Beginning holiday traditions

I’m usually a hold out for Christmas stuff until after Dec 1. It just doesn’t feel right until then, but I do make one exception…Making and decorating Christmas cookies with my friend. We’ve done this two years in a row now, and maybe it’s the start of something?

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A yummy Christmas tradition!

I have a TON of sprinkles and I love using them. Love love love it! I even found a recipe for sugar cookies this year that worked to make them softer, and less ‘rock hard’ than last year (yeah they kind of sucked…). So, I was even happy to eat them this year too! Score!

We drank lots of cider, decorated cookies, and laughed a ton. What a great way to spend a Friday night.

Saturday I was up and at the barn, and Oats was good, I can’t remember specifics but he was amenable to whatever I was working on, anyways. I came home later and we went on a bit of a longer run, 14k or so, on the Galloping Goose. It went fairly well, can’t complain as my legs were tired but workable.

Saturday night my husband and I got a hot chocolate from Starbucks (salted caramel for me, yes I’m sure the 1,000++calories that I gained drinking it was so worth it!) and then we went to the Oak Bay Rec centre for a late-night splash around in the pool and hot tub. Overall, a very nice and relaxing weekend.

Sunday I wasn’t going to be riding Oats-he was going on an adventure! A girl at the barn asked if her friend, a very experienced event rider, could borrow Oats to ride on the trails with them. I do like him to get out and have some fun, so I said sure, as long as it was safety-first. Sadly, the friend cancelled so no adventure for Oats…And also meant that our plans had to shift a bit for Sunday, but no worries.

We enjoyed lunch at my husband’s parents farm in Cobble Hill and wow…It was freezing out there in the country. Brr. So cold. We went on a short walk, freezing the whole way, and visited and then hot-tubbed it up!

Then we stopped by the barn on the way home and I rode Oats–my long-suffering husband was quite gracious about this change in plans. I hopped Oats over a few jumps I lowered in the ring and he was really great about it. A short, but good ride. The ring was still very deep and mushy in places, and Oats stumbled a few times going near those spots. A bit disappointing.

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Holiday Countdown: T-3 days (struggling!!)

Gah, my cold has definitely made it’s presence known. Work is a struggle, my cold is a struggle, I didn’t feel well enough to go to the gym today (so tired and stuffed up, and coughing up gross stuff, yes I didn’t want to be that person at the gym!!).

Me right now

Me right now

I went to this new sandwich shop ‘Meat and Bread’ for lunch and got a porchetta sandwich and Fentiman’s ‘Curious Cola’…It was good, but the porchetta was super fatty. I really dislike fatty bits of meat, so I was a bit blah on that. Sauce- salsa verde, was good. Overall…Not sure if I would go again, just because I’m a bit ‘blah’ on sandwiches.

Riding lesson last night? Oh man, I was not feeling super optimistic as I was going through the ‘blahs’ with work/cold/tired and true to my predictions…It was a challenging ride. QUITE challenging.

We were trying to get more contact at the trot, and through his right rein, he FOUGHT. He struggled! He was tired! He hopped up and down! He balked!

It was pretty tough. Not gonna lie, it was really mentally exhausting for me. I was constantly worried- is this enough? Too much? Am I headed for the big EFF YOU of an Oats mega-buck??? (seriously, that is what it felt like, oh jesus, it was difficult).

His hops up and down didn’t lead to the mega-buck though. I got clutchy and anxious, and raised my hands up when he did that…Even though his reactions didn’t go to a buck, I started reacting like he MIGHT buck. Every time!

Apparently what we are asking is tough- really hard for Oats. He was having a tough time reaching forward with his right hind, so he reacted by ‘hopping’ into the canter, and pulling his head forward, saying ‘I need more length! My neck can’t move!’ and of course the hops.

So, while it was very difficult and mentally tiring, he never got to the BIG TEMPER TANTRUM point that he has *often* done with me. True he got fussy and jumped up in the air about three times, but we more or less ‘overcame’ those and worked through it…And he didn’t get to do the BIG EXPLOSION at all!

Apparently this is a positive direction, what he is offering isn’t correct, but it’s not his nasty ‘eff you!’ either…

I do recall reaching this point earlier a few weeks ago, and then we kind of plateaued, and then he got nasty, and then he plateaued…So I don’t think this is ‘nasty’ it’s more like this is tough, tricky!

I got off, and felt fried! But, also like I still managed to accomplish something, which definitely does NOT happen every lesson. Also, I didn’t fall off so that is accomplishing something in my mind as well 🙂

Oats got a new rain sheet for his Christmas present, and also he is enjoying candy canes after each ride. No ride tonight- I’m exhausted and am going to see a movie, but we do have a lesson tomorrow.

Holiday Countdown Begins! T-4 days…

A sunny December

A sunny December

Oh man, this week cannot finish fast enough. I am developing a cold and have NOT been sleeping well, with a sore throat, swollen throat, stuffed up nose and crazy ear pressure keeping me up (and this is WITH Tylenol for night. arghhh).

Had a very busy weekend- got invited to six parties, and obviously couldn’t make it to all of them, so I went to a friend’s party, left early, and went to a work party.

Then Sunday, I rode Oats very quickly, did a quick Christmas photoshoot with husband, Oats and our dog, and then we went to my in-laws for a gift exchange (and got the most hilarious gift from my in-law ever…straight to the gift-exchange party with that one!!), a walk and a nice dinner. I was already starting to feel lousy, and was seriously dragging by the end of the night, for another sleepless night. NOooooo….

Merry Christmas from Mr. Oats!

Merry Christmas from Mr. Oats!

Oats was good to ride, my rides were short and kind of lackadaisical- I blame being very busy and getting sick. Apparently he had a very spooky ride with his hacker on Friday, where he took her for a wild ride after getting buzzed too close by a bus. I hate that he had to experience that–those roads scare the bejeezus out of me, no wonder they spooked the horse!

They were ok though, and he was fine to ride Sat/Sun. I think he quite liked a shorter ride on Sunday, hahah.

I also found out that he likes eating candy canes, but you have to crunch them up for him to eat them- otherwise he gets confused and kind of ‘mumbles’ at the whole candy cane with his mouth. What a goof!

Holiday happiness

Holiday happiness

Had a friend’s launch party for his new videogame last night, such a cool thing he was able to do- but I didn’t end up staying that long because I was feeling so lousy.

Lesson today, and definitely feeling tired, lousy and generally sub-optimal. My ear pressure is driving me nuts, still have a sore throat, blahhh.

Oh well…the countdown is ON!