Well, it wouldn’t be a pandemic year without more disaster, right? To cope with many of the stressors I picked up during this weird and terrible time, I started running more at lunch. Like, a lot more. In normal times, I’d run about 5 days a week, and I went to 7 with the odd day off here and there. Fine right? Yep no prob.
And then I started adding in 1 day of hills, and 1 day of speed work (gradually over the past 6 months) and everything was great! I bumped up my daily run amount and kept the intensity. All was going well until…Tuesday. I ran the hills, and it was extremely tough due to 5 days of severe windstorms this week. I finished a bit short, and must have aggravated my stress fracture from 2019, because when I ran on Wednesday, my calf felt tight and then on Thur? BOOM. No go. Limping. 😦
So, that’s where I am right now. Forced time off and time to re-evaluate my injury protocl. And of course after two weeks of miserable weather, it’s sunny and not too cold out. Eff my life! Wah wah. I know I did this to myself, but I also know that I probably can’t make myself stop, either.
So who knows what the future holds for my bad leg AND the hot spot on the bone is the same stress fracture spot as in 2019 (got them in both legs last time, fun fun…). EFF. 😦 Can’t catch a break eh? At least Oaty was golden last night. Three weeks to go!
I don’t blog that much because I guess with the world coming to a crashing halt, including my injured horse, I just don’t have much to do or say anymore!
I did have my jump lesson on Faith though, and I was very glad for it- I was almost expecting to have to cancel again, because the weather has been so horrendous. Every single day for the past (5?) days has been an insane windstorm. Like, rip your face off – knock you down- blow hat and sunglasses off your head windy. It’s been pretty awful!
Luckily the hurricane weather blew in a storm front (so, good I guess??) and it started hailing and pouring rain instead so the lesson was ON! Another bad thing, the arena finally got flooded. We’d been anticipating it gingerly and it finally happened in one big rainstorm. 😦 So we lose a quarter of the arena until it dries up.
Anyways the lesson was still on! We did some quite nice flatwork with Faith spiralling in and out really well in the trot. The canter was another story, ha. I could NOT keep her cantering in the 15m circle! We could spiral out no prob, but in…Ha. Things fell apart fast.
We then set up 1 xrail in the middle of the ring, so we could trot over it and continue in bend, like a circle. Since Faith is so green to jumping, we began with a pole on the ground first. She did get the hang of it! Had issues picking up right lead though, so I feel like I could have influenced her a bit more on that one.
All in all, a good lesson despite the terrible weather. At least it’s not snowing?? Hah.
Oats was really good until the last trot set and BOOM! A big spook that kind of derailed me mentally from then on. Darn horse! hahah. Still alternating trot days with canter days, so yesterday was his trot day and today is canter day. Today we are at week 6!!!
Yes that’s right folks, winter finally came to the West Coast and wow, it was pretty tough!
We took Friday off and enjoyed a busy day travelling to get the best cinnamon buns on the Island (not too far from us, due to COVID19 travel restrictions), get grain for my horse, grocery shop and go for a nice walk after I did Oats rehab session. It was pretty great, even though it was very cold for us here, windchill of -10 to -15. BRRRRRRRRR. There was a big risk of the hoses freezing at the barn, and assorted drama with that. I am very thankful that the barn manager was so on top of things, and I felt safe with her managing it!
I also started experiencing a severe flare-up of endometriosis this entire long weekend, so that was pretty terrible. I am going to talk to my Dr. about the medication I am taking- it seems to have a lot of really terrible flare-ups, every month. So wtf is working??
Saturday we woke up to a snowpocalypse. It was about a foot of snow! We took Gidget to the park and went sledding, ha. 🙂 Pretty fun! But yeah, stuck at home as my car was stuck in the snow. I managed to have the barn manager (who is AMAZING) give Oats his medications, but no rehab for him. An unscheduled day off. Boo! I strapped on my Saucony Peregrines and went on a snow run instead! It was pretty.
Sunday, more snow. It was supposed to start melting and raining, but it basically was a blizzard for most of the day instead. Yay… So what is a girl to do? Why, strap on those Peregrines and RUN TO THE BARN. Yes it was insane. Yes I did it. It took me a very long time, but I got there with no real issues, and was able to successfully get Oats back on his rehab schedule (he was a total psychopath, afraid of the snow, birds, the mirror, every single corner of the arena, noises in the air…you name it) and almost got me off a bunch of times. Fun fun! I then got changed after his rehab/meds/boots and ran home- now THAT was fun. My feet got totally soaked, hahah. Oh well it was an adventure.
Monday I braved the drive and it was hard to get my car out, and then back into, my own parking spot. Yeeeeeeesh. Oats was better, still a moron about the snow but settled better. He does best with little to no time off in his current rehab schedule (on week 5 as of tomorrow, yes!). No running because it was raining and snow/slush/ice mess. I can deal with that two days in a row but not three I guess, seemed just too tiring and annoying to me. And then coming home, I revved my car and almost slid into the concrete wall, wrestled it back, and then slid into my spot at a neat 45 deg angle, missing both the post and my neighbours car. FUNNN.
We are back to work, and no lessons tonight, just rehab day. The snow is melting, and things are returning to normal (well, whatever normal is during COVID19…). I am over winter, even if it’s just 1 week of it.
Since I have news so seldomly, I think I only blog with actual media, and things that I have been doing. Otherwise it’s basically groundhog day over and over with Oats’ rehab. Fun eh?
Anyways we are in a ‘Polar Vortex’ over here on the balmy wet coast and man, I am not loving it. Brrrr!!! I had my lesson on Faith last night and then had to rehab Oats. It felt ok until I finished my lesson and then slowly started to freeze.
Faith was pretty good! Snappier transitions, no real drama when two horses left the arena (some tension, but not bad), not that much tripping, and a few balky moments right at the end of the gymnastic lesson but hey, we’ve had worse 😉
Things I really need to work on: Letting go of tension in my arms!! And work on an actual ‘release’ with low hands- think automatic release- as I see I was actually pulling back in the second element of the grid! Come on, ME! Give the poor horse a chance!
Legs: Much better though. That is going my way!
Things I want to do next: Jump the bigger panels with Faith. 🙂 I think she’d be good at it!
And Oaty was a good boy for our solo chilly ride. What a little saint! My saddle is in the shop right now, so I have been playing musical saddles/bareback for each ride, which makes every day a little more challenging. 1 day was with a bareback pad (wowza I felt sore everywhere after that ride), 1 day was in a good saddle, 1 day was in a kiddie saddle (no stirrups b/c I am genius and forgot the would NOT be big enough for my adult feet), and last night in an older Mondega.
Which one will be the key? Not sure yet, trying the Mondega again tonight to see how it goes. It is only temporary, after all.
The trainer I ride with for Faith’s lessons was not feeling well, so Faith and I just did a hack day. Did I think I’d be able to take it easy, seeing as how it wasn’t a lesson? Ha, that showed me! We worked quite hard on transitions. Up, down, walk-trot, trot-canter, walk-canter, canter-walk (ok this one was rough) and so on and so-forth.
We ended by doing a cooldown walk with her bending both left and right, and trying to find that ‘release’ in the walk. It’s tough, her bending is still very much an issue but her transitions- particularly upward- were getting really good! Go Faith!
And then I had rehab time with old Oaty. He was really well behaved, so I think the key to his outbursts/spookiness/seeing things in the mirrors was chiefly due to him being bored out of his numbskull, haha. Add in a little canter, some walk poles, and gasp- I even added 1 pole on our trot path so he could trot it yesterday too- and he is a new man again! 🙂
I guess they all need variety, and more hard work! He does get tired after his canter, but he had plenty of zip yesterday which was nice. Good boy Oats! We enter week 3 starting after our ride tomorrow. Finished with Week 2. Phew!!
How I feel about this year, in a nut-shell. Basically a list of things that were taken from me, from us and not much else. How do you keep going? You keep going.
I keep a running list of things I desperately want to do when this BS is all over. Horse camping, riding lessons with Oats, a horse show, running in a race again, flying to Argentina for the holiday we cancelled, seeing my friends for happy hours…
In the meantime, what do we do? I started a 30-day yoga journey, from ‘Yoga with Adriene’ which I am really enjoying. Otherwise, I quit drinking for January and was successful with that! I also run every day at lunch, and have been adding in some Fitness Blender workouts with my puny and pathetic 4lb weights, 5lbs weights and my lone 10lb weight. Hey, that’s all I’ve got!
I also enjoy eating a little too much, since I don’t have anything else to really do or enjoy these days. Little Cesars for the win! I also spend a lot of time watching TV, and hanging out with Gidget and Tucker and my husband.
Otherwise, this entire past year is a freaking washout. Goodbye forever, that piece of my life.
First time back in about three weeks? I had to cancel 1 lesson because Oats had his third ultrasound (yess) and it was a daytime appointment, so I couldn’t come back to the barn because that is ridiculous, and last week the trainer cancelled due to weather, so we rescheduled for Saturday because Faith was available.
She warmed up really nicely actually! Her trot can be tricky in the beginning- short strided, tense, choppy. You kind of have to work her into the trot, and then get a nicer stretchier trot. Sometimes you have to canter before that happens! Not on Saturday though 🙂
We then worked on canter poles on the diagonal and damn if it isn’t harder for me to ride a pole than a jump! I actually can’t wait to make them small fences- I feel like I wouldn’t screw up so much! We got 1 good spook in when she heard someone open the back gate, and was a bit jazzed and unfocused when we saw the horse that came through the gate, but did settle nicely!
We then worked over a small gymnastic. Trot-in x-rail, to a one stride x-rail, two strides to a small cavaletti. She went really nicely through it until we added the last element- one time through it great, and the second time she didn’t pick up her feet and we bailed, HARD through the last time and almost crashed face first into the dirt. Lovely. My neck and shoulder are still sore today from that incident!! Dumb horse, pick up your feet!
We regrouped, went for a strong canter, and then went through it and kind of blasted through, hahah. I was riding pretty assertively and was NOT interested in being very blase about it this time! No sir! She was good 🙂
Some things to work on- crop behind leg at base of fence. Important! Also maybe stepping the height up. She clearly isn’t enthused or excited at how low the fences are, which is great for learning, but…She’s learning to not care, which isn’t great either!!
And how is old Oaty? He was pretty tired on Saturday for our canter day, even though he had Friday off! Sunday was our trot day and he was pretty good, not that spooky or anything and had more energy for sure. We walked over some poles, hoping to engage him in this final, boring last 9 weeks!!