Competing in Europe is not as big and scary as all of us at home think it is. It’s the same just on a bit of a bigger scale. Most national shows are only one day and everyone trucks in and out, and all the horses wait on the trucks between classes. In the beginning, I thought it was a bit crazy making them stand on the truck. I was so used to how we have it at home, but actually both ways are nice. Organization of the shows is the same – you enter online with your sport license number, when you arrive at the show you sign in pay, exactly the same as we do it. Warm up arenas are the same, except normally they are small, 20×40. There are no whippers telling you when to go into the ring, you just check who your following and watch for that person to go in then you know you are next.

At practise shows, run like normal shows, you have to be dressed up, horses braided. You ride your test and someone stands with the judge and videos your ride and the judge gives his/her comments and a mark. There are no end marks at the end of the test. The judge will chat with you and explain his/her observations. Sometimes you have to go back and ride a movement or two and he/she will coach you through the movement. I find these practise shows extremely helpful. I learn a lot each time I go. I also love the fact that it normalizes the judges. They don’t become these scary people sitting there with a test paper, they become normal people. I usually find the feedback useful, and it clarifies how movements should be ridden and what they’re looking for. It helps you clean up those little detail marks, it teaches you to go from that 6 to 7 or a 7 to an 8.

Vitall is progressing every week, getting stronger and stronger. He is now back, after four months, and I am impressed how quickly he came back in full swing. I have entered him into a national show coming up, for the young horse Grand Prix and inter 2 test. I am attending a national show in Germany and the best part is it is in Aachen. I can’t wait to ride in that stadium. The youngsters are also coming along, I love working with them. It is so rewarding to watch their progress and their bodies develop.

It has been freezing cold. I can’t wait for the sun to be shinning. Winter has been dragged out way to long! I am also in the process of moving to a new house. My lease is up on my current place. I’m sad to move. I have lived in my place for two years. It has been a great place I’m definitely going to miss it. It really felt like home but I am sure my new place will be the same.

Oslo and China are also happy and healthy 🙂