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Tell us about yourself and your horses

I’m Roosa, a 26-year-old Finnish amateur dressage rider based in Wiltshire UK with my three lovely horses. I’ve had my blog since 2013, where I share my equestrian life with everyone. Roosa’s Horsey Life is an equestrian blog that contains everything from dressage competitions, lesson recaps and training tips to equestrian style, fashion and matchy advice. In September 2013 I moved to Nottingham from Finland to do my Bachelor’s degree in politics at the University of Nottingham and after this, I was accepted to carry on with my studies at the University of Helsinki. There I did my Master’s degree in European Studies and I graduated in June 2018.
Roosa and one of her amazing dressage horses
I’m very lucky to have three lovely horses in my life, Vallu Erik and Melisse. All of them are bay Warmbloods, so it’s pretty clear I have a type. Vallu is an 18-year-old Swedish warmblood who I’ve had for 8 years, he’s trained to advanced/PSG and has been the best schoolmaster that I could have ever hoped to have! Everything I know about riding advanced level dressage is due to him. Erik is a 16-year-old Danish warmblood who is also trained to advanced level, he’s rather special and suffers from shivers, which has been a big learning curve to help him feel as comfortable as possible. Luckily, it’s only a mild version of it, which means he’s comfortable doing advanced level work, which I’m so grateful for as he’s the most incredible horse I’ve ever sat on. The latest addition to my gang is Melisse, a 17-year-old Finnish warmblood. We’ve known her since she was born as she was bred by my mum’s best friend, so when the opportunity came to acquire her we were over the moon to get such a special horse! Sassy, wild, beautiful and a total queen.

How did your horses come into your life?

Horses have been in my family’s life since my parents bought my older brother his first pony at the end of 1994! And we’ve ended up with more and more horses ever since then. My mum is a keen rider and one of my older brothers is a professional dressage rider, and my biggest inspiration for riding and wanting to have horses has to be my big brother Henri Ruoste as I remember ever since I was a little girl I wanted to start riding because I was so desperate to follow in his footsteps. I got my first pony in 2005 so that’s when horses came into my life.

How long have you been riding?

I was less than 6 months old when my mum put me on my brother’s loan horse Doris, but I truly started riding and having lessons when I was around 4 or 5 years old (my mum and I had to think long and hard to actually remember when it all started) and I never stopped! So I’ve been riding for over 20 years now (jeez, that makes me sound SO old!)

When and where do you ride?

Riding in the arena at home
I’m so lucky to have my horses at home, so I ride at our yard. And as I’ve got three horses I do end up riding at least one horse every single day, unless the weather is horrendous. We’ve got an arena at home, and although it’s only 20x40m it’s still so much better than not having arena at all.

How did you start riding?

I don’t think there was a time when not riding would have been an option. As both my oldest brother and my mum ride, I started riding as soon as I could walk (sounds so cliched but it’s the truth!)

How did you start in dressage?

There was never anything else for me than dressage! I am more than happy to confess that I am too much of wimp to consider jumping or eventing – I’ve tried them, loved it but been so scared of injury that I decided to stick to what I know best and what I’m most talented at.

What are you and your horses currently working on?

Erik is still in the midst of his rehab work so we’re still working on bringing him back to full work. First to the weather during winter and now how little I’ve had a chance to ride him I’ve decided to not pressure myself and therefore we’re taking it super slow. I’m desperate to get him back to full health so taking longer is better! Vallu is 18 years old and has nothing left to prove so he’s just a happy hacker and is ridden to try to combat his belly (he’s a bit of a pig!) but also he’s taking part in online dressage competitions doing the veteran league Elementary classes, so we’ll be focused on that for the next few months! Melisse is also working on online dressage competitions but doing medium and advanced medium, until the current global health situation clears up, and then we’ll move to real life competitions.

What do you love about riding?

It’s an escape from the ‘real’ world for a few hours. It brings me so much joy, peace and contentment to be outside in nature with my best friends.

What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

To get another young horse and train them up the levels myself. I was so young when I got Basse and I feel like whilst I learnt so much with him growing up together, I would love another chance to really appreciate the journey. The other long term goal is to be competing at medium/advanced medium level and qualifying to Area Festivals or regionals.

Your Top Tip – either a riding or caring for your horse tip

Perhaps the ultimate “matchy matchy” image
Always try to remember that no one knows your horse as well as you do. Trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right then get help from a professional. Don’t listen to the opinions of strangers, this applies to both riding and caring for your horse!

The Final Furlong – Eight Quick Questions

Who would be your dream horse to ride?

Ooo, difficult question! It’s either MSJ Freestyle or then Isabell Werth’s Weihegold, they’re both so dreamy.

Who is your equestrian rider hero?

Easiest question ever, my big brother!

If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?

My parents, my two big brothers and their wives! As we all live in different countries I hardly ever get to see them or spend time with them, so a dinner with them would be incredible!

Favourite colour horse?

Well, considering that I currently have three bay horses, you’d assume that it’d be a bay horse but actually my true favourite colour is a grey horse.

Favourite horse event

European Dressage Championships! You get to see all the best riders competing, but you don’t have to travel further than a few hours away with the plane.

Favourite food

Halloumi and avocado salad!! I have one nearly every day for lunch, what can I say, I’m a creature of habit. Although a close second is my mum’s lasagne because that is just out of this world.

Favourite way to relax

Bath, face mask, Classic FM and a big G&T!

Favourite film

Pride & Prejudice! I’ve seen it tens of times and I still think it’s beautiful. I read all of Jane Austen’s books when I was 15 years old, but Pride & Prejudice has always been a firm favourite.

Sharon Howe

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