I’m not anywhere

A good ol’ midweek update of…yeah.

Things have been kind of crazy lately. But in the horse world? That’s where I expect a bit of sanity for myself (sometimes). Anyways, on Tuesday – a day where I have a semi-private dressage lesson- I scheduled an equine counseling session for myself, to work on some things with Oats.

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Oats gets a haircut…

It went really well actually, and I felt more solid and like my body is getting the message I want it to get while I am jumping (you are safe, your are solid, you are ok with this, and you can do it!) so that was very positive and I felt greatly encouraged.

The other stuff? While I am not going into detail, let’s just say after that session that happened to overlap with my normal semi-private, well now my schedule has changed and Tuesdays are no longer convenient for me to share a lesson. Too bad, so sad! Oh well, I am now going to work on a dressage semi-private on Sundays instead.

More time for me, I figure. And that can always be a good thing 😉

Life is funny that way- you put up with enough until it forces you to make a change. And that change can be good, but until you get out of your rut, you won’t know!

Oats also got a haircut on Tuesday, so he was preeeetyyy out of it. Ha, sorry buddy. At least it was a very slow and quiet session where I was able to focus on me!

Run recap in photos from Cedar 12k

I found a whole bunch more photos, courtesy of some runners at Cedar 12k. Annd…thought I’d do a wrap up of the photos, as a sort of reminisce from my crazy-insane season of 6 races in six weeks, culminating in 10 races for the season total. The distances ranged from 5k to a half marathon, trail to road, and BOY was it a challenge this year.

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Yeeahhh a solid 9th place finish for me. HA.

Right now, I’m on a race hiatus which feels pretty nice actually. (sort of a lie right now because I did inadvertently sign up for a trail 29k on the Sunshine Coast and then forgot I signed up for it, and found out we got in on Sunday…and it’s this weekend so I had to cancel.

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But I did finish in 5th place overall for the series!

The reality is Mexico+booze+holidays+sun+home renos+back to work+decompressing from the insane stress of months and months= no go for me. Sorry Marathon Shuffle, I will try next year! I bet it’s fun!

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Looking sharp

Our stairs and bedroom look great though, so the home reno thing is going nicely.

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Had to miss my Tuesday dressage lesson to pick up family from the ferries, so rescheduled that for next week but I still have my jump lesson tonight to look forward to!

Comox

A fun bonus- this is from the Comox half marathon.

Oats on the other hand, has been enjoying his vacay from me a bit too much and came back into work on Sunday a tad grudgingly. Ha.

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At the turnaround. I have never had so many photos from one race!

Drama-rama

I’ve been tempted to leave this one blank, or not blog, because the poison that is my nutjob family is starting to seep into my heart.

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Sometimes family is who you choose, not who you are born with.

I received a very disturbing package in the mail yesterday from my mother, and it contained a number of articles (childhood cards I had made, photos of me and my sister as babies, and an insane 5-page double-sided letter from my mom) that made me seriously concerned for their mental health.

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I’ve always felt content with my little ‘family’ unit.

Essentially it was about how I was breaking their heart by not ‘giving’ them grandchildren, and that I am going to die alone, sad and lonely, surrounded by strangers. Bonus points for bringing up my dead grandmother, whom I was very close to.

I see now that this isn’t my issue- it’s theirs. And it is concerning.

What they are doing to me is emotional abuse.

And it ends tomorrow.

 

The life pursuit

Yep, listening to Belle and Sebastian again!

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Want this again…

I worked on a very challenging exercise with my jump trainer Nicole yesterday. It was my fault- I suggested it in an online post on Facebook and bingo- we are doing it! We…failed kind of hardcore.

It was this: a zig-zag with looped circles that we desperately could NOT maintain for the life of us in the canter. I got lost sooo many times. Ha. I had fun though! Oats found it fairly challenging, and then got jumping super ‘blahhhh’ and almost killed us by rapping the back rail of an oxer really hard and tripping because of it. YIKES!

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This is more our reality…ha.

It was pretty crazy! I enjoyed the challenge though, and felt like I was really working on ‘letting go’ my anxiety-brain when I jump. When the jumps come up this fast (and you get lost this often) it’s impossible to think too hard about what you’re jumping, hahah. Plus we kept the jumps teeny-tiny anyways, so no biggie.

Oats did start getting tired and sloppy with his feet, so having the close call with the oxer really woke him up a bit! Scared the bejesus out of me though.

I feel like we did a zillion turns and jumped 10’s of jumps, hahah.

A fun exercise and a real challenge that showed us we have significant weaknesses…It’s easy to get cocky when things are going well (as they were last week) and then have this week take you down a peg or three. Ha.

 

Thanksgiving weekend recap: The fire inside.

Peaceful fall

Peaceful fall

So, when I last left, I was practically running out the door to get away from work and was desperate for a weekend, any weekend, so long as it long!!

No sooner was I relaxing into my weekend (hard-won) on a sleepy Saturday morning when I woke up suddenly and unpleasantly with a horrible wrenched neck. It was excruciating. I couldn’t look to the right, the back of my head/neck hurt, it hurt to chew anything – my jaw ached, and my shoulder/neck area felt frozen and throbbing, alternately.

Greeeattttt….

No rest for the wicked?

Secretly, I hoping to run to the barn on Saturday, where I would ride Oats and have my husband pick me up from the barn to go straight to my in-laws farm (maybe soon to not be their farm if the sale goes through, more changes,. eek!!). Instead, I could barely walk.

Walking even jostled my neck horribly. I was in a ton of pain, on muscle relaxants and alternating hot/cold therapy to just be somewhat mobile. No running for me. I decided to ride anyways (because I’m insane??) but my husband had to help me get Oats out of his pen, groom him- it took forever – because he was so muddy, and lead Oats to and from the arena.

Yeehaw a skinny!

Yeehaw a skinny!

Once I was on, things were ok, though I couldn’t look right at all and was very uncomfortable trying to go right on Oats. He was a good sport though, and seemed very careful with me–even though we were doing a bit of jumping!

Oats taking care of me.

Oats taking care of me.

We got some photos, and I hopped off gingerly, and Ian led Oats back to the barn and helped me untack, carry my saddle back to the barn, and unbridle Oats. That was pretty funny, he tried to pull the whole bridle off Oats’ head w/o undoing the noseband, but did manage to get the throatlatch off. Oats was like WTF? But he’s a good pony now and didn’t take advantage…

We called it a ride, and headed off to the in-laws farm. There, I upped the painkillers a bit and enjoyed some pear picking in the pouring rain (hah!!) and a lot of good quality hot tub and wine time. Sure didn’t hurt my neck situation at all, but mannnnnn did I feel it the next morning…

My neck was pretty much healed by Sunday morning but my wine hangover had a ferocious hold on me. I was like, I’m hungry!! I’d eat something…”I feel sick!!”….I’m hungry!!! I feel sick!!

All morning. Gag.

I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself though. We were up and out of the house to cheer on my friend who was running his second marathon!!! Gidget was miserable, whiny and annoyed at waiting around to watch. I was pretty happy though, we managed to cheer him on and get a great photo too! He did awesome.

Great work!!

Great work!!

Then, I felt inspired….

And not quite so sick anymore.

So, like the crazy person I am, I decided to run to the barn, ride, and then maybe run home. Note: this is not a short distance.

My own horse-half marathon? A new challenge? A way to work out the extreme pressure and anxiety I’d been experiencing throughout the week, and was too injured too often to resolve it through exercise?

No matter the reason–I was going to DO IT!

And so, I did. And you know what? It was fine. I jogged to the barn, waved hi to my friend Sarah who saw me at an intersection- and said I was crazy, haha. And I rode and STILL had too much ‘intensity’ in my ride on Oats. Luckily he is still a forgiving pony and he was a good boy for me, even when I come to the barn ‘running high’ and with extra energy I can’t resolve normally.

We worked through some poles- they were terrible, he does better at jumps- and then a brief lateral session once way each where he was quite reasonable, and he was sooooooo sweaty! I then sponged him off, ate a coconut-chocolate Clif bar, and changed back into my clammy workout clothes and prepared to run home.

The run home wasn’t quite as smooth as the way there- my stomach started hurting a LOT, I kind of blame eating the Clif bar so soon after riding and then running again- and my knee was bugging me a bit, and the noise on my calf injury got turned up too…

But I made it fine, it just took a long time.

So, Sunday was an investment in time. Me time. Time to work out whatever anxiety I had going on through my running and riding.

The next day I felt pretty good, tired, but good. Sometimes the fire that burns inside burns too hot and too bright, and threatens to consume us. My way of dealing with it is through exercise.

A jumping weekend, with wild weather!

I didn’t ride Friday, though I was slightly tempted as I got off work earlier due to my changed schedule for the two days- had a nap instead! Guess I wasn’t that tempted.

From BC Day- wish this weather could last forever!

From BC Day- wish this weather could last forever!

Saturday the weather changed for the worse- blasting wind, threatening rain and generally unsettled. The trickiest part was that it was also sunny and warm, and then a huge gust of wind?

I tacked Oats up in the outdoor cross-ties and a big gust came up and blew a ton of saddle pads into the air! He spooked and I went to go pick the saddle pads up that were strewn everywhere, and while I was reaching to grab them, slipped and banged into the fence.

To add insult to injury, I went to grab the railing to stop myself from falling smack into the fence and immediately got a splinter from a thorn on the blackberry bushes. SHIT! And it is STILL jammed into my finger, after a failed attempt by my husband to needle that sucker out of there…I was howling and shrieking, so I slapped a band-aid on it and continued on my way. Ouch, not worth it!~

Not an auspicious start to my ride…

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When I was riding, Oats was high high high! Very frisky and looky, spooky and on-edge. The man who has been cleaning up the paddocks with the backhoe stopped by to ask a few questions (very friendly) with his dog, and Oats was kind of losing it! The dog! The man! Wind!!!!!!!

So …yeah.

My goal became clear- live through the ride.

We actually had a pretty nice ride once I gave up the idea that we had to deal with his scary areas ”the corner” being one we just flat out avoided on Saturday. Schooled him over some jumps I set as low x-rails, and then did a figure-eight type pattern of x-rail, to road closed panel, to diagonal x-rail, back to the first x-rail to ‘road closed’. That was fun!

Ended it at that, as I didn’t want to end up on the ground…

And of course, when I had Oats back in the cross-rails, another saddle pad went flying and he spooked again. SIGH.

Turns out it was well and good I rode early, as the wind only got worse as the day went on. When I came in for my ride on Sunday, I had to pick up tree branches and the barn shutter that went flying in the windstorm. I could only picture a house being picked up with ‘Auntie Em’ echoing in the background!

Rode in the indoor on Sunday and felt kind of not enthusiastic. I wanted to gallop in the field, but figured that was off limits due to the rain…Blah. We worked over a tiny x-rail to establish pace and nailed our distances to it everytime! This is after I trotted him over it and he fell over it twice- fell! So, canter it was, and canter it went!

I then did some no-stirrups work that felt ok but still fairly punishing…

Wanted to save my legs for a run I had planned later in the day. The run itself went ok but I was SO PARANOID about my knee blowing up on me. I couldn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to, I didn’t have that ‘free’ feeling at all. Gah…At the turnaround I was so sure this was it, I couldn’t run anymore. But then we did turn around, and I was ok again?

Today my legs feel fine though, so….

Fingers crossed?!

More BC day

More BC day

Also of note- I tried Krema’s Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Spice flavour and loved it!

Also tried the new Strawberry Shortcake Frapp from Starbucks- and blah. Wouldn’t have it again. They don’t serve the S’mores flavour, which I am SO bummed about. ARGH.

Oh and we went to the Island’s Greek festival after Starbucks and our run, and enjoyed a nice gyros platter. Yummmy!

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My two favourite guys

My two favourite guys

Things have been pretty crazy. Like, my goal is to take a lunch this week kind of crazy.

Luckily, Oats has been adorable and on Saturday, the weather was fabulous.

Thursday I had such a delicious ride, I couldn’t believe myself. Oats canter was amazing, he was so wonderful and flexible.

Saturday was another fun ride, and my husband came by to pick me up (he had borrowed the car) so I snapped some fun shots. It was that warm out, in January!

Sunday, I had set up a braiding clinic for myself and some barn friends. I arranged for another friend who is quite the accomplished braider and turnout guru to teach us how to braid. It was really good! I learned a new skill (that I apparently knew at one point) and was proud to be able to practice it.

It was quite chilly on Sunday though, so after 3+ hours of braiding and hanging around, I had ZERO desire to ride! Plus Oats had some wild energy to let loose, so I went home for lunch and he went outside for a romp.

Went for a run this weekend and my new goal is 1- longer run and 1- shorter run (up the hill to the reservoir) with the dog each week. I think it is fairly doable? Except Gidget started trying to run home when I was jogging with her. She’ll get into it though, I hope!

Fingers crossed some of this craziness slows down a little bit! Yikes! I am also going to try to practice braiding and pulling Oats mane each time I ride, after I ride.