I was jumping for joy this past weekend, finally 8 1 tempi’s! During the week I managed to get 6 but this weekend I got 8. It couldn’t have happened on a better day. It was a brisk and sunny Saturday morning, we were all training outside for the first time this year and Anky had stepped in to grab a coffee. While she was gone, I continued to work and I thought to myself just go ahead and try… his canter felt great with a nice rhythm and straight… then BAM 8! When Anky came out I shouted to her and she laughed and said “I saw, I saw!”, we were both really happy. 8 is one step closer to 11 which is what I need for the future GP test then 15 for the normal GP. 

We have also been working on speed control within the pirouettes and passage. Now I am able to speed him up and slow him down without affecting the balance. Within both movements, the control is amazing and I can place him exactly where I want him without anything changing. It’s really a neat feeling when everything starts to click and come together. It feels like when you finally climbed to the top of the mountain and can start to slide down and enjoy it, that was what I felt I achieved in training this week.

Also this week, Sjef had Future Cup training for the Under 25 GP. I watched a few training sessions which were also very interesting. I love watching Sjef teach, he is so detailed orientated that you pick up so many little tricks. He really breaks down the tests, for example, he explained how to set your pirouettes on centre line or how to come out of the corner onto the diagonal and the right way. He really pays attention to every little detail and doesn’t miss a thing.  When you watch him point it out to other students it makes me say to my self “oh yeah,” remember to do this and this.

As well this week, the top farrier for all of Holland who shoes Anky’s horses was here and I had him look at Vitall’s feet. Vitall has two different feet, not drastic but enough that I wanted to make sure everything was ok.  He explained to me that horses usually have two different feet because of how they eat when they are foals. When they put one foot back and the other forward to reach the grass while they are developing, the different pressure on the legs creates different balances – when he explained it to me, it really made sense.  I spent a good hour with him learning about shoeing and different balances between different feet. I found it really interesting and he speaks perfect English so he just kept talking and educating me.

Next week I am going home for 10 days for a visit and to celebrate my birthday and Oslo is coming with me. I will make sure to do one more training update before I levae though.