25th Annual TC 10K

25th Annual TC 10K

Yeah! This year they even gave out commemorative medals for finishers!

Going into the race, I was NOT feeling it. I’d hurt my knee this year, and was struggling to get back to running on the regular, not even running full 10ks or racing speed. I was doing a lot more short runs and maybe a 6-8k once a week? My knee was still wonky and I was pretty concerned it was going to blow doing this race, but I’d already committed.

And in my infinite wisdom (which apparently is NOT infinite) I’d also signed up for a horse show the day before. Because that’s not tiring at all, is it? HAH!

And I trained pretty hard for the TC 10k by being too sick to run the week before and being barely able to drag myself off the couch for the week…And every time I tried to run, I’d cough my lungs out.

So, success right??

And surprisingly it went quite well! I got an ok time of 53:46- a titch slower than last year, my ideal goal is 50 mins. The run itself was kind of a hell unto itself…

– I got stuck in the walkers group for the start, because apparently they decided to make it extra-difficult to fight your way through 11,000 people to get to your correct starting gate…
– I stood on the pavement for 20 minutes jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with people in the freezing weather.
– It started raining as we climbed the hill at Dallas Rd and blasting wind. So, not only did it feel like I was running backwards, but I was getting rain in my face the whole time. FUN.
– I didn’t even take my sweater off the whole run. Brr.
– I wanted to give up SO HARD. I was running to protect my left knee, and it started threatening me around the last 3km. I was like, don’t give out, don’t give out, don’t give out…

And I made it! YEAH! So, even just finishing felt pretty good.

Ian and I went home, warmed up and showered, and then went out for brunch. I had a nap later. It was a great end to the weekend.


Oats tries jumpers! (With some success!!)

Oats tries jumpers! (With some success!!)

So, this weekend I had overscheduled myself. Literally. Horse show at the Cowichan District Riding Club on Saturday in Duncan, and then the Times Colonist 10K run on Sunday.

Easy right?

Well!!! I’ll tackle this in two parts- 1 is the horse show (today’s entry).

Saturday we got up at the asscrack of dawn (approx 5:30 for me, probably like 5am for Nicole) and hauled our tired and confused ponies up to the Cowichan fairgrounds, the new site.

I entered in the x-rails and the 2′ ‘match the clock’ jumper classes. Warmup was quite tense, the loudspeaker BOOMED at us, and Oats was having mini hissy-fits when I got a bit too grabby at the canter- I had frantic visions of getting bucked off again, and I was!!!

Warm up o/f was fine though, it’s the flat part we struggle with. And then blam, I’m the first one in the ring! Which wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem except for a few things:

– I have never ridden jumpers before. What buzzer?
– There are 9 jumps, not 8. I only rode 8. Oops!
– I can’t seem to remember my course for the life of me. Shit, where did jump #6 go? I thought it was on the diagonal?! No. It’s on a line. The outside line. ARGH.

So, I missed the buzzer, missed my final jump, and the second x-rails course, forgot where I was going. OOPS! haha. The 2-ft class went well though, and I sort of aced it!

Baby steps people, baby steps. Oats had another minor hissy fit in the warmup ring, and Nicole had to grab his bridle to walk him back in, as he was threatening a rear or two. Silly pony! His jumping did feel nice, and when I felt confident to let him cruise, he cruised. He didn’t pull ANY shenanigans in the show ring. He was honest and interested, if a bit too interested, in what was going on outside the fence….

It was a busy busy day! We did well, with a 5th and a 4th in our classes that I managed to actually complete. Hah, when I did I get so bad about remembering my courses? Ohh well, I guess that is what schooling is for eh?

Here is Oats wearing his silly travelling helmet and his ribbons from the day. Oh and it was SO BUSY on the fairgrounds. A cow show was happening at the same time (talk about exciting!! Bellows! Moos!!) and lots and lots of horses competing.

We are getting out there and getting it done though! Go us!


Throwback Thursday: More from Burnaby Horsemen’s Association

Throwback Thursday: More from Burnaby Horsemen's Association

Before I leased the big lunk Ardie and rode Starr, I leased Mickey. He was a very cute little pinto dude with a big attitude. Here he is investigating my hand- note this is in December I think? Man, the West Coast is awesome.

He was a fun ride and pretty full of himself. He loved to jump and had great flying lead changes. His owner moved him to a different facility after only a month or two, and I was pretty bummed out until she hooked me up with Ardie’s owner and the rest is history!

Mickey, you fun loving little guy! Hope you’re out teaching more riders how to jump or do a clean change. You were a blast to ride the short time I rode you.

I do think very fondly of my time riding over in Burnaby. The people could be kind of nutty but man they knew how to have fun!


And here I was

And here I was

For the whole weekend! Yep, pretty tempestuous, but it was a desperately-needed break.

I wanted to go either surfing or kayaking this weekend, but unfortunately my husband and I were too sick to even pick up a surfboard (ughhh) so we did some light hiking and a lot of sleeping and sitting in a hot tub.

I’m feeling a bit better, still have a cough but the majority of symptoms have abated, like chills, sore throat, extreme muscle/joint pain and body aches. PHew!

The weather was not great, it was ok when we arrived and then the next day it HAMMERED rain all day. Gidget was less than impressed.

That’s ok though, we visited the adorable Ucluelet aquarium, went to Tofino and had lunch at the great Sobo (not cheap but worth it!!) and then visited the Tofino Brewery. They’re a fun bunch those guys, not much more than a warehouse in the industrial district, literally, it is on a road called ‘Industrial Road’ but they have so much heart!

And then back to the folks for Easter dinner, and riding on Monday.

Oats was very good, having some really fun times with him these days–Monday we just hacked around and then trotted and cantered some small crossrails set up.

Tuesday we rode during a lesson (blah!) and there were quite a few other riders…So my hacking was a bit distracted, disjointed and lousy. BUT we cantered a small vertical so smoothly…My coach said she didn’t even see it as a jump, it was so quiet. Nice!

Go pony go!


Throwback Thursday: The rhino can jump~

Throwback Thursday: The rhino can jump~

Yep, back in good ol’ Whitehorse here.

Myself jumping Cool at the Whitehorse horse show. We were doing the x-rails class and it was pretty hilarious. He would literally THUNDER down the lines to the jumps. EEK! We were not very graceful. I think we placed third out of three in these classes, hahahah.

Here is us landing off a small fence. Hilarious! I believe Cool was a Fjord-cross, and definitely more than a bit overweight…

Feels like I only move backwards

Inspired by Tame Impala’s latest…

I read over my ranting about the dressage show the other day, and yeah, sometimes it DOES feel like I only move backwards. Like, the progress I make is in the opposite direction?

But then I shake my head and think, that isn’t right! I have had an excellent winter with Oats, learning new things, perfecting some things, and like, REALLY enjoying his canter. I want to canter everywhere! So why this angst in the dressage ring?

My sister says I’m probably just rusty. And that is probably it.

Rode yesterday (still have a head cold and feel lousy…) and Oats was good but I wasn’t so good. Hah. It was one of those days where popping over some crossrails is a fun idea, until you realize you can’t get a good approach OR distance to save your freaking life! Even in the trot!? WTF?

Long- no, short- no, wait, long. Quick, jump up his neck! Oops chip! 

Crap! Yep, I think my balance was definitely off, and couldn’t get it together at all. Haha poor Oats. Yeah, I felt lousy haha.

I’m taking today off from the barn (to go to the Zolas show!!! yeah!!).

Riding Thursday and then Oats and I get the weekend off as I am heading up-island for some much-needed R&R. Did I mention how I have a head cold and feel miserable? Yeah, I need a long weekend. Thank you Easter!!


Dressage Show #2: QMS. Hmmph.

Dressage Show #2: QMS. Hmmph.

So, this weekend I was back at it- in the dressage arena.

Sidenote: Last time I showed dressage at QMS, I was just learning Training 1 and 2, and scored pretty respectably- in the low 60’s for sure.

Yesterday was not the case. AGAIN.

We hauled up well, warmed up really nicely, felt super chill and good! Oats was being a great boy. And then the tests..dun dun dunnn…

Yeah, got two mega-bucks in the exact same spot. Right lead canter circle, coming back around to close up the circle. I was circling around, felt him start to fall in, and got desperate, and yanked him around with my right hand. HE, on the other hand, did NOT feel charitable with this sudden turn of events and BAM BAM! bucked as hard as he could twice.

Noooooo!!! It was otherwise quite a respectable test. FUCK.

I was sitting there, like, totally stunned. Coach yelling at me to grab up my reins and keep going!!!


The second test was quite distracted as well, with irritated me. I went 100% the other direction on my right-lead canter circle and dropped my inside rein. So, Oats broke into trot. Hahahaha…shit.

Wiggled-waggled our way down the centre line, something that is not normally an issue, and shame-faced a salute. UGH.

Oh well, our scores were pretty lousy, compared with last October. How is it that we are GETTING WORSE at dressage, when my general riding in dressage and other stuff is feeling like so much better? Does anyone have a good explanation? Cuz I’d love to hear it!!


Oats was very eager to get back on the trailer. You know, he warmed up great, was a good boy on the ground, and we got our perfect right-lead in the warm up ring after his little explosion. So…what is happening in the dressage ring?

Well, I stayed on this time, and I didn’t go off course. Small victories? Yeah I need them right now.

Hilariously, we were last in every test. Interesting, considering last year we were placing very well. ARGH.


Friday Funny- random

Friday Funny- random

Loved this!

Rode Oats yesterday, I am also batting a very fast-moving cold so I wanted to keep it short-ish. He was great! We worked on 10 steps trot, 10 steps canter (going large for the right, our tough side).

We also trotted and then cantered a crossrail on the diagonal, and then cantered a crossrail to oxer that was part of a gymnastic but then lined up pretttyyy nicely for a good broken line. At least it did in my mind, Oats was a little like WTF?

I kind of wanted to jump through the gymnastic, but it was set a bit long for us (prob would have been good if we cantered in) but nobody was out with me, so not risking it.

He was good!

Wed I had a lesson, and I was feeling a bit burned out of dressage, so we worked on some transitions, and then moved on to small jumps. We built up a good, big canter and cantered a crossrail, to a crossrail on the diagonal, back to trot, leg-yield trot to the wall. Then back to canter, canter the crossrail the other direction, canter a small vertical, and the back to trot and leg-yield back over.

Fun! We then cooled out doing some nose-to-wall leg yields (confusing for Oats) and steps towards turn on forehand (also mildly confusing for Oats.) Whip sideways? Step back and keep backing? Throw head around? So many decisions! So many of them wrong!!! HAHa.

Fun times!


Throwback Thursday: Ardie and I

Throwback Thursday: Ardie and I

Love this big ol’ guy. A TB that looked and moved more like a warmblood. Or, according to a trainer who hopped on him one day, ‘cantered like a washing machine.’ HAHA.

Leased him for six months or so when I lived in Vancouver. He was at Burnaby Horsemen’s Association facility, which was super close to my house. I rode him in two horse shows, a small in-house horse show featured here, and a bigger indoor show in Cloverdale.

He was such a sweetheart, big lug, and he and I practiced hunters together. He used to scare me because of his size, but we started getting good together by the time I moved to Whitehorse.

Here’s to you old man- I was tempted to bring him up North with me, or maybe move him to Victoria with me when I was horse shopping! He is now semi or mostly retired, according to his owner who I keep in touch with here and there.

I tell you, it was a real shock to go from him to Starr, who I would also ride on the same days after Ardie.

Love this old dude.