Jumping Amsterdam – Thursday

Ola ola,

A while ago someone asked me if I was going to Jumping Amsterdam, and I answered “No” as I thought it was in the weekend. Luckily I was wrong and last Thursday I had the chance to go and see some of the best dressage riders in the Netherlands ride like Jill Huijbregts, Danielle van Mierlo, Patrick van der Meer, Dinja van Liere and so forth. The list was long!

Dinja van Liere , HermesDenise Nekeman - BostonMaxime van der vlist - Baley

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, both how well it was organised as well as the riding people showed. We had no problem finding parking, nor finding our seats. Tough I had a mini meltdown in the line at La Place as it took me 15 minutes to get a portion of baked potatoes. Hangry, much? Yep. all the the way.

Maxime van der vlist - BaleyAdelinde Corneliussen - Fleau de baianJeanine Nieuwenhuis - TC athene

I saw several of these riders last year at the stallion show and I must admit it was nice to see that several had adopted a “kinder” way of riding. Especially the young talents had developed a lot, which was really nice to see. Maybe Rien van de Schaft aint that bad after all 😉

But hey, it wouldn’t be me if I was completely positive no?

So lets get done with it. Asses and saddles. We women often hopes and wishes our asses are a lot smaller then they are. Apparently quite some women thought that in the Prix St Georges on Thursday. Several had way to small saddles, which resorted in them sitting totally on the lip of the saddle or even bulging over. People riding on this level surly must know that doing so will make the saddle lay bad and the horse will use its back-muscles wrong. FEI and other organisations is focusing so much on whats going on at the front on the horse when it comes to bridles and so forth, but I almost think it’s time to look at the saddles as well. Will probably save a lot of horses from back problems.

thatgrumpyhorse01DSC_2381Danielle van Mierlo- Dayano

Other then these small annoyances I had a really nice evening. Soaked up loads of inspiration to continue riding and becoming better. Those horses, ow those horses. I sat there dreaming about how my future horse will look like. Specially the one from Patrick van der Meer was so beautiful.

Hope you had a nice weekend as well!

Jill Huijbregts - Enzos ArmaniJill Huijbretgs - Enzos ArmaniPatrick van der Meer - Presidents first apple

Patrick and President’s first apple. 

Ps, I had a small heart attack when I saw how poor the quality had become of the pictures I had taken. I tried my best to fix them as much as I could, but unfortunately I couldn’t save them totally. So please ignore the quality for this time only. 



First dressage test

Pfft, I don’t think I’ve been this nervous in a long long time.

But yeah, let’s start at the beginning. Some time ago me and some stable mates decided that it was a good idea for me to do a try out dressage test at another stable. At that point in time it seemed totally fun. That all lasted all the way till this morning when I realised what I had signed up for.

But heck, I’m also to stubborn to quit, so on we went (you never get away from fear without facing it right?). Luckily I didn’t have to go alone, cause that would have not ended very well. Grumpy feeds on my nervousness, so I got Ivonne and Inge along for the ride to help me out with everything(Holla at Ruben and Sabine for the gezelligheid).


For some reason before today I was really nervous for the transportation and how he would react to a new arena. I had this image in my head that he would freak out and fall off the transportation or so. Not logical at all as he has never done this, and he didnt either. He went on like a dream, transported totally fine and when we came there I let the ladies do their thing as they know him and I didn’t want to make him nervous. Now I know why professional riders have grooms. haha.


When I came to testride Grumpy for the first time, he gave me this feeling of security, which he did again today. Riding around in the big outdoor arena felt so nice. He wasn’t spooky at all, which I had expected him to be as he can do some twist and turns on me at home. But nada of that, he listened well and if I just could have taken that feeling with me into the test I probably would have ridden the first test better.


That arena was really really big.



The second we entered the indoor arena everything went blurry. I was too nervous and he hated the white bars and the jury table at the beginning of the arena. But on we went. The longest five minutes of my life. At a certain point all that went trough my mind was “just get trough it, there is light at the end of the tunnel”. More or less everything that could go wrong, went wrong. He didn’t want to get close to the white bars, and I had my reins to long to force him. But oh well, we survived(yes you can call me miss dramatic). Can’t believe I survived holding my breath for five minutes either…

Luckily we got a second chance to redeem ourself and I got a second to breath and it went a lot better. Knowing we can still do a lot better it was still a good feeling to be able to go home knowing we got trough it properly the second time. We still got a lot to practice on, seeing the photos I definitely need to sit better, get my stirrups longer, keep the connection to the bit and loose some weight. Grumpy needs to be a lot more collected, but for now thats all alright. We got things to work on and the first step is taken so we are moving forward.

Looking back I’m so happy I bought a horse that can teach me everything I need to know and that shows me everything I do wrong, without being an ass about it. I’m also really happy I got such great stable mates that are there to support me. Thank you for the help today, couldn’t have done it without you.


To everyone starting out with dressage tests or just want to get better at riding tests I can highly recommend Proefgericht clinics by Marlon van Wissen.





Kingsday dressage competition


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Kim Kranenburg – Tristan O

Happy Kingsday to all my Dutch readers!

For those who aren’t Dutch, this is the one day a year that the Dutch dress up in all orange, drink one too many beers and generally are happy go lucky people. I for one haven’t grown up with the tradition, so can’t really say it does much for me. haha

As I felt like I wanted a low-key kingsday this year I decided to go to the stable and watch the dressage competition going on there instead of being downtown with one too many people.

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Lotje Schoots

Normally when there is a competition at the stable, most of the competitors are horses that are also stabled there. However today there were mostly people coming from the outside, which meant there was a lot of new horses to look at. Like the one above here which is the professional international rider Lotje Schoots. She rode two really beautiful horses. I can sit and look at such movers forever. Seeing them dance down the centerline. Then I heard the price and my gut sank, why oh why does such creatures need to be so bloody expensive.

Whenever such a rider with such an horse visits the stable it makes it automatically hard for whoever rides after in the competition. Because you know its going to be hard to beat such a good mover. Today that task laid on my instructors shoulder, but instead of letting that get to her, she goes in there with a winning mind and puts down a test that almost made me go teary eyed. yeah yeah I said almost. But gosh I’m so proud! Most people would crumble and get stressed out cause know you need to compensate in other ways. So do that dab girl, you deserve it.

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Kim Kranenburg – Tristan O

After the competition I had Grumpy move on the line, which wasn’t very exciting, but had to be done. He has been a bit slow from behind the last few days, so I was hoping it would get better with some movement, which it luckily did. Gotta get that rump and feet moving tough, so will plan in a lesson next week to deal with it beside normal training.

Rest of the evening is going to be spent on the sofa editing some photos. Got to try out my new lens today which was a lot of fun. Can’s wait to try it out some more now. Got to practice.

Hope you are having a nice evening!


Ps. photos below have been resized, for original versions, please contact me.

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Michel van Loon – Four seasons 

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Laura Konijn – Karajan 

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