Jens Fredricson stands out

The visionary. Developer. Equerry. Top rider. Peder Fredricson’s big brother. Uhip went to Löberöd in the southern part of Sweden to ask our new team rider Jens Fredricson some questions. He gave us an inspiring lecture in response.

It’s safe to say that life is very busy for the Fredricson family. Jens combines his profession as an equerry at Flyinge and Strömsholm (two of the biggest horse centres in Sweden) with his own competing. His wife, Isabelle is a veterinarian at Flyinge and has a solid horse background as a high-level showjumper. Together they have their kids Filippa and George.

Isabelle and Jens Fredricson
Isabelle and Jens Fredricson

- We run our own horse business and our professions at Flyinge and Strömsholm, half and half. When we don’t have any competitions, we work five to seven days a week at Flyinge. But if we had to go away Thursday to Monday for competing, it’d be fine. I believe it’s better to charge for 50 hours and work 100 hours. There is a freedom in doing it that way, Jens says.

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His tactic - to stand out

He’s very passionate about Swedish equestrian sports. If it is true what they say, that there are two kinds of leadership – managing and developing – Jens definitely belongs to the one driven by development and listens to the future. With his experience and knowledge, he tries to quality safe the business at Flyinge and Strömsholm. It’s in Jens Fredricson’s DNA to be brave enough to stand out. To make demands and set high goals is obvious to quality safe Swedish equestrian sport and move it in the right direction.

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- I’m interested in developing Swedish equestrian sports. If we don’t educate good trainers, young horse trainers and riders we’re going to have autodidactic educators with a poor view on horses, horse care and short-term solutions controlled by the economy. There have to be some requirements on horse-welfare and to see to the horse best interests, he says.

The 30-year old who couldn’t ride

Let us go back in time, 23 years ago to be exact.. We found Jens Fredricson, a 30-year old man who already back then was a skilled equestrian who had completed both the European Championship’s and the World Cup finals. But there is something that is not quite right, Jens discovers something dramatic.

I realised I couldn’t ride. I saw others in the industry and discovered there was something wrong with my horses. They didn’t have enough muscles and carried themselves as other horses. I had ridden for trainers all over the world but no one took hold of it. I couldn’t either answer any questions about riding, I just did it, Jens Fredricson tells us.
He meets major Anders Lindgren for the first time, a legend within the equestrian sports, a 75-year old wheelchair-carrying man who recently got home from the U.S. They meet up and Jens rides three horses for him while Lindgren studies him critically.

I asked him what he thought. Anders answered: ‘’Well Jens, this is bad. I don’t even know where to begin’’. He was the first one to see the basics in my riding and that they weren't right. I had some talent, braveness and good horsemanship, but I was lacking in the art of riding.

Jens Fredricson in Uhip 2nd Layer Hybrid Jacket
Jens Fredricson in Uhip 2nd Layer Hybrid Jacket

Since then, both of the Fredricson’s brothers has studied the art of riding to develop their horse riding. Jens proudly shows the literary work ‘’Hästlära’’, written in 1836. Peder Fredricson, mostly famous for being Jens talented little brother has further widened his knowledge within other areas. That is what has been taking him to the world ranking.

- Peder knows just as much within the art of riding as I do, but he has unlike me learned a lot about management and target focusing. He was the first one to walk the paddock at show jumping competitions with a pen and paper. People used to laugh at him for doing that, but not anymore. Today, half of the showjumping elite take notes, Peder was the pioneer.

Isabelle and Jens Fredricson in Uhip stable pants
Isabelle and Jens Fredricson in Uhip stable pants

Compared to Peder, you have chosen to partly do high-level competing and partly be trainer and developer. How do you handle it?

Good question. When I’ve had a really good horse, I’ve asked sponsors and horse owners if we could make an investment. I went off duty from Strömsholm before the Olympics 2012 and did eight months only focusing on the sport. It went well; I won some Grand Prix and took a place in the Olympic-team.

 

Would you be interested in getting back to ride against the best riders?

I would. I’m not interested in getting into the world ranking but I want to ride five-star competitions and championships. I got an amazing horse right now, we won the two first GP-competitions this year and the confidence is good. But since the Coronavirus came, it has all been on hold.

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Isabelle Fredricson
Jens Fredricson
Jens Fredricson

Preparation is key for Emelie Brolin

Ask a question about preparation, and Emelie Brolin gets a sparkle in her eye.

– I start preparing for a competition at least a month in advance, says the experienced elite rider in dressage.

Never leaves anything to chance

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For Emelie Brolin, there are not seven, but eight sins of death. The eighth reads: To leave something to chance, not to strive for total control over what you can control. And when it comes to competing, Emelie Brolin has the power over everything.

– Everyone is good at different things. One of the things I'm good at is preparing for a competition. I have been competing since I was six years old, and I rode my first championship as a 12- year-old. When you have been competing for as long as I have, you work out different strategies for what makes you perform the best, and then do you what works best for you.

This weekend she'll take on another big arena

The upcoming main event this week is the Gothenburg Horse Show. There, Emelie Brolin will compete with her young mare Tesla, one of Emelie's latest acquisitions. As it is one of Tesla's first major competitions, Emelie believes it is more important that her horse adapts to the surroundings. This means less focus on results and more focus on giving Tesla a comfortable first experience GHS.

– It is about setting the goals for the individual. I want to go to Gothenburg and give the horse a good experience for the future. That means I will not stretch the bow as much as I do when I want to get the best results possible. Therefore, the training in the past month has been about focusing entirely on safety and confidence.

For competing, Scandinavium is also a very special arena, right?

– Yes, it is both a fantastic and tough arena because the crowd is so close, which is stressful for many horses. I want my horses to ride many times in those types of venues in the future so it is up to me they feel comfortable.

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A competition is planned in every detail

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You say you start preparing for a competition at least a month in advance. How does the preparation begin?

– Things like knowing where my jacket and helmets are being placed are important to me. I usually plan very well with lists and schedules. My packing list is very long, and I try to pack the same things every time. The same mascots, the same kind of unique white riding pants, specific protection for the horse when I warm up. You could talk about lucky mascots and lucky equipment and maybe call me superstitious, but for me, it is about something else. The fact that I always use the same things when packing makes me comfortable and get me the feeling of a competition that went very well to the next. I also write down in detail what the horse and I should do until the start, and since I am such a planner, I also start to mentally prepare myself.

Have you ever failed in your preparation?

– No, but it is interesting when the routines disrupt. It happened last fall when I was competing in Jönköping and felt it was hard not to sleep in the horse truck. I wouldn't say I like staying in hotels when competing. I met a mental coach and brought it up with him. He said: "Emelie, you train for the Olympics because, at the Olympics, you never live where the horse is." Now maybe I will never ride the Olympics, but it was still a funny parable, how he turned something I thought was a pain into something positive. It is essential to train yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable because one day you will come to a competition where you do not know things.

Five quick questions

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Your best training tip?

– Continuity. Regular training.

Your goals for 2020?

– I will invest a lot on my younger horses and try to compete them at some of the big competitions.

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You can frame one single memory from 2019 and make a painting of it. Which one do you choose?

– There are a lot of fun things, but I think that's when I made it to the final in Flyinge with our Ramble On, who finished nine. It felt huge as a rider to show excellent performance in that type of arena during competition.

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The world's best TV series?

– Suits.

Your favorite item from Uhip?

– Hybrid Jacket Iontex Edition. I use it all the time. I always wear it and never take it off.

The real dream of an own riding school

The journey goes along sand roads far out in the Småland terrain, but suddenly it's there.
The small riding school.
Jenny Johnson's biggest dream is fulfilled, and almost 90 equestrians come for lessons every week.

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From the beginning, there was only a residential building, an old barn, and a bus garage on Myrtorpet in Urasa, three miles south of Vaxjö. Today there are stables, a machinery hall, a paddock, and nice horse pens. Almost three years ago, Jenny Johnsson was taking a step towards her dream.

– I started my riding school in the summer of 2017 after maternity leave. For a long time, I had a dream about my pony riding school. I had previously been working at a riding school, and I felt that I wanted to do it my way, explains Jenny.

And now, she is doing it her way.

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My life is fantastic!

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If Myrtorpet had been a riding club, Jenny would have been its chairman, secretary, treasurer, and head coach, all in one. She gets considerable help from her husband Anders, especially now that their little son Titus, three months, requires a lot of Jenny's time.

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But she doesn't complain.

– My life is fantastic! It's' wonderful to be able to wake up, look out and see the stable, feed the horses, and talk to them. As a child, I dreamed of my horse, and now I have ten own ponies and two competition horses. I could never have believed that, says Jenny.

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Is it enough time for you doing something on your own?

– I treat myself by going to my coach at Oland at least once a month. It's my own time, so I use it for charging my mental batteries by exercising. Above that, it is always lovely to get out early in the morning or late evening and cuddle with my horses or go for a ride.

Busy days

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We guess you must have plenty to do, from early morning to late at night. Is the tempo high?

– It is. I have pretty busy days, and some people get surprised when they see that I sent them an e-mail at half-past two at night. At that time, I send invoices or reply to a submit request; it's the way to go for business. It is nice to have control over everything yourself and, at the same time, difficult to be free. But I get lots of help from many girls who line up and relieve. Anders is my sounding board; I want to go, and he pulls the brake. Sometimes it can feel a little frustrating, but it is a nice combo, says Jenny with a smile.

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The small riding school has quickly gained popularity

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The groups practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and special activities are organized at regular intervals.

During one week, Jenny has almost 90 mountings with students between the ages of two and 14.

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, and right now, there is no room for more. Training groups are occupied; over 30 children are on a waiting list.

Jenny is living her dream.
– Running my riding school is the only thing I do, and it's great to be able to do it every day.

 

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The idea is that a young child should come here, start riding, and feel that it is fun to train and learn how to live with animals.

I hope it creates an interest in taking the next step a few years later and maybe start competing on one of my ponies. It would have been fun to have a student who goes all the way to the Swedish championships one day.

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What kind of training do the youngest get, the children who are only a few years old?

– We're riding without stirrups, work out balance, playing games like imitating aircraft, trees, helicopters, and safaris, with helmet covers that represent sharks and crocodiles. I continuously try to find new pedagogy for toddlers and look at how they do in other places and also how preschools work to get children to collaborate and grow. The important thing is that the children should feel that they are seen, that I am there for them and told that they had done something right.

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Since Jenny is a dressage rider, most training consists of dressage, even if jumping elements are present. During the long days, especially during a wet winter like this year, it is essential to put on the right set of clothes. Uhip's collection fit perfectly into Jenny's riding school day.

– I like Uhip's clothes, they have useful features and are perfect as layer-on-layer clothes. I use the hand warmers very often, either when I ride in snow or rain or when I train and do lessons. Then it is helpful to pull down the warmers over the mittens. Many students have seen me in both skirts, jackets, and coats.

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How do you combine a skirt, jacket, and coat?

– I start with a thinner layer that still keeps riding if I need to take off a garment. When I'm standing on the ground, I put on my coat and fold the hood down when it blows. Last week we had snow here, and I had four hours of lessons. Then I had Ice Jacket, skirt, pulled down hand warmers, and Muckboots on my feet.

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Stable Pants is your latest item from Uhip. What do you think?

– Very nice! The pants are very elastic and feel like riding pants. I live in riding pants for twelve hours a day, and these felt very comfortable, pleasant, and compliant. I may not be able to carry a full dressage pass in them, but they work fine if I want to show some practice details during the lessons.

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Under the helmet of Eva

You might know Shilas (yes, he has his own Instagram page @shilasthehaflinger welcome to follow!) But you might miss out Eva's story and we believe it’s fascinating! And there no one to tell it better than she is, so lets us introduce you Eva Roemaat and welcome her to the Uhip team 🙂

My name is Eva Roemaat.
I am a 27-year-old horse trainer based in the Netherlands. I have lived here all my life and even though winters here are not as bad as Scandinavia, Uhip is still a welcome addition to my wardrobe - I'll tell you more about that later.

I am the proud owner of four horses: Haflinger Shilas, shetland Flip, black forest horse Rede and Lusitano stallion Que-Habil. And to think we started with just one horse... oops!

My passion is working with horses from the ground, in the saddle and mostly focused on trick training and natural dressage. I hear you thinking; what exactly is that last subject you mentioned? Trick training? Natural Dressage?

Well... It is teaching your horse to frame himself like you would see with dressage, only without any tack. So pure understanding and collaboration with no extra aid used! It is truly amazing! I have been doing this since I was 15, so, that is quite a long time looking back at it. My horses enjoy it, I enjoy it, what more should I ask for?

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So, I share my home with my horses. Yes, our horses literally live IN our house. How, you might ask? Well, the stables are connected to my parents’ bedroom, it is all in the same building, and my living room (I live upstairs) is right above my horses. It's crazy, but I can just hear them eating when I am doing my computer work. When I am not out giving lessons, I am enjoying spending my time here in the little paradise I call home.

Now, summer is all fun and games. But when autumn and winter kick in... Listen, I might not live in Scandinavia and I might not have a right to talk about 'a cold day', but temperatures sure can drop here! (at least, I think so). And that is where Uhip comes in.

I feel warm and cozy all day outdoors with temperature below 0!!! That instantly tells you how insanely warm the products are.

And besides the fact that jackets, coats, skirts and so on are really, really warm and comfortable, they are also beautiful to look at.

Honestly, usually, when I wear a longer (trench)coat I look like a pole: no shape, nothing feminine about that. Just practical.

But Uhip managed to combine all the things you need in a winter-coat: It is warm, fashionable, comfortable and you have many options to choose from! And I am not even talking about the range of colors... You have to check it yourself!

To recap my story:
I am beyond happy to be working together with Uhip. I am being kept warm whilst playing and working with my horses. And, looking fancy as I do it. Which is, well... Kind of unique for us horse girls? Usually being covered in mud, straw, hay - but even then Uhip keeps looking fabulous!

Jump Club at its best

Are you a fan of show jumping or ready to start your jumping lessons?
We are very proud to present riders from Jump Club and their success stories and
asked them how their journey started.

Joel Torstensson
Joel Torstensson

Joel Torstensson

1. How did it start with horses and competition for you?
I grew up in a horse family. My mom and dad have competed in jumping. They put me on the horse when I was two, and I have been riding since then. I started competing on B-pony when I was five.

2. What is your relationship with the Jump Club?
I've been riding for Jump Club for three years. We have high cohesion, and I have several of my friends in the club. We are not only seen in competition but are heard and keep in touch even otherwise.

3. Tell us about your biggest dream in the future?
My goal is to take a medal at the Olympics!

4. What is your favorite horse? Tell us a little about it.
My favorite horse is Joker Ek, and he is six years old and magical! I have a big hopes for him in the future.

Hugo Wihlmark
Hugo Wihlmark

Hugo Wihlmark

1. How did it start with horses and competition for you?
It started with my sister and her pony that it was just about to be sold. As it was very sad, I asked my parents what if I will start to ride? And so it all started. It was a Tuesday. And my first jump training was on Thursday, and I get the license on Friday and competed for the first time on the weekend. I fell off and broke my nose, haha ... but it does not stop me and keep riding since then.

2. What is your relationship with the Jump Club?
I rode for Jump Club several years ago when I competed with a pony. Lotta Björe has always been my mentor, and also my coach for several years. Then I have been away and worked away for a few years but have continued to have Lotta as my mentor. Last autumn she called me and asked if I wanted to come back to Jumping Club. I have all my friends on the races, several of them riding for Jumping Club just like me.

3. Tell us about your biggest dream in the future?
My dream is to be able to live on the horses. I don't have to be the best, but I want to do this and be able to live well on it.

4. What is your favorite horse? Tell us a little about it.
My favorite horse is Chamie RTG. Perhaps it is not always the horse that is the most fun to ride at home, but it is my best horse that I have the greatest success with. It is a mare, and she has to do a little as she wants, but she has a heart of gold and is amazing!

Jennie Juhlin Lundström
Jennie Juhlin Lundström

Jennie Juhlin Lundström

1. How did it start with horses and competition for you?
I grew up in a horse family. My mom, grandmother, and grandfather all had horses. So I have horses around me all my life! And I have been riding since I was a kid, and I have competed in all categories.

2. What is your relationship with the Jump Club?
This is my first year in the Jump Club. I switched to Jump Club because my relatives Carro and Peter Lundström have taken over Rekasta and have also joined the Jump Club. I also have Lotta Björe as a mentor and have trained with her for many years.

3. Tell us about your biggest dream in the future?
My biggest dream is to ride the big championships abroad.

4. What is your favorite horse? Tell us a little about it.
You should not favor horses, but I still have to say that the favorite horse is Beyoncoe. It's my best horse right now. She is stubborn with a lot of energy, just like myself..haha, so we fit very well together. We have climbed the classes together.

Day at the stable with Helen Langehanenberg

What is the perfect day at the stable for you?

We had our perfect stable day with Helen Langehaneneberg, and learned that no matter how high you are in the FEI ranking, and no matter if your horse is number one in the world, the perfect day for every equestrian is about patience, love and understanding.

The love for our horses.

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It started early in the morning with cuddles and Damsey sharing an apple, and then a full day of training, coaching students, and even sharing a cup of tea in the riding house, watching the horses.

So here is some advice on how to be a good rider?

Take your time to get to know your horse, set goals that are right for you, have lots of patience and enjoy your stable time!

Uhips functional and comfortable collection will help you concentrate on doing your main thing - riding!

Have a good ride!

 

And check Helen's choice for inspiration.

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Under the helmet on Cecilie

Hi

Martina at Uhip got in touch with me, and asked if I could write a few words about my experience with their clothing. What a treat! That’s what horsey people are all about. Helping each other out.

Before I discovered Uhip, I went for items designed for mountain skiing, as items with a hood that fits over a helmet, is a must have. I have tried most brands under the sun. The problem is, they are not made to last. Not for professional use, anyway. So, set out to find equestrian clothing. Finding clothing that actually works is time consuming and very expensive.

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Starting with a riding skirt, since I am fed up with my really big, lumpy, slippery snowboard pants. Kept feeding Google until I got a match. The lady commenting on Uhip's skirt was impressed with the number of details that had gone into making a functional, warm, easy to use, good quality, warm, really warm, riding skirt, that worked just as well around the yard as on board a horse.

She mentioned the color, the brand, Uhip, so it was quite easy to find uhipwear.com.

I was still skeptical, but the description of the items seemed genuine, so decided to give it a go. Thanks to DHL Norway being useless, it took quite a while, before it arrived, but finally it came. Brought it to the yard the very next day. My thighs where warm 😳😶. The weather was best spent indoors in front of the fireplace.

Ice skirt from Uhip was actually working.

The rest is history.

I bought my first Uhip skirt last christmas and during these few months until now I have:

  • The Ice family long winter coat
  • The hybrid mid layer jacket
  • The bodywarmer (new this season)
  • The riding tights

I am in love 😍!

The description of the items are correct. The sizing is made for normal women, not a tiny professional model. The materials do keep what it’s intended for. There are a few bits and bobs, but nothing that really matters.

At present I am saving up to buy the long Trench coat, with a liner.

 

Best regards

Cecilie Røsjø, Norway

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Who am I?

I will try to make the personal introduction short and sweet.

My mother will never forget the time I crawled under the fence at our local riding school to say hello to a foal. She tried to stop me by saying: “ Cecilie, the mother might bite you to protect her baby”. My answer was: “ Nope. Not me”. I can only imagine her relief when all went well. My age? I was 3 and 1/2.

Since then, it’s been horses 26/7, not 24/7 😅.

My father signed a huge emergency insurance policy for me at the age of 13 or 14. I had just been at the racetrack in Oslo, and bought an American TB racehorse. Mind you, he was a stallion, 6 years old and still in full training. Bless my father for not scaring his children- ever- with domed day chit chat about what could go wrong. He believed in learning by doing.

Mind you, when I grew up with horses, we where taught “horse” . We are now talking early 1970, I was 6. Tried getting in a year earlier, but was told to come back when I was eight. No deal. Wiggled my way in by letting my big sister sign me up for lessons 🙃, and by the time I was eight, I was part of the inventory at our local riding school.

The system was: Work hard, earn our trust, and you will be given responsibility matching your horsey qualifications, taught by the best in the business. If you at any given time, hurt a horse, deliberately. You are out. Permanently. If you make a honest mistake, ask a grown up for help, learn from it and move on. It was like a step ladder, and taught me everything I needed to know to make it in this business for 35+ years, and still doing it.

I have been there and done that. Strømsholm, UK, NZ, France, travelling groom, the whole Chabang.

Quite early on, I had to make up my mind if I wanted to aim for the front row of Showjumping, or, taking care of the horses behind the scene and at the same time, be able to teach new generations of horsey people, horse. To honor the dedication others made towards us kids.

I chose behind the scene. For the welfare of the horses, and the possibility to teach. I also lacked the funding-big time 🤓 - to really make it into the big league of the horse world. Coming from a non horsey working class, very supportive, family.

So, at the age of 51, I made an attempt to quit the business. Moved to Bodø, Norway, above the Arctic Circle. That did last approx 12 months 😂😋.

So, now I am back where I belong. At a small local riding school, called Stall Elverøy, located at a place called Valnesfjord, teaching. And boy it’s cold! (Please use Google Maps to find our location).

 

PS. Going to a show during winter? Combine the skirt with the long winter coat - Enjoy 😊. No more frozen thighs. I do it all the time when teaching in those freezing indoor schools.

Under the helmet on Emmi

Emmi Nikunen

"Whatever you wanna do with Icelandic horse, they will help you to make it happen."

Thank you for sharing Emmi.

My story why I ended up with Icelandic horses.

I have started in "normal" horse riding school where I stayed for sometime. After a while we found this Icelandic horse stable where we went for summer camp with my sister. It was fun and we went there almost every year for almost five years in a row. Somewhere between those summers we got asked to ride this old Icelandic horse. That is when my love for Icelandic horses really started. Her (the horses) owner's taught me how to ride different gaits and till this day, she is the one who has taught and maybe will teach me the most. Besides riding she has taught me how to always have fun, whatever you do.

 

"Build trust and connection between you and the Icelandic horse you are riding and he would carry you to the moon and back"

 

Icelandic horses aren't just for hacking as many people think. You can do lots of different things with them. They are easy and willing to learn. Build trust and connection between you and the Icelandic horse you are riding and he/she would carry you to the moon and back (which they also kind of will). When I rode in riding school I had my moments and the lessons were nice but with Icelandic horses I was able to laugh with them, I became proud of that I am a horse rider. I became able to enjoy every single moment with them. And that is how it should be, right?

With Icelandic horse, you can do whatever you come up with. If you feel like riding dressage or jumping over some poles, you can do it (just remember to keep your horse educated for it!). On those bad days when you don't feel like riding at all you can go for easy ride or just sit with them and trust me, the horse will you make you feel easier again. They will make you forget your worries for a while or they can share your worry. Those days when you think you just want to take long gallop, you don't have to ask them twice.

Whatever you wanna do with Icelandic horse, they will help you to make it happen.

 

Regards,

Emmi Nikunen

PS thank you as well Eliisa Mönkäre and Erja Tuunainen

Stay tuned