Are you ready for some fun? A reminder that the Christmas issue will have an Icelandic horse fun focus along with celebrating the achievements of the chat group and news and gathering up more useful links and information. A reminder too that we will be looking for a splendiferous Christmassy Icelandic picture for the front cover (portrait!) Haffy Kate has kindly allowed me to use her wonderful Christmas picture from last year for my Set the Pace online Advent Calendar which I will be putting together over the next couple of weeks with all the best photos, videos, fun activities and other silliness to keep you entertained in the run up to Christmas.
Elaine Rannie has done just that and in only 7 months on her Icelandic horses. She calls them her 3 amigos. When I messaged her after she posted on the Icelandic Horse Chat UK Fb group she wrote:
Sarah wrote: Flight delayed til 0155hrs !! My girls trying to sleep xx . They didn’t get to sleep til between 3-4 am as no one wanted to say goodbye then we were up early. Had a fab day by the beach with part of team USA.
4th August Finals Day – Its all over now
And Crissie came home with a rosette. She came 6th in the Flag race. Well done Crissie.
Robyn & her team also had a very successful Youth Cup.
Robyn wrote: I’ve been an emotional wreck. My girls got a 3rd in T6, 1st and 5th in T3 and then 2nd in the V5 They’ve been an incredible team
Well done to you all.
Final Day – The morning calm – 4th August – 7.00am
Thanks to the lovely Linnie, I have time to do the blog from bed this morning before engaging with the Oakfield campers for breakfast. Robyn and Crissie had another interrupted night, this time from party revels in the building next door to theirs.
Robyn wrote: (at 1.06am their time this morning) I now have a party going on in the building next to ours and they’re playing Barbie and a load of awful music .
All of Robyn’s riders are in A-Finals today so she is hoping for a calm morning before another busy afternoon.
Crissie wrote: Just flag race today so I can just chill and watch!!!
Sarah has some more pictures, so I will upload some when she posts them.
Second Day – Results – 3rd August 11.00pm
Second Day – NO Results and some great video – 3rd August 11.00am
Unfortunately the live results service isn’t working and our reporter on the ground (Sarah Edwards) hasn’t any more information either about how Crissie did yesterday, but she has been able to capture some great videos.
First Day Results and Reactions – 2nd August 20:30pm
The competiton is underway as we speak. Robyn’s team already have some results in for Tolt in Harmony. One of her team came 2nd and one came 5th, they are both in the finals. Crissie is out on the Cross Country course and about to finish any minute. She looked super smart and in step with Ljosi on her way to the start earlier. The starting lists, results and schedule are here.
Thurs 2nd August – Its Really Real….. Competition Day 1
Day 1 dawns in Skövde with the blessing of a little cloud cover and a gentle breeze, at least until the afternoon.
The girls had a very informative rest day and are off to their team meetings now to prepare for their first day of competition.
Robyn wrote: Morning! Our rest day was cool. We went to a farm where the owner trains horses without a bridle (Horse Vision) and uses the slightest of movements/touches to make the horses do exactly as she wants. (Crissie has some good photos). Then we walked down to the lake and people went swimming, played volleyball and enjoyed themselves.
The schedule for today is, Team Test (theory test) at 8.30 this morning and then the opening ceremony starts at 13.00. This afternoon there is, Tölt in Harmony at 14.00, In-hand show after and then Cross Country at 17.00. Crissie will be competing in the Cross Country .
I am meeting my teams at 7.20 this morning for breakfast and then we make our way over to the stables.
Crissie wrote: Cross country today! We walked the course and it’s a lovely ride! Chose it because I thought Ljósi and I would really enjoy it! Xxx
Absolutely the best reason to choose. We will be thinking of you both today and Sarah, Crissie’s mum has arrived in Skövde, so we will have some spectator reports as well.
Weds 1st Aug – HOT HOT HOT & time for a rest
It was gone midnight when Robyn and Crissie popped up for a chat last night. Neither of them could sleep as it was 25 degrees in the bedrooms and Robyn also has the challenge of a sleep talking, snoring Icelander as a room mate.
It was a hugely busy and VERY hot day yesterday. Robyn clocked up over 20,000 steps, and not one on a horse!
Crissie wrote: It got up to 39 degrees today!!! I don’t think I have ever drunk so much water in my life!!!!!
I was meant to do gaits and tölt so I did the gaits and it went really well but I opted out of doing the tölt cause I think in this weather it way too much for the horse!!
Robyn wrote: I’ve never been so busy in my life, I didn’t sit down and stop until about 8pm tonight and I woke up at 6am so I was tired and felt like I was melting .
All those steps were done on my own two feet. The area is unbelievably huge so a massive amount of space to be walking around all day keeping check of everyone and walking from one place to the next. I’m still cheerful and enjoying it all, tomorrow is needed though! I’m drinking so much water, I have one in the fridge ready to take tomorrow! We went to McDonald’s this evening and Blaine brought us all fries and anything else we wanted so our salt intake was sorted as well
We’re going to a dressage and truck (trick?) trainers farms tomorrow and the a big lake to go swimming Goodnight everyone!
Tues 31st July – MORE Training, Teaching & Learning
Today we have 2 more training sessions and were allowed to choose what we wanted to work on more so my first choice was gaits. My other 2 choices were tölt and flag race and I was picked for tölt so I do those two today but I start at 1pm so I have ages until then and a chance to catch up with the blog. Tomorrow is our day off and we’re all guessing that we are going to a water park close by which is nice!
Mon 30th July – Training, Teaching & Learning, oh – and a little fun.
The days are full and long for all the participants at the youth cup. The facilities are amazing though. Even though Robyn has to get up before her team, at least the team meetings are in the sun outside.
Robyn writes: I’ve been really busy these last few days but I have really enjoyed it! My team are all friendly and supportive to each other which is so nice to see. Today they got to choose two classes to train in, they are scattered around everywhere training in different places so plenty of walking for me today, especially as this place is so massive! Really looking forward to the competition to start of Thursday now.
For Crissie, the pace is a little less hectic and so far she has managed to get the later starts, so she can do her stable chores in a more relaxed way.
Crissie writes: Sunday was the first day of training where I had Tolt first and then Trail later in the day. The tölt went okay although we tried Ljósi with boots but it made him very trotty but the trainer was very good and focused on finding the right balance for the horse for it to work. The trail was really fun there were things like a bridge, opening gates jumping and a few more.
Today we had 3 training sessions and it was so hot! It was like 35 degrees!!
I had Gaits training, flag race and tölt in harmony and they all went really well but as it was so hot we didn’t do too much or work the horses too much.
The tölt in harmony was all about bending the horse and getting them soft enough for the tölt to be nice and evenly beated.
After supper we had more presentations. This is a video of the German one.
Sun 29th July – No Holiday!
Robyn & Crissie were plunged right in to the serious business of training today. They started with breakfast team meetings at 7.30am Swedish time (6.30am here) with training starting at 9.20am.
Crissie got lucky as her team has 10.45am training starts today (Sunday) and tomorrow and can take her time over breakfast. Robyn as team leader has to be up at 6.30am and a snoring room companion (poor girl).
Its not all work and no play, as you can see from the videos below. Each country puts on a ‘show’ (games, singing, quiz) to do with their country so we have the other half of the countries tomorrow night!
Robyn writes: I’ll get back to you tomorrow when we have trained in every class I have to be awake at 6.30 tomorrow morning so I’m going to get some sleep now .
A big day today, Robyn, Crissie and Ljosi moved to the event site for the next 7 days. Three days of training, a rest day where they will be exploring the horse culture of Sweden then three days of competition. The competition centre is HUGE! Robyn’s mum, Amanda, recommended binoculars so the girls could see what is going on.
Earlier in the day, Ljosi passed his vet checks and Crissie had her first chance to meet the representatives from other countries in her team while they all waited their turn for their horses to be seen by the vet.
Crissie says: It was great I was only meeting one new rider cause I already knew 3 who borrowed horses from Åse (2 Americans and 1 Canadian) and then I finally got to see Alicia who I last saw at the Youth Cup in Holland so it was so good seeing her again and then I met Grace for the first time who is also on the the American team and they are all so lovely!
While Crissie was dealing with Ljosi and catching up with the other girls, Robyn took up her team leader duties.
Robyn says: I have my team now and we’ve all sat down and chatted that usual chit chat (peoples names, random facts, horses etc) They’re a group of 6 girls, all from different countries – Sweden, Holland, Germany, Norway, Luxembourg and Iceland. Looking forward to training starting tomorrow. I meet my team for breakfast at 7.30 and then we go to the stables ready from training to start at 9.20 Bedtime now, I am so tired already and the madness has only just begun!
Fri 27th July – Tack & Transport
The 27th is our day for cleaning tack and transporting all 5 horses over to Axevalla with us around 20 minuets away from Åse’s farm! We will stay at camp tonight as loads of people are arriving today ready for vet checks all day tomorrow and then camp training starting on Sunday! We’re on for a very busy week! Robyn Cristina Also in the end I chose Ljosi as the horse I take to Youth Cup!
Thursday 26th July – Decision time…
On the 26th we only rode twice in the morning as Atli had a train to catch back to Iceland! But this time we got to choose our favourites so I chose Ljosi and Floki – they’re both very different, Ljosi is 13 and very laid back with nice gaits and Floki is 20 and although you wouldn’t believe it!! Then in the evening at around 6:30 Åse took Myself, Robyn and the 2 American girls Isabell and Eden on a hack around the area it was lovely to get out and see it!
Wednesday 25th July – Choices
Crissie says: We started at 9 and by 11:30 I had ridden 3 horses, but we had to stop because of the heat. We came back to riding at 5:30pm and just rode one.
Tuesday 24th July – Home from Home
Our flight was at 11.25am and we landed in Gothenburg, Sweden at 2.15pm as we are forward an hour. We then got a 30 minute bus from the airport to the train station.
Next a replacement bus from the train station in central Gothenburg to Falköping, where we met Åse who has been so kind as to lend Cristina a horse for Yourh Cup and put us up for a few nights before we go to Axevalla where Youth Cup takes place.
Crissie writes: We arrived at Falköping at 7pm we got to Åse Ericsons at 7:30ish, got changed and went straight to riding and tried out 3 horses.
Monday 23rd July – The Journey Begins
Robyn writes: Thanks for joining us on our journey to the FEIF youth cup. We arrived at Gatwick airport at about 3.30pm and checked into our hotel for the night which was really lovely as they upgraded us to a nice room and we got to use the executive lounge!
Robyn also got to try a Strawberry daiquiri , she said it was lush!
Sunday 22nd July – A final Blast
Robyn writes: Had to be done – 2 weeks away in Sweden from tomorrow so I had to spend my last evening at home in the right way 🐎🐎 Think Cristina had fun with Breki, he was flying 🦄
Saturday 21st July – Packing!
Crissie writes: This week during the run up to Sweden I’ve only had a few rides due to the weather and working but they were all great, using all the training I’ve kindly had, I got lovely gaits from the horse but Jan and I also snuck in a lovely beach ride too as it wasn’t too hot!
Robyn picked up the jackets and tops that Kate and Danny from Chiron Equestrian who support us at Oakfield Shows have very kindly sponsored us too which is awesome.
Today was focused on getting essentials and packing. I got some lovely new riding boots (thanks mum) and mum booked us a hotel in the Hilton in London, Gatwick. They kindly bumped us up to the executive suite and full access to the executive lounge where we get free WiFi, drinks and more importantly food!!! This is all because we are representing GB!! Tomorrow I’m off to stay at Robyn’s for the night and then the long drive to Gatwick and our flight on Tuesday morning!!
Saturday 30th June – Lincolnshire
Crissie writes: This weekend, mum, Robyn and I travelled up to Lincolnshire where Ann Savage very very kindly lent me her lovely boy Galdur!
Over the 2 days we did two sessions of training each day with Fi Pugh in the morning and afternoon.
Galdur has lovely gaits, he’s forward going and enthusiastic for a 7 year old!
The main target was to be more familiar with different horses and know how to get the best gaits and transitions I could get with an unfamiliar horse and learning how breathing correctly and calmly can calm down your horse!
He was lovely to ride and gave me a lot more experience to use towards the Youth Cup!
Fri 22nd June – A visit to the Ice Dragons
Crissie writes: Today I travelled up to Risca with Jan, Mic and Jayne to have a couple of lessons with Caro Van de Wint at Peter and Kath Heathcote’s Ice Dragon Equestrian Centre.
They kindly paid for the training as
sponsorship towards my experience for
the youth cup. Peter and Kath also let me
borrow their horses to have the lessons on.
I rode Fifa (pictured) and Svipur. Both very lovely horses. The lessons consisted of how to get the best out of the horse, how to transition into each gait well for competition. It felt so useful and informative to be able to experience different horses Caro was a wonderful teacher!
Sat 9th June – Taking time to train
Today I went to Carmarthen to visit Robyn Philpott and Co. As Robyn is a team leader she invited me to go and ride both Breki and Tindur so that I could get some experience on different types of horses before I attend the Youth Cup in Sweden.
I first went in their school and rode the both in there to get familiar with them. After doing that Robyn and I went on a ride in and around the area where we both swapped horses on the way home! It was a great experience and lovely to ride Robyn’s wonderful boys! I was quite nervous and excited to start with as it was very new to me but I learned a lot about how different 2 horses can be. In the controlled environment of the school it was a tad easier as when we were out on the hack they both seemed more excited and energetic!!
10th May – An exciting letter