I know what needs to be done. But why can’t I do it?

I feel extremely ambivalent about everything right now. I know some of the reasons (suffering from horrendous allergies, and now I am allergic to everything, so breathing isn’t really something I can take for granted right now. I started a new medication for endometriosis and I am hoping it freaking levels out soon, because this on top of allergies makes me feel like my body is under some sort of attack, constantly?!!).

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Course marshal

But also, just…Life ambivalent. I feel very sensitive to a lot of the bad stuff happening to my close friends and horse friends. I also am struggling with change, and trying to embrace it as a net positive, but…yeah. I also got approached to change my lesson times to the weekend, and at this point, it’s feeling like a hard no. I like having my weekends free, and my day-to-day is intensely scheduled, so having a free day is just…Mine. You get it? Add in the layers of feeling guilty about not being flexible, on top of my trainer’s father DYING last week, and just..UGh. Can I crawl out of my skin for a month or so, let me get some breathing room?

My counselor says I need a break. Like, a month break.

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Surveying the course 

I know I can’t do that- my brain would probably melt or something. But at the heart of it, she’s right- I need some space, some time. For it (riding) to be easy, non competitive, non training. I feel like I have lost a bit of the ‘why’ and the drive, to be honest.

Even when I think about competing, and there are so many fun looking events?! But I just feel…Blahhhhh about it right now. So blah. Maybe it’s my allergies talking, but yeah. I can’t get excited, I don’t want to move lesson, I just don’t want to do anything!!

Oats has been good, though our lesson on Friday was outright bad. He bucked, he was pissy, he was angry and tearing around like a deranged llama. Greeeat.. My trainer is newish to us, and said she had never seen him like that before?! Ha. Yeah it has been awhile!

He was fine this weekend though, and my husband and I went up to volunteer at Bear Mountain’s XC Pan Am cup challenge, and it was very neat! A quick ride after, and then I had my friends over for a really fun dinner – fondue!

So like things are fine, but I’m just not feeling it.  At all.

Not Myself

Having another ‘bummed, bummed, bummed, bummed’ day. The weather is GORGEOUS and amazing and I want to run and ride alll day in it, and yet I’m in the freaking doldrums right now? How? Why? How?

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I was on top of the world!

Let’s start with my mysterious hip/groin/leg pain. Still there, still very painful. I ran home yesterday and it felt like my pelvic floor was going to fall out. Lovely. Because I am a stubborn bugger, I also ran to work today: More of the same. What’s that thing about insanity..something something? UGHHH.

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I mean it! On top! (Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria).

I did go to the doctor’s today and it took forever but I have requisitions for an x-ray and blood test, both of which I am going to do this week. Round and round and round we go! What the diagnosis is, nobody knows!!

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Things were going SO well! 

I missed my lunch workout, because of being at the doctors (yay…not.) but that’s ok, because I am in a terrible mood, still in some measure of pain (try standing on one leg to put shoes on, I dare you body!) and then got some more bad news re- husband. Man, when they pick a day to shit on you, they sure do pick the same day! (Not husband himself, just he got some crappy news and I feel bad for him, on his behalf).

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Having just the BEST times! 

So…yeah. I am taking advil like it’s my actual job, and trying not to think angry thoughts about the world. I had a fantastic couple of months, so when the hits keep coming, I want to come back to those days when I was on top of the freaking world, instead of slowly being ground under it instead. Sigh.

This was like, as recently as last week too, hahah.
Dammit, how things change quickly!

 

The Dream is Over

Of jumping lessons in the outdoors at night for me, sadly. We attempted to finish up my last lesson in the outdoor last night, and it got too dark, plus the footing was quite deep and Oats was struggling a bit in it. He had his shoes removed, and his trot was good but his canter felt ‘mushy’ like I just didn’t have enough horse there for jumping.

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Back to blurry screengrabs instead of nice crisp shots. Ah well…Video thanks to Nicole.

Compared with our fab jump lesson last night, it was…disappointing. But, jumping can’t be fantastic every time, can it? And we still had a good focused warm-up, and went straight into a fairly decent course outdoors, where I was quite pleased with Oats’ effort. Jumps stayed small.

It got dark, and we zipped into the indoor to wrap up our jumps. We worked over a few small jumps, and then over a course. I even demanded Nicole raise the jumps! (ok, demanded is a strong word. I suggested it! Go me!). And it was…very sloppy. Ha. Yikes my eq was definitely sucking. My leg (right leg) was a windshield wiper. My upper body? Throw at the horse! Eeeghhh.

In my defense, I have been feeling like crap over past few weeks (on and off since last week). I felt terrible yesterday, grinding fatigue, out of breath, sore throat, and my stomach was killing me with zero appetite. I literally had this feeling like if I stopped moving I would probably collapse and not be able to get back up again. So I kept running, moving, doing chores, getting dressed, going to riding and anytime I stopped moving, I was literally wavering on my feet. Lovely. Anyways, it sucked.

Add on to that my crushing insomnia and you have a recipe for a fabulous week…

But I rallied for my jump lesson! I had this sense that Oats was feeling similarly to me, ha. He was asleep on his feet in his shelter when I came to get him to tack up. Anyways, I am really hoping for some sleep tonight, and Oats is also getting the night off in preparation for my next dressage lesson on Friday. Fingers crossed we are all feeling better by then!!

So far no sore throat today, but stomach ache remains and my eyes are so watery from fatigue it looks like I have been crying. Ahhh.

Everything at the end of everything: Sooke Saddle Club Dressage Show’n’ Tell recap

I feel like each year I do these, my first show is very ‘blah’ and I’m not overly thrilled with my test riding/Oats’ performance. This year was no exception. It’s like we need an outing to kind of be crummy/not exceptional to figure out what needs to be fixed.

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Last year. 

This season we made our first ‘First Level test 1’ debut though! And I was happy with how the test rode generally, I wasn’t pleased with the level of cooperation and roundness I got from Oats in it. He was quite resistant, balancing off my hands, his canter was quite high-headed (to say nothing of his canter lengthenings..ha.) All in all NOT our best work.

We also rode our Training Level Test 3- and a brush fire had started in the Metchosin hills, so in the middle of my test a fire siren started BLARING from the fire hall! WHA? Oats is apparently a saint, because he didn’t blink an eye at it…It freaked me right out, and shattered my concentration. Soooo yeah, that test. Ha.

Oats however did spook VERY hard twice at ‘A’. Silly pony! In my first test he also stopped to poop at A and then spooked at it later. ARGH!

I really liked judge Melanie Houston’s take on Oats and agreed with her on the points that needed to be addressed.

So like, yeah it was fine. A nice day, tests rode ok, but I’m honestly at the point now where ‘ok’ doesn’t cut it? Our next show and tell is in July and I have higher expectations for us by that point!

 

Mr. Oats drags ass

Had my jump lesson last night and quite frankly I was expecting much more from dear old Oats. He was dragging ass, cranky about going forward (kicking out when I ‘reminded’ him about it) and just so BLAH.

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Pick up your feet! So yeah this was not happening yesterday…

So, not so fun. I was unimpressed and annoyed at having to ride him so hard for what was basically a low level jump lesson. Did he wake up on the wrong side of the bed that morning? He had Wednesday off, and even still on Thursday he was just sulky, behind the leg and lazy.

Needless to say I had to work very hard to keep him going over our jump course. We worked on 1 circle jump, and a small course that included a two-stride that we almost NEVER made in two strides except when I got mad enough to MAKE IT HAPPEN!!>!?! And then it did. Phew.

I was tired after that ride for sure, and my eyes were watering like crazy.

I heard also that Oats was spending a lot of time playing like a fool with his horse friends, so I wonder if that is where allll his energy is going. My trainer said it sounded like I was a jealous girlfriend- “Oh so that’s where you’re spending all your time now? With your horse buddies?!!” Instead of saving some energy at night for ME!?!

But I kind of did feel that way. Lacklustre and blah.

He wasn’t bad or anything, just very tuned out. Oh well, we live to fight another day! hahah.

It doesn’t get better. You get better.

Yeah, my race recap was a little self-pitying. Three weeks down, and the countdown is ON!

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To break up the gloominess, here is baby Oats! Photo courtesy of his former owner Jennifer.

To recap for riding, Mr. Oats has been super awesome and I have been…hanging on? Ha. I didn’t have a dressage lesson last week, and kind of couldn’t deal with life either, so my jump lesson was …less jumps, more angst. But, I’m ok with that. I knew going in that my head cold was making me feel absolutely miserable and so was work and just..just just couldn’t handle the pressure.

I made the decision to tone it down in my riding (ie- not jumping) and lessen the anxiety I have on myself. It worked, I really enjoyed my lesson with some jumps, just not ALL the jumps, and enjoyed my rides on the weekend too.

The only thing that was a thorn in my side was how scatter-brained, clueless, tired and sick I was feeling. Ha, only. I rode Oats, had a good ride (honestly, I can’t remember one ride from the next right now, my life is a blur), and groomed him, put tack away, cleaned up, made grain bags, packed up my purse and left…

…Went through the gate, looked back, and saw Oats. Still in the crossties, looking at me.

SHit!

Forgot the horse!

Wish I could say that was an isolated incident, but I also forgot that I had Buster Bunny out to play and brushed my teeth and went to bed, with him hopping up and down the stairs. Whoops! My husband came up for bed and saw rogue rabbit, scooped him up and took him back to his cage. Hahaha.

And then I locked my keys in my car on Monday at the barn.

Except I had also forgot to lock my car, so …SAVED~

And my weekend was spent riding, and sleeping/laying around on the couch cursing the head cold I have. I still sort of have it too, my ears are going nuts with pressure and I have been blowing my nose unsuccessfully to try and relieve the pressure. Still have tons of nose running too. SIGH.

That’s just what you are: Week update

Honestly haven’t been feeling it this week. Haven’t been feeling anything pretty much.

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Me this whole freaking week.

Work has been psychotically busy and a real pressure-cooker. It’s left me without a blogging voice, hopefully temporarily.

I have been riding and actually that’s been going fine! Had a nice lesson yesterday and felt really good, in synch and happy with dear old Oats. Funny, because I was SO grouchy yesterday before riding (thanks to work and my persistent health issues this week). Grouchy, exhausted, bone-crunching fatigue, bloating, allergies that are making it impossible to breathe at anytime, particularly at night…yeah. Perfection.

BUT riding always brings it home for me, and I LOVE it.

A fun jump lesson, and the mistakes that happened were all mine and I can own it. Mistakes happen, and I move on and don’t make them in the second half of my course. That’s fine. Oats is a good and honest pony, and any screwups were mine.

I didn’t ride on Tues- thank god my lesson was already cancelled- because of already mentioned health issues. I staggered home and was seriously worried I was going to collapse on my way. I was so tired. My limbs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds. I was dizzy and unbalanced. I was so out of it, and could barely drag my body home. My gym workout that I usually do at lunch? I spent it laying on a gym mat with my eyes closed. god.

Spent the evening sleeping on the couch. WTF? I never do that! But yeah…This was to set the tone for my miserable week of allergies-bloating-crushing fatigue-allergies-bloating-cramps-fatigue…UGH.

So yeah, not feeling anything in life right now. Still love my pony, my fraking dog that spent the night scrambling over me and licking herself loudly…maybe not her right now, ha.

Four day week? Feels more like a month.

 

All my demons greeting me as a friend

(song title courtesy of my new obsession- Radio 2 Drive playlogs. From the artist Aurora).

Try try try.

After my grouch-fest on Thursday, I proceeded to have a very bitter day. I’ve had to be flexible this week, and I apparently do not do well with it.

I missed the gym and instead spent my lunch hour at the Dr’s (for good reasons, and I was really pleased how the appt went and glad I have such a positive and supportive specialist). But that meant my physical release of fitness wasn’t happening, and I had to stay a touch late to deal with some last-minute things.

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Cute AF

Important people weren’t happy with some of my work. Other important people I disappointed. I disappointed myself. I was bitter. Everything seemed to harass and annoy me. There was no way out.

I came home later than I hoped, and was then late to take out Gidget (who peed on my carpet, I guess serves me right for being late!) and was able to play fetch with her at the park, before getting dressed to go riding & then pick up my husband.

Go-go-go-go it felt like!

My ride was super blah and uninspiring, not because of Oats, but because *I* was in a snit fit for the day. He was moving out really nicely and quite forward, for him, and I couldn’t get my head in the game. Instead, I futzed around and watched my friend have a lesson. We chatted, hung out, and that was it. And it was totally what I needed that day.

My harassed, put upon feeling lasted all the way through picking my husband up (I was late, of course I hit every single red light). Couldn’t I catch a break? Eff.

I wanted to shop like crazy, drink everything in sight, eat Smarties until my teeth sting, run until my legs hurt, eat too much, feel something. Oh well, Friday today is a new day and I am hoping my weird funk lifts. I have things to look forward to! And I want to look forward to them.

(and actually I am feeling more hopeful today too!) Much better than this week.

Typical Monday blues

Even took me by surprise, given how nice my weekend was and then BLAM! Shittiest Monday to kick the week off. Nothing really terrible or devastating, just a series of real annoyances that are getting under my freaking skin…All morning.

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I really enjoyed this series…

Drove to work, paid for parking because I have a vet appointment that I mentioned for Oats this afternoon, so I needed my car. It was hammering down rain, lovely…And when I get to work, my phone rings- vet moves my appt to Friday, as there was an emergency. Fair enough, but !@(#% I have to take the car in again on Friday, and pay for more parking. SHit.

I was drinking coffee out of my travel mug, and while I was drinking it, it was dripping down the front of my effing WHITE blazer. Yeah…covered in coffee stains. I am now wearing my flimsy camisole (so, not a shirt) with a scarf strategically planned as my cover up. FML.

My work email blew up today and is going freaking bananas. I can’t keep track of the eleventy-billion emails I am getting and the zillions of work pieces I can’t seem to address all of them. Something that has to go out at 10am…doesn’t. JEESH.

I am waiting on some stuff for work and it just doesn’t. seem. to. be. happening. I may have some later nights this week because of it.

My car is going in again on Wednesday for more work.

I’m not really looking forward to my jump lesson (which I had hoped to have the vet appt before it, so I could figure out a strategy for Oats by the next lesson)…Because I don’t know how he is going to be, and I feel unsure about what I am asking of him. ARGHHH.

I am not really excited about jumping, because of this. And let’s face it, I LOVE jumping! And the new program for the horse show series that we go to just came out, and I feel really on the fence about it. The format has changed to a two-day, hunters and then jumpers, and there are now 4 shows, instead of 3. Just..ugh. I’m not interested in jumpers…and I know others in my barn are, if anyone goes with me at all this year…

I just can’t get excited about it. About anything horsey right now. The weirdness is just too prevalent, jumping isn’t fun, and I don’t want to do jumpers, I want to do hunters. GAH! SO whiny right now.

Wah wah wah.

 

Rain, rain go away

As I am far behind in my recaps…I did a jump lesson in the pouring rain on Thursday and I did it pretttttyyyy grudgingly- hello, it was pouring!!

Nicole however, insisted we do it to practice for the upcoming SSITS Avalon Derby Cross that we had signed up for and I guess she was right, we needed the experience jumping and toughing it out in all weathers, as it poured rain on our warm-up day Saturday at Avalon as well! Hm..good thing I had Thursday under my belt.

I was feeling weird before my lesson. Kind of angsty- thinking about the show, bummed about the weather, just kind of strange. We came down to the arena and Nicole was bundled up in a tarp like this:

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Photo courtesy of Sarah C. Horses didn’t even blink!

Ha! And Oats, good pony, got a good look at her but then didn’t bat an eye when she was rustling around moving jumps, even when we were like behind her and the tarp was louder. Good pony! The jump course was the same as last week, which I was thankful for, as it gave us another opportunity to work on some aspects that kind of bungled for me–the turns, and forward, and bravery.

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Trainers have to stay dry somehow! Desensitizing horses=win/win! Photo courtesy of Sarah C.

Not that I didn’t still make mistakes- in fact, the final jump (10) I bungled so we looped around and just jumped it on it’s own, and it rode really well! Also the jumps that had oxers went up to oxers- which did make me nervous, and they didn’t ride well for me- I kind of tried to chase Oats past his distance, so they were weirdly chippy.

I was much happier with most of tracks I chose, and we didn’t have any stops or anything. He was a good and honest pony in the pouring rain- I was soaked- and didn’t put a hoof wrong, even with a bunch of new stuff piled behind the indoor arena, his favorite spooky zone.

I did notice that I was much more comfortable with a closer stride and distance, and so was Oats, funny enough. It wasn’t lovely, but it was pretty darn good. Considering the strange nerves I had going in, I was pleased with the ride and looking forward (with more than a little trepidation) to my first-ever Derby Cross event on the weekend.

That recap is to come!