No one does it like you

Wow, so like a week of silence… Life got too busy, work kind of blew up in my face and I couldn’t deal with 1 more thing, at all for the past two weeks. I am hopefully coming out the other end of it, but yeahhh… Not fun. At all.

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Love my boy

Also my allergies went completely off the rails and friends, I amย suffering. Congested, incredible sinus pain, itchy upper palate, allergic coughing, eyes swelling shut and so itchy that I can’t even deal…Oh boy, I love it. Add this to work and I spent most of the week absolutely miserable.

But there is also the good: Weather! We had a crazy turnaround and had highs of 19-20 degrees this week. It feltย incredible and sadly we are back to seasonal (still pretty decent) but on Wednesday it was downright HOT! Woah! I loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I went to the beach- 20 degrees, can you believe it?ย 

Horses! Oats has been a total superstar!! Love my boy. We had a gymnastics jump lesson last Thursday (I hate gymnastics, so it was …Not that inspired, ha.) and then we had a really fun jump course on Saturday, with all sorts of crazy jumps! Not high, but definitely getting more consistent at the 2’6” -ish level heights. We also had a cavaletti jump at ‘A’ that really caught us out a few times, as well as a 1-ft circle jump that I biffed HARD by staring at it, hahaha. It was fun though!!

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Got myself a latte at a new coffee shop nearby: Pretty eh?

Sunday I went on a run with a work friend, and then went riding later. Oats has been really good, although I’m noticing his ‘halt’ has turned back into ‘halt and then start flying backwards…’ so we’re working through that this week. Lovely…It’s not a new issue for us, it crops up about once or twice a year, but kind of always bugs me. Oh horses!

This week was totally psycho with work, and by Thursday I was Over.IT. and tired. So tired. I didn’t really want to go have a jump lesson, but I know that when I go, I’m happier. More ‘me’ if that makes sense? So off I went! My allergies were a bit better yesterday, I still can’t wear eye makeup but yeah anyways. My jump lesson was really good! We worked over a small course, with the rocks as a single jump down the centre-line. Hahahha it was hilarious, Oats deked out and went around it the first time, crushing the traffic cone that was designed to guide us. HAHAH silly pony!

We had a blast! He was jumping really well by the end (he did get a bit flat at first, and kind of ‘blahhhhed’ over the first jump) but we had fun and it felt good later! He also kind of tried to half-jump over the rocks and jump off to the side. Oh pony. He’s such a good boy though, and it was a cool and fun lesson. See? I always do feel glad that I went and jumped, even though I spent my week feeling itchy, miserable, tired and stressed out.

My boy is always there for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Don’t let it get to you: Riding fieldtrip!

So this weekend we had our rescheduled trip out to the fancy environs of Fairlawn, the stables owned by a trainer and her family. I ride with this trainer regularly, but we wanted the whole meal-deal- a ride in her fabulous indoor with all the works! And we were NOT disappointed! It was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

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They still had a lot of snow, but the driveways were cleared enough to be able to get the horse trailer (my friend hauls for us, it’s her rig/truck) onto the property and the horses off and tacked up.

The place is gorgeous! We had soooo much room, we didn’t know what to do with it! Oats and I worked on the counter-canter loop and boy did it feel different with so much space to play with. Not gonna lie, we struggled a bit but when I figured it out, so did Oats and he was happy to comply. I still feel a bit like the loop challenges me personally, and so it’s something I want to ‘finesse’ a little more until our next horse show…

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Synchronized waiver-signing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which is counting down! Our first dressage schooling show will be later in April ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to take my guy out more. We had a really nice time, and it was great to be able to practice in a bigger arena.

Second chance summer

What a great weekend. It was so lovely, I wish I could bottle it, so I could release those ‘feel good’ endorphins for months to come…

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Photo courtesy of my friend- blurry but it captures all the fun we had!

It was the kind of weekend where things justย work out. The weather was fantastic, I had some great times with my girls, drank wine, ran, rode my pony, floated at Thetis lake and just had a fabulous time all around in the hot sun.

Saturday we went garage sale-ing in a community that usually has great garage sales, and this year it sucked! What gives??? I still bought a pair of shorts and workout pants (and they do look great) but in the past we’ve had way better luck. Oh well, that’s just how garage sales go I guess…

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Holding hands so we don’t drift apart! The two Sarahs.

Then I zipped out to the barn and rode Oats in the outdoor arena and he was really great out there! It was so hot too, I couldn’t believe it. Like a big frying pan. I had a super fun ride, hung out at the barn for a bit cleaning & conditioning my tack, and then drove home and prepared to…go on a really long run. In the heat. Wow! It was really rough, not gonna lie. More of an eternal shuffle-jog, but I did it!!

I then had the luxury of a great bbq dinner courtesy of my husband with a beer to share and a bottle of wine. Ahh….

Sunday I didn’t have to get up too early, but my super-husband made crepes! Whooo! And then we both set out for the day- I rode Oats and then my barn friends and I went and floated at Thetis Lake (a great idea of theirs and the BEST day to do it). I just had this feeling like, I wanted this day to last forever….

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Oats has also been enjoying the summer! Photo courtesy of Sarah C.

Husband went climbing for the whole day, so I wrapped up at the lake and then put my gym clothes on and stopped off and ran some hills (again in the heat, yeowch it was tough) before heading home to take Gidget out. I had to walk some, I was dying!! Oh well, my legs too quite the beating this weekend.

Home again, with an ice cream McFlurry to finish off an amazing weekend. I just wish I had so many more of these! ๐Ÿ™‚

Half Way Home

No dressage lesson – or any riding actually – for me and Oats on Tuesday. I was stressed beyond belief at work, had to work a bit late, had to run an errand after work, and the weather was channeling the ‘storm of the century’ complete with gale- force winds, sideways rain and trees bringing down power.

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I, wisely, elected to not even try to rush to make my lesson. Having made that decision, I didn’t even go to to the barn. I was in a terrible mood, I yelled at my dog, I was surly to my husband and worse to my coworkers. It was not a good day to ride my horse, and bring all that negative energy to him, on a lousy weather day.

So, I ran my errand, got home around 6:30 and took the night off.

I’m glad I did–I was in no shape to ride, and I think part of being more aware of this makes me a more thinking, compassionte horse-owner.

I was bummed to miss my dressage ride but in the grand scheme of my relationship with Oaty pony, it was a good choice. I rode my dressage plan last night, and he was in turn good and bad, haha. He warmed up LOVELY…Can’t say enough good things about how he is moving right now. We then worked on some very focused lateral work, after doing the spiral-in-spiral-out at the trot (he spirals out great, in not so great).

Oats at Foxstone

Oats at Foxstone

The lateral work was a mixed bag. I need to do it more, that’s quite clear…Oats banged his head against the wall, the mirror, and the final thing–a giant iron post that really smartened him up and made him stop, in shock, about how much that one hurt! He would rather bang his head into the wall than, say,ย go sideways? Yes, off the right leg, that is DEFINITELY his preference.

To the left, beauty…soft, sideways movements. Floating, butterfly-like…Ah…

To the right- ARGH. But, he did learn. It just took a long. frustrating.time. Haha. I still feel ok about it, just need to be smarter about practicing the less-fun stuff on my rides! Rather than, say, jumping…

“All acts of nostalgia are expressions of longing for a past that never was”

Didn’t have my dressage lesson yesterday- as board increases are starting to eat into my regular ‘horse budget’ I’m having to cut back a bit- and so my dressage lessons are going to every other week, and I didn’t show this summer (by choice but also by $$$).

Instead, I did another horse counseling session and we focused on setting SMART goals. This was hard for me, because I can see the goal part, and I have my start, but what about the middle stuff? How does that go?

Well, it goes something like this…

I want to ride in the 2′ and 2’3” divisions at a local show series.

I want to compete in the whole series.

I want to finish each division without skipping any classes.

Easy eh?

Well, I also want to do it without having a meltdown, feeling anxious, feeling ‘out of body’ and actually enjoying feeling competent in the situation.

Not so easy.

How do I do it?

Continue with my private jump lesson once a week.

Add in separate schooling sessions over fences focusing on relaxation- now this is going to be the tough part.

Continue doing my counseling sessions once a week until my first show, and then probably moving it to once every other week.

So…That’s my action plan moving forward. I hope I can make progress this way!

Oats was a lovey to ride yesterday, I didn’t end up riding for that long as the counseling session took about an hour. We had some GREAT forward canter in the outdoor, and some fairly reasonable trot. Overall, a fun ride.

Today I am taking off, and having drinks! Yeah! Tomorrow is the jump lesson- where I get to put my money where my brain/mouth/body is…AH.

Hold me, Kiss me, Thrill me, Miss me, Tell me

Reading a very interesting sort of ‘noir’ mystery about a shady businessman who goes missing, and his lover who ends up dead (that’s where the title is from).

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman is a good read, more of a thorough investigation into family dynamics than a hard-boiled mystery but nonetheless quite intriguing.

The story starts with a lovely epigraph from the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the

world, which I find myself constantly walking

around in the daytime, and falling in at night

And how are things in general? Well, I was riding a high from Tuesday, and on Wednesday I had scheduled my friend to ride Oats, do a bit of a schooling ride, and see how he went for her. A younger rider was considering half-leasing Oats, and I wanted to make sure he was on his best behaviour, so she didn’t get scared or anything if he was a brat.

He went wonderfully! I was very pleased with his behaviour. He was a good boy, and boy it looked nice to see someone riding him well (turns out we’re not exactly the best judges of our own riding, apparently!) so it was a real treat to see him go nicely with another rider, who was well capable of getting the kind of work I ‘feel’ I am getting out of him.

The younger rider hopped on and was fine as well- she didn’t get enough ‘motor’ out of him, which was fine and generally tends to happen with less experienced riders, or riders who just aren’t used to newer horses who need one foot on the gas pedal! haha

Overall I was quite anxious about how he would behave, and he made me feel proud of him. Phew!

Anxiety

Anxiety or me all the time