Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stallion Show

This weekend I went to the Danish Warmblood Stallion Keuring with Sarah and Morten.  It was very interesting and we saw a variety of horses.  When we first arrived we saw 3 year old stallions shown in hand and running loose.  My favorite part was when Carl Hester test rode a group of 16 young horses and gave his opinion on each one.  Instead of pushing each horse to see how he could improve them, he wanted to feel what they naturally offered.  He assessed their natural adjustability, elasticity, and straightness.  He also looked for a horse with a good natural balance and willingness to work.  Carl then gave each horse a score on their rideablilty and potential.  

The stallions show was held at the same venue as the European Championships, which I attended in August.  It was a huge event with almost as many vendors as Equine Affaire/ Equitana.  We saw a little of the Danish/ Nordic championship for farriers, which was going on at the same time.  There were also some riding classes, including an exhibition Grand Prix.  I am lucky I get to attend these big events while I am over here, it is very exciting to get off the farm and experience as much as I can.  

My ticket to the Stallion Keuring.  
The arena set up for the horses to go loose. 
The arena set up for under saddle judging. 
My favorite Danish candies.  You can only get such a variety at the shows!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter

I have returned to Denmark after my first visit home, which feels so strange!  It seems as if I have two different worlds, and it is hard to switch between them.  The winter here has been warm (in comparison to the winters I've experienced in New England), wet, dark, and filled with riding! It rains everyday, but has only been below freezing for about a week total.  The hardest part for me was the lack of daylight (never mind sunlight!), as it was getting light at 9am and dark at 3pm.  However, I am excited to report the sun is slowly returning and it feels like spring.  I'm not sure yet if another round of winter is coming, but for now I am enjoying a break from the darkness!

Even though I have been stuck riding in the indoor arena for months, the horses are doing really well and keep me motivated and happy.  I have been riding on my own a lot, which has given me the chance to continue learning to think for myself and challenge myself when no one is there to push me.  I am enjoying the three 6 year olds a great deal, and after a winter of hard work they are all ready for third level.  The plan is to do the FEI 6 year old classes with them when we start to compete in April.  It is so satisfying to be part of their education and see so much progress.  With the activity of summer in sight, I am getting even more excited to go to some shows and reap the benefits of their progress.

My trip home was wonderful, which made it a bit hard to come back to Denmark!  Thanks to technology, I forget how far away America really is.  It is all great experience though, and in the end I will be stronger from it.  Now that I am settled back into the routine here things are easy and feel "normal" again!  Upon returning to Denmark, my boyfriend Magnus and I were invited to see The Flying Dutchman, an opera in Copenhagen.  It was unlike anything I have seen before.  The Opera house was beautiful and the singing was... intense!  Maybe I will audition for their next tour ;)

 Spring already?
 Such a good cuddle buddy.
On the way home for a visit, flying over Canada.
 Reunited with Freya, the best school horse in the world! She is 29 years old now :) 
 I had to visit Pam's farm while I was home, even though she is in Florida.
 A little painting project for my vacation.  First time I've painted in 5 years!
 
 The inside of the Copenhagen opera house.
 Experiencing some European culture... ready to see The Flying Dutchman! 
Magnus and I ready for the opera, dressing up is rare for both of us. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I am still alive!

Apologies for my lack of communication, but things have been very busy and time continues to FLY by! It feels like 3 days ago that my parents left to go home, and only a few months since I first came over.  When I was looking through my photos for this post, I was horrified at how long it has been since my last update... but I was equally as shocked at how few photos I took!  My goal is to pick up the pace with the photos again. It is getting harder because the sun rises at 7:30am and sets at 6:30pm and it is only October! It has been raining a lot as well, but there are some beautiful fall days disguised in between :) 

The horses are doing great and I continue to ride and learn a lot.  I have a show soon with two 5 year olds and I am eager to get back in the show ring!  It is really exciting to be a part of their education.  Will update on the show soon!  

 5k road race with Kathryn and Victoria (Morten's daughter) 
 Made American pancakes to go with the NH Maple Syrup I requested :) 
 Typical week here!
 Mushroom picking in the forest. 
 Sunrise.
 Show arena in Ikast. 
Another new friend.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Part 2 of Family visit!

Here are the photos of the non horse activities from my family's visit.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to travel a bit and see Europe while I am here.  I hope to plan more small excursions on my days off.  For now, it's back to work!  The horses are doing well, although it is already getting chilly and the hours of daylight are dwindling.  I love the cool temperatures, but I'm worried about the fact that there will only be 7 or 8 hours of daylight everyday.  Denmark is far from Florida :) 

Advertising for the European Eventing Championships on the walking streets in Sweden.
Ocean looking across to Denmark.
Cool architecture in Sweden.  
Stumbled upon the XC course from the Championships! 
Copenhagen market. 
Found some horses, can't be away for too long.
Window reflection.
The pretty canal in Copenhagen.
 Nice to see blue skies!
 Artsy photo of an art exhibit.  
Toured the Carlsberg Brewery with Dad.
Number 2: 
http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/
Pretty street. 
Street art.
More street art in progress. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Part 1 of Family visit!

I had a great visit with my family!  During the week, we traveled to local towns to look around and then ended their stay with a weekend in Copenhagen.  I will post photos of our non equine activities in the next post.  It was sad to see them go, but things at the barn are getting busier so there isn't much time to dwell.  

I was lucky enough to watch 3 days of competition at the European Championships in Herning.  As amazing as it was to watch the finished product from the grand stands, I had an equally great time watching the warm up.  It is interesting to see how the top riders access their horses gears.  It is also quite exciting to watch the grooms and pit crews in action.  The whole venue and atmosphere of the championships was infectious!! 

 View going into the arena.
 View from our seats for the Grand Prix. 

 Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro warming up.
 Ed Gal and Undercover getting ready to go in the arena.
 Watching the warm-up in person and the competition on a big screen.  I'm spoiled!
 Charlotte's crew moves in.
 Last minute words. 
 Like the outfit of the Dutch grooms!
 So awesome.  Teammates!
 Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill heading to the arena.  

 Playing with the babies.  
 Bob on the prowl! 
 Dino and I. 
Tyson.