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Alva Svensson: "Horses are the best, aren’t they?"

Saturday, 22 January 2022
At home with...

Kisses from Allan. Photo © Caisa Rasmussen.

Hi, Alva here, 

A little brief info about me: I am 22 years old, love horses and work for Peder Fredricson. This is the first time I'm visiting this blog and…

As I write this, it's in the middle of the night, but I just can’t fall asleep. I’m all pumped up from the previous few hours when I sat benched up in front of the TV to watch the Swedish Sports Gala where the Swedish jumping team took home two awards. They won the award as Team of the Year for 2021, and the Jerring Award where the Swedish people cast their votes. And they also received an award called “Bragdguldet”, that they won earlier this autumn. This is absolutely incredible, not only for the Swedish national jumping team, but for the entire equestrian sport here in Sweden! 

That Saturday afternoon, or Saturday night as it was for me in Tokyo, when the Swedish people sat on their sofas in front of the TV watching the Olympic Games in Tokyo something really, really big happened to the equestrian sport here in Sweden. All focus was on Allan and Peder and of course the whole Swedish team. It was something really, really special. That day the Swedish people really opened their eyes for the equestrian sport and realized how good the Swedish equestrians really are. It was incredible, not only for us who were there and experienced it live; the tears just flowing, but at the same time it was such a relief! This was what we really wanted. The Swedes were the best throughout the Olympics, but it was months of hard work, joy and tears behind. But wow…. Trying to explain the feeling in words is actually impossible… I have no words…. 2021 you were too good!

At the Olympic Games in Tokyo with Allan. Photo © Christophe Taniere/FEI.

Now we are in the middle of January 2022 and we have new goals. The young horses are currently in Oliva competing, and it’s really fun to see the younger talents develop. The older horses have had a longer break and are now slowly getting started again for this year. I really love working here at Grevlunda, everything about the horses is so natural and nice which I think is a big key to success. All our horses go out in paddocks every day with friends – some horses without shoes, they have varied training and are treated like kings and queens. Just as they deserve.

When Peder is in Oliva and rides the younger ones, Madde is there and takes care of them and I am at home and take care of the horses here. We have an individual plan for each horse every day. Here at home now when Peder is in Olivia for example, the horses can gallop loose in indoor, take a walk on the treadmill, hack out a lot in the forest, once a week we get help with double lounge, and Peter Eriksson (a former Olympic rider) comes sometimes and does some dressage work and some small jumps, they walk in the walking-machine and they go out in their paddock every day. We do everything and a little more for our horses, and they give us so much back. All the work is really worth it! Horses are the best, aren’t they?

Crusader Ice, Allan and I. Photos © Caisa Rasmussen.

One of the best things I know here at Grevlunda are all our wonderful and great places where we can take the horses out. We have incredibly nice roads, you can trot and gallop uphill, ride in the field, jump natural fences and do some dressage work out in the woods on our nature course. Right now, when the horses are going back to work, Allan walks a lot as a hand horse. I ride Hansson or Flecu and have Allan in a headcollar with a rope in my hand next to the horse I ride. The first time I did this was in the fall of 2020 when Allan was to be started after a long rest and was very fat. Actually, too fat to ride on… Peder had done it before I tested it and that was actually where the Olympic journey began… It was a bit scary at first but now it goes smooth and the horses really think it's fun, you notice it on them.

Allan and Hansson WL enjoying life. Photos © private.

It’s really inspiring to work here at Grevlunda. Peder has so many ideas for himself, many good ones and some crazy ones as you maybe already understand, ha ha! Like in the beginning when he told me to ride out on another horse and have Allan in just a headcollar and rope in my hand, my God… my first thought was “Help! What if I lose Allan, one of the world's best horses ... and destroy everything imaginable” but that was the first thought then, now it's just absolutely wonderful! The horses really like it, I like it, Peder likes it and it's a really good training method. Peder's view on the horses is really nice; harmonious and natural. And I think it's so important and nice to see the horses the way Peder does. He’s a real natural horseman, that’s for sure.

Photo © private. Allan and Flecu. Photo © private.

My next competition will be in the middle of February, when the plan is for Allan to go out and start jumping again. I'm looking forward to what 2022 has to offer with our new nice young horses and the older stars. I really think it will be an exciting new year!

- Alva - 



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