Today I spent the day in Drammen, riding a 1.40m qualifier for Oslo Horse show. Carvis has become a bit spoiled, and wasn't very happy with a one day show and all the waiting. Luckily it was loads of fresh grass outside the lorry, so I could keep him happy through the day.

It was a speedclass today, and Carvis was superquick in his feet, my rythm wasn't the best, but he jumped us out of everything with great effort. I did som shorter turns and he had some really nice jumps.
We ended third again, and gathered some more well needed points in the cup.

Video here.

I have started to jump him with some new hindboots, they are from eQuick and improves his technique. He jumps more through his back, and flips up more in every jump, wich makes a difference when i ride him. It is a bit new for him, so at the last show he was a bit more tired than normal on the third day. But today he had so much power when i trotted him after our round.
These classes have been a good boost for my selfesteem, and very good training for Carvis to get his body used to the new way of jumping. You get tired when you are "forced" to do things more correct in every jump, so even thoug he is fit and able to do 1.60m classes, we still have ways to improve ourself.

Carvis is a very sensitive horse, and ever since he was a youngster his hindleg technique has been a bit stiff. But since he has so much scope it didn't matter that much at the level we competed then.
Now that we want to make our way up among the very best, we see that we need this extra trick up our sleeve.
To make sure that Carvis doesn't get to careful when using the hindboots I have been using them when I hack out and also in the ground work so he gets used to them . That way he jumps better, but without scaring himself. When you try something new you need to know your horse, and you must be aware that you can get a reaction you don't expect. Some horses doesn't care that much when you try new things, but some horses can get very scared, and it's our job to improve our horses without breaking their spirit or losing their trust.

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We are back in competition mode, and started out with a 1.40m today, went clear and ended third. Good to get back in the right mode, and my competitionhead back on track. Carvis jumped very good, and is ready for the 1.45m tomorrow.

Video here - https://youtu.be/kG5t_c4bgFU

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That is what I keep telling myself these days. When you finish a show with a bad result, it can be a bit hard to keep your spirit up when you get home. But it is important that you get a picture of what happened,  analyze it, reflect over what you did good and what you need to work on.
The fences we jumped in the Grand Prix felt close to perfect, and Carvis jumped it so easy, so what I need to work on is in my head.

"we repeat what we don't repair"

This last week I have been watching at least a video a day, from shows and classes I did good. Looking at the difficulties in the courses, how we jump them with ease, and try to go to bed with that feeling in my head.
I tell myself that I am good enough, and that one bad show doesn't define me as a rider.
The mental part of riding horses is bigger than you might think, and we all have some issues we need to be aware of and work on.

Dad helped me jump a bit today, first time since we got back from Linz. The arena was a bit heavy from all the rain, and Carvis was a bit spooky and lazy at the same time. But after a good warm up and we started to jump,  he just felt fantastic! He jumped with so much power, and his body felt so elastic.
Next weekend I am going down to Kristiansand to do a national show, and I look forward to it.

Between shows I use this machine on Carvis, massaging his whole body to keep him fit and happy. He enjoys it so much, that if you use the machine on another horse when he is looking, he will kick the door and be really angry.

The machine is like a vibrating pillow kind of thing, and I start on the neck behind the ears and work my way down all the way back to the tail. Some spots may be a little more stiff, and then he will lean on me to keep the machine steady for a while.
I can se a difference in his body and muscles, if I compare with the time before we bought the massager. He is so much better to ride also.

All things are related of course, and him being  a nice ride also depends on my body that is back on track. After a really intense training period with my physical therapist I only feel that my back get tired, but I don't need painkillers to get through the day, and I am so much stronger.
I also got my new saddle before the season started, and I love it! I have an Anita Sande saddle, and for me and Carvis it is the best option. Carvis can be a bit difficult to follow in the jumps some times, and that was also a problem for me with my back, but now I get the freedom I need in the air but still support on the right places. 

I am also working on something exciting, and really hope that I get a positive outcome. Fingers crossed!

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Now I am back in Norway again, it has been a long trip and I look forward to see my kids and Ståle again.

This last weekend in Linz was quite a reality check for me, we started out ok with two poles down in the 1.50m the first day.

Second day was the Nations cup, and we did an ok round again, I had three poles down and the team ended 10th. A couple of teams over us did not take points in this division, so we ended 8th in the end and got some points for Norway.

Third day I did a 1.50m two phases, planned it as the last class of the show. We started out quite good, and then he spooked at the waterfence when I was riding towards the triplebar, and from there the faults ran in with a handful of poles down.
very disappointed of course, but that's life.

After all this I was still qualified for the Grand Prix, I had no idea. So after a chat with dad we decided that I should try, and get the experience.
It was a nicely built course, and I looked forward to riding it. It was a 4* 1.60m, but the fences didn't scare me.
Carvis felt super, even thoug it was the fourth day in a row with big  classes.
And we started out really good, the first fences felt like a piece of cake and we had such a good rythm, actually it felt better than ever.
And the triple combination came early, it was short distances with a vertical - oxer and oxer. We jumped good on A, got stiff on B, and then i chickened out... Should've just fought out of it, but in my head I see us crash. So it was a very split feeling when I got out. Carvis was just perfect, and I did my job quite perfect until i got stupid and messed it all up...

Even more disappointed after that day.

But as the picture over here shows, there are ups and downs in everything we do. And when I look back at the last four years I have been riding Carvis all by myself, the "worst" classes has been with maybe three poles down, or that I made a circle and got a pole down and some timefaults.

So after a few days of beating myself up, I am now in a better mood, ready to keep training and make myself better.
I know that I am good enough, and the horse is good enough, I just need to practice more and get my brain back on track.

Carvis has travelled very good, and when we had a pitstop in Holland on monday we let him out on a really big grass field. He was superhappy, bucked around and was a really happy lad. That was a good feeling, seeing him so fresh after four big classes in a row and all night in the truck.

Lessons learned:
we have travelled good, carvis is super fit and fresh, the car works good (or at least we have been able to fix it 😂), and my back is good after two weeks on the run.

Work to be done:
Jump lines with multiple fences, improve my balance, get more fit, and most important - get my confidence back on top when I enter the ring.

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It's on tomorrow! The nations cup starts at 4 pm. We are start number 1, and get to set the standards, I am second rider in our team.

Carvis jumped super in todays 1.50m class, two poles down, my fault. Video at YouTube,  username tjajti.

The teamspirit is on top, and we are ready to do our best 💪

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So, what do we do when we have a few days off between shows?

The spring really arrived today, and we've seen a big sun and no wind all day. Carvis have only been walking a couple of times to eat grass and get some air. No blanket, only "naked" in the sun.

After a show and living in the car, the laundry builds up so I had to be a bit of a "housewife". We have a tiny washingmachine in the car, and we improvised with a rope to make a hanger outside ✌

I ended the day being a bit crazy and took carvis out for an evening walk, bareback. He was really relaxed and walked slow as a schoolpony. We found  a tiny way in the woods and got to see something else than the sandbox.
Such a good boy 🦄

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Today it was time for the 2* GP, 1.45m.
I was well prepared I thougt, had braided Carvis' mane and everything. But when we stood in the stable someone passed and said that the class would start 15 minutes earlier. Well, that meant I had to hurry down and walk the course and dad had to finish tacking up and bring him down.

I had time enough to walk the course well and discuss a bit with Nicolai. Then I warmed up a bit in the indoor arena before I got out to jump. It's always a bit hectic in the warm up when it's time for the GP. People are stressing and sometimes you can barely get the fences down.
We got to do a good job at last, and Carvis jumped super.

In the ring we started out well, had to do plan B on the second line when Carvis reacted a bit when we jumped from the sun and into the shadows. Then we did good from the next combination and to the water, good on the triple, and then we had a pole down on a vertical. I thougt i got him back, but it was still a bit flat and he looked a bit on the wall behind so he didn't flex his hindlegs. Next vertical was good, and we got a good hit in the oxer oxer combination but sadly we hit down the front pole on the second oxer. The rest clear from there and within the time today.

A fair course for the horses, but the faults where spread almost everywhere. Very clever built, with no fences that made the life difficult for the horses if you missed, but still difficult to make a clear.
The result was ok I think, can't complain with two out of three clear rounds.

Todays video here - https://youtu.be/vDWmXbQfa6I

We finished the day with dinner at the showground together with Siv Tone and Nicolai, now a couple of lazy days awaits before a new show starts with vet.check on wednesday again.

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Today we jumped a 1.45m speedjump again, and Carvis felt so much better than the first day. The surface in the arena was better, but still a bit slippery in some of the turns, so I didn't dare to go as short as I planned.
He jumped amazing all the way and only touched one pole where we slipped a bit in the turn and I didn't give him all the rain he needed in the air.
All in all he is a superstar and I can only improve my riding a little bit more for each day. We ended on a timefault again, 4 tens of a second over the time allowed, but placed as number 8. A new rosette to decorate outside the box.

You can see the video here:
https://youtu.be/Wld6-4s1MaA

Tomorrow we will do the Grand Prix 🦄

Carvis is a good boy, and saves his energy for the important stuff, like eating and jumping.

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Due to loads of rain, the main arena and the warm ups are covered in water. So no classes will be held today, and some people are even going home. It's supposed to rain all day, but better tomorrow and sunday.

I really hope the weather improves, and I am glad I had a good class yesterday. Carvis was out for flatwork this morning and felt really good, I even got him to do three lead changes on a line, that must be the first! I tried to do it again, but he clearly told me that I couldn't trick him twice 😂 single lead changes are no problem, but he would rather not use his energy on such useless stuff as multiple ones.
He got a carrot in the stable anyways 💖

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The show is on, and I started out with a 1.40/1.45m speedjump today. It has been raining since yesterday, and the warm up outside was very heavy, so I jumped mostly indoors, and did three jumps outside to get the feeling.

Carvis jumped really good, but it felt really heavy for me. It was a quite long course with 13 fences, two combinations and a waterjump.

I haven't jumped a single fence outside before i got here, since we had snow at home and the outdoors was not dry enough to jump on before i left. So my eyes wasn't really into outside strides, but it got better during the course.
The main arena was also very wet, and i didn't trust the surface enough to do the tight turns as i planned, but the lines were good and Carvis jumped like a star. A little bit over the time allowed gave us 1 timefault, but we didn't touch a single pole.
We ended 14 out of 93 riders, so it wasn't that bad after all.
A bit heavy start of the outdoor season, but tomorrow we will have a day to rest, and we jump saturday and sunday again 😊

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