When they fight, they fight

Ah been feeling a tad unmotivated lately- summer lazy maybe? Oats has been a spooky  moron some days and it’s driving me insane…He’s good with another horse in the ring, and was pretty decent to ride when my husband came out to watch/get a pony ride, but other times he’s running backwards, spooking sideways so violently I’m hanging off the saddle, or threatening to rear while running backwards and trembling…Greeeeat…

19702659_10100806591966256_7491143454486979294_o

He is a handsome devil!

Canada Day celebrations were fabulous, I can’t say I would change a single thing! The day was pretty effortless, and on Friday we were even able to see Tegan & Sara (great!) and on Saturday The Arkells, and fireworks after attending a friend’s BBQ- she had ribs and they were soooooo good.

19621337_10100806592240706_3863501903845546454_o

Rode all four days- Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues to above-mentioned mixed success. He was fine last night too, rode in the other field and really enjoyed that ride. Wish he wasn’t so stupid and spooky right now! I can’t figure out what changes in his brain when we’re alone in the outdoor arena, and the most frustrating part is that he was SO GOOD when we came out in the outdoor…Then I take a week off for my sister’s wedding and he’s a total idiot. WTF?

19693420_10100806592874436_3055805428045785113_o

What gives?

Oh well, have to work through his dumbass behaviour until it goes away later in the summer.

19780661_10100806592120946_4809346568765043795_o

Celebrated 8 years of marriage this weekend!

Runningwise? Hah not happening. We ran lightly this weekend, like 5k and my legs were fried. Just fried. I have no real desire to run, at all, right now. I do think I am burned out of it, to be honest! Maybe I’m burned out of everything, ha.

But, I do want to try polo and that has been on my mind for awhile….!!

Advertisements

Want to be someone you can get behind

Back at work, and not so glorious. Oh well, at least it gives me an opportunity to be a productive member of society, and not a shiftless horseback rider and running bum, that I would prefer to be! I did ride Oats yesterday evening, and it was a fine ride. I do need some lessons soon though, to keep me back on track. Funny, my last lesson was on Wednesday and I already feel rusty?! The fine line between burnout and keeping my strength & skills is indeed something I have not mastered apparently.

Today I also shared a few recipes with colleagues that I happen to love, thanks to discovering them in Brasil. Without further ado- here they are! Yummy.

Pao de queijo- super easy to make and delicious! Use any kind of cheese & it is naturally gluten-free. This recipe does not make that many, so I doubled it to make about a dozen, and you can get tapioca starch at my favourite store, Bulk Barn.

http://rasamalaysia.com/brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo/

Mine pictured here:

14642236_10100643166626946_4236205682124815184_n

Yum pao de queijo

Also this is a super delicious bean stew- Feijoada. With Jamie Oliver’s recipe it can be vegetarian as well- also delicious

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/05/black-bean-pork-feijoada-one-pot-stew-recipe-brazil

Jamie’s version:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-veggie-feijoada/

And here is a song I really like right now too: The Tourist Company, “Pedestals”

Going to the Opera: Simon Boccanegra

And now for something completely different…I took last night off riding and attended the opening night of Simon Boccanegra, a Giuseppe Verdi opera that was showing at the BC Royal Theatre.

And how was it? Well!

It was my first opera, I’ll be the first to admit I have a hard time sitting for that long- and it was LONG. 155 minutes, including intermission. I didn’t get home until after 11am~ on a school (work) night!

The opera singing was very impressive, the sets were super cool and I really liked how they used the sets to advance the plot. The plot was incredibly ridiculous and basically impossible to follow, with much of the action happening either off stage or in the page-long prologue. So…I’d say that this opera is not for beginners, hahah. It was like a soap opera on crack!!

The opera is based on the play Simon Boccanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez, and it is definitely hard to follow in Italian, though the opera house offers subtitles in English so we could read along–thank god.

Curiously, while I was reading about it, it seems like the plot was generally disdained by a lot of people for being too hard to follow. Found this info on Wikipedia, thought it was interesting, hahah.

Given the complications of the original plot and the generally poor popular response – although the critical one was more encouraging – the opera dropped out of favour after 1866. Finally, 23 years later, Verdi’s publisher persuaded the composer to revise the opera, with text changes to be prepared by Arrigo Boito, the librettist who aspired to work with the aging composer on a project which eventually became a new opera, Otello, but to which Verdi had not totally committed at that time.

The revised version of Simon Boccanegra, with the now-famous Council Chamber scene, was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 24 March 1881. It is this version which is the one most frequently performed today.

A recipe for a crazy weekend: Track racing, birthday dinner, the beach, horseback riding & Rock the Shores!!

Yep, that’s my weekend right there! Nobody ever accused me of wasting my weekends, that’s for damn sure 🙂

We started the weekend with dinner (steaks! yum) at my parents new house, and a walk to the beach from their place. It’s so close to the water, it’s lovely. They are really happy with the move they’ve made – from boring, blah old Ottawa- to a beautiful new place and unimpeded access to the beach.

13697071_10100587418102436_4356263230790628654_n

My parent’s card to me…

Saturday I rode Oats first in the ring, to hop over a few jumps, and then moseyed around the field for awhile watching some other riders have a lesson in the field. I’m taking advantage of the field access as much as I can these days. I zipped home after buying grain (ugh, had to drive out to Saanich right after riding to get it) and the weather was SO nice, that we headed straight to the beach at Dallas Rd, with Gidget in tow.

13580617_10100576117658616_3552849412023191873_o

Back to the field!

We chilled out at the beach for awhile and it was lovely. I couldn’t get too relaxed though, as I had to get home to gear up for my last track race of the season. Meet #3~ I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, as I’ve been battling muscle/leg fatigue on and off for a couple of weeks now, and been struggling on my runs to just complete them. General consensus seems to be: overtraining/overwork. Maybe, maybe…

1989ae86-03d1-4861-89bd-21b6981a5ae2

At the beach! 

Anyways, we hit the track and I signed up to do a mile, and the 3km. Maybe I got too greedy, because after my mile race (which went..okay I guess…) I was seriously lagging. My 3k felt like I was running in slo-mo, I was falling behind on the track and getting passed. It was kind of a piss-off, because I know I am capable of faster and of running a more competent race, sooo what gives??!!

13781675_10100587961533396_7478355182632806460_n

Hauling ass? Well, not so much!

I was kind of bummed to fall behind so much in my run, that I lost perspective of what was really the point here: Learn to sprint race without killing my lungs (actually that was a success, as I was coughing much less last night than I ever have!) and learn about pace.

I checked my results this morning, and my mile wasn’t even too shabby: 6:35, and my 3k was lame (13:12- I have run it under 12:30 …) but hey, in the grand scheme it is all a progression and not terrible.

13737450_10100587961767926_9197875085950178076_o

Sunday I went riding and jumped Oats over the small x-rails in the field= loved it!!! And then immediately felt tired, so walked up and down hills for awhile to build his muscles and give me a break.

I didn’t ride for long because we had Rock the Shores to get to! It was hot hot hot! Things that bugged me- drinks got INSANELY expensive- $8 for a beer? Eff right off with that!

1000731_977841721416_831713428_n

Rock the Shores from three years ago!

Crowds were good and very manageable, no line-ups, ice cream was lovely, poutine was sooo good and the standout bands were The Arkells and The Eagles of Death Metal. WOW!! Amazing performances, and class acts, both of them. Great sound, excellent vibes. One bummer- Metric really sucked. The sound was lousy, tinny and too high reverb. Also Emily Haines seemed to be doing this thing where she’s play 1 song, and then riff for 10 or more minutes on it…Combined with the lousy sound, it was so.boring. I really like Metric, but this was just…ugh. No thanks. We left early and I didn’t feel like I was missing a thing! Booooooo.

988251_977841836186_725868956_n

My buddy and me from three years ago at Rock the Shores.

Got home pretty seamlessly and back to work today. I am tired! 🙂

Orchestra for the Moon

Taken from a Jenn Grant album title, (saw her on Tuesday), to provide a recap for this week: mixed results.

11834917_10100430468695306_2162137150739418099_o

Oh man do I want it to be summer!

Monday I had organized an equine counselling session, as I realized I was in need of a tune-up after my bad/good lesson on Thursday. For some reason, because I was feeling a lot of stress that week, I started making a lot of very negative value statements about my riding, my lesson, and everything– after what was, to be honest, not a terrible lesson. So what gives?

Turns out that I was likely trying to make that lesson resolve what I was feeling emotionally/ physically, and that just…didn’t happen. I was trying for redemption via my horse and jumping, and you know what? A big nope on that.

And it left me feeling discouraged, useless and like, unfulfilled. A good comparison would be my car: it was also breaking down last week and when it stalls or breaks down, I don’t immediately think I am a bad driver! I just think, well, time to get the car fixed. So jumping to the judgements after my ride because I am in a bad headspace and looking for my lesson to ‘cure’ it isn’t reasonable or good.

1234861_10153277951005603_1922658958_n

My future!

Good to know! So, how to solve this? Answers to handling and managing my feelings are to make sure I feel grounded, get myself in a better headspace. If I know I am not, then to acknowledge it, and make do. Realize that I might not hang the moon on the first try, but that I am going to work it, and see how things go. Be honest with myself about how I am feeling, and be honest with my horse.

I went to ride Oats after my session on Monday and woooow…he felt terrible! So stiff, wouldn’t bend, head-flipping, coughing, didn’t want to canter, didn’t want to hold the canter…WTF? I tried to loosen him up in the trot with minor success and then got off. Can’t deal, that’s ok. It was also monsoon raining the entire day and I now think he literally spent the whole day standing in his shelter= not good for the horse.

Tuesday Oats had the day off, and Ian and I went to see Jenn Grant. She was lovely! She played Dreamer, which I liked off the Heartland intro immediately. A lot of her other songs were really cool, chill and she has a great voice. There’s something really heartfelt about her singing, and she seemed like a very funny and interesting person. My feet were killing me after though, I’m not used to standing around at bar shows hahah.

Wednesday I went to the barn with some trepidation. How was Oats going to be? I longed him briefly before my ride and he hates the sand ring, so he kind of refused to do anything but jog around. Hmm…I didn’t think it was going to go well.

Actually he surprised me! He was moving so nicely. But then…dun dun dunnn…The hopping and head-flipping came back at the trot.So WTF is this then? I puzzled over it for a bit and then realized…Oats is feeling cooped up, caged up. He wants (asking as politely as he can), to GO!!

So, I got up in two-point, and we cantered. And cantered. And cantered. And it was sooooo nice. He felt flowing, free, just really good. He clearly needed to get this out of his system! Then we could go back to the trot, and I popped him over a few x-rails, at the trot, and then we worked in between trot and canter. Just some flowing figures, big loopy circles, and he felt great.

Interesting…

Fun times at Phillips Backyard Weekender!

So, my weekend wasn’t all falling off my horse and going for grinding 15km runs…

We also went to Phillips Backyard Weekend party on Sunday – the day that had the best bands- in my opinion. And it was a blast!

We saw Built to Spill, John and Roy and Dan Mangan and the Blacksmiths.

All good, all of them.

I particularly enjoyed Built to Spill’s retro 90’s comeback style, and then John and Roy were a relaxing listen. I actually found it difficult to listen to them in a big crowd-type atmosphere, as their type of West Coast chill music seems to be best listened to around a campfire on the beach at night with good friends.

Also Dan Mangan and the Blacksmiths- classic. He still had to play ‘Robots’ of course, but cleverly intermingled Robots with another, newer piece that escapes me at the moment. They were good, though I have heard uneven reviews of his performance as of lately. There are no complaints on this end though!

The weekender is an affordable, easy to get to excursion and I highly recommend it. Sunday’s passes cost approx. $35/day and that is pretty reasonable to see the level of bands that were playing. Beers are $5 and the only quibble I have is that Merridale ciders raised their prices to $7, instead of having 1 tix price for all, so I stuck with the beers. I mean, I like ciders but for an extra $2? I’ll stick with the beer, thanks…

Check them out next year, the sound is even better and improved from the past year (some technical issues from what I heard), and we had no bad experiences at all!

Oh, the boss is coming!

The Arkells were GREAT on Saturday. Personable, happy, and totally ready to rock. They stepped on stage with a great presence and just kept the good vibes rolling.

They played all their best hits, and a lot of new stuff too. They knew when to keep the new materials short, and the audience interested. Not that I didn’t like the new stuff, but when you follow a band, you also want them to show their ‘roots’ and history, so to speak.

Oh, the boss is coming!

They also relayed a fun anecdote- when they were first touring in Victoria, they played at Lucky Bar (that still exists) and didn’t have a place to crash – being young, broke and free willing, they relayed their sad story and a woman chatting with them offered her floor for the night.

They crashed there, and remembered her very fondly, for her generosity and free spirit. They called her out in the crowed, and my husband knew her! He said it was the type of thing she would do, and not think twice about- she was that cool and generous.

Great show, and ended with a cover of Diana Ross’ ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ with Dear Rouge singing as well. Love it!

Highly recommend checking them out, they played to sold-out crowd at Sugar, and wow…You could tell it was sold out, felt like there was barely any breathing room! I was sweating to death!