Mr. Oats does a Working Equitation horse show: Day 1

Phew this was a super busy weekend, to top off a super busy and bummer few weeks.

I signed Oats up for a Working Equitation horse show! We have some experience with this discipline, but I was also taking lessons on Sundays to practice up, as well as working on our dressage with our trainer. We hauled out bright and early Saturday to Hi-Point in Glenora for our dressage day at 9:30am.

Swear, our warmup was more…nice. Oh well, you gotta get back somehow!

The test was quite simple, similar to a training level test? But no fear, I had a good warmup and then immediately rode pretty poorly soooooo it was still challenging for us. At first we went to warmup in the field (Hi-Point has the only x-c on the island) and Oats was AMPED. I was pretty sure he was going to buck me off lol. So a trainer suggested we move to a section of the indoor roped off for warm-ups and bingo, he settled right away.

After our dressage ride it was still SO early, ha. I knew Oats would need more work- a new place where he has done x-c and he was hot hot hot means he needs a lot more work to get him chill and used to it. After all, we had our two rounds the next day (Sunday), Ease of Handling and Speed Round.

So I hung out a lot, and watched the Intro class finish their Ease of Handling (they don’t do speed rounds). Then I got Oats out, wearing shorts again (haaa) and rode him. As I suspected, he WAS amped. Good at the trot, but power-trotting around and tossing his head excitedly. We cantered, and he was good, and then tried to buck, haha. He has a very powerful buck and just snakes his head down and humps up and woooof it’s hard to get back, haha.

So, rode that for awhile even though it was HOT out, like close to 30 deg?? I was hot, Oats was hot but he had a ton of ‘go’.

After our ride he chilled out and was sooo thirsty, poor boy! That would be the theme for the weekend- Oats is sooo thirsty!

After my ride, we went to the pond for a swim 🙂 I had my mango White Claws, and all was right with the world. I even had a bbq with my new friends that evening, and it was delicious. Early to bed, I felt very tired. A long day in the sun and around people?!! I have been a total hermit for like a year?! ha.

I did feel worried about the course, as it had several x-c elements that Oats was not familiar with (water, a bank). Turns out I was right to be concerned…

Which was too bad, because after dressage we were leading! To be continued…

It only ‘matters’ if it ‘matters’ to you

Stole this one off Tamarack Hill Farms FB page today (actually it was just a headline that caught my eye).

From last year- I like to think there is improvement?

From last year- I like to think there is improvement?

Horses are funny that way- in a nutshell, everything matters.

In the grand scheme- nothing matters.

Weird eh?

A nice day.

A nice day.

I took Wednesday off to give Oats a day to recover from our strenuous dressage lesson (ok, maybe it was just me who needed that day!) and I went for a jog with my dog instead. That equally sucked haha.

Thursday, I was curiously not as hyped up about my jump lesson as I thought I’d be. It’s been a good two weeks since I had a jump lesson (had to cancel 1 lesson due to dinner plans, and then was away in Calgary last week), but I was feeling like…ok.

I still greatly struggle with this feeling of dread/anticipation when I am physically warming up, but I’d seen the course set on Tuesday and you know what? It kind of looked like FUN?! Who is this person, who doesn’t get scared about jumping 10 fences in a course, and who thinks the jumps don’t look ‘that bad’?

ME!

Well sort of. I still went in on Thurs hesitating, complaining that the jumps looked high (so some of them were oxers, sue me!). Nicole didn’t buy into my bs, and was like these are small fences, when we get going you won’t even notice them!

And…I grumbled that I would, but funny enough…When we did get rolling after trotting and cantering a warm-up x-rail, I didn’t notice them! At all?

They were tiny actually haha, maybe all at 2ft, but after a few weeks off my wimp muscles grow stronger and my courage muscles grow weaker. But anyways, she was actually right. When we worked through some elements of the course, I felt like this is NBD. And I continued to feel that way…no biggie.

Oh except when we broke the course down and practiced some individual elements, my brain went on vacation and I managed to squeeze Oats AT THE CANTER between two jumps to get to another jump! There was not a lot of room, whooops! HAHAH. Brain=took a vacation too.

But then we did the course, and it went really well, surprisingly well, until my big fumble at the end…My brain just didn’t connect that I needed to turn much later for the three-jump combination, so we kind of bungled our way through it (kept the jumps up, just awkward and clumsy and a BIG chip at the end fence, eek!).

So, some successes early on? I’ve actually been feeling like my jumping has been pretty consistent this summer, if I still do struggle with wimping out.

Some times I think I need to work on a bit right now: More two-point at the trot and canter, focusing on pushing my feet out in front of me (waterskiing) because they tend to slip behind my body.

Hands down and in. Elbows in!

Legs on, and if leg isn’t working, get more used to a sharp smack with the crop!

Overall-quite pleased. 🙂

“Be gentle in what you do, and firm in how you do it” Buck Brannaman

So, weekend recap. I normally like doing these on Tuesday, because sometimes Mondays are just.too.damn.difficult to wrap my poor brain around, let alone blog coherently on the same day…

Friday night, I rushed after work to set up for the craft fair at my friend’s place. Made it home around 6 p.m., slapped makeup and a dress on, and we cabbed to my husband’s work Xmas party. We had a great time! Drinks, casino games for charity, food, dancing…What’s not to like! I had been feeling tired, generally put-upon and draggy but just felt totally livened up!

Fancy Christmas party!

Fancy Christmas party!

We got home around 1 a.m. and then the next morning up bright and early for the craft sale.

I was tired, no doubt. It was kind of a long day, but I sold all of my products with three exceptions: 1 lip scrub and 2 foot scrubs. Not too shabby!! I’m not sure if I will do it again, I liked making them more than selling them, to be honest.

Craft sale- bath/body

Craft sale- bath/body

No Oats riding on Saturday, as I was at the craft sale for the whole day!

Sunday I went riding and Oats was in rare form…Excited to go down to the ring, squealing a bit and kind of jumping around on the way down. Part of my brain was like hmm…Should I have been longing him before I ride, as he’s had two days off?

Anyways, he settled down fine in the ring, with only a few head-tossing moments when Donato was thundering behind us in the canter (large horses cantering with us is a FIRECRACKER moment for Oats, and he generally starts losing his shit when that happens) so I pulled him back down to trot to prevent any major bucking or leaping sprees.

He was pretty good though, otherwise. We worked on straightness at the canter on the diagonal over a pole, and then trotted a small vertical (funny, we first trotted to it and he slammed on the brakes, he -and I- had gotten distracted by someone walking past the indoor arena waving a blue jacket!) But we pulled it together, and re-approached from the right facing away from the open side of the indoor and did it twice, successfully.

He was so tired after though, I was surprised my little Oats was huffing and puffing. To think of it, I was sweaty and out of breath too! hah.

We are apparently in the middle of a tropical storm right now, so I expect tonight’s lesson might not go…smoothly…But we shall see!

Image

Spring Fever?

Spring Fever?

My mom riding Oats a few years ago.

Oats was flying high the other day. Partly it makes me laugh, because he’s so amped up and raring to go, but also makes me feel nervous, because he can’t contain himself in his skin and WANTS TO BUCK SO BAD!

So, he did- buck that is. He tried to buck me off twice when we worked into the canter- once in each direction. I guess he appreciates symmetry? Everything you do with horses, you should do on each side. Not sure about the bucking though.

He was feeling sooooo good. And definitely decided to let me know about it! Head tossing, humping up and bucking. ARGH! I got after him, stayed on both times, and got some real work done.

I both hate and like when he’s amped, because then I have some actual pony to work with and can get canter work done without him balking or getting pissy off my leg (he loves this one) or threatening me when I crop him.

So we did a lot of canter work- circles, trot jumps, circle canter, canter through to bend/counterbend and he didn’t even try to swap on this one, which he can be counted on to do.

So that was nice! Despite his shenanigans earlier.

I think he has spring fever. And I didn’t ride Sunday (Buddy Holly day!) and shoot, didn’t ride yesterday, had a business meeting in the evening.

Tonight, before my lesson…I will be lunging Mr. Great Ball of Fire to get his yahoos out. (Note: this happens SO rarely for Oats, as his preferred gait is stop.)