All is too much: Weekend recap

Funny, for a not-busy weekend it sure ended up being busy!

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The weather was horrendous for most of the weekend. Winds of up to 90km/hr at my house, sideways rain, just so shitty. I went for a run in the AM on Saturday and after 2km of getting blasted backwards and sideways, I gave up after something hit my ear and hurt! I ran more interior routes and then headed home.

Friday we were lucky enough to do some fun Halloween-y activities, like pumpkin carving and making candy apples- the candy apples didn’t quite turn out like I thought (the candy slides off them and puddles on the tray…) Wouldn’t make it again but nice to try once.

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We were going to do the big corn maze on Saturday after riding, but the weather was so awful that I ran horse errands instead (hay nets, grain, MSM for Oats). We are rescheduling for next Saturday as the weather has improved significantly this week. Oats was fun to ride on Saturday, can’t even really remember what we were working on (transitions? Probably transitions. It’s always transitions now.). Saturday night was board game night at the Board Game Cafe with the barn girls. Always a great time! 🙂

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Sunday Ian helped me move jumps at the barn, a quick ride for Oats focusing on straightness at the canter with ‘small’ canter and ‘big’ canter, and going across the diagonal STRAIGHT (again, a big weakness). We were then off to Cobble Hill to Mile End Farm for his birthday lunch with his parents and a hike and a hot tub.

A nice end to a nice weekend. Couldn’t ask for more.

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Happy Birthday to me

Had a pretty lousy and frustrating jump lesson last night. Warmed up Oats, and when we got to trot/canter, it felt like I was riding a llama. All head and neck, in my face. WTF?

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My cake from last year! 

I was immediately on edge and really frustrated. God, why can’t ONE thing go right this week? I was pissed off and funny enough, even though Oats never spooked, he felt really unfocused and distracted, ready to act on a moment’s notice…

We worked over a gymnastic that was kind of disastrous. Oats acted like he’d never seen the skinny pink filler, even when we’d jumped it as a skinny in the winter. He was just so unfocused. We had a few stop & launch jumps, where I got super left behind and discombobulated…ARGH. Finally I got annoyed enough that after a stop,  I turned Oats around, went out a few strides (we had like, 4 to work with in the gymnastic) and jumped him straight from there- and wonder of wonders, it went fine!

To be fair, I was pretty mad.

We then worked over a course where I proceeded to ride super clumsily. Can’t see a distance, get left behind, can’t make up my mind, let Oats get the upper hand and spook me past a jump when I could have prevented it…Just really weak riding. And I give credit to Oats on this one at least- he was taking me over the course like a seeing-eye horse, haha.

Top it off with a super lousy ride to a straight line where I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to go right or left and almost fell off straight into the arena fence! Whoops! What was WRONG with me last night? Sorry horse!

I declined to do it again, I just knew that I wasn’t on my game with Oats last night. The course rode fine, but I couldn’t ride?

Oh well, in the end nothing bad at all happened- it was just not my day particularly.

And yes it is my birthday today.

Obviously an expert: Weekend recap!

Another weekend, another fun-friends-filled-fueled-good time!

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Good friends, good times!

This weekend was brought to me courtesy of drinks with an old friend and my boss on Friday (with moules et frites happy hour, and Angry Orchard ciders. Yum). Then on Saturday, I dragged my patient husband out to the barn, where he moved poles for me while I rode. It was a good ride, fun and fairly non-eventful.

We then ran a bunch of errands, gave some apples to my parents, and went on a 7km run in the pouring rain…

Because I got totally soaked, I decided to forgo my shower and blow-dry my hair. Why the fancy? I had a surprise birthday to go to! I left early to make sure I didn’t get lost on the way (I am super terrible with directions, like, can’t figure them out for the life of me) and last time I went to a surprise party, we got lost and showed up as the birthday girl was coming for her surprise party?! So yeah, I didn’t want to ruin yet another surprise party!!

Got there in plenty of time with my meatballs in tow. Lots of friends came and our friend was VERY surprised. YES!!! A success!! I ate so much good food, oh man…moose chili, mac and cheese, potato bacon soup, meatballs, salad, cheese and crackers tray, lemon squares, nanaimo squares, cheesecake bites (OMG!!) and the crowing achievement of the night: A Lighthouse cake featuring marzipan icing, Grand Marnier mousse, chocolate cake, orange and raspberry filling. SO GOOD. I ate wayyyy too much…Everything in moderation right? Including moderation? I had at least three of everything!!!

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THE cake. So good!

I got home around 11pm, perfect because the clocks went back, and I had tons of time to get up in the morning for my 17km run *(I wasn’t planning on running that far, but it was such a beautiful morning, the sun was shining off the ocean, it was warm out, so I ran to the lookout point along Dallas Rd).

A gorgeous day, and a lovely day for a run. It made me feel glad to be alive, lucky to be able to run/ride like I do, and content for now, ha, with my life. For a few hours, it felt like everything was as it should be…

Came home, ate breakfast and then zipped out for a ride. Oats got to meet my friend’s Happy Birthday balloon (he was afraid at first and hid behind me, and then got brave hahahahah), and then I had a fun ride where I was going to do some homework, but saw a bunch of cute jumps set up and wheee jumping instead.

Came home later, and joined my husband and Gidget in goofing off in the tennis courts trying to get a good rally going.

A great weekend. I am spoiled with so many fun things to do and great people to do them with!

Weekend update: Gala cocktails, lessons, hangovers and more!

Wow. Wow. I had a busy weekend, even by my standards.

I went for a run in the morning, and I had my rescheduled jump lesson on Saturday, and one-zillion errands to run, and my parents needed help moving some cabinets at their house (read: heavy). What to do, what to do?

Enter my super helpful husband, who really stepped up to the plate this weekend! He dropped me off at my riding lesson, and ran all my horse errands for me, AND my parent errands too! What a stand-up guy! Did you know it is his birthday tomorrow too!

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Happy 32nd birthday!! (tomorrow)

While I was jumping- and Oats was great, it was a fun and productive lesson and I learned about bringing my shoulders back on the landing-side of a jump, and it felt great!- My busy husband went to:

  • Greenhawk to pick up my sedative to clip Oats,
  • The feed store to buy my grain and a bag of shavings for a friend,
  • My parents house, to drop off their dishes, pick up my Halloween costume, and help them move stuff,
  • And then back to the barn to pick me up after my lesson and help me move the grain into the feed room.

Phew! I am tired just thinking about it.

We got home and played a bit of tennis with Gidget, just goofing off in the tennis courts, and I got ready to have some friends over for a drink before our big event- the Art of the Cocktail Gala night!

Tickets were not cheap ($65) but it was my first time going, so I was going to go and enjoy myself! We got all gussied-up, and my lovely husband again helped me out and drove us to the venue (Crystal Gardens, so close to my house) and he even picked me up again at midnight!

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All jazzed up!

We had a blast! I tried so many cocktails and different types of spirits- pecan-spice whiskey, chili-vodka (wow, it was HOT!!), a Manhattan, a Rusty Screwdriver, a RumChata root beer float, strawberry shortcakes, pecans, mini pierogies, dates with bacon jam…And there was more, I just can’t remember it!

The only part I didn’t like was that I felt too rushed. They hustled us out at 9:30 p.m. and it felt WAY too early- so we went next door to the Sticky Wicket and grabbed a drink, did some dancing, and then stumbled out for some pizza. It was then I called for a ride home, and we called it a night.

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So glam!

The next morning I was a hot mess. Yeah hangover city, right here…. My jaw was killing me, my stomach felt like a clenched fist all day, I was shivering and sweating. Yiiiiickkk…Still made it out riding, but it was touch and go for awhile, that’s for sure! Oats is a very safe pony and very forgiving, so he took care of me.

Too much of a good thing!

What more could a girl want?

That’s right, yesterday was my birthday! The big 3-1 for me~

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Celebrating at the barn with a big delicious cake! Thanks Sarah C, you’re the best!

In all honesty, things I have been focusing on overshadowed my b-day- my lesson with Jane Stone on Thursday that I was alternately looking forward to and worried about, my race on Saturday, Rock the Shores on Sunday, and oh, my big upcoming international trip.

So yeah, lots going on eh?

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More presents than I deserve!

But regardless, I had a GREAT birthday! (well, except for the having to be at work part. That part sucked). I hauled ass home from work, ran my dog out, threw on my riding clothes, wolfed down a Clif Bar and immediately got stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. SIGH.

I asked to have our semi-private lesson in the big field when I learned that the girls had so nicely put the jumps out there. A chance to work on my weaker skills at home? Even though I had previously fallen off at the Derby jumping in the field? SURE! Let’s do it. I knew it would be a challenge for me, because of my anxieties.

As it turns out, all my worries and fears were…for naught! Poof!

Jane was very understanding about what I have going on, and we worked it, man! I was really enjoying the lesson, we tried jumping a cavaletti to warm up, normal at first, and then some terrain-work, and then set to land flat and head slightly downhill. Success!

And then we started working on a small course, and it went super fantastic. Oats was so keen, I was loving it. We had a few bobbles- getting straight to a fence and him getting disunited, but it was fine and we worked with it.

I got a lot of confidence out of the lesson and felt so positive about it. Go us! Jane was very complimentary about our horses (who were perfect) and my position~ yay!!

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My second birthday cake- made by my husband! Menagerie on top provided by my sister.

And the cherry on top? A birthday cake at the barn accompanied by good friends and a Palm Bay. Yum!!! I even had more cake at home baked by my husband, who make an amazing cake that I immediately wanted to eat more of, even though I knew it would make me sick….

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It was a good night.

Yep I had cake and more cake with wine instead of dinner last night. So sue me, it’s my birthday!!! 🙂

A good stretch

Oats, since a few pretty bad rides a little while ago, has been on a good behaviour stretch. Our dressage is progressing with minor hissy-fits, our lateral work is improving and the improvement is actually noticeable?!

Yesterday, my birthday, we had a dressage lesson that started fairly heavy on the technical- with walk- quick trot step transitions, to some mild lateral work with haunches out and haunches in. Oats was okay for this, some minor fussing and balkiness but nothing compared to his attitude in the winter.

He did desperately want to ‘stretch’ out his head and neck though, and yanked the reins quite hard a few times! Karen says this is ok, as he is just looking to get some freedom for his head and neck and he’s actually starting to work through his back a bit more.

We then went the opposite way of the technical work and let them do big stretchy trots, allowing them to really reach down and we did this both in the canter and the trot. Overall, it felt really nice and I was quite pleased with the effort Oats was giving me.

Ended my birthday day with a nice dinner and cake prepared by my husband and a few glasses of Prosecco. Good to be alive!

30

That’s right- today is my 30th birthday~

Let the good times roll!

Let the good times roll!

I still feel like I’m 21, so it feels weird to be almost a decade older. They are right- the years do go by MUCH faster once you’re past 20 years old.

What have I learned, now that I’m 30? Some good things and some bad.

  • Hangovers are practically nuclear now. Sorry body and brain!
  • No relationship is a guarantee. Not your boyfriend, your horse, your friends or even your parents marriage.
  • Education is overrated, but still something you have to check off the box for. Do it.
  • Jobs are not a guarantee of happiness or success, and jobs are also VERY hard to get. Good ones even more so.
  • Nobody has the right to treat you poorly. Don’t stand for it, and don’t stand by for it.
  • Kindness gives back more than anything. Weirdly, the more you spend, the better off you will be for it, if it’s for the right reasons.
  • Save well. Don’t be an idiot.
  • Cars don’t last forever.
  • Travel is always worth the money. You don’t get time back, you can always make money back.
  • Always have pets. The money, sadness, heartbreak, angst and worry are worth it.

So, what am I doing now that I’m 30? Ha, nothing. Work today and my dressage lesson tonight.

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This past weekend though, I spent with some good friends camping on the beach in Port Renfrew. We had a blast, it was smoking hot, and it reminded me of all the good times I’ve had over the years with them. Made me feel a bit nostalgic, actually!

A no-pants kind of weekend

A no-pants kind of weekend

And then I rode Oats on Sunday and it was HOT HOT HOT! We rode in the indoor- and I had to chase a deer out who was cooling his heels in the hog fuel, and then cooled out outdoors to escape the choking dust. Small victory: Got Oats to go through the gate to the outdoor while I was on his back! He can be weird about gates and is quite gate-sour, so it took a bit of trying, but I held my ‘zen’ and we got through fine.

The ocean is still cold!

The ocean is still cold!

Monday I rode him out in the field (small field, not gallop field) and worked on finding my distance from a very relaxed canter/two point position. Bad habits still abound: Sitting the last stride, hinging off my knee instead of pushing my foot forward, and elbows out. Still, it was really fun and he was very cooperative!