Jump to it!

So I had my jump lesson on Saturday (like, real jumping, not dressage jumping) and it went pretty well! We worked over a small course, and the jumps were teeny-tiny, ha. I, on the other, hand, was feeling like total crap. We had gotten rudely woken up by movers wanting us to move our car so they could get into out neighbour’s house, which is fine, but they were here before 8am!

IMG_1463_Moment(2)

I want this…

I had a terrible sinus headache, staggeringly bad allergies, and felt fuzzy, muzzy and really exhausted and weak all day. Great for a riding lesson eh? My head felt like an effing balloon. I couldn’t remember a damned thing and my head/sinuses were going to explode.

video-1592722246_Moment(3)

When I am doing this! How?

So yeah the lesson was fine, I just felt like absolute garbage for the entire day. I couldn’t wait to get home and sleep on the damned couch. Which I basically did as soon as I finished my lesson, ha. My allergies have taken over my damned life.

Also I am having trouble trying to get the right ‘feel’ from my Thursday lessons to translate to my jump lesson days on Saturday. I LOVE the feeling I have on Thursday, and then I get to Saturday and it feels… wimpy? I can’t get him off my leg, or get any connection. He breaks gait, slows to the fences, etc. Just not the same. How do I reconcile this?

Something to work on!

Until tomorrow goes away

And another dressage lesson in the books, and man, I am getting blown away by how soft, forgiving and good Oats and I can be! It’s an excellent revelation ­čÖé I want to be that rider, who has a horse with a soft mouth, who has forgiving hands…And we are getting it! Now I wish I had it years ago, but to be honest, I don’t think I could have.

48333559547_39663b3381_k

Something more like this…┬á

This is just part of the journey I guess?

We added canter to our building blocks of progress, and while the canter does require much more ‘maintenance,’ it also felt way better than it normally does. Also, with the idea of contact as a ‘living’ thing to be constantly worked on, rather than a ‘set it and forget it,’ I am actually having to┬áride more. It sounds funny, doesn’t it? What am I doing on a horse if not riding?

Well, the truth is I like to get statue-still and mistake that for perfection. It really isn’t. A horse is a living, breathing, flowing, reacting thing, and so am I. So, no room for turning into stone, ha. Or having a grip on my contact. Ebb and flow, take and give. And my legs need to actually be used rather than just ‘there’. It’s funny it has take me until now to ride like this, but hey- progress?!!

It is humbling but I’m really enjoying how excellent Oats feels!! Yes!

Now if only our TERRIBLE weather would freaking shake out of it. Every day is either cold, or rainy, or cold, rainy and windy. I had to go back to wearing jeans, sweaters and vests and jackets. Efff…. So much for this miserable summer.

When bad things happen to good people

I don’t want to write a lot about this, mainly because it’s not my story to tell. But I can’t just let it go on and leave everything ‘sunshiney’ and happy, because that’s not life and it’s not reality. My friend’s parents were recently involved in a tragic accident and her father passed away.

I found out shortly after finishing my race up in Cedar, and was in shock when I found out. These were great lovely people, who I knew through living with my friend on and off over the years. Fun, adventure-loving parents who meant the world to their daughters. They had retired and were living the life! And then this happens.

I have been sharing what happened with others close to me (my sister, my parents, my husband) because I feel like I can’t shoulder this news myself. I need others to hear it, hear what happened and understand. It’s so very sad, and sudden, and horrible.

It feels like these things happen in waves, and it seems so strange to me that the people close to me are caught in this wave. My heart goes out to my friend and her sister, who are facing this heartbreaking reality day-to-day. In just one day, one moment, their lives were changed forever.

I want to help, want to make a difference, but don’t want to interfere or anything.

Countdown is on…

Today is my Thursday. That is what I have been repeating to myself all day/night as I was particularly dreading today (3X mtgs, last minute scrambles for events, = extremely stressful day and week).

And it’s been a rough week, just a lot of work, and found out my sister lost her job due to downsizing in a tough economy. I do feel badly for her, that really sucks and nobody wants to be in that position.

From my (relatively privileged) position of just dealing with work stress, it seems like, well what am I complaining about? It’s true. It does give me a moment of pause, of perspective, that I was missing earlier. It’s just too bad that it comes with a flavour of┬áschadenfreude.

But on the bright side, my dear Mr. Oats was in great form yesterday for my dressage lesson. I wasn’t sure how was going to be feeling- looong ass day Sunday, kind of a strenuous ride Saturday, very light ride Monday, and then a tough dressage lesson Tuesday? What’s a pony to do!

Sleepy clipped Oats

Oats after our lesson (not actually, this was him tranqed for a clip)

My dressage trainer did say she thought Oats was getting a bit fat–I protested, saying I’m pretty sure it’s just his hair right now! Though his barrel does look larger than I remember in photos…I’m riding a pony people, not a horse! HAHa.

Oats taking care of me.

Oats taking care of me.

We practiced an interesting use of high-indirect rein aids, to isolate the outside shoulder. At first I was like, why are we doing this? I don’t get this direction? And Karen said to wait it out, keep trying and see how it felt.

So, it was kind of on-and-off, and we did some of it in the canter, and I did NOT like it to the right. I said it triggered my anxiety of Oats preparing to be a shithead, even though absolutely nothing in his demeanor said he was ready to pull anything…It just felt bunchy and jumpy and weird.

We then tried it to the left, cantering, and wow…Now I understand. His canter felt┬álovely.

His attitude was excellent, he never fussed or argued or got upset with me. Yeah!! We ended with trying it in the walk, and then straightening the horses out with the lightest touch of the reins. It felt like a hummingbird was keeping Oats in the bridle, so light, soft and beautiful. I was really glad Oats was being so awesome!