The Good/Bad/Ugly


Oh man, where do I start?

I couldn’t have written this post yesterday or Sunday. I was too pissed off, confused, steaming!

Even now…ARGH.

Let’s start with the good: Had a really nice week with Oats. He did some pony riders for my mom, went in a jumping lesson with me and was GREAT! And we got some great shots out of it! And then we had a fun ride in the rain on Saturday, and then..dun dun dun…horse show on Sunday.

Just a small Appy show, but this is where the Bad/Ugly started:

We warmed up fine, he was moving out nicely until we hit the ring. He refused a warm up oxer TWICE! That is already unusual. He was slacking off behind my leg and lulled me in…

There were like 20 riders in my division, and so we sat, and sat, and sat and got bored and sleepy in the holding pen. Our round came up, and it went okay…I tried for a solid 5 in a line and blew it…got a chip to an ugly 6. Oh well, shit happens eh?

Boy, does it EVER.

My next round, I felt anxious…Underpowered. I didn’t feel like I had him WITH me, you know? He slid to a stop at the FIRST FENCE and I fell off over the jump, and pretty much landed on it.

Yes, I fell off AGAIN at a horse show. That makes two in a row, and my fourth fall off Oats since March. WTF>>>

I felt airheaded, fluffy and out of it. I couldn’t focus? It was so weird. I just kept saying I felt strange.

It’s true, I did. Couldn’t get my head in the game, you know? And boy did Oats feel it. 

We went in for our last round and he stopped AGAIN at the second fence in the line. This time? I got ANGRY. That is ENOUGH of you (and lets me honest, me too) sleepwalking through the rounds and taking me down the freaking daisy path here.

I spanked him, HARD.

Turned around in quick circle, and blasted him over the silly little jump he neatly ‘declined’ to jump over. Then I kicked his ass all around the course. Hesitate? BLAM! Slow around the corners? KICK! I rode him like I was on fire, and damn, if it didn’t go MUCH BETTER.

He is not a stopper, so I have no idea why he was riding like shit.


Let’s not have a repeat like that ever again. SHit! How does it feel like I’m getting better (more effective rider, my position is improving-you should see the pics!!) and getting worse at the same time? WTF is all I can say right now. 

I might take a break from showing for awhile. Clearly, I have some issues that need fixin’

Photo credit to the talented Kourtney Anne.


Kings of Summer

Kings of Summer

So, took Oats to our sixth horse show this season- another jumper show at the Cowichan District Riding Club. And how did it go? Well!!… Some success, some failure.

We entered the 2” and the 2’3” jumper ‘match the clock’ jumper classes. My goals were as follows- don’t fall off, don’t go before the buzzer, don’t miss a jump, and don’t forget when you are going!!

Did I meet those goals? Close!

The course was a little trickier than the first show, a bending line, two jumps set right on the outside rail, 1 diagonal line and one jump placed right in the middle of the ring. I did NOT forget where I was going! Success!

We cruised into a pretty crazy inside turn on our first course- that not ONE other rider even attempted except for us- ha! And we placed second! The second round we placed 4th, and then it was on to the 2’3”.

Ah, here’s where the fail happens- I was going around and it felt delicious! We were rocking it so hard! Until the last fence loomed and I got all celebratory, like Oats could feel me getting excited, and BLAM! He stopped!

I ended up on his neck, crawled myself back in the saddle, and attempted it again. BLAM! Stopped again! And there was no saving it this time. FUCK~

I fell, unceremoniously, into the oxer.

So, that was how I ended my run at the 2’3”. SIGH.

Went home with underwear full of sand, and a big scratch on my back, as well as a sore arm and back. Not too sore though, I was still able to meet a friend for a run on Sunday, and go ride Oats (he was tired) and then go for a brief hike with husband and Gidget.

I’m still kind of kicking myself. WTF? When do the falls STOP HAPPENING? Like, just…argh.

So far this season, I have fallen off more than I have ever in my actual riding career. Oats bucked me off at our first dressage show, last week he spooked and I ended up in mid-air, and this weekend he stops at a fence and I fly into it. WTF WTF?

Growing pains? I have them.


“When he gets up in the morning and sees his dirty face, he sets about washing the mirror”

So, rode Wed and had a jumping less on Thurs.

Let’s start with Wednesday. Howlingly windy, blustery day but still quite sunny. So, I ventured off to the outdoor arena and immediabely began second-guessing my choice. SPOOKY! OMG! The harrow is there? A hay bale? Geese? Yeah, Oats did a few running away quickly spooks, and then a few backing-up-in fear spooks, and then 1 or 2 leap sideways spooks.

We did get some jumps in, and they were not great- chip in, or leave long and get left behind. ARGH! We did 1 outside line neatly, and then twice clumsily. SIGH!

We did hop over a cavaletti that was festooned with crazy crap though, and he didn’t give it a second look. He did, however, jump sideways at nothing.

So, after a final jump through of the line and the cavaletti, I hopped off and finished my ride in the indoor. I didn’t want to ACTUALLY fall off!

He was good as gold in the indoor.

Thurs- Lesson day! We started in the outdoor- again a cold and blustery day (how is this summer? I’m effing freezing!) and Oats VERY reluctant to move forward at the canter- like, I was struggling. My trainer suggested we move to the indoor and I look at getting front shoes for Oats, because that kind of reluctance can indicate foot-sore.

So, we are now getting shoes!

In the indoor, we moved straight into jumping. The exercise was 1 fence on the long side, ride a circle over a small fence, loop back around to the diagonal, and finish on another diagonal. Easy, right? Umm…

We got a few stops at the final diagonal because (if you remember my post on Tuesday about Oats stopping at the tiny fence) I WAS NOT STRAIGHT AT ALL.

How did it get this bad? Waahhh?

He physically couldn’t get over the jump because he was bulging to the right so much. What the hell man?

So, that mystery was figured out, anyways.

We worked over it using poles set on a diagonal V shape against the jump and really got Oats to GO! More pace!

Working over the course again, we got over that tricky diagonal fence (not tricky at all, but some reason really screwing with me) and landed falling-in too much. That meant our turn to the circle fence was messed up- we were on the wrong lead, too close to the turn. I pulled for the turn anyways (YIKES!) and Oats almost fell! He slipped BIGTIME.

My coach yelled, that was a BAD DECISION!! YEEEah you don’t need to tell me that! Holy shit!

We righted ourselves, picked up the canter, rode the circle jump and continued on our way. PHEW!

Ended ok but not great, but sometimes you need those super-gritty rides to figure out that no, you’re not going to DIE jumping, but sometimes it gets ugly. And that’s life. Deal with it!

Oats was a good pony though, for not actually falling on me. Ha.