Honey Bunches of Oats does dressage!

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Photo courtesy of Makayla Hovey.

I saw this quote in another blog (Medal Slut), and I loved it so much I had to use it~

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski

And here’s the shocker-for a reluctant dressage-er, we did REALLY WELL!! Got our personal best scores of all time?! 68.47% in Training Level 1, and 69% in Training Level 2~ can you believe it! I can’t!

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The whole gang with their ribbons!!

Rewinding a bit, I had originally wanted to go to the Cowichan District Riding Club’s jumper show on the Saturday, when everyone was going but as I mentioned yesterday we had a packed schedule and no hauler to go up with, soooooo dressage it was!

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Photo courtesy of Makayla Hovey.

I had avoided the dressage ring for a few years, because it was hard, we were’t good at it, and it tripped all of my high-anxiety issues for showing and Oats did not respond well to my nerves, at all. So, jumping it was. But then, my husband got me some fancy white dressage boots for Christmas, so I wanted to show them off…and well, I had a ride to the showgrounds with my friend and her horse, sooooo…

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Photo courtesy of Makayla Hovey.

It was fated! We were doing dressage for the first time in like 3 years!

As you will note, we practiced a LOT in the two weeks leading up the show. Four dressage lessons, even? I was ready. I was still very nervous, but luckily we didn’t have a lot of time to fuss around at the show, as we were running kind of late, haha. I hopped on, did a pretty perfunctory warm-up (Oats was ok, but swapping his left lead for his right CONSTANTLY in the warm up and it as driving me nuts). Anyway, off we went for Training Level 1 and you know what? It went fine. I felt pretty ok about it, despite him spooking a bit in the warm up and getting a little silly.

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Photo courtesy of Makayla Hovey.

Funny enough usually at horse shows, I can’t wait to BE DONE and get off. This time? I finished my test 1, and said I want to get back in their and have more opportunities to ride the test! Who is this girl? I was still anxious, but I felt like I could have more time in the ring and really focus on riding.

Cue super long hiatus where Oats got loose and ran over one of the girl’s finance’s foot. Whoops!! He did catch Oats for me though, with Oats pinning his foot into the ground. Yikes! Oats and I hung out for ages..My first test was at 9:50am, and my second one was at 1:50pm!!

I got ready at around 1:10pm and warmed Oats up for the second time. He was TERRIBLE in the warm up. Thundering around, swapping leads like crazy, kind of acting nuts. I had this awful sinking feeling in my stomach.

Nicole was like, hey leave it in the warm- up, and just go and ride your test!

Easier said than done…

But, we entered the ring, started the first half of the test, got whistled out (judge thought we were doing Training 3 mistakenly, so I got to go back out, re-enter and start the test over.) Despite the miserable warm-up, the whistling out, we DID IT. We entered the groove, where I was focused on my test, on my horse, and on my body.

Each moment was there for me, and I wasn’t thinking too far ahead. (I did worry about the canter, ha).

When we came up to the final halt, I just KNEW we had a rocking test. We aced it!! The judge called me over and asked what breed Oats was (a mutt, I said. haha) and she said she really liked him and he was a good size and a very nice mover! WOW!!!!! 🙂

That test? Highest score ever for me- 69%. Good enough for second place for us! YESSS. A great end to a good day. I was very proud of how we pulled it together, and you should have seen how great everyone else was riding yesterday- I wasn’t the only one coming away with some good scores!!

Kudos to my friends for their great efforts, and to the Cowichan District Riding Club for a friendly, welcoming and fun atmosphere.

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Photo courtesy of Makayla Hovey.

Hopoxia!!! 2017 Edition

This weekend was BUSY with a capital ‘B’ but hey, I knew that about June 2017 and I am totally loving it!!

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Saturday, I knew I was on a tight(er) timeline- I was trying to fit in a run (long), a ride & pack and clean up horse for the dressage show on Sunday, and a walk to Phillips Brewery for their Hopoxia beer fest!

I started with the run- 18km. It was absolutely horrible. I had terrible asthma, making my chest/lungs constrict in a super frightening and unpleasant way. I was gasping and clutching my chest. Hm, maybe I should have used my puffer, or at least carried it with me…It’s becoming very clear that I have either allergy-induced or exercise-induced asthma (or both!!) and it’s pretty nightmarish to try and run with it.

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Anyways, that was frighting and sucky and I hated it, but I did it. I did have to listen to my body and walk when I started gasping for breath, so be it. I did it! And went home to a great breakfast courtesy of my great husband, and then it was off to ride & pack up my stuff and give Oats a bath!

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I tried to go as quick as I could, and zipped home (note- I only showered on Sunday, after allllll of my events were over. Good choice or bad choice?? ha).

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We walked to Hopoxia, and I had a fab time there! We tried so many awesome beers, chatted with a friend/colleague and I really enjoyed the chance to try some super cool and unique flavours- standouts include a bunch of really sour ‘sours’, and the ‘A day off your life’ beer that was like 11.5%!?!!

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A great time was had by all 🙂

Busy week & bad weather = bad

Got some kind of bad news, although it was not unexpected, it did greatly annoy me and it looks like I will have to start seriously look at making some changes in my life. SIGHHH…Well, to be fair I did kind of start wanting a change this year, but I didn’t expect to be forced into it!

That’s life, I guess?

I was also reminded that that, indeed, is life by this quote (from a poem by D.H. Lawrence)

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.

 

Anyways, despite my title, the gloomy-ass weather today (pouring rain, grey skies, 12 degrees?!) things are generally ‘ok’ this week. Been practicing hard at dressage with my two lessons this week, and my run-throughs of the tests last night in my usual jump lesson went better than expected! Ok, our overbending was an issue and Oats wanted to goggle mightily at ‘stuff’ outside the outdoor arena, but kept his shirt on and we made it work out pretty well! Also, picking up left lead canter going downhill in the outdoor= not happening. Ha.

I was in kind of a grouchy mood about the aforementioned life change, so I was extra glad my lesson went smoothly.

And for the busy week? I have something every single day this week- Mon- ride, Tues- dressage lesson, Wed, dressage lesson (a theme eh? ha), Thur- track meet! Fri, work drinks, Sat- Hopoxia (a beer fest), Sun- the dressage show!

Crazy eh?

Oh well, life is for the living and I’m gonna damn well live EVERY SECOND OF IT!!!

(I say that sitting my butt on my chair, doing nothing at the moment, oh well).

Float House Victoria: My review!

Curious about floating and immersion therapy? I did it yesterday and I’m here to tell you all about it!

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My pod!

First off, let me assuage your fears about immersion therapy (I know because I kind of had them too, but curiosity won out!)

The tank can be lit, and you choose to be in absolute darkness or not- the buttons are big and easy to press if you want lights back on. The darkness is absolute, meaning you won’t really know if your eyes are open or closed! The tank is easy to climb out of and you won’t get trapped in it. It’s total privacy- each tank has its own room with a shower. They start the session with light music, and then usher you out with ‘wake up’ music and the light gradually changes.

The sessions are 90 minutes long, and if you’re anything like me, that seemed like a LOOONG time to be stewing in a salt pod with your own poisonous thoughts marinating your brain. But…I’m also here to tell you that as someone that has a difficult time with ‘stillness’, it’s totally cool and you will fidget and move a bit, but then you’ll just…settle and won’t even think about anything. Trust me. I have many hamster-treadmill bad thoughts running my brain daily (also known as ‘life’) but in the tank? Absolutely nothing.

Also- they warn you a few times not to make too many ripples in the water because splashing your face & eyes STINGS like a motherfucker and of course I did that immediately. Ouch. And you shower before you get in the tank to remove makeup, lotion and shampoo, and then shower afterwards to clean salt out of your hair & body. I would recommend ear plugs-that they provide- because I still feel like I have salt water sloshing in my ears, and I did use a neck support floaty, because my head had a hard time dealing with floating on my puny stalk of a neck.

I even sort of fell asleep- as someone with stress related insomnia that is a very unusual thing for me! It also didn’t really feel like sleep? It felt more like my brain was allowed to go quiet. I did love the suspended-in-air feeling too, it’s so neat. The 90 minutes goes SO fast- I know what you’re thinking but it’s true, it goes amazingly fast and I’m generally an impatient person but wow…time’s up already? Getting up and hatching myself out of the pod and into the world felt like a cruel joke- so many noises and lights.

I would recommend you try a session in a float tank. It’s pricey (mine was a gift, it is around $75/session) but the gift of stillness for a busy mind is SO valuable.

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.

 

Wish it. Want it. Do it.

Stolen from Brian on ‘Family Guy’ as a bit of an inside joke these days..Ha. You’ll not find me as an inspirational speaker (not my style!) but I do have to side-eye folks who are self-proclaimed inspirational gurus. What makes you an expert in others lives?

BUT I do have to say that my weekend was super-fant-astic! Loved it, all of it.

Friday, I had tickets to see Wintersleep, as we had missed them when they were in town last spring- a great opportunity to catch them again. And I would highly recommend them, they were just awesome. Good energy, came out for encores and seem to really appreciate their fan-base. Fun show all around.

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Me with long hair, Oct.

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And after my hair cut last week!

Saturday, I rode Oats and he was so great, I was goofing around over some small fences, and doing a little bit of homework: lateral work. Good pony. I did run with my husband- a tempo? run at 6k to see how my knee rehab is going. It was ok…Not great yet though. Sighhh…

Saturday night we hosted friends for some fondue and it was a blast! It was hilarious, it took alllll night to eat the fondue, but hey we had some great conversation and some laughs so it was all good.

Sunday, rode Oats and the fun and successful work we were doing over poles/small fences completely disappeared. I have no idea WTF was going on but we were just not on the same wavelength….He was supermanning over everything, just taking huge flyers. I know he has issues with small fences= kowabunga!! He does not respect them, at all. Jeeesh, it was so ugly!

I gave up on that and was like, well, maybe some flat work is in order before you land on a jump and kill us both.

He’s still fun to ride but man, he needs to get in another jump lesson to start hiking those fences UP!

I did a practice run after riding, to see how my knee would handle things. Ran just under 6k, and it was quite shaky and kept threatening to dislocate to the left. Hmm…So, I am stuck trying to rehab it still.

That evening, I went to Hillside Mall’s ‘Night of  Lights’ event. The tickets were $5, and you came and shopped and there were some deals to be had. Honestly? I wouldn’t do it again. The deals were ‘eh’ and it was PACKED. Swarming with people, and quite overwhelming. I don’t like crowds on a good day, and so it was too much for me. Also people who don’t really walk, more like barely crawl, drives me absolutely bananas.

No thanks, not again. The ticket prices do go to charity, so that is at least a nice thing!

A lovely weekend, and I am again lucky to enjoy the great weather here in the PNW.

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!