Mr. Oats experiments with Prix Caprilli

Click to access Prix%20Caprilli,%20All%20Three%20Tests.pdf

Tests seen here- and woah, they were so COOL!

I forgot I had printed out copies for my trainer to work on (for fun) and she remembered and pulled them out during our lessons, and for her other lessons.

A Prix Caprilli is a dressage test with fences (very small ones) incorporated. So we have a series of dressage shows coming up, and what better way to practice ‘testing’ without riding the actual tests? Use Prix Caprilli and keep things interesting!

We rode the Intro level test- w/t and 2 small cross-rails, and then we rode the 1 Level test- and wow it was one of the crazier tests I have ever ridden…No chance to start obsessing over the fences, it’s all  you can do to keep going! Oats loved it, he didn’t have a single chance to get snarky or pissy with me. He and I were so focused! We definitely screwed up on them, but it was fun to just try it out for fun!

That was Wednesday, and for Thurs, I rode a bit during a lesson, so focused on some flatwork and getting a ‘short’ uphill canter, and when the lesson was over, schooled over some crossrails left over from the Prix Caprilli as a small course- outside line, diagonal, diagonal, diagonal, etc.

He was good, except my straightness really suffered. ARGH. It felt like Oats was saying you can either have ‘pace’ OR you can have ‘straight’…Not both. Oh well! Work to do.


Throwback Thursday: Riding up north

Throwback Thursday: Riding up north

Yes, I used to live in the Yukon! In Whitehorse, to be exact. And it always struck me as very funny that a place that has ‘horse’ in the title could be so….backwater when it came to real horses.

To be fair, I was moving to YT directly from Vancouver, which was a pretty horsey place (I lived in Burnaby, and rode at the Burnaby Horsemen’s facility). It was awesome!

Yukon?…much. People here tended to keep their horses outside all year, didn’t have stalls, barns or tackrooms (all creature comforts I was DEFINITELY used to!) and definitely not many arenas or indoor arenas. Actually, the first indoor arena in YT opened up while I was there, crazy eh?

And it gets extremely cold. -44 cold. And it was -30 for literally months at a time. People seemed to yahoo around in the bush all summer, their horses sat outside doing pretty much nothing in the winter, and then they hopped back on. Needless to say, the horsemanship I saw wasn’t overall great.

There were standouts though, and from what I understand, they competed their horses at QMS during the school year. Every year, at the ONE horse show offered in Whitehorse, they were the only riders who looked flat-out fabulous. Everyone else was kind of a scary shitshow.

I was genuinely concerned when I watched the hunters over fences and equitation classes.

Anyways, here’s myself and a big ol’ appy Josie. Not sure what her story really was, but she was pretty cute, green to jumping but very honest. We placed ok at the show, from what I can recall- and trust me, winning ribbons that said Whitehorse horse show was worth it- where else will I ever see that again? Haha.

I rode her in a dirt arena, and sometimes we hauled to the new indoor arena. She did get really sour as a lesson horse, and I eventually stopped leasing her when I started getting blamed for her bitter attitude. Forget that! I bought Mr. Oats, and moved back to Victoria…Which feels like a freaking horse mecca compared with Whitehorse.

So anyways, here’s the two of us in a hunter hack class- we wove drunkenly up to this fence and I was frankly surprised she jumped it! haha.


Trouble Will Find Me

Trouble Will Find Me

Rode Oats yesterday, and we had some mixed results- I worked over a pole-five strides-skinny box, and he kept ducking out of the skinny box. Trotted up to it and he was sooo discombobulated, he stopped!

So, I had the teens at the barn set up wings for the skinny (it kept feeling like he couldn’t ‘see’ the jump very well?) And he was fine! Hmmm.

Worked on some canter-trot transitions on a circle again, and it was good. But…I wanted to capture that ‘power’ feeling I had the other day…That feeling that I was in control of his canter, that I could PLACE him at a jump any stride I felt like…I could see and feel when we were going to take off, and I could control it.

Sadly, that seems to be something that is quite elusive to me, but at least I was lucky enough to ‘feel’ it once so far! Maybe it’s a work in progress.

So, his canter work felt good, but I didn’t feel like I had nearly the same control, power and feel that I had on the weekend.

Oh and I am entered in two dressage shows, but last night I had a stress dream about showing over fences again? I LOVE jumping. Why I do I fear it?



March Topbox Review

March Topbox Review

My March Topbox came quite late (Thursday of last week) due to shipping issues.

It appears to be a facial themed box this month.

It came with: Lashem eye brightener
Clinique foundation base (a tiny container of it)
Two packets of blackhead remover masques
Miracle 10 skin cream

I think it’s a pretty fair box, but I did want some fun stuff (anything by Benefit, China Glaze or Cargo) so I was a bit disappointed. Bring on the fun spring fashions, people!!

I also got a Canada Post package notice in the mail yesterday, dated for March 21…I have a feeling it is for this package, even though it made its way into my mail last Thursday! Just goes to show how dysfunctional my mail system is/continues to be.

I will continue my subscription for next month, and see what it brings me.


I love you, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

 I love you, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Jack: I wonder if the three of us would’ve been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people.

Courtesy of

Dreamy, beautiful, evocative. Everything a Wes Anderson film captures…The surreal, doll-house feel of his films, the simple beauty of family and friends, and the world as a set, a stage and a miniature.



“And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses.”–In Colt Blood

Here’s a quick Oats update:

No ride Thursday (had the Mounties concert instead).

Saturday: I was a bit hesitant because Oats had two days off, and I was wondering if he was going to be a wild man. I didn’t longe him, and was thinking if I was going to regret that the whole way down to the arena. But you know what? He was great. I had a fantastic canter going, so round and I felt like I could control every stride of it. I cantered in to a crossrail and could measure our strides exactly…It felt like a breakthrough ride.

Sunday- Rode a bit late due to my running going late. That meant we were in the arena during a few lessons, so I felt a bit more frazzled. No matter, he gave me some really nice canter work, our transitions were ok on a circle (when I wasn’t dodging anyone?!!!) and we got to watch a few riders go. On the whole, he was ok. We did have another epic battle of wills when I started pulling his mane again….aRGH. Haha. My husband asked why I spent three hours at the barn. THREE Hours? Jesus! I didn’t even realize I was gone that long!!!

Yikes! I’m too horsey, I think!


Do something nice for a friend

Do something nice for a friend

A friend of mine and her husband recently celebrated the birth of their first child- a boy! He is a bit premature and spending some time getting bigger in the hospital.

So, what do get for friends in need? I didn’t want to assume anything, and I know they would be too busy to get together…Being at the hospital day-in and day-out is exhausting and draining. The last thing I wanted to do was impose on their precious few hours recovering.

So, I baked some blackberry muffins, gathered up the baby shower gift I got and then didn’t have time to drop off before the baby arrived (eek!) and had Ian drop it off on their doorstep with a card. The card was actually a Winnie the Pooh quote that we printed and pasted to a construction paper ”Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart”

And voila! We left it on their doorstep and didn’t have to impose on anyone’s time. I still wanted to show I cared, but didn’t want to make it seem awkward.

This worked out really nicely, my friend appreciated the gesture and said she gobbled up a muffin as soon as she got home. And raccoons didn’t eat the muffins! Thank god!


Friday Funny: Mr. Oats, the troll doll

Friday Funny: Mr. Oats, the troll doll

He does NOT look amused in this photo! My husband was helping me groom him after our ride and decided to play up Oats’ natural volume…In his forelock! Haha.

Poor Oats, he puts up with so much from us.

Oh and yesterday, we went to a show (The Mounties were playing with Rich Aucoin!) So good! Rich Aucoin’s show was a standout, as usual. He pulled out all the stops–pulling out the giant parachute for everyone to get under, including himself! Jumping into the crowd, sing-alongs with Youtube videos and climbing on the railings at Sugar Nightclub. He’s a blast that guy, this is the second time I’ve seen him and enjoyed him every time.

Mounties were good, you could tell they didn’t play together that often (this was their third show ever) the first being at Rifflandia this summer, which I was also present at! Some parts were great, some a bit rusty/shaky sounding.

‘Headphones’ was excellent though, and so was Tokyo Summer. I’m interested to see what they release in the future. Also, a coworker of mine went to highschool with their drummer, from Limblifter and The New Pornographers; Ryan Dahle. How cool is that?


Throwback Thursday & a Week of Mr. Oats

Throwback Thursday & a Week of Mr. Oats

Here’s me and Lucy again, it looks like it’s time stamped for July 15, 2006. Loved that girl! She was such a lovely ride. We enjoyed our time together at Bear Hill very much.

Now on to my current beast…Hah I can barely remember my rides from the weekend, but they were pretty good I think…

Saturday– Flatwork with Oats, as we rode during a beginner’s riding lesson. I was expecting to feel bored by it, but in my work with Oats getting increased contact, our flat rides have actually felt HARD. They are physically a LOT of work!? What the heck? No horse-shaped balloon here. We did transitions on a circle; trot-canter-walk-trot-canter-walk. And it was tough!

Sunday– Hmmm now I really can’t remember… Oh wait, I wanted husband to take some pics or a video, and promptly rode Oats over a few small fences set up (haybales, x-rails, and a few verticals 2′) and he was great! We even trotted a small 2′ oxer! And no husband…So, no pics. He came down to the arena as we were cooling out. Booo!

Tuesday– More flatwork on a circle. Transition, some nice canter work that felt pretty connected. Trotted a vertical. Oats had a lovely canter.

Wednesday– Group lesson with Sarah and Donato. Yay! Oats was a tad cranky at Donato (who is this monster running up behind me???) but he can deal with. I was very proud of our canter work- over the ‘death circle’ of poles that foiled us many times in the past in the summer. Our canter has gotten SO much better, it felt great! We moved on to trotting, then cantering a crossrail, then working over a small course of 4 or so jumps. It was great! Donato was a very fancy jumper, just a bit quick.

So that’s our week in an nutshell. Taking today off (I do usually ride Thursdays) because I am going to a Mounties concert! YEAH!!!

The Big Finale Perogy: A Wedding Story, Part 6

The wedding proceeded as all weddings do…with some embarrassing dancing.

But first, some standout moments:  the bride was presented with a giant perogy courtesy of her grandmother I believe. I don’t know if she ate the perogy, but it did sit on the table for some time on display.

Yes let’s take a moment to digest this- a giant perogy sat on a table at a wedding.

To make the evening even more fun fun and get people involved, along with the perogy presentation and a few lame games, a new rule was instated. Instead of the traditional clinking of glasses, everyone who wanted to the happy couple to kiss had to sing a song.


Um NO THANKS I’m a terrible singer and don’t enjoy that–did NOT participate.

But several people were good sports and drunk, and did. They also started nominating other couples to kiss instead of the newlyweds, which again, some people did good naturedly, or if you were the bride’s parents, refused to kiss and looked stony-faced and simmering.

The wedding wound down and navy-overalls/running shoes girl was the only one left on the dance floor…We took that as a good cue to leave and headed back to my SO’s parents place.

I brought with me a few of the centerpieces, they were cute flowers in little pots, one of which the friend of my SO promptly broke the stem on. 

I guess that’s the way the giant perogy crumbles…