Jump lesson turned dressage practice & camping!

So as I mentioned I had signed up for the dressage show (happening on Sunday, yeek). So instead of my regularly scheduled jump lesson on Thursday, we decided to practice run-throughs of the tests instead. I also changed my tests from Training 1 and 3 to Training 1 and 2 and run Test 2 as a ‘test of choice’ instead (it is easier!).

Oats at Sooke Saddle Club dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila

Oats at Sooke Saddle Club dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila

It went ok, Test 1 was kind of flubby and awkward, while Test 2 allowed us to relax more and think throughout the test, rather than jamming it forward and doing the whole thing in ‘hyper drive’ which is more my style (see- jumping every course in a show/in practice…).

I had to slow down, allow more of Oats, and relax my arms for forward motion. Easier said than done, apparently!

And then we had Friday/Saturday off because we went camping with buddies in Parksville! And what a weekend- the whole gang was there (tons of people, kids, dogs, haha) and we played SO many games- it was insane. I played more games that one weekend than I play in an entire year, I swear it!

  • Viking bowling (fun but hard)
  • Slam Ball (hard to learn, fun to do!)
  • Kick ball
  • A foot race (I didn’t partake because I ate too much, ha)
  • Werewolf
  • Antidote

I went for a run, we played on the beach, we drank and ate WAYYY too much. I actually felt kind of sick Saturday night from all the indulging and I ended up fainting at like 1:30am?! Yikes!

I was ok though, and recovered fine and went back to bed. Gidget did not enjoy camping and puked when she got home, all over floor/couch. Yuck!

It was a great weekend with fun times and hilarious company. Loved it!!

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“There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction” Salvador Dali

So, is this true to you?

Sometimes it is for me. I once wrote that my ideal day would be jumping with Oats, going for a nice long run (10k) and then going to snooze on the beach with an iced coffee…Ahh..bliss!

Other days? A good HARD workout with Oats. I had another lesson last night with Karen Brain- a semi-private with another rider. I was a bit anxious, given last week was kind of an ass-kicking in a good way, but man was it tough!

We got down to it, and it reallly WORKED. I don’t know if it’s the progression work, or transitions, or what her magic is, but Oats and I seem to be getting a lot of good out of it. He’s focused- mostly- and I’m focused. It’s hard, but not ‘awkward’ hard you know? I feel like if I try enough, we can make it happen.

We worked on the ‘quick steps’ walk, which is kind of Oats’ suckiest gait. Then moved up to trot and we had a choice- quick steps, or BIG steps. I went with big.

Amusingly, Karen picked up that Oats is a nice mover. He is a very nice mover. So nice, in fact, that he fools people very easily. She said the thing with nice movers, is that it’s a gift (from God?) like being attractive. A nice mover, or being attractive doesn’t mean you have a good work ethic!

She also said when I ‘ask’ for more and he brings his head up, or swishes his tail, and pins his ears, he’s giving me the big F-you! And to not let his shit continue.

Ponies are very, very clever. Any way they can get out of having to work, they will. They are good at ‘training’ you NOT to ask! But, like children, if they are given work to do, and asked fairly, they will do it…Eventually.

Oats showed how much he was wanting to say NO! At the canter…swapped his leads on the long side on the right, and broke on the left a few times. Each time, she was like that’s his way of saying I want to stop. Now.

And the answer to his shenanginans? GET GOING! GET! and the problem starts magically resolving itself..He swaps? Who cares?! Get going on the wrong lead then~ And Oats starts feeling like, hey, this is uncomfortable…Why did I swap again…

He even swapped back to the correct lead to help himself, and he did it WITHOUT drama- no kicking out, no bucking, no getting humpy.

Humph… We worked hard! So hard, it’s funny to have that feeling just doing basic flat work. Jeeesh…

(photo pictured is a LOVELY rider from the Arbutus Derby I attended in Parksville this weekend. So jealous of their excellent form/technique, and fabulous horse. One day!)