fun.

At the riding school, there were only ponies and I went riding 3-4 times a week for 7 years. Last year, in February I got my first own pony. It felt unbelievable. A dream come true. My horse lives 30 minutes by car from me. Otherwise I take the subway, and then a train, and the subway again and then a bus to get to the stable, it takes an hour. It’s very hard to find an available place at a stable in Stockholm.

Continue reading Meet new Guest Bloggers! From Sweden: Lo with Uptown Boy and Filippa with Risdalens Bella