Right Place Right Time: Dressage recap!

Had a semi-private dressage lesson last night, and after taking two weeks off from our lessons (but definitely not from riding) it went pretty well! We worked on developing a collected canter via lateral work, specifically leg-yielding off the wall at the trot and then trying to hold it through the canter.

22491970_10159452708145191_3288903552178635368_n

Oats gets a haircut…And it has already grown out. WTF?!!!

Oats did NOT find it easy and showed this through two ways- breaking into trot from the canter, or giving me a big flying lead change! Haha

I was very pleased with his work and his attention span. He didn’t really have any big hissy-fits, which is unusual as he kind of gets worked up with this sort of disciplined lesson. He got very sweaty, despite the fact that he IS clipped. He grew a really thick coat this year, more so than previous years, and sadly the clip is not lasting…Gah.

His attitude has been very good, he almost wins for ‘most improved horse’ in that region. I know, crazy eh? Our short leg-yields were really good (for us, ha) and I was feeling very ‘flowy’ and ‘smooth’ which can be a bit of a rarity for us.

He gets a day off today, and a day off for me too before our jump lesson on Thursday.

Advertisements

Tough Jump

So in my post-juice-cleanse fervor, I forgot to update about my Thursday jump lesson! That’s right, juice cleanse + jump lesson = success?!!?

Um, maybe not.

But it was a very interesting one anyways. Circle jump with two skinnies (box and an arch) that we were VERY bad at, and even worse at angling…I just couldn’t seem to think fast enough/get my eye and brain going around the turn in time. Ha. Poor Oats was like WTF are we…doing?

Anyways, it was a pretty challenging ride and we didn’t even make it to the full course- I was exhausted! My legs were burning and I was huffing and puffing. Oats was quite sweaty, and seems to be sweating through his clip job in November, arghh.

My final course went like, circle jumps to the right, angle the arch (didn’t make it, had to go around and angle it correctly) to a small canter-in grid, to the circle jumps, jump across the diagonal, go large to a small verticle on the long side and then back to the circle jumps going to the left, and then over the ‘road closed’ on the long side, back to other verticle on the long side, with an angled jump over the arch.

PHEW!

Tiring I tell ya!

I couldn’t figure out if I was tired b/c of the juice cleans or just plain tired because it was a tricky and technical ride. I’m going to chalk that up to both!

Jusu 1-day easy cleanse. My review!

IMG_0371

Full disclosure– I do not believe in cleanses or detoxes (that’s what your liver is for, and maybe less drinking and/or eat more fruit and vegetables). I also bought this at a charity silent auction for $30, so for that value for money it’s a fun thing to try out. Full price is $60, so your view may vary on whether it is worth it or not!

The easy cleanse is made up of 6 juices:

Must Be Nuts. A really fun one to kickoff the day and also their highest calorie juice. It tastes vaguely chocolately, and slightly gritty but not unpleasant. Quite tasty and a real treat! I had this around 9:30 am. I didn’t feel hungry after this one, even though I went through my usual routine (gym at 11am) and found my mouth watering watching Rachel Ray cook a turkey on TV when I was running on the treadmill. Weird, because I don’t really like turkey and I wasn’t particularly hungry.

IMG_0373

Emerald City. Very low-calorie veggie juice, quite ‘cucumber-forward’ and tasted to me like a very zingy gazpacho. A slow sipper, but nice to drink and quite light. I had this around 12:30 pm as my ersatz lunch drink. It was a bit difficult to smell people’s food in the microwave at this point but not that bad.

IMG_0374

The Classic. This one tasted much more ‘fruity’ and was a very vibrant burgundy courtesy of the beets. Relied heavily on ginger and apple for strong flavours. This was around the time my stomach started feeling very acidic…I had this one around 2:30 pm. Also there was an art show opening on our floor that had two-bite brownies, cookies and banana bread. Sorely tested my willpower, but I managed to move on.

IMG_0375

Green Machine. Very ginger-forward, hints of parsley and a bite of lemon.  At this point I still wasn’t feeling hungry BUT I also didn’t want to drink juice anymore. My stomach felt really ‘sloshy’ and quite acidic with minor heartburn and I was FREEZING. I drank this one around 5:00 pm and finished it driving out to the barn for my jump lesson. I brought my fifth juice with me in the car but…yeah.

IMG_0376

Didn’t drink this one, still in my fridge: Hawkeye. It looks cool, but after riding the idea of drinking any more juice made my stomach recoil and I had pretty bad heartburn after too. GAG.

IMG_0377

Double Jointer. Now this one I drank with pleasure- after skipping Hawkeye I thought this one might help settle my stomach and it did! It’s another fairly high-calorie drink, very smoooooth almond flavour, not quite as gritty as Must be Nuts and a pleasant and mellow way to wrap up the night. This one did not bug my stomach, it was really nice to drink. I drank this one at 8:30pm.

IMG_0378

Pros: I actually woke up with abs this morning. I can say that has happened basically NEVER. So….bonus?

Cons: I spent the entire night running to the bathroom to pee every hour on the hour. Water weight anyone?

Basically, the juice cleanse is a fun idea and an interesting way to test your willpower. If you’re like me and spent the week eating kind of regretfully (dinner at Bao with friends on Monday, dessert at Olo  too, Premier’s Awards Dinner on Tuesday with cheesecake and wine, Wednesday candy buffet/bingefest with the candy curated by yours truly so you know it’s good…) then this is a fun way to ‘test’ yourself and see what you are really capable of. Does food entertain you, keep you from being bored? This might help change your perspective if only for a little bit.

Of course, the only true cleanse is moderation in everything and fruit/veggies. But yeah, you knew that!

 

 

No jumps and all poles and bending make me feel something something

Ohh yeah, I didn’t update this from my jump lesson on Thursday because it ended up NOT being a jump lesson, instead more like an exercise in frustration with poles! UGH!

oats pic

Miss jumping outside, and well, can’t we just just jump it? haha.

We did this crazy zig-zag course with like 10 metre canter turns and wow it sucked and we were bad at it. Like, really bad. Oats was dragging me through my outside hand, and for probably the first time ever my trainer was shouting at me to halt and then canter. Halt? Oats? His preferred gait is ‘standing around doing nothing’ so I was pretty surprised. But it was true…I was getting dragged and he was getting heavy and together we were going nowhere.

So the poles did not get put to jumps because we were kind of sucking at it so hard. I was sweating, Oats was sweating and it was just a lot of work and not the really fun type of work, the really hard type of work.

I then went home and pondered on it. Not fun but hard. Hm.

And practiced it a bit on Saturday (getting schooled again by the idea of a dressage canter and not holding a line to a pole correctly..ha). I let it go a bit on Sunday and schooled some easy lines to the World’s Smallest Xrails. Another trainer or kid likes to set jumps that are so small that I think Oats finds them hard to see, let alone jump! But I was also feeling kind of lazy (weekends, and a long run will do that to you). I left them and we schooled them.

All in all, ok. But man…Feeling like a plateau in my riding for sure. ARGH.

There’s no one new around you

A long weekend, and a pretty good one! I have to say that as the days get shorter, I get much less enthused about…running, riding, and trying to fit things in that aren’t my couch, or Netflix. Sighhh

IMG_0365

Oh well there were activities this weekend to force myself off the couch, like:

Riding Oats on Saturday and doing a fairly technical serpentine exercise, with transitions at ‘C’ on each loop of the serpentine. Kept us focused, and I eventually went up to walk-canter-walk for the transitions. A very good one to keep in the back pocket!~!

Went to watch friends ride at the Jane Stone Winter Series jump clinic on Sunday- they rode excellently, it made me feel both nervous and jealous! Wow what a technical challenge. I also made great use of my in-laws hot tub and ran up Cobble Hill mountain too. A good day, despite the blah and dreariness.

Made cheese (ricotta) with Ian on Monday. Fun! And bonus, he made a great cannelloni with it too. Yum yum.

And yesterday back at work, but I did go riding and schooled some small fences, with trot fence gymnastic (my personal nemesis, like oxers). I even did a trot-in xrail, to a one-stride vertical that I hopped off to set up, and accidentally set at 2’6”! And Oats was foot-perfect! YEAH!

I did tell Vicki last week that I was feeling like I needed to start challenging myself a little bit more, and I guess that was it!

My review: The Pop Shoppe’s Lime Ricky

IMG_0858

Now, what’s the first thing you think of when you see ‘lime’? Sour? Tangy? Zingy?
Yeah me too.

Sadly, I’m here to tell you to leave this alcoholic Pop Shoppe’s Lime Rickey on the shelf. Or in my case, on the shelf of the weird dino- liquor store in the Westshore (you know the one). 

It’s not sour, it’s not tangy, it’s just very…green. Like a vibrant green that would have SImpson’s Nuclear Power Plant employees chasing after it, it’s that crazy neon toxic waste colour.

It has a vaguely bitter before-and-after taste that is rather off putting. Nothing about it screams ‘lime’ except maybe the pith of limes is bitter?

Real lime rickeys are not sweet, very lime-forward and are made with either gin or bourbon. You can’t tell what this one has (I’m guessing some sort of cheap malt alcohol, of the type found in Smirnoff Ice or those horrendous Straw-ber-itas made by Bud Light). It’s not better than a Bud Light anything. 


I also have to add that they spell Lime Ricky without the ‘e’ but conventional spelling appears to have the ‘e’ in it, so that’s staying. Another knock against them.

Your ambitions also inspire others

Dressage lesson on Tuesday (my last one for two weeks, as my lesson partner is away and I have other priorities for the next few Tuesdays as well). And we re-visited the ‘diamond of doom’ ha exercise from last week.

20840949_10100829903389976_6490251507703239620_n

It’s a particularly revealing exercise, because the horses both have absolute meltdowns at some point during it- revealing without mercy the holes in our training…Yikes.

We did it first at walk-trot-walk w/o stirrups, and then I did a few w/o stirrups walk-canter (but then had to take them back) and we did it both reins, in both gaits, and the second time we went to do it off the right rein- you guessed it- HISSY FIT city for both horses.

Oats was like, no. Just no. I am done. I have done this now TWICE and I am OVER IT.

I had to walk, cajole him ‘nicely’ into the exercise while he gnashed his teeth, huffed and puffed, ran backwards and swished his tail and threw his head down. He was pissed! Nevertheless….we persevered. It was ok, I can be calm and just.keep.asking. And wouldn’t you know, he let go of his pissy attitude and started coming around.

The trick here…Is to not buy into drama. And it is soooo tempting, the drama part. He gets all fussy and huffy and I want to get into it too! But, no. Calm, quiet, walking, boring. And eventually the drama goes away by itself, ha.

Karen reminded us that the exercise isn’t always ‘nice’ or perfect but the point of it is to keep doing it, and let it expose your weaknesses. And then don’t overreact when it does- that’s the point! Let it work, and the horses will figure it out- don’t worry about them huffing and fluffing around- they are confused and having a hard time with it. You don’t need to get into it with them.

We ended on a nice canter, and Oats was forgiving by that point, ha. Good pony.