14/08/2021

We are nearly through the summer months, but it feels like summer hardly started yet.  Did it ever arrive? In some places it did, with a vengeance, but here in the Lot, France, I have to say the weather have been more Swedish than French. Not a bad thing, really, apart from too much rain at times. But at least we have been spared the worst of either too hot or too much rain. 

My thoughts goes out to all of you who were badly affected by the heavy rain fall and flooding, and I hope you are all safe by now.


After finally get my health pass in order, I am again able to travel, and so far done 2 short trips to Switzerland, and a couple of days in Italy, training one of the 3 new trainees - Greta Gandolfi. 

My other two girls, Helene Berg, Sweden, and Daniela Zimmermann, France (yes, you may know her from Switzerland), will be doing more practical training with me in the next coming months. 

This is a new experience for me, and also for Lesley Taylor Brett - our fantastic Director and Founder (one of) of BALANCE. We are both getting ideas from this training for future trainings, and it is great fun. 


I had planned to do a trip to Germany in a week’s time, but of course, most people are on holiday, so this trip will coincide with me driving up to Sweden early October instead. I am heading up there to do the training with Helene, so might as well make use of the trip and visit my German/Dutch and Belgian clients. A bonus is that Chris will not have to deal with cleaning out the horses shelter, and will cope with me being away for a few weeks - Endzo, Boris and Dakota will hopefully rather be out in the field, and not spending all day long in their shelter. 


It happens now and again that people sell their BALANCE saddle and get a conventional saddle instead. And that is perfectly OK, because it is may mean that this person might need to find out something else - how would we learn otherwise? The door is always open, should they wish to come back. And this is exactly what happened recently. This has provided some interesting data, because I still  had this horse’s wither tracing from the past. He had been in a BALANCE saddling system since young, but his owner/rider decided to explore other saddling methods around 2010-2011. The horse was professionally fitted by a quite well known saddler. As you can see, he has decreased in his wither tracings. There will be a return to BALANCE saddles again, and I am curious to see how much will come back. 


Here is another example of a reversed sequence, this horse spent most of his younger life in a conventional saddle, until he was 17 years old when he moved into a BSS. Not only has he improved on a dropped and muscle wasted back, he has also become more symmetrical. 


Both these horses are of similar age and body type. 



Back at home, and being able to take advantage of the cooler weather and not too many flies, Dakota and I are doing a lot of stuff she needs to know as an adult horse. She has changed so much in the last 6 months, she used to have opinions on what she wanted done with her body or not, but now she is really interested in everything. It is as if she has been watching what I do with Endzo and Boris, and now want to do the same things. 

I have never put a rug on her until now, but the flies was so bad when it was hot and damp, so I thought a few weeks ago, it might be an idea for her to try one of my old fly rugs. Well, she behaved as if she had been rugged up every day of her life. I expected her to be a bit wary when I put it over her back, but no problems. And actually, this is a good preparation for saddling! 


Today was a big day, I put the saddle on her, after she had done a thorough investigation of it. No problems at all, although I did not cinch it up, just had it on with the pads. Fantastic to see that my jump saddle will be the right size for her, at least to start in. We have a lot of work to do now, walk in hand, then on the longe, which I prefer to do when we are not being attacked by flies, no rush, we have the time. She is only 3, and in my opinion still have to fill out a lot. She is tall, but does not look strong enough to sit on, not yet. If I can do some work with her on the ground this autumn, plus lean over her - possibly sit on her later on, then I will be very happy. 















22/06/2021

I came back yesterday evening from the  firs trip for nearly 8 months. All I can say is, my bum is sore from sitting in the car for 9 hours (yes, I do stop every 2 hours and get out of the car), and obviously need some training . 😆


Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed to be out there and meet horses and their humans, some I have not seen for a long time and some I met for the first time. 


The trip was finished off with a Riding Workshop, with my ‘Jurassic Team’. These guys have done the remedial workshop with me, and now follow it up with riding sessions. I used to find ‘teaching’ difficult, but Carol Brett and Lesley Taylor showed me a way many years ago, and it is more about sharing knowledge/information between me, the horse and the rider. 

Words can mean different to different people, something worth remembering if a student ‘don’t get it’.  It is more likely that I have used words or described something in a way that does not make sense to the student. So I have to use another way or another set of words. And, you can say the students are teachers, and the teachers are students………a win win situation. 


It was a short trip this time, not only because I was delayed one day, but I also needed to be home on a certain date. There are a lot of more trips coming up, and in 10 days I will be fully fit to travel within Europe. So now it is just to sit down at the desk and plan ahead. 


But first, I will need a few days with my own horses, undisturbed. 🥰

13/06/2021

Today should been the day I would pack the car, ready to set off early tomorrow morning on my first work trip for…..8 months!!! There is only one slight problem. 


I rely on my partner Chris to look after my horses while I am away, but because the horses live 10 km away from us, we need transportation. Bicycle would do, at least getting there, cause it is down hill. But if you go down hill, you have an up hill coming back home. Chris has not been his normal healthy self for a long time, so his fitness does not allow him to use this option, although he has got a selection of vintage racing bikes. And he has not yet warmed to the electric bikes. 


So the car is the best choice. And he has got my old red Suzuki, many of you would have seen this one in the past. Being a vintage bicycle enthusiast, he is meticulous in looking after his bikes. His car, NO. The poor Suzuki has suffered a slow puncture on its right hind, not a big problem, it just needed inflating now and again. Until midweek last week, when the tyre totally collapsed. So what about the spare wheel? Well, it is not in the best condition either, having a slow puncture. Why not jack the car up, take both tyres down to the garage, and see if they can repair both, or replace? Good idea, so off we went. Our local mechanic, lovely Ms Moliere - or Ms Mol as we call him - decided new tyres was a must. So far so good. He ordered them, and then we waited. Thursday, no delivery, Friday morning, no, but for sure on Saturday. What we did not know was that Mol closes his garage at lunch time on Saturdays. 


We are now stuck, with the red Suzuki propped up on a jack in our yard. I have no other choice than change the travelling plan and leave a day later. The horses needs somebody to look after them , both morning and evening, and there  is nobody else. Finding a car to borrow with short notice  is not easy either.

Thankfully, I have excellent clients, 💕💕💕, so my Tuesday clients are now Thursday clients. 


You may wonder if I got mad with Chris, not making sure he had a good spare wheel on is car……like any normal person would? Well, I was ANGRY, but I bit my tongue, focusing on the good sides of him. Cause they are many. 


This first trip for a long while, is kept short. I only had a week to get it organised, after the Swiss government decided that travellers from the Occitane region are now safe. Unfortunately, I need to be back home no later than the 21st, so it only allows for a few days in Switzerland. 

If you have been in touch with me for an appointment, but not heard from me this time, have no worries, I will be back. 

In a way, it Is nice with a short trip, it will ease me into the routine again. 


Birgitta 

Chilling after work
Dakota and Boris
Looking pretty
Unbelivable sweet donkeys
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