Riding Mr.Oats

Oats has been very consistent lately, and I couldn’t remember the last time he spooked with me…Except…

Tuesday it was quite windy out, and I went down to the indoor. Another rider had a lesson and showed up later, and Oats could.not.stop.staring! He was distracted, had a pretty big spook at the gate, and was kind of all over the place. We got into a good canter, but after our canter he was snapping at his bit, and kind of head tossing and anticipating another transition. ARGH

That was ok, except going down the long side of the arena, the backdoor blew open! And beyond that? Utter and complete darkness!! To Oats, the gates of hell must have opened up and it was a yawning mouth of black ready to swallow him whole…So

He SHOT sideways, leaving me practically like Wile-E-Coyote hanging in midair. Except I’m getting to be much more solid in the tack, and I went with him for his sudden sideways jaunt.

Sheesh. I felt like my poor stomach got lost in the torsion or something. 

I picked myself up together, and the instructor went to shut the door and we walked calmly past it. 

And I called it a day. Thanks, but I am leaving on a trip soon…!

Our lesson on Wed was uneventful. Worked over a course of poles, and of course I started acting like I was on course at a Grand Prix showjumping venue, instead of just cantering poles. Had my ‘intense’ face on…hahahaha.


And some more clothes (holiday edition!)

And some more clothes (holiday edition!)

Found more clothes, and am congratulating myself on them.

To date:

Joe Fresh boatneck sweater in pink and red stripes
Bluenotes shorts – topical for me, headed to a hot climate!
American Eagle red sweatpants
5 tanktops- Bluenotes and other assorted brands. Colours:
Red, Purple, Green, Turquoise and Burgundy.


If people were truthful on Facebook

(Stole these from the Chronicle of the Horse. Too funny to pass up!)
I admit I am guilty of sugar-coating things, or only posting positive life events. Hey, we’re all spin doctors of our own lives, right? I’m just ensuring the ‘right’ PR goes forward. Without further ado..
To my adequate husband, on this the anniversary of our marginally-well-thought-out wedding, I thank you for five tolerable years. Not a day goes by in which I don’t congratulate myself for resisting the urge to throttle you. Hugs and kisses, your wife.

Dear Facebook friends: thanks so much for all of your heartfelt two-word birthday wishes on my wall. Especially those of you whom I’ve never met but who work with my ex-officemate’s brother-in-law. I’m truly blessed to have you in my life, even if I couldn’t pick some of you out of a police lineup (love those cartoon profile pictures!).


Wow, Penelope. Your baby has grown so much since you posted a video of her yesterday. She is just galloping past those milestones! I’ll be away from my desk for a few minutes and my Facebook iPhone app has been squidgy lately, so please text the next video to me. I can’t bear to go more than a couple of hours without an update. Please also use seven exclamation points and three lols in the text. 

True eh?

Finally have a win!

Finally have a win!

That’s right, now I have something to celebrate. Yeehaw! In exactly 1 week, I will be headed to this fabulous locale, without cell phones, internet, electricity…

This is the San Blas islands in Panama. An archipelago run by the indigenous population (the Kuna people) who don’t really speak much Spanish OR English–instead having a dialect of their own.

They own and run tourism businesses operating out of the San Blas islands and for a rather princely sum, you can camp (we are) or stay in a hut (we’re not) on basically a deserted island to yourself for a few days. Food is brought in 3X a day, and you can go snorkeling and visit other islands too.

I can’t wait! This will be my first trip to Panama. Yeah!!


Needs a ‘win’

Needs a 'win'

Yeah, despite my other posts- they came a bit earlier than the bad news that immediately preceded it…

This is actually how I am feeling at the moment. I want to wallow in my grinch-ness. I am feeling spectacularly grinchy and cranky. And hell, let’s throw crabby in there too.

Remember earlier, when I was crowing about how lucky I was? Well, I’m lucky but others around me aren’t. And I want them to be. Hence my sudden dissolution into grinch-hood. ARGH.

So, I’m still feeling crabby. And a Merry Christmas to all! I am sure it will pass. Grumble…

Finding my ‘eye’

I sometimes struggle in the winter (and hell, summer) with motivation, particularly with wanting to jump. I love it, but it does scare me and I get anxious…And start not wanting to do it anymore.

After my horse show recently, I did a jumping lesson and then slowly started not wanting to jump, as I was feeling like I was ‘anticipating’ problems and it made me feel nervous.

So, what to do? I told my instructor I felt like I didn’t trust my ‘eye’…And it was making me feel anxious. 

We set up an exercise where she set up a pole, and drew a divot a foot or so in front of it. She said to walk up to the pole, and stop where the divot was dug–without looking down at it. So I had to ‘feel’ with my inner eye where to stop.

I stopped and she asked where I was–and I said I felt like the divot was ahead of me. I looked down, and we had completely nailed it.

We did it again, and I felt like I overshot it, and checked again. Nailed it.


There’s nothing wrong at all with my eye–I am actually extremely accurate?! It’s my brain that’s the problem. Ha.

We moved on to cantering two poles set 4 strides apart, and when we did it in-stride, Oats got 4 strides perfectly…So smooth and easy. We then set to collect it into 5 and damn, it was very difficult!

Oats was really sweaty, and it was way tough. Interesting! For me, it’s a way to work on more technical exercises without involving the drama of jumping- we’ll move on to setting up jumps in this exercise later, but for now, it’s interesting to boil it down a bit more. Oats was great! 


Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Ian, Gidget, Mr. Oats and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

We take this photo every year, and every year it’s a challenge to keep the hat on Oats, keep Gidget looking in the right direction, and keep Oats ears forward, instead of back and angry-looking.

Mission accomplished? Sort of? Haha.

Oh well! From our family to yours. The only one missing is Buster. I will upload his Christmas photo separate- hint- it involves a dress, which he was very annoyed to wear. It lasted two seconds.

Cantering on

Rode Oats last night and I had a real desire to go out and ‘fix’ what went wrong with my right lead canter transition from my lesson on Wed. And you know what? We had one of the toughest, but most rewarding and physically demanding rides yet! I asked, and he trotted faster. I brought him back, and we did more transitions- trot-halt-walk-canter-halt-trot and so on and so on. Canter-walk-halt-trot and on and on. We must have cantered for 45 minutes straight- right lead, left lead, collected (well, attempted collected…).

I felt good. It wasn’t really very pretty – oh definitely not – but I got off and damn, we did work hard. It felt pretty righteous actually, haha. The downside? Working in a pretty difficult gait for us (canter) and asking for up-transitions and collected canter made Oats incredibly sweaty. He was steaming, my infinity scarf was literally wet with condensation from me breathing on it. I put his cooler on to walk him out, and rode him around at the walk for ages.

Even when I took him back to the barn, his ears and chest and legs were still sweaty. It was a tough ride. I towelled him off and decided to leave him in for the night, as I saw the wind chill was supposed to get down to -15 and I didn’t want him to get chilled. Oats was a happy little clam in his stall with a flake of hay to keep him company.

I don’t think our canter issues are fixed at all, but sometimes you need these intense, tough rides to really make you think more about your ride. How you affect your horse, how ‘in the game’ you are on that day. When I rode with other folks, I sometimes let their ride affect my mindset and I get distracted. When it was just me? Oh, it was alllll me and Oats last night. And that kind of focus is hard to get on a regular basis (and you don’t always want that level of intensity on a day-to-day basis, it can be really tiring!!).

Oats had today off and a ride on Sat.