Kismet Kill

Ugh, so on Friday I wrote about getting stuck in a big traffic jam due to accidents on the highway? Well, apparently last week was Groundhog Day, because the EXACT SAME THING happened on Friday also. Just as I was walking home, to get dressed and go to the stables for my riding lessons. Thankfully my friend got caught in it, and immediately called me to tell me to cancel my ride and not bother heading out- it was THAT bad.

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You are never so good that you don’t need to practice. 

For what seemed like a minor incident (all persons were fine, car went off the road into a ditch), traffic was at a totally-jammed up standstill until around 7pm. SEVEN?! Ugh.  No way. Not after literally getting stuck for 2 hours the exact day before…And I knew my trainer was not going to wait around another hour ++ for me to get there, get tacked up, warm up Oats and then ride. Nobody has time for that!

So I texted and cancelled, steaming mad at this happening for two freaking days in a row…And sat around home and watched TV. Which is fine, but like… What GIVES? Last week it was the bad weather/snowstorms, this past week it was major traffic jams two days in a row. Cut me some slack, world!

Plus I took my parents out for a lovely good bye lunch on Thursday, had a nice time, and then get this emotionally-hostage taking email from my dad, on Monday of course. Seems that if you give him too much time to think, he writes these insane 15 paragraph emails about how he wishes the lunch didn’t feel so sterile, that I treat them like strangers (no shit!!!), and that it felt like a going away lunch you have with coworkers. Jesus god, give me strength.

Anyways, rant over. I am resolutely NOT buying into this drama-rama that they alwayyyys pull with me.

They absolutely exhaust me.

Anyways, I didn’t ride on Saturday because Oaty’s leasor had a make up lesson and boy did that feel weird! I was all out of sorts and anxious because of the lesson I cancelled on Fri due to the traffic jam, and no riding until Sunday? But I miss him!! Instead I cleaned the deck, and took Gidget to play with sticks on the beach, where we saw a ton of cop cars…There was a wolf in James Bay!! In the afternoon where I was! Crazy eh?

I then finally got to ride my dear Oats on Sunday after my race and we did our ‘homework’ rides (jump xpoles until the cows come home..) and he was a superstar!! I noticed I am becoming too ‘rigid’ with my arms, so I wanted to make sure I made time to practice my homework again. You can never work on it too much, I think. Plus the weather was fabulous this weekend- lucky us!!

Leave no bridge unburned? Sometimes, I hate my pony.

So, back to dressage with Karen last night. Good and bad.

Summer Oats

Summer Oats

Bad: Oats is still being a weird asshole about everything in the outdoor. Balky, stopping suddenly and running backwards, when I counterbent, he just slammed on the brakes and refused to move, frightened, spooky, edgy, strange and not cooperative.

Good: Luckily, during our actual dressage lesson he toned down his crazy idiot behaviour and was great!

To be decided: What in HELL is making him act like this?

He is very relaxed, almost comatose, when we were cruising in the middle of the ring and then like when I try to push him to the outside of the arena he just gets super crazy, and tries to either scoot/spook or just slams on the brakes and starts running backwards. WTF??????

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Our dressage lesson was great though. So, we are in the middle of a change in our relationship that for the life of me, i CANNOT FIGURE OUT and I HATE OATS when he is acting like a moron. Seriously, I was so pissed off and frustrated before our lesson started I was almost in tears. TEARS! Stupid horse.

Anyways, I’m getting sucked into his drama and I really really hate it, and can’t seem to extricate myself reasonably.

The lesson itself was quite good- his lateral work continues to improve, he did stall out a bit but got out of it with minor shenanigans, we worked on walk-canter on very tight circles with minor success (it was actually hilarious) but also minor hissy-fits, so that was great too…And we did some work without stirrups (ouch my aching seat bonesssss) and Oats was very understanding about my bouncing and didn’t threaten to ditch me, he just went slower hahah. So, it’s weird- he was a total jerkface about going around in the ring, but in our focused and intense dressage lesson (mostly at a circle at the top of the arena) he was golden. Not perfect, but not an idiot- just trying, good and honestly trying.

I can appreciate that. What I can’t appreciate is the other side of him that wants to spook, bolt, slam on the brakes and then leave the scene. Even typing about it makes me MAD!

Sigh…Horses.

…to be continued, I suppose. I am taking tonight off – to watch Jurassic Park! And then jump lesson tomorrow. I can only imagine what that is going to be like?  He has been so good, and then SO BAD, and then good?

Oats is afraid (this happens every year at this time. Shoot!!)

…Every year the same struggle for old Mr. Oats. Him, versus the haying machines!

ARGH.

It started Saturday, innocently enough. Haying out in the field, and he was eagle-eyed watching the process (and all the horses were running like insane lunatics and I had to get help from Nicole to get Oats out of the field so I didn’t get stomped in the process. Fun fun…).

He was fine to ride in the indoor, and I took Sunday off to run the half marathon.

Monday, and the haying/baling was out in full force. Greeeaaat….I get Oats and notice he is absolutely COVERED in dried sweat. Everywhere. He has a ton of messy poops, and seems unsettled and very salty/sweaty.

We head out to the arena, and it’s a beautiful day. Hot, sunny, gorgeous. I am 100% alone at the barn, not a soul around- which I was not thrilled with. Oats walked around well and was responding nicely and seemed fairly relaxed. Until…

WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP

Hay baler starts up behind the indoor arena, out of eyesight but definitely not out of pony earshot…

Oats starts thinking about losing his shit. He’s in between meltdown stages…

I jumped off before he tried to exit the scene stage right. We walked around and around, and he didn’t chill out really at all. I let him graze and he is definitely a nervous eater. When the sounds seemed to abate a bit, I got back on and walked/trotted in the ‘safe zone’ away from the baler. He was okay, but certainly very on-edge. The baler stopped for a bit, and we were able to canter at the top of the arena, which was nice.

He spooked HARD a few times, and was scaring himself, but we were able to end on a decent note of walking large around the arena out of the ‘safe zones’ once each way.

So, that was ok but kind of more than I really wanted -or- bargained for the day after running the half marathon…It was hot, I was tired, and not really looking forward to dealing with Oats in alarm mode…

He was very sweaty, he is an anxious sweater. So, I hosed him off and he was edgy and quite alarmed, looking and looking for the scary hay baler. Sighhhhh….

I let him sit for a bit when I was putting away my tack and he was scraped off and cooled out, and when I came back he was like OH THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE and was licking my arm?! He was definitely looking to me for reassurance.

So…yeah.

I texted a friend about it and she said he was better today when he got turned out, wasn’t racing blindly around like a maniac and wasn’t frothing into a lather…

And I am taking today off to finally take it easy after the run. It’s harder than you think!

Happy Halloween!

Yep it’s that big day again- and it’s on a Friday! Yeah~

Jack O'lanterns

Jack O’lanterns

In honour of Halloween, we are making caramel apples. Yumm…I’m really looking forward to them. We did that awhile ago- probably like 7 years ago with friends, so it’s kind of a fun re-enactment.

I also love spooky movies if you hadn’t guessed, so we have been watching some good ones on Canadian Netflix- recent standouts include We Are What We Are, Resolution (it was ok, still not completely sure how I feel about it) and the Den– which was excellent.

I also highly recommend VHS, which is not available on Netflix but worth the search- Netflix has VHS 2 for some reason…It’s not as good.

Oh and I enjoyed The Sacrament by Eli Roth and Ti West. It isn’t as good as it could have been, but pretty well done nonetheless.

So yay Halloween! It’s rainy and pretty miserable here, makes me sort of glad I’m too old to trick or treat haha,

Oh and an Oats update from my lesson with Nicole yesterday- Wow. It was a toughie.

I got pretty worked up, he actually cow-kicked out when I first got on for some reason?? And he felt pissy, AGAIN.

Pissy, rude, balky and bucky. Wonderful…We were NOT CLICKING at all. I was getting madder and madder, ready to spit nails. I was frustrated, and annoyed and like- I can’t be doing all this work to keep GOING BACKWARDS?!!!

Our run through the gymnastic was sloppy, we weren’t in sync for anything, and I was just so.pissed.off.at.him.

So….What did we do? Well, as I recall very recently- ”When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Encouraged by Nicole, I took a few (a lot) of deep breaths and just keep plugging away. And did it get better? Yes. Did it get great? Nope! Not at all! Was it the lesson I *thought* I was going to have? A big NO to that one too!

So…A few good takeaways (even though the bitter, curmudgeonly part of me is still a bit incredulous about Oats. WTF pony? I hate you sometimes!!). It felt like I was trying to literally push him up a hill the entire lesson. He was so resistant, and fussy and balky. And the rude kind of balky, that makes me worried that he’s going to start bucking and NOT STOP until I’m on the ground.

But, before I get dragged into the bad, here is the good!

– I didn’t let my anger at Oats take over my whole lesson. True we had a few hissy fit moments, but we didn’t let it go overboard.

-I continued the exercises and completed them and they DID get better.

-I managed to trot a circle jump even after we blew it at the canter. Baby steps?

-We got more in-sync as we progressed.

-He didn’t buck! He had a few hiccupy, hissyfit moments. But no big EFF YOU bucks.

Curious…very curious progress(?????????) I use that word skeptically and with MUCH questioning it.

Oh and my dog was sick all night- luckily my long-suffering husband dealt with her but jeeeeesus. So gross. So annoying. Poor Gidget!