That’s right, I have now camped more this year than in my life, basically! Ha. We went up to Stoltz pool at Cowichan River and camped from Fri-Sunday, and luckily the weather was on our side. It was pretty warm out, so we didn’t need to wear too many warm clothes and didn’t freeze our butts off at night, phew.
Saturday I still wanted to ride and let’s face it, hanging around a campsite for an entire day/night?? NOT my thing. Plus it’s a no-service area, so no phones or internet! So we zipped down to Victoria and I got to ride, and pick up grain for Oats. A win-win 🙂
We then had lunch (sandwiches that we made) at Spectacle Lake and it was a lovely day. Headed back to our campsite, packed up our chairs and headed to the river for some chill-out time!
Sunday it was grey and drizzly, so a good day to pick up and go I guess. Decent timing of the weather, get crappy when we’re leaving. All in all, a nice weekend to try and do something different. 🙂
Funny, these days all I am recapping is dressage? We missed our jump lesson on Tues (soon to move to Sat) due to instructor illness so yep, dressage it is!
We worked on a very interesting exercise that essentially had Oats running his own canter, and me doing…a rubbing my belly patting myself on the head type of exercise that I was SO BAD AT hahah. It was tricky! We focused on Oats = cantering around like a carousel horse while I put my inside arm forward, while looking ‘out’ of the circle, and and bringing my outside elbow back. HARD. Harder than it sounds, and I definitely felt very discombobulated, hahah.
Oats was very good though, he had a lot of learning to do and was kind of pissed about it at first, but then was like, well okay….He had one big spook at a very curious and friendly deer that was trying to get into the indoor, and was persistent about NOT going away! Oats has ridden in the indoor arena with deer sleeping in it, so I was a bit surprised that he was so looney about this friendly one?!
Anyways, it was a very educational and interesting lesson and I felt like I had 10 arms, but hey, all in good fun and learning 😉
And then I drove to the grocery store and locked my fucking keys and phone in the car for the second time this month. FUCK ME. I had to go to the grocery store and call my husband, who rode his bike to pick me up. I guess I had a lot of time to grocery shop then, eh? Damn. At least it wasn’t at the feed store this time, which is a million miles from anything and I had to call a tow truck to open my car up, which cost me a pretty $70….Know what complaining about things costing a lot leads to? Things costing EVEN MORE through some insane circumstance. Ha.
Dressage lesson last night! Our trainer noticed my warmup was a bit backed off, with me sitting in the backseat (ha, now where have I heard that before, oh right, in my jump lessons!) and so guess what we did? Get ROLLING at the trot, big trot, bigger trot, and then CANTER! All on a very loose rein. It felt kind of wild to me, a little bit like we were just ripping around, but wouldn’t you know…we had a very lovely, loose through the back canter AND trot. Ok, after the downward transition we kind of bumbled into the trot but then he’d come down and release nicely. He still has that ‘snatch’ at the reins to come down, but he was much more consistent than before.
Kind of blew my mind a little! Sometimes dressage isn’t a tightly-held warmup and trot/canter, eh?? Sometimes it is a little wild!
Oats loved it, and his canter was SO consistent, forward and light over the back. Good boy! Plus he is looking fantastic these days- not so scraggly and gross and scrawny. I’m very glad to see him gain his weight back and his coat is just shining. He doesn’t look 19 right now, turning 20 in October 🙂
It was a very fun ride and reminded me to let go of the control sometimes (duh a horse person with control issues? Say it ain’t so 😉 ) ahahaha.
Plus on Wednesday we went on a hack around the block and while he did require a lot of convincing to get past the new, huge greenhouse (that wasn’t there last time!! Scary!!) that involved some running backwards, he got over it and was a gentleman for the rest of the ride, if a bit edgy/looky. Good pony, and PHEW!! I am a big trail ride chicken, haha so I rely on him to help me out here.
And my legs update- I had my hip tendon worked on last night (THANK GOD it was driving me insane for like 2 months, ugh, so gross…the tugging/irritation was constant) and I am entering my third walk-run of the week today at lunch. Fingers crossed for a recovery- even the physio was stumped about why I keep getting injured when I am in great shape and in general don’t have too many physical issues, other than the obvious hypermobility?!! Ah….
TWO jump lessons in like 4 days- go us! yay! This Tuesday Oats was verrrry sluggish off the leg, and unlike Saturday, never really woke up and got that excited. Wish I could feed him his oats again..?! Maybe?? I was wishing I had my spurs though, haha even though I had to remove them on Saturday.
We worked over a small grid, and remember- grids are my nemesis, ha. Or, they used to be. Heck, any trot fence was on my hit list! It went quite well though, so I have zero complaints about last night. Maybe one- jumps look high to me. Jumping 2ft, where he literally JUST CANTERS over it, and I am geared up for the freaking Olympics! Hahahah. I hope my brain and eyes will adjust, because Oats literally does not care and I am hyperventilating and like woah…Here we go! And he’s like, eh…
Anyways, it does serve to remind me that he is the best little dude. Not excitable, not rushy, just goes and does it. Very workmanlike. I could use a *little* excitement for the jumps here Oaty! 😉
Oh and we did get to 2’3” oxer in the grid and it felt high! hahaha. Oh, time. Such a fickle thing.
Ended up very busy last week, so no Oats updates or anything. Where to begin? On Tuesday Oats had his dentist appointment, shots and worming. I had to be out there for the dentistry part. He was quite good, did need ear plugs hahah man those power floats are SO LOUD and the vet did say his back teeth were going, so he’s require soaked cubes eventually but I don’t want to think of that now- he’s had a lot of feed changes recently! The vet did say Oats looked thinner, but man I was like, you should have seen him two weeks ago! He is looking much better now.
I had to cancel my Tues lesson because of the teeth appt, but that was ok because he had a beginner trying him out for a potential lease on Wed! The lease isn’t going ahead for some good/obvious reasons. The young rider is just too inexperienced in horse handling. Had a good seat for w/t but did struggle to keep Oats from coming in off the track to the middle and had a bit of a tough time getting him to trot. Was not comfortable bridling or haltering or handling in and out of the paddock, so while I did offer them to think about June, I did have my concerns. The family did too, and thankfully decided not to. It is actually great when it’s mutual- they seemed like lovely people, Oats is just not the right horse at the right time for their rider.
And then Thurs I had my dressage lesson and it did go pretty well, THOUGH Oats brought out his threaten-buck when we were asking for straighter at the canter. He did NOT like that, ha. We schooled over a few xpoles and he was kind of tricky! Fighting me a little more, ha. Ended on a reasonably good note though.
Friday Oats had off, which was good because my busy week didn’t end there- I had a physiotherapy appointment at ReBalance. I had been a patient there- on the sports medicine side- for my subluxating patellar like a million years ago, haha. I liked the experience, so I wanted to go back to the physio side to try and get some answers for my chronic MTSS frustration. And wow, they put me through my paces!! Balance exercises, ‘kayaking’ with a big slosh tube, and the weirdest of all, a blood pressure cuff that goes on your leg and squeezes the blood out of it, creating a lactic acid sensation in your leg- it was SO weird and uncomfortable. You can barely push the leg press (and it is EASY). Ick! So odd!
But my right leg felt really good after, so maybe it’s gross but it works??
Saturday I had my make-up jump lesson (see, busy busy!) and I was kind of annoyed at ol’ Oaty…He was sluggish, slacking off and I guess just feeling warm and snoozy. It was warmer than it had been all week! I had my spurs on but he was reacting very poorly to them (balking, bucking, sucked back, rude) and I knew I wasn’t going to use them appropriately, so I took them off. Right answer! He perked up over the small fences and before I knew it, we had a nice little time 🙂
Sunday I was pretty determined to not get into a canter fight with Oats, so what do I do? Immediately get in a canter fight with him. Sheeeeeesh. I should know better than that by now! At first I even had a pretty nice left canter, but then I asked for more, and then right for straightness, and it…fell apart and turned into a fighting match. Yick. No thanks!
We cooled out in the outdoors, which was nice, sunny and hot. Oats got a long graze after and I cleaned his tack. Fingers crossed for a smooth week, and that my legs and feet start healing for once!!
I hate Mother’s Day. Hate it. I do not have a great relationship with my family for a variety of reasons, and also it just…Sucks. It is performative and angsty and I have little tolerance now for the demands ($$$$$) my mother likes to place on us for her birthday, M-Day, Xmas anyways…Just hate it.
So what do you do when you hate that day? Make it better, and make it your own 🙂
We had our own fun day and it did help relieve some of that existential pressure I felt seeing everyone with happier families and sincerity that I do not have. Ian came with me to the barn and helped me do a jump school! I haven’t done one on my own yet since he has recovered from his injury, so it felt pretty big to me, yay! Plus we have to miss our regularly scheduled Tuesday lesson because Oats has a dentist appointment, so I wanted to do a little something on our spare time, to keep sharp.
Oats was a star, a good boy and the bestest pony. Nothing fancy, just hopping over a few fences and calling it a day. Nothing better, I think!
We then took our dog out for a walk to the water, and then swung by Moon Under Water brewery for a beer on the patio. I was FREEZING. Ha. Not patio weather here, basically ever?
We then headed home and had lunch and then went to play some kick-around soccer at the park. We both failed miserably at ball juggling hahaha and it got frustrating so we gave it up and played goalie instead. My husband said he admires the fact that I am not afraid to hammer the ball home from 1 ft away…Not really intentional, I swear it!
It’s a nice way to make what is traditionally a miserable, pressure/stressful day for me even better. Plus it makes you feel happier going into the (extremely busy) work week!
The weather here has been pretty lousy- gale force winds, rainy/drizzly (not super rainy, just cold and grey) and very, very cold for May. Like a high of 12 degrees with insane wind every day. Yay… I am FREEZING in May. Coldest spring yet? Maybe??
But despite that, I had a nice time this weekend, and I wasn’t sure that I would. I have been struggling with the boring, endless stuck at home going nowhere fast cycle with no friends and boy it was really grating on me. I am still quite injured with my two leg stress fractures and it was just EATING at me.
This weekend went great!
I was out at the barn, didn’t have a good ride on Oats on Saturday and it was my fault- it was very chilly and windy and I felt quite on edge. I quit when we got a nice relaxed trot going (Sat is only w/t) and did a very long walk coolout. After our ride, the younger rider at the barn was taking his mini horse out for a cart ride but needed someone to come, and I didn’t have anything else going on so I went! It was really fun 🙂 and great to do something new eh?
We did that, and then I zipped out to Greenhawk to buy Quest (vet is coming on Tuesday for dentist/shots/wormer) and I could get a good deal there rather than by the vet. I also had an ulterior motive- I wanted to stop by the cafe Politano, b/c the had megashakes and I HAD to try it!
So I did!
I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t have any Reese’s Pieces, which was a bummer, but the shake itself was very tasty and boy, was I full afterwards 😉
So all in all, a decent Saturday for a pretty grey, blah month/year.
Oats has been a star this week! I was a bit freaked out because after I rode in the outdoor (it is deep and the sand is harder on his aging joints), w/t only, he presented the next day with some bigtime swelling in his injured leg region. EFFFF….Except it’s windpuffs. He is sound, and the swelling lump went down after the ride, basically deflated. Oh Oats!
It’s not amazing, but it’s also not a biggie really. He has now presented with them on and off all week, since I basically triggered them by riding in the sand 1 day. Oh well!
Otherwise, we had our jump lesson and it was pretty thrilling for me. We’re still JUST getting back into it, and we jumped…TWO FEET! whee! I swear to god it looked like 3ft to me until I moved the jumps back and realized how…small they really were. Hah. Fooling me for sure. I had adrenaline! I also wore my ‘big boy’ spurs and kind of overused them once and Oats was mightily offended. Sorry dude, he was such a good babysitter for me 🙂 What a sweetie.
Wednesday we walked around the big block with his horse neighbour Mercury. It was very pleasant, and the boys were as good as gold. Yay Oats!
Thursday we had our dressage lesson and I am happy to report that not only does Oats look like he’s gaining his weight back (a struggle!!) but he remembered how to counter-canter!! Amazing! We did some light counter-canter work and he was a STAR! Ok, we did struggle on one rein in particular (going right) but to be honest with how rusty we were, he was fantastic. I had to wrap my brain around it too, I mean it’s been over a year!? Great job Oats, what a superstar 🙂
And he has today off. Well deserved I think! He has also enjoyed over 10 minutes a day of hand grazing on the nice new lush grass, as he is not allowed turnout for a year due to his tendon injury. It’s a really big bummer, but we’re trying to work with what we’ve got at this stage and I absolutely DO NOT want to risk another really serious injury for the old boy.
Yesterday was a pretty crazy day- so many incidents with wildlife!
In the morning I was working (as per usual now that I am working from home during the pandemic) in my living room, and BANG! A poor little hummingbird just splattered hard against my patio glass door. 😦 I was instantly up and looking for it, and it did not look good…It was flat on the ground, all its feathers splayed out, not moving.
I yelled for my husband and we gathered the poor little hummer up on a book and I brought it some sugar water. I watched it (during a meeting for work, ha) and after about 15 minutes it started actually looking around at things, and then it perked up and flew off! 🙂 SO relieved. I was very worried about the little dude.
And then after work I had some time and the weather was pretty nice, so I went for a walk with my husband and dog, and I put my bunny out in my backyard for some fresh air. I went to check on him after the walk and to my surprise, a racoon was digging in our raised gardens!! I yelled at it and he took his sweet-ass time sauntering off, and I was pretty worried because my RABBIT was still out there too! Sheesh. Except…My dog saw the racoon and ran straight at it barking like Hound of the freaking Baskervilles…And scared the bejeezus out of my poor rabbit! He was terrified! He took off, so I had to chase the racoon off, catch the rabbit (thankfully contained in my yard) and chase off my dog from the raccoon. Chaos!!
There was fluffs of fur flying everywhere, so we were concerned that the racoon had somehow scuffled with bunny, but nobody had any injuries. Tucker bun did have a bloody spot on his foot, so we cleaned it up but there was no scrape or anything there today, so who knows?? He was exhausted after that, poor bun bun.
And THEN I had a jump lesson at the barn, which was great. I finished up and went to sweep out the crossties and found this:
Yeah, a baby bird kicked out of its nest. Not again 😦 I thought it was definitely dead, so I went to sweep it with the broom and it MOVED. OMG. I freaked out, called my husband, and put gloves on and picked it up. It moved so weakly… I couldn’t put it back into the nest it fell out of (in the window-well of a locked locker, behind a grate where the window was) so I found another barn swallow nest inside the barn, got a step ladder and kind of tossed the little baby up there. Hoping for the best for it!! I hope it survives.
So, that was a very exciting and emotional day for me. It’s so hard when it’s wildlife animals…I feel so bad for them. I want to help!!
This weekend after dithering for literally weeks we finally did it…We pulled the trigger and CAMPED. Now, I am no camper. I am not an outdoorsy type of person, haha. But it’s been such a long year(s) during the pandemic and we were getting bored out of our skulls after 15 months of…the exact same thing every day, every weekend.
Goldstream is local to us, 20 mins from downtown, which is awesome. We can only stay locally now due to COVID-19 rules, and we respect those rules.
Plus it was so great, we could get all of our stuff done (riding Oats for me, climbing for Ian) and then go camp. Easy-peasy right? Ha, close.
We got there and it was quite packed, but we did manage to find a spot. We unloaded, fought with the new tent (NOT an intuitive process, that one), and then hoofed it out to see the waterfall. It’s a lovely deep pool there, but quite cold as it is under a great expanse of trees and it was windy as hell on Saturday.
We actually ran into friends who were thinking about doing an impromptu camp night too and made plans to meet up later for a COVID friendly meetup around the campfire. I haven’t seen some of these folks in OVER A YEAR! How exciting!
We then waited…and waited…and waited…for the firewood person to come by and they didn’t. I was freezing! I hopped in the car and drove to the convenience store to get firewood, freaking finally. It was great wood and we had a nice fire for dinner.
We then met up with our friends and chatted around the campfire for a few hours- it was cold! I really missed seeing people and it was so nice to see them again. It felt like ‘before-times’ ya know? Before we knew it, we were cold and it was getting late so we went back to our site and went to bed. BED. Man, that sucked. It was FREEZING, and the air mattress deflated on us so we woke up (ha, like we were sleeping at all..) basically on the ground. Not fun.
Ian pumped it up a little bit more and we snuggled back down to freeze our butts off for the rest of an unrestful morning, ha.
At least the morning was gorgeous- sunny, bright and pretty warm (not in Goldstream- it is always cold there). We had some coffee, some pancakes and our friends said goodbye! We took our time and packed up, and drove to the barn so I could have a Sunday ride and medicate Oaty. It was a lovely day, not that warm (15 deg?) but so sunny! A nice end to the weekend and a great day to try something different 🙂
Oh and I tossed out the damn air mattress when we got home. I do NOT want to repeat that experience!!