Don’t give up on your dreams, Buddy!

A busy weekend when I wasn’t really expecting it! My folks moved officially to the Island, so we spent a lot of time with them. Then the time we weren’t eating/visiting, I was riding good ol’ Oats and running (track with my husband for practice, and the trails at Thetis Lake for fun!).

Oats was great this weekend, my rides seemed fairly forgettable in a good way so yesss! Saturday I worked over a pole, and did some straightness work. Easier said than done…

We did something funny on Sunday–I jumped him around a little bit in the ring and he was a bit sassy/tired/balky, so I cut it out after a few jumps and took him to the big field, and we did…Trot sets! To me and Oats, trot sets= my sprinting track work. He was huffing and puffing, ha. Still had enough energy to s

13580617_10100576117738456_7858676867678276756_o

Running in the field is my favourite says Oats! The dressage part…not so much.

pook right at the end though, going up a hill. What a goof!

This is what we did:

Walk in field. Pick up trot for 3 minutes, and then 2 minutes walk.

Trot for 4 minutes, then 2 minutes walk.

Trot for 5 minutes, then 2 minutes walk.

Back down!

Trot for 4 minutes, then 2 minutes walk.

Trot for 3 minutes, then 2 minutes walk.

Trot for a few minutes (he spooked then, so clearly he had a lot of energy and I lost track of my time…) and then cool-down walk.

This took me to noon, and time to hop off and go home.

Monday I did an equine counselling session and we discussed the show (good at managing challenges, kind of bad at my fall/trying to hold myself together to compete); and Oats’ mystery behaviour on Wednesday- her conclusion was that he was tired. And you know? He was acting so strangely that I totally buy it. Interesting!

Tuesday was my dressage lesson with Karen Brain. We were back out in the field and it was hard work! It was also really cool. We worked on picking up the canter on the ‘up’ side of a hill, incorporating a circle, and then managing the circle to the down-part of the hill. Hilariously, we sucked at it for awhile- I couldn’t seem to manage to keep going on a circle, keep his canter ‘bouncy’ and up instead of sprawling and flat, and make my hands do what I wanted them to!

It got better though, phew. A very neat ride.

The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.

I’m reading Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa right now due to my Kobo being seriously out commission and found this quote by her that really appealed to me.

Had my private dressage lesson last night with Karen Brain and Oats, and we got a chance to re-visit the rather challenging ‘simple’ exercise of Sunday, of cantering down in a straight line off the track.

12841330_10100520185008096_6741809253844969512_o

No dressage media, so here is a photo of my husband cuddling Gidget like a baby.

I warmed Oats up and he was coughing a lot with the dust in the arena…It’s weird because it has gotten flooded in the close end of the arena, and then it’s so dusty in the far end. I know it gives Oats trouble, particularly now as allergy season/dust season rears its ugly head. So our warm-up consisted of a lot of coughing from him, until he cleared it and was ready to work. He was fairly stiff, and not moving great at the walk and canter. His trot felt ok though. His canter was heavy and kind of draggy, on the forehand, and I felt like he was kind of dragging me down.

I was telling Karen this and we decided to work on some lateral movements at the walk, as I said his walk felt really sucky. So, we went straight into head-to-wall leg yielding, transitioning straight, and then haunches in, and then transitioned back to the leg yield. Oats was GREAT! So compliant! It was amazing!

He usually fusses and fights a bit, but I was able to lighten the reins and really work with him. Quite pleased.

We then worked on walk-canter transitions (they also sucked at first, wow…) that was fairly tricky because Oats was like…blahhhhhh at first. From the canter transition, we worked on lightening his shoulders by not getting me dragged down in the tack. It felt weird to keep my hands so high, and my hips/shoulders pulled tall and back, but it worked. His canter was more uphill and forward, and we took it to the ‘off the track’ exercise at the canter with a LOT more success than I had on Sunday when I tried it.

He still broke to trot one time when he fell behind my leg, and we got 1 swap as well, but overall it was a higher quality attempt and his canter was really nice.

I was very happy with Oats’ attitude towards our dressage work- it does NOT come easy to him, like jumping does. Good boy!