Sure Sure

Jump lesson recap! When I last left, I was feeling blah and uninspired…But I’m here to say, that’s not really the case anymore! (sort of?) ha.

19679136_10100806592315556_6034486952577581156_o

A beautiful summer.

Running-wise, if I was a horse I would say I was definitely Not Quite Right (NQR). My ‘gait’ as it were is choppy and stilting, up-and-down instead of striding out. My legs burn and ache when I run, and they feel full of lead, sloggy and slow. I assume this is because I am still recovering from running myself into the ground with the silly half marathon?

But riding-wise, Oats was pretty good last night! I couldn’t ride to save my life, felt hot and kind of dizzy, had the WORST dry mouth and just felt sloppy and clueless. BUT Oats is a trooper, so we rode through some prettttty long courses (15 jump efforts) twice, including a small gymnastic. I did get to make some decisions (for the gymnastic, a short quiet 5 or go big for a 4-stride. I tried once for the 4, didn’t make it, and elected then to let the very short/quiet 5 ride from then on and it went fine!).

Other than that, it was jump up his neck! Get left behind! Don’t make any decision at all! Kind of sloppy jumping. Whoops! What happened to my seat, legs and eye? Oats was hot and lazy, taking a TON of leg & crop to keep going and was resorting to the ever-lovely stop, big chip, crawl over the jumps so I had to ride ride ride ride to get to the base nicely, not poorly, and jump from a reasonable spot.

But the jump efforts were tiny, so I felt pretty ok about screwing up repeatedly. Oh well, if you can’t make mistakes in practice then when can you make them?? I did enjoy the sun though, mannn it feels nice (when I am not so cotton-mouthed that I can barely speak). I also coughed heartily after my ride, something about the combination of lagging cold symptoms + dust + dry air= coughing? Ah, life.

 

Good great fine ok: Jump lesson!

My jump lesson was not without some biggie mistakes- ie- really shitty screeching-to-a-stop chips (ugh!!) and my hands getting too high, and let’s not forget our fantastical fumbling through poles in a bounce exercise.

13615130_10100577283766726_1731268191622004658_n

Soon…

But you know what? I still had fun! AND this is big for me- got my coach to video it so I could watch it later (and still kind of cringe at my hilariously bad riding, but still…) I got it and watched it. Go me!

And go Oats!

We still had some really good jump efforts, and our work through the gymnastic bounce worked out really well in the end- in one direction anyways, jumping it through the other way was always kind of a ‘surprise’ for Oats until he recovered for the second and third element.

HA, silly pony!

I have a growing ear infection in both ears (yiiick) and was feeling really tired and crummy last night, so being able to carry myself to my lesson and ride through a lot of jumps meant a lot to me! They weren’t high, but hey, I did it!

🙂

Things happen. That’s all they ever do.

Enjoying this song by Dawes recently.

2015-12-06 10.57.19

Oats, looking as impressive as always.

It feels lately like all I am doing is ranting about the weather (terrible), work (more terrible) and just feeling draggy, grouchy, griping, unhappy, burned out, fried, stressed, sleepless, exhausted, etc etc etc.

I’m happy to report that today, unlike every single day this week, the sun is shining, it is slightly warmer out, and I do not feel completely fried, though it is a Friday and those days are notoriously nightmarish at work, sooooo yeah. But hey, I’ll take it right now.

Last night though was a different story, ha. I walked home in the longest, bitterest, saddest walk ever. It was FREEZING, rain/frozen rain/hail/snow and blasting wind. It was quite epic in a really bad way. I was soaked, even with an umbrella, and had to take my dog out, and then get dressed and go ride in my Thursday jump lesson.

To say I wasn’t really feeling it is the understatement of the century, ha.

But, I did.

…And I didn’t regret it. I never do.

We had a fine warmup, it was a long warmup b/c I was FROZEN. I needed to warm up longer than Oats, who was feeling pretty fine. We worked over a really crazy exercise- two outside lines, and then a gymnastic in the middle of the ring.

It was pretty nuts! Small jumps-only x-rails, and we really enjoyed it. I was able to really ‘ride’ my ride. Sit tall, make decisions, ride forward, and go with it!

We’d jump the first outside line, and the slice the three fences on a diagonal- then jump the next outside line, and slice the fences on the diagonal going the other way. Then over small flowerboxes as skinnies (we failed at this EVERY TIME. Oats deked out, hahahhahah) and the over the gymnastic in the middle.

I like it! A good challenge, even if I was a grumpy Gus about the entire day.

Really enjoying the creativity. Go pony go! Loving what my trainer has for me each lesson.

Ghost on Ghost

So, this weekend. A lot of good and not-so-good things happened. We had a relaxing time at the beach on Friday with my dog, enjoying life as the sun went down on another work week.

We bought a townhouse this week too! Crazy!?!

Saturday my husband was up early to volunteer for the annual Quadra Village Day. Gidget and I joined him for some pancake breakfast–which was great, as we got there early enough to not have to wait in line for very long! Sometimes the lineups are crazy. The only thing I’d recommend is that the music they have- live bands, which is super awesome and generous but SO LOUD. Like, nobody sits in the audience because it literally drives people away it’s too loud. I feel like an old crank for saying so, but still…

13055576_10156833556195191_3131967539341030361_n

The course except for the gymnastic. That darn two-stride!

I headed home after and got ready for my jump lesson, moved from Thursday. It was pretty hot, so I was wondering how Oats would be at it. Turns out, I should have been wondering more about how I would be at it! We worked over a gymnastic, and I struggled- again- with the third fence in the line. I didn’t trust Oats through it. At all.

Why? And why now? I’ve been rocking gymnastics in the indoor- short ones- and then kind of blowing it outside. Curious. So, we worked on developing more trust through the gymnastic with Oats that basically culminated in my not being allowed reins and riding through it without hands! Hahah.

I just wanted to jump jumps, not mess around with gymnastics! I complained kind of a lot about it, haha. Then, finally we move to coursework. This, I can do! (We still had to work in the gymnastic though). Went through the course and it went fairly well, with only 1 mess up moment of me fighting with Oats through a turn to the outside line. We recovered in time to catch the outside oxer (it was 2’6” which EEEK I didn’t realize!) and it went fairly well.

1e7ec963-072f-41ac-b962-2f0c5c46bcae

No-hands screenshots!

Took a break, and Nicole set the fences to 2’6” for the most part- some were still 2’3” I think, except the gymnastic now had an oxer at the end of the four jumps.

Still, it was looking fine to me for the most part. Oh, hubris and overconfidence…How you take me down a big step.

We hopped over the first fence, cruised to the gymnastic with no problems, and then headed to the two-stride. It rode great the first time and then this time I…jumped up Oats’ neck and CRAAASH. I took out the jump by myself.

SHIT.

Messed up my bad left shoulder- I honestly thought I was gonna stick this one, until I didn’t…

Got my shoulder back in place, got back on, and rode it again. It was ugly (3 strides instead of 2) but we did it. Oats was a bit backed off. We headed to the next diagonal jump, and rode it fine. Then we went for the outside line, that rode so nicely, and bombed it with a stop at the oxer. SHIT again!

I was frazzled, and not relaxed. It was pretty obvious.

I re-approached, and calmed.the.fuck.down. Loose shoulders,  low calm hands, leg on, back relaxed. Smooooooth….We got over the first little fence great, and over the oxer – a little messy, but ok. Calm….We circled over the liverpool, and then zipped off to our last fence, a cut-away through the gymnastic. It went very lovely.

And then Nicole asked me to circle back and re-approach to the two-stride! Could we pull it off again? Yep, as it turns out, when I don’t anticipate and jump up his neck, we’re fine.  It rode great, in and out!

So, some things to think about eh? Not an easy or totally smooth lesson. I’ve been cruising in the past, and this would 100% make me not want to jump like at all. But this time, I got frazzled and a little hurt actually, but managed to re-assess and something MADE ME want to try it again. I didn’t even ask Nicole to bring the jumps down? I guess because it didn’t feel to me like the jumps were the issue–it was my steering and anticipation that was making it a problem.

Interesting.

 

 

May all your war stories be old stories

I was saying last night that whenever people ask me these days how Oats is, I don’t really have anything to say! He’s…fine? Good? Good ol’ Oats?

12615406_10100501381974526_7512779786089823062_o

This was three years ago! I miss summer- even if I was wearing a sweater during July…

It was kind of a funny lament, because really, he’s been so good, drama-free for ages now. I’m happy with how our jumping is coming along, our two horse shows in the fall went fine, and so?

So, I have to share my old war stories instead! I say well, this pony you see me riding with no reins? WELL he used to….hahah. And my trainer and friend laughed, and said be glad your war stories are OLD war stories and still not happening! It’s true! 🙂

12622494_10100501381824826_7760924888708666214_o

Another blast from the past.

We had a good lesson last night, and it was a very interesting exercise. Two diagonal lines, an x-rail then 3 strides to a small vertical. Then on the other diagonal, a bounce to three strides to a bounce.

The trick was getting Oats FORWARD during the first 3-stride line, and then maintaining that through the corner to the first bounce, and then GO! to the second bounce. I was kind of concerned how it was going to go- was I going to eat it through the bounce? Wibble-wobble through the first line?

It sure wasn’t perfect, and wow I lost my reins more than once through the two bounces set three strides apart, but Oats was golden!! He started getting more engaged through the exercise, and was powering himself through the bounce line really nicely. He just took care of me through it, I didn’t even have to steer, or really have reins at all.

Good pony!

It was quite a tiring exercise for me, but I was quite proud of how Oats was handling it. He was eating up those strides (for him this will always be a challenge).

The jumps were teeny-tiny but it’s more how the exercise really made us focus on a few things- forward, not pulling to a spot, no chipping in, straightness, going through a corner straight/forward. Yes!