A fountain of new inspiration…Charles de Kunffy!

Jumping excercise

Jumping exercise

During my vacation I was browsing the internet and some how ended up watching an interview by Rick Lamb from The Horse Show with Charles de Kunffy. (The Horse Show, Episode 530).

For those who do not know anything about Charles de Kunffy. Charles was born and raised in Hungary as a member of the Austro-Hungarian nobility and has collected so many equestrian credentials that it is too much to list them all.

If you want to find out more, you can find out more under Charles de Kunffy – bio.

I even added the link to the interview on YouTube.

I listened to it over and over again and found Mr. de Kunffy’s answer just perfect!

Rick asked: When did you get interested in jumping? Your book (A Rider’s Survival from Tyranny) is filled with pictures of you jumping. I always thought of you as a dressage (rider), I thought that was your thing.

Charles de Kunffy smiles and answers:

Yes, it is, because, we didn’t separate anything. There were two kinds of riding. Good and bad, and the good riders did everything. Jumping is an extension of dressage and flat work.  You control the horse to the fence and after the fence and in flight you are only following, not controlling. So, it is a dressage movement, you can do a piaffe or passage or you can jump a hurdle.

Rick Lamb asks the follow up question:

Does it bother you that today those are very distinct disciplines?

Charles de Kunffy:

Yes, it bothers me a lot, because some jumpers jump, the horses are very good and they do the jump but they are not in correct balance and of course, content defines form. Correct content is what is called a beautiful form. Very few jumpers have beautiful form because they don’t have beautiful content, they are out of balance over the fence, but it doesn’t bother a horse that is bred…, it’s the triumph of contemporary breeding. It’s no the triumph of horsemanship, it’s the triumph of the breeders that give you a horse that can do it, in spite of…..

In my opinion this is not only valid for dressage or jumping, but for all other disciplines within the equestrian world as well. I feel more and more reluctant to say that I am a western rider. I would rather like to say that I am a very well balanced rider, sitting (most of the time) in a western saddle. 🙂

That would be something that I could be really proud of. The be able to say, that I am a balanced rider, who is not a burden to my horse and is not pulling on the reins for balance, would be the most wonderful thing.

Fortunately I know that I am far away from being able to say this as a true statement, but every day I am in pursuit of this goal.

I know, however, that I have become better. On Monday I was delighted when my trainer said:

Now look at that…. you actually start to ride your horse, and look what happened to him, he is a completely new horse!

This comment slingshot me to the moon and back, not only because it was a very nice comment, but because I felt it. You should have seen him, he was chewing on the bit and licking, with his tongue stretched out full length, and his back elevated me in the saddle a couple of inches. I know that Barley is not one of those fancy dressage or jump horses, he is a western horse that is not bred to do piaffes or passages or jump high fences, but I am very proud of what we have achieved together. We learn basic riding, where I learn how to relax my body in the right places and to find balance, and he learns my aids and builds the strength to carry himself with me on his back.

Hey you...

Hey you…

Well, this is maybe a bit wrong, I have come to understand that he actually knows what aids are needed to do specific things, it’s just that I need to do them correctly and when I ask things of him that he finds difficult, it might just take a few minutes for him to accept and actually do what I ask of him. For this I need the help of my trainer in order to know what is what.

The goal is still for us to grow together, develop further and to strive after perfection. I believe in our versatile training, there is to be learned so much from other “disciplines”, if you now want to call it that.

Most important for me is that we both have fun doing it, Barley is still yawning when I put on the saddle and bridle and his muscles are like jelly when we are done with our rides/workouts and this, I find, is a very good sign. My biggest goal, in everything we do, is still that he enjoys it and it is in benefit of him becoming a healthy, strong horse with a relaxed and stable mind who is looking forward to our working together instead of being uncooperative and reluctant due to pain or discomfort.

Here another beautiful quote from Charles de Kunffy:

For horses can educate through first hand, subjective, personal experiences, unlike human tutors, teachers, and professors can ever do. Horses can build character, not merely urge one to improve on it. Horses forge the mind, the character, the emotions and inner lives of humans. People can talk to one another about all these things and remain distanced and lonesome . In partnership with a horse, one is seldom lacking for thought, emotion and inspiration. One is always attended by a great companion.
~Charles de Kunffy









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Love is…

When you look at him and get all warm and fuzzy around your heart 💝





Guess you guys know the feeling I’m talking about!

Good night y’all 😀

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Summer evenings are the best

Yesterday evening was beautiful, the horses started to feel a little frisky and took the smallest things as an excuse to start a little running game. Two bikers came downhill, Barley had spotted them first…I think he’s the watcher in the herd.


Guys, bikers...get ready to go crazy!


Wild boys 2015


Show off 😆


Love the light in the evenings


OAWH - Original American Watch Horse 😂


Some more action

Then Barley spotted somebody riding on the far end of the pasture…needed to be investigated right away!

Good that they have other things except for eating to keep them occupated.

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Time to breath and blog again!

Finally vacation time has arrived. Oh, what I have been looking forward to this, for the next few weeks I am going to breath deeply, will not hurry nor stress, will do things I haven’t done in a long time, yeah, like blogging… 😉 and will just enjoy all my little sweet moments.

Right now my DOH is watching telly, our dog is lying on the couch asleep and the cat is lying in my bed, also asleep. I made myself comfortable on the couch too, with my favorite blanket…the Swedish summer really rocks right now (yes, from time to time I enjoy a little sarchasm), a nice cup of coffe and listen to Enya.

This feels like a nice ending to a wonderful and relaxed day.

Belly full coma

Belly full coma

Now let’s see, what have we been up to?

In April we had some nasty spring storms, rug tucking storms. Another lesson learned, if the weather forecast says it’s going to blow with 25m/s (= 90km/h), make sure that the knots for the tail string are really strong (read: bomb-proof), otherwise you might find a surprise in the pasture 😉

Spring storms April 2015

Spring storms April 2015

He looks a little bit like from a commercial, he is running with the cool guys.

If you are a fashion-conscious horse, then this is the right rug for YOU! We have listened to horses and designed our rug so that it can be worn in different styles. If the sun comes out and the rug gets too warm, just follow the instructions. 1. Lay down and role, make sure to stretch so the string below the tail opens. 2. Turn your stylish butt into the direction the wind blows. Now you can wear your rug as a scarf! IMPORTANT: Safety advice! Act completely innocent in case your owner shows up!

But we also had some very nice evenings when it actually was warm enough to dare to put my breeches on and an English saddle on Barley.

Evening in paddock April 2015

Evening in paddock April 2015

Of course it’s not just riding, we even worked with the long line…

(may I just point out his nice butt? I am so proud of that butt ❤ 😀 )

Long line May 2015

Long line May 2015

We took long walks together…this is what I call them, he might call them ‘long picnics’.

Long walks (=long picnics)  June 2015

Long walks (=long picnics) June 2015

Out and about again June 2015

Out and about again June 2015

But now we are in July and July means vacation time for me and some horsy time for Barley. Even though I sometimes have a huge knot somewhere in my stomach area, I know it’s good that he can be in a herd with other horses. Even though it’s still a fact that I either have a very clumsy horse or that he is really just low in rank, or a combination of both, but he is having the most holes in his ‘all-in-one suit’. In any case, I confince myself over and over again that he is more happy this way.

I scratch your back... July 2015

I scratch your back… July 2015

And they do look happy, don’t they ❤

Allright folks, more from us during this years vacation.

Cheerio and nighty night! 🙂

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Nom nom nom :D


We are now up at 50 minutes of grazing.
Best part of the day! He sometimes even lifts his head…for very brief moments. Otherwise I think he is currentlt breathing through his ears.

One thing is also very interesting to me.
For the past two weeks he was ‘actively-resting’ again. After a little accident in the box where he had apparently big trouble getting up again after he had layed down (and/or rolled…who knows, he didn’t really tell), his back was sore and we needed help from an equine therapist for some massage, chiropractic and lasertreament.

As you can imagine he has a lot of energy right now and has become quite reactive.

But as soon as he is allowed to graze, a bomb could explode beside him and wouldn’t give a damn. 😂😂😂

Anybody else still trying to make the change on to fresh grass or are we the last ones? 😎


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Barley and I

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…and THE jump

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