Goals? What goals?

I feel like I have kind of abandoned the idea of riding goals for myself and Oats, chiefly because our progress has always felt very…tenuous and shaky. I was doing fantastic last spring, and it completely FELL APART in a very dramatic and miserable way in the summer. Cue falling off three-four times in a week, every single time I jumped. And falling off at every freaking horse show. Wow.

So…yeah.

Funny enough I did meet a lot of my goals though? I was cruising around a 2’6” hunter course, I went in a jump derby and PLACED>! And this year I even entered in a clinic and *gasp* rode in it without having a complete and total meltdown, it was productive and even fun?

Who is this girl?

I guess it all taught me that goals are fine, but it’s more important to be flexible, because life and horses can completely bite you in the ass and turn things sideways so fast your head will spin.

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Do I have more riding goals?

  • Sure, why not. I’d like to show some more, maybe do some more –dressage- ? Hahah.
  • Also I would like to school cross-country again, it was really fun, and ride in more hunter shows.
  • I am thinking I might also make the effort to go to more two-day shows.
  • Enjoy my horse.
  • Go on a trail ride? Only one though. That will be it for me, it’s too frightening with the traffic on the road at our barn!
  • Confidently school 2’6” in lessons again with the occasional foray up to 2’9”.
  • Develop counter canter.
  • Work on lead changes.
  • Have fun!!

And I have some running goals too! I didn’t meet my goal last year- achieve a sub-45 minute 10k, but I do have hopes for that this year.

  • Achieve a sub-45 minute 10k
  • Run all of the races I signed up for (winter series)
  • Don’t race all of the races I signed up for. Be canny about where to spend your efforts, and use those ‘in between races’ aka MEC races, as good training efforts instead.
  • Achieve a 1:40 half marathon- stretch goal for sure. maybe not gonna happen.
  • Ramp up my mileage- I am enjoying running a lot so make sure to get out more and work it!
  • Try my hand at the track series again. I really liked it and found it super challenging.
  • Be positive about progress and lack of progress particularly with regards to injuries.

Want to be someone you can get behind

Back at work, and not so glorious. Oh well, at least it gives me an opportunity to be a productive member of society, and not a shiftless horseback rider and running bum, that I would prefer to be! I did ride Oats yesterday evening, and it was a fine ride. I do need some lessons soon though, to keep me back on track. Funny, my last lesson was on Wednesday and I already feel rusty?! The fine line between burnout and keeping my strength & skills is indeed something I have not mastered apparently.

Today I also shared a few recipes with colleagues that I happen to love, thanks to discovering them in Brasil. Without further ado- here they are! Yummy.

Pao de queijo- super easy to make and delicious! Use any kind of cheese & it is naturally gluten-free. This recipe does not make that many, so I doubled it to make about a dozen, and you can get tapioca starch at my favourite store, Bulk Barn.

http://rasamalaysia.com/brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo/

Mine pictured here:

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Yum pao de queijo

Also this is a super delicious bean stew- Feijoada. With Jamie Oliver’s recipe it can be vegetarian as well- also delicious

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/05/black-bean-pork-feijoada-one-pot-stew-recipe-brazil

Jamie’s version:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-veggie-feijoada/

And here is a song I really like right now too: The Tourist Company, “Pedestals”

Christmas aftermath

Man, so many things. Good and bad. I enjoyed my time off, considering I was in a spectacularly grouchy/depressed mood, I was in a WAY better mind frame to celebrate.

We went to Ucluelet for a few days to decompress before the family madness began, and then celebrated Christmas Eve at my husband’s parents farm, which was nice. We then had Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner at MY parents, which was also good. My gifts were lovely, my husband got me everything I wanted and I really loved the cool and unique gifts my sister, parents and stable friends gave me. WOW so generous!

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Yes I am wearing a grumpy cat Xmas sweater! Featuring new boots for Oats, love them so much.

I also did some Boxing Day shopping and bought myself another pair of running shoes (I know I know, I have like 10 pairs now..eek) and some cool funky clothes (I also have too many of those, haha).

I ate too much, went to two parties in one night, drank too much (again) and ran a lot and also rode Oats five days in a row, gave him three days off, and now tonight will be day 4 in a row he gets ridden! That pony gets a lotta love, gotta say it, haha. He also enjoyed a home-made cookie from one of the girls are the barn and he gobbled it up in RECORD time.

No Xmas is complete without some holiday drama, and it led me to realize my new year’s resolution is to not whitewash what I want out of life. Not whitewash WHO I am anymore.

I will finish with this- as I go into the new year, I’m planning on setting the slate clean with a few people (my parents). I want to go into a fresh year unencumbered by people’s expectations of me.

I have a dog, horse, rabbit and husband because I love and cherish all of them, and they all add value and joy to my life. I would never presume anyone needed any of those items or animals to make their lives whole. This is my experience.

Please do not assume I need children to make my life whole. That is your experience. I do not need convincing, judgement, argument or debate to ‘make me change my mind’. I don’t think everyone needs a dog, horse or husband to fully experience life–why do people think that about kids? Just stop.

In 2017, I am going to be clear about what I want with the people I love and am closest to. If that means they are upset with me, so be it. I am going to focus on what is most important to me, and maintain my priorities and my sense of self the only way I know how- with resolve and resolution.

So, I guess that’s my NYE resolution right there. I also really want to start planning my next exciting big trip and can’t figure out where I want to go/do next. Africa maybe??

Curious about the new Fruitcake Frapp? Check out my review!

Fresh off the press today, I got one of the drinks and without further ado…Here is my take on it:

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Fruitcake Frapp wearing a cute sweater.

Visually it is quite unappealing, except for the cute sweater that it is wearing. Something about green on top is a real turnoff for people.

The whipped cream adds nothing- quite literally tastes like oil-fluff?, the caramel sauce on top is nice, the green matcha also adds nothing.

The drink itself? Actually pretty good! I got it half-sweet, a light hazelnut mixed with very fruit-forward flavours. It does have a ‘baked goods’ slightly spicy zing to it, and if you hate raisins/craisins NOT the drink for you as it can be a bit chewy. Overall quite yummy and a very pleasant drink! Would I buy it again? Nope. That means having to go back to Starbucks.

But if you are so inclined, do try this one- it’s very unique and a fun seasonal drink.

Ugly doesn’t always mean bad.

Had my jump lesson last night, and I was in a touch better mood for it- I still went home and ate too much chocolate and junk food (UGH this is a habit that HAS to go) but I managed to pry myself out of the house at a reasonable hour and there was very minimal traffic heading out, so that already put me in a better mindset.

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Last year- a very eager Oats.

Oats was kind of lazy, but not super behind my leg. He is handling the cold better this week than last week. Maybe he was surprised by it last week, and found it really tough on his joints?

This week our exercise was a grid- and it went fine, nothing exciting, to a canter raised-pole/cavaletti exercise that we bombed quite spectacularly. I think I was feeling quite smug with our previous attempts at this type of exercise, because it really took me by surprise how lousy our yard-sale attempts were!

It was pretty ugly- breaking to trot, flying through, coming in long, coming in short, you name it, we did it. Yikes!

Compared with the grid, this was technical stuff. I really enjoyed learning, and though it was quite hideous and we looked like complete amateurs, I felt like we were working through some stuff and it got me out of the funk I’ve been feeling lately. Oats, as usual, was a good pony who is trying! We even went through the raised-pole exercise with reins flapping in the breeze to try and make him ‘figure it out’ and he did start getting it. I started getting tired, haha, and was told to stop – helping- him so much.

I am getting a lot out of this type of work, and look forward to trying it even more in the future. Good pony. 🙂

Scary but good?

After coming home yesterday, freezing my butt off and roosting on the couch after a mini-intense junk food binge (seriously, I am good like 85% of the time and then eat chocolate/chips/whatever I can grab my hands on like an insane madwoman…) I did NOT want to go to my dressage lesson.

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Oats working on his buddy Rylin’s nose.

Ian reminded me how I didn’t want to lesson last week either, but when I went I was happy I had gone. I still didn’t want to go.

It was dark, I was cold, stuffed to the gills on cheap chocolate and food shame.

I grudgingly dragged myself off the couch, discarded the blanket I was huddled under, and began the arduous task of piling on the layers to go to my lesson. I resented every step of the way, from boiling water to drink tea during my lesson, to putting on my shabby, falling apart UGG boots to go to the barn. Traffic was bad, and it made me even grouchier.

I got to the barn and it was freezing. All the cross-ties were taken up, which is fine, but it’s so DARK in the stalls if I have to tack up there, so I was crabby about that too. Can’t you play ponies after school or something? Not during a time I have to tack up at night, in the freezing cold, in a big rush because I am SUPER LATE from horrendous traffic? SHEESUSH.

[I am now combining sheesh with jeezus]

Oh well, we tacked up, and my trainer was super late too, hahah.

It seemed breathtakingly cold to me- my eyes were watering, my nose running, my face freezing. My lesson-mate was riding in a vest and a t-shirt? She is totally insane!?

Oats warmed up really well actually. Moving out a lot better than I thought he would, even with the bitter cold. Hm…Our trainer recommended a lot of walk work for our lesson, to avoid stressing the horses in the cold and reducing our cool-out time. We didn’t want the horses getting too worked up and sweaty. Lateral work it is! YAy….

Oh wait, last time I did that it sucked.

Except yesterday’s lesson was different. We were very proactive, and Oats was totally on-board, despite my grouchy and miserable nature. He was super with me, and focused. We worked on developing a forward walk, to ‘quick steps’ to keeping their heads high and ‘engaged’. We then worked on haunches-in at the walk, to straighten them up, to walk-canter transitions. We took that ‘up’ canter to a haunches-in at the canter on the longside. The canter felt WEIRD?! So ..up? And leapy? Oats was all confuzzled for awhile, not sure what I wanted- lead changes?

And the leaping and confusion scared the bejesus out of both of us. We are not used to animation in the canter, and all of a sudden we had so much power we didn’t know what to do with it. Funny eh?

Oats slowly started figuring out what I wanted, and wonder of wonders, we did even end up getting some haunches-in at the canter, it was easier to the left, and not quite there on the right. But hey, it was a really neat feeling and left me wanting more more more! Good pony.

Ian was right- I did have a good ride and it was super cool to experience.

I never make New Year’s resolutions because I apply myself to every day of the year in a fashion that can only be described as ‘resolute’

Aka I am in the depths of some sort of winter doldrums and am having an increasingly hard time wanting to ride, wanting to leave my house, going to work, and I dunno, live like a normal person?

UGH. The winter blahs are officially upon me. We are having another ‘Arctic Outflow’ situation and it is FREEZING in a place that usually isn’t…I hate it. Hate it so much. It’s freaking dark all the time, freezing, I am getting very short-tempered in general and at work, and I like to think that’s not normally me…

I have a perma-headache in my freaking sinuses that I maybe blame on being dehydrated/allergies/hangover that won’t leave me?

I have been very grouchy and short-tempered with people in general. Sigh…And my horse too, though we had a very decent ride last night! We worked on long and low, and then a rather technical exercise (by my lazy-woman standards) of working on transitions between 5-6 strides in poles. It was tough! I was very pleased with Oats’ efforts.

I was freezing after though! And I am NOT sleeping right now, I have no clue why- anxiety, stress, anger..not sure?

I’m just…not having it anymore. Grumble grumble grumble…