As I may have said before Talhoffer had have some issues with the trailer. So me and a friend have been practicing. Last week we drove away from the stable, just a km or so, to unload, and try loading again. In the stable he has gone straight on, no problem. But at the new place he refused, then it took maybe 30-45 minutes to get him on again. So we tried again yesterday, where he went on perfectly, we drove off, but to a new place, but still just a km or so from the stable, and then unloaded. Then tried loading again, he was hesitant for a second, but then just went straight in and I could manage everything myself! I was so happy! And during everything he was much calmer then he ever been before.
Then afterwards we went on a hack, and sure Talhoffer had some speed in his step, but on the trail I could do shoulder in to travers transitions, really nicely. Some real progress!
On to this morning, where I drove off to be in the stable at 05:00 to meet the farrier. Talhoffer didnt freak out once! That may be totally normal for other horses, but for Talhoffer its big progress! Sure we didnt put any shoes on the back hooves, but still. Last time the farrier could hardly even get near the back hooves.
Talhoffer is a very sensitive boy and he has some trust issues with people, therefore I have been very restricted with pushing him away in any sense. Always wanting to encourage him to come closer and not wanting him to feel unwanted, if that makes sense. But then yesterday I wanted to take som photos, and I thought I could make him canter some in the pasture. You dont need to chase Talhoffer in anyway, its enough with just pointing and taking, not even a step, and he takes off and I really thought out trust fund would be stable for a task like that. But it wasnt, so when I was going to catch him afterwards he was too wind up and didnt wanted me to get near him. He gets like that sometimes and I dont think he is actually scared of me, only that he gets so caught up in himself that he doesnt really see me.
The thing is when he was dodging me around the other two horses, one got annoyed and left and the other, Fred, who is very old and huge, started to acting up as well. I thought he was going to chase Talhoffer so I was about to tell him off, when I realised, Fred was helping me! He corned Talhoffer against the fence everytime he tried to bolt off, and told him off until he stood still and I could catch him. It was so amazing seeing the calming effect Fred had on him. And as usual,, as soon as I could touch him there was no issue.
But it was also nice to see that later when I was going back to the pasture with Talhoffer, I got proof that our trust fund wasnt completely drained. We met a deer in the woods, that stood and watch us for some time, but then it bolted off into the forest, which made Talhoffer bolt the other direction. I couldnt hold him, so I had to let go off the lead rope, but Talhoffer only cantered a few strides, and then stopped, turned to look at me, and then I could just walk up and take the rope and carry on.
Then when we got back to the pasture, Talhoffer for some reason ran off to the opposite side of the pasture from where the other horses where. So he got a bit winded up when he couldnt find them. Fortunatly the other horses are abit brighter so they came and met him,and then Fred, once again went up and just calmed Talhoffer down. Talhoffer was then just rubbing against him and just wanted to be close. So sweet to see.
The ones who bought Mod, talked about that they trained working equitation for this trainer called Anna Backman, and after what they said she sounded just like the trainer I have been looking for. The style of riding in WE is close to of what I do, so I have been searching for a trainer in the vicinity, and then they had group training this sunday, so I thought why not.
It is a good prepation for Talhoffer before the trip to Germany, so said and done I loaded up him and drove the one hour to Orust. What was a bonus was that Mod also was in our group, and he looked so happy!
We joined the last session before summer break, so they built up a obstacle course, but me and Talhoffer took it a little bit easy, just trying out the different obstacles. All in all Talhoffer did very good, but he was a bit stressed. But sometimes he just goes up in stress and react, without really being scared, if that makes sense?
I never done WE before, but I really like it because the different obstacles really can make you focus on different movements, and you can raise the difficulty with how you do them.
One thing I notices is how different I look at a obstacle course like this now, from before I started with rossfechten. Take the slalom. Before I would have just thought of the bend of the head (stellung), but now I was thinking of how the hind legs should move, when one could do shoulder in or travers. Really thinking of every movement in every turn.
Then it was the little thing of going home. Talhoffer was so tired, and the thing that makes him go into the trailer is food, but he was like just shut down. So I think we stood on the ramp for 30 minutes, before I figured out to offer him the hay and not the musli. I was offered help, but I really did not want to force him in, unless completely necessary. But with the bribe of hay, I finally got him in without to much stress.
Two and a half years ago I bought a fat raggedy angry north Swedish draft horse. A horse that half the time I could not even get to walk out the stable yard, leading him. Two years later, we are travelling across the country, performing, training, piaffing, wrestling, swording, you name it.
Mod was my first horse, and I never thought I would sell him, but I never knew I was to be doing the things I do today when I got him. I did not even know these things existed when I got him. Mod do not really like to move, he is a bit like Ferdinand, he rather sit under his cork tree sniffing flowers. And I want to train, I want to go places, I want to do everything! Its kind of obvious that is not the best combination.
That was the reason I concluded that we needed to part ways, and today he moved to his new owners. He moved out to the country, with other draft horses and two women who will spoil and dote over him. It is prefect for him!
Still it is a bit of identity crises for me. For the past years Ive been the girl with the big draft. And we have done so much together, we really know each other inside and out. I know I will get there with Talhoffer as well, but it takes time to get to know someone that well.
I wish him all the best! And I truly believe this is the best for him and this will make him happier in the end.
I cannot believe how much it is to ride now when I have Talhoffer. It so much more I can do. Today we worked on the shoulder in on the serpentines, and then also in canter. It was far from perfect, before I just had to take what I was given, but now I could be like “what if I straighten my leg, in this moment?” or “what if I put my leg on when the back leg steps” and just – hallelujah moment. Realizing I can experiment! And Talhoffer is just so amazing. He really tries!
He is also starting to like show himself, being more comfortable, and playful. Which is fun, but not equally fun that he is starting using his teeth more and more. But we get there.
This weeks has been long, I dont really know why, but I felt tired. My back hurted really bad for the first time in while this monday. It could be cause I rode Mod on Sunday, so I actually did something I selldom do. I skipped training…
I went to the dance class, but I skipped the sword training. Although on monday we were to have Ringen training, which I really need, but I also find it abit scary with my bad back. But I really needed that evening off (or evening, I got home at 1930). But I for once got sometime of beeing hously.
Then before swording on Tuesday I had to put the horse-time on checking the paddock as they are digging cables and I had to check the ground. And then yesterday we had a dinner for a colluege at work that is leaving, so late evening again.
Its like I just want to spend time with my horse! And apprently he is getting bored to cause when my help in the stable was there in the afternoon he came trotting into the stable by himself. Leaving intact fence and a bewildered Mod.
Its like, no, just no…I cant have a fence jumping horse! So before they been given their dinner outside but now they will have it with the other horses indoors. Hopefully that will stop the breaking out tendency…
So after just one week after I got Talhoffer home we where arranging a weekend clinic with Arne Koets. Since it was arranged at the place we have our cavalry reenactment group, the focus was on horses vs foot people. Trying also to raise some interest among the regular HEMA fencers for rossfechten.
First day I had one single lesson with Talhoffer, where we just focused on me and him finding each other. He i very flexible in his body and has a very poor posture, and a back that is like a banana at the moment. So lots of shoulder in, and just trying to raise the back and getting him to find the right posture for his body. But it is fun to see the video, cause even though I get a bit flustered with myself, I am constantly grinning. Just looking so happy! In the afternoon we did a triple lesson, where the focus for my part was getting him used to riding with the other horses, riding towards them and then they got to do passades with and without lances, and I was just walking and trotting calmly amidst it.
Second day we had a group lesson with both horses and foot people. Here I was not asking anything of Talhoffer, other then that he was to follow the other horses and much as possible and then walk around calmly on a distance he felt okay with. He did so good. First time with people running around with sticks, horses cantering all over the place, I could not ask for more than that he was keeping calm.
In the afternoon we had a single lesson again. It was the last thing of the day, and I really felt that my mind was complety burnt out. I was so mentally tired and had no patience what so ever. Talhoffer started with that he refused to step on lines that had been made from the previous riders garrocha work and I was just, I cant take this right now. But Arne was smart and put out cones for us to ride around and after a while both me and the horse totally forgot about the lines and calmed down. It was not the best lesson, my back was stiff, which you can see in the video I keep falling forward, Im tired, the horse is tired. But we made trough it and even with those circumstances it still felt a whole lot better than most of Mods lessons.
All in all I was so impressed with Talhoffer. He just moved a week ago, and then he travel again to a new place, with new horses, doing hard work, both for the body and the head, and he never just shuts down, he just goes with it! And sure he jumped a few times, but then he calmed down immidietly. He really is a golden dream horse!
I have been looking for a new horse for a while, and even though there is quite a few horses for sale, very few matched my criteria.
I wanted a spanish horse, gelding, max 10 years, and not to educated, but still broken. I read so many ads, watch so many videos, was in contact with people all over Europe. It felt like I would never find the dream horse. Until one day my friend sent me an ad for a beautiful golden horse, and we were like, this is the one! Funny thing was, the stable he was in the area I grew up. So under a crazy weekend, where I travelled 1000 km in under 24 hours, I went up to Stockholm to meet mr Golden boy. He was a 10 year old spaniard cross breed that come to Sweden about a year ago, and then bought by a women who wanted a horse to learn to ride on. And a very sensitive spaniard wasnt really the way to go. But for me he is perfect. He is very sensitive, but always want to please, on the other hand still a little rascal with a twinkle in his eyes.
His registered name was Napoleon, but I didnt really like that. It is such a mainstream name, and I wanted something… more. I had a whole range of name, but the one that stuck was Talhoffer.
I bought Mod two years ago fulfilling my childhood dream, my own horse.
I had worked with arabians for for ever so everyone was very suprised when I ended up with a draft horse. But I always loved draft horses, and I think I was coloured from a performence I saw as a child, set in the 1700 and Carolean soldiers in their blue and yellow rode in to the arena on North Swedish draft horses. Also, in my ignorance I thought a north swedish would be somewhat historically accurate.
Bottom line is I did not know rossfechten was the thing I wanted to do. Had I known that I would have been looking for a different type of horse. I dont think no north swedish can do rossfechten, on the contrary there are many lighter built energetic ones that I think would fit.
But Mod is heavy built in front, and has big issues with raising his wither. Not that he cant do it, but it is massive work. Also he does not have the mentality for diving into dressage work. He is lazy, and his biggest joy in the world is standing still and eating.
He is amazing at travelling and with other horses, but I need a little more than that.
Mod is the most charming horse, but he also has alot of will. It is a hard desicion parting with him as I put so much work into him. No one, including me, believed we come as far as we have on such short time. But then I think, I could had come even further with a little more willing horse.
We had fun and we have been noticed everywhere we gone ❤
This week I have 2 persons that are coming to look at him and now its getting real.
But all in all, I think he will be happier somewhere else, and that makes it a little easier.