Keep me honest

Had another jump lesson, and I was very pleased with how it went! Again, it was not perfect, but I felt good, confident and was really riding very forward. Oats was good as gold (a minor bulge issue and some lead/changing lead awkwardness around changing directions) but SUCH a little star!

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This rode well all night.

I am enjoying doing semi-private lessons right now, and the funny thing is that having another rider, and people watching, helps keep me honest. Focused. Riding instead of getting overfaced and backing off. It’s like I’ve reached a point in my own confidence that I need to have an audience to keep me there. Otherwise, I back off, big time. And I know right now that I don’t need to. I am going there! I am doing it! I am being challenged and meeting that challenge.

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It’s a bummer it’s so dark, darn light changing. BUT this is the first time we’ve jumped the coop as a oxer! So wide, even if it doesn’t look like it! 

I think my motto now is: Challenge me. Make me.

And we are so there! Yeah! Go Oaty pony. I’m so proud of him, bobbles, silliness and all. I have things I want to fix (elbows, the straightness problem going into the uphill line AGAIN, the difficulty in changing leads, stalling out to a chip…) But on the whole? I am enjoying what I am doing, and getting a lot out of my boy.

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This is a two-stride that I rode conservatively (read: chicken) for a three, until the last course when I was like, fuck it! I go in two! And we DID.

This week we celebrated 9 years together. Each year he gets better and better! I guess we all do? How I love this. I really appreciate, cherish and find joy in our rides. He’s my prince, my pony, my boy.

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I love this picture, because we almost match the jump! How cute is that? Plus it rode just perfectly. The best line on course. 

Whenever people are frustrated with their current horse, I just think to myself- yep been there, done that, sometimes am still there. It takes the time it takes. YEARS even (in my case). Being mad about how slow progress is doesn’t help, it never does. Your ego doesn’t trump reality.

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And the ‘out’ of the same lattice-line. It rode really nicely. 

I have had to learn some really bruising lessons about ego (life, running and horses) and I had to learn them the hard way. However, I think it’s helped shape what I do now.

Sadly, there is no footage of us finishing on the triple bar jump (first one I have gathered up the feeble shreds of my courage to jump with Oats!) because we were too close to the videographer and it is close up and dark. Ah, well. It was such a good ride that I forgot that the main reason I was excited about it was to jump the triple bar?! Ha.

Growing up is for trees

What a lovely long weekend- and judging by how much sleep I got this weekend, apparently long overdue? It was pretty busy, nevertheless!

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High-five!!

Friday the weather dawned grey, drizzly and cold so I rode Oats first in the indoor, and then in the outdoor when I forgot they were turning the sprinklers on and had to vacate- my mistake haha. He felt very forward in the indoor- so much so I was having trouble with my steering- but funny enough, when I moved back outdoor the huge trot I had? Felt totally normal.

That’s the space issue I think- it plays tricks on you! He was good to ride though and we worked through some more trot-canter-walk-trot-canter transitions. I went for a short hill run (5k of hills) after my ride, and we attended a friend’s Canada Day party in the evening. All in all, a fairly good day.

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Mr. Oats mid-sneeze

Saturday, we had something special planned- a gallop in the field photoshoot! And the weather finally cleared up, so we did our photoshoot, and it was a BLAST!!! Galloping Oats in the field is one of my most favourite activities. Soooo fun. I think Oats enjoys it just as much as I do, because he doesn’t have to do any boring flatwork haha.

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Running in the field is my favourite says Oats!

We then packed up from the barn and headed off to the Cowichan River- it wasn’t as warm as I would like, so I didn’t swim, but it was a nice hike in and felt great to be close to nature again. When we got home, I was pretty tired but I laced up my runners and jogged out for a brief 4k or so light run…In preparation for our 7-year anniversary dinner at the Keg!! Yum! We went all out for it- I had a fabulous cocktail- the NY Sour, and Lobster Sirloin. Mega $$$ but worth it man, worth it.

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Gidget hitches a ride.

Sunday was a sunny day again but chilly and breezy. We zipped up island with our dog in tow and our runners and decided to make a good day of it at my in-laws farm! We left our dog with his parents and jogged up Cobble Hill/Mountain, not a big one but there are lots of twisty, steep-ish trails to explore. It was a fairly tiring run, and I even made us go a bit further to make it an even 9km.

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It’s hard being a purse-dog

Then it was time for garden picking- it took like hours actually! Croquet, dinner, and Bocce ball. It was late when we got home that night, and we sure made a good day of it. Oats got the day off because I’d ridden him 4 days in a row and we both needed the break.

Off to the rodeo!

Tomorrow we’re heading off to the Calgary Stampede (well, just Calgary at this point, the rodeo on Wednesday) and Spruce Meadows and Drumheller!

I can’t wait! I’m due for a bit of a holiday I think…

Oats will either sit or he will get some rides by my friend, I have offered if she wants to take him out. I’m fine either way and so is he. We can be flexible that way. AND today is my six-year anniversary of being married, and Oats and my five year anniversary. Boy does time ever fly.

Didn’t ride last night as I was out visiting with friends who were in town and wow, it was smoking hot out. Had a terrible time sleeping (rotten insomnia!!) that has been plaguing me for a few weeks now. Probably going for a ride tonight, but not sure how intense given how hot it is. This is quite unusual for us West-coasters, we’re more of the cool breeze types. I do love the heat, but find it hard to acclimatize well to it.

And then it’s packing and off to Cow-Town!

Spruce Meadows

Calgary Stampede