Always Forever: Jump/ride/life

Man, things got busy and I got into a few solid days of coughing my lungs out and feeling exhausted. I’m seeing the other side now but it was a few very unpleasant days.

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Plus it was GORGEOUS this weekend. What’s not to like??

Thursday was my jump lesson and I was interested in continuing the work on the automatic release that we had started the previous week. So we developed my automatic release by setting up a grid of tiny (like step-poles and 6′ x-rails) bounces, so Oats had go canter-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-out and I had no choice but to close my hip angle and have my hands low, following in the driving rein position.

It was really neat! It took a LOT of repetitions to develop the feel (for my hands and hips), so we went up and down, off the right, off the left, over and over. It did end up being quite aerobic work for Oats, who was huffing and puffing after. Poor guy! Hahha. We then set it up as part of a mini course. Go over the grid, across the diagonal over a small vertical (focusing on maintaining the auto release over it), over a small oxer (ditto) and then back over the grid the other direction.

I was pretty impressed and really felt like I was learning something! Cool hey?
Oats has been really good these past few days. I rode Saturday/Sunday and noticed he had a big lump on his spine though, ugggh. What now?! Horses!! Fortunately he doesn’t seem bothered by it. Hmm. He does have a chiropractic session in a few weeks, see if we can get to the bottom of it…

Anyways, he’s been moving fantastic and just so so good these days. Yes!!

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Hey my man

Not much of a weekend update for me- sick, coughing a lot and a friends night out where we were ALL coughing a lot! Yes, we were the ‘plague table’ out, that’s for sure. I did go on a pretty fun run where I mercifully wasn’t coughing my lungs out or having my nose running down my face, but then the other part of the weekend involved mostly feeling exhausted, coughing, having my nose run incessantly… Yeah, you get the idea. Blah.

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With the Phyllis ‘driving’ rein.

Oats also was good on Saturday but strong on the left and draggy- not wanting to bring himself ‘up’ on the left canter lead. And on Sunday he could tell my energy wasn’t good, so he was a bit of a dingus (my fault- I was exhausted and thought I could fake it. Newsflash- you can’t ever fake it with horses!!!). We still hopped over a pole and a small cavaletti I had set up to practice different release types, and I noticed that with the Phyllis (driving) rein my chicken-wing elbows weren’t so bad, but when I went to trot them without stirrups, the ‘chicken-wings’ came back with a vengeance.

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And with the non-driving rein release… I like being able to do these comparisons, actually! 

Clearly, my chicken wing release (or non-release, let’s face it) comes from a place of feeling vulnerable. Hm… Food for thought.

This week I am just hoping to not feel like warmed-over death. Spent 10 minutes coughing up stuff this AM, soooo not feeling ready for today. Ugh!!

Yes, I’m a witch too

A three-day week and where does it leave me? With a cold, UGH! I suspect the long-dragging weirdness from when I got back from Mexico has well and truly bodyslammed me. Ah well, I had it coming. The late night from New Year’s Eve did me in, and my virus decided to hop in!

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Gidget dove into my rabbit’s cage while I was cleaning it for some tasty treats…Yuck!! 

That meant my jump lesson last night was …not great. I felt very nauseous with rolling waves of ‘going to puke’ feeling pretty much allll day. I couldn’t figure that one out? Sure I was getting a shitty cold (sore throat, swollen throat, coughing, body aches) but the waves of nausea? Wha?

Plus we had practically a monsoon over the past two days- no joke, apocalyptic rains. So, I ran to and from work in what can only be described as a ‘deluge’ while fighting some weird sickness. = success? Um, no. What was I thinking??

So I went into my ride fighting off the urge to puke. But I wanted to ride so badly!! Ha. Problems equestrians face eh? I had a jump lesson to get to, dammit! We worked on a small gymnastic grid, focusing on positioning in two-point. By the third jump, I’d have it! But, it took me three jumps each time to get it, soooo…Yeah. This theme basically didn’t change, ha.

Oats was feeling GREAT though!! Full of beans and energy, yay! Of course on a day where I feel terrible, he feels amazing. Life, amirite?

Ah well, at least I did it. Came home, felt sort of hungry for once and ate a reasonable dinner. Proceed to not sleep all night due to coughing and crushing sinus pain. Lovely… Feel kind of washed out and lame today, just in time for a work day and a dressage lesson. Yay? Kill me.

I don’t make resolutions, because I live my life in a way that can only be described as ‘resolute’

So there!

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I have fun ideas, maybe some goals or wishes? But overall I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, and live a nice life with my loved ones, critters, horse, athletic ability and friends.

As I write this, I’m back to the regular grind and staring down a loooong calendar of no more holidays until a very late Easter. Greeeat… Did lots of riding, had a Saturday jump lesson with old Oats where it was absolutely monsoon raining and he was Not. Having. It. that day. He was a cranky ass pants that’s for sure! Hahahah all the horses were kind of nuts.

I did a fair amount of running on the weekend too and made sure to get out on the trails near the stables, because I usually see bunnies there (obviously feral ones, not wild) and they did not disappoint! I saw a little black bunny, and sometimes I see some interesting coat patterned ones. I also saw two swans! It was a lovely day to run, unlike the horrible monsoon the day previous (where I also ran, and spend the entire run regretting every life choice that made me do that). Ugh!

New Years Eve saw us at a friend’s party downtown, and we had a lovely time. It was nice to reconnect with a friend who was back in town after a few years away. He’s starting a new and exciting chapter in his life, so my fingers are crossed that he’s successful and has a lot of fun! Selfishly I am glad he’s back because he’s a ton of fun and I wanted to have my running buddy back 🙂

I clearly can’t do late nights though. Yowza, the entire Jan. 1 was a total write-off for us. I was exhausted, dragging my ass around. We *just* made it to the barn, where I rode (wobbly and poorly) and then we made it home and I crawled back into bed. And then we went to bed at 9pm. Jesus.

I don’t feel fantastic today either, sore throat. Waves fist- why, late nights? Why? This feels like unusual punishment for one night of fun?!! Wha.

Cross you off my list

After completing an arduous three-day week coming back from my holiday (exaggeration obviously), I actually wasn’t feeling well at all. I felt tired, weak, run-down and kind of unwell. This manifested in a Friday of feeling terrible, and a nap (the horrors!!) on Saturday. A nap instead of a run? Wha? In what world do I need to do this? Clearly, I did though.

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Tucker is not so sure about what happened this weekend…Crazy windstorm! 

Gidget loved it, she loves naps so much. We got a Christmas tree on Saturday morning before I left for the barn, and they only had 4-5 left, kind of all scrawny rejects, haha. Ours is short, but not scrawny. So, like half a tree? Weird they didn’t have any. I guess there was a Christmas tree shortage this year?

We left the tree to put it up officially on Sunday, and I took it easy with a nap and some baking in preparation for our riding stable’s annual Christmas holiday party. We had a lovely time! I ate wayyy too much good food and we did a gift exchange and I loved my gifts from my secret santa, they were fantastic! (Reese’s clusters, yummm, a new mystery novel that I had actually gotten from the library to read myself but hadn’t yet, and a very cute fox mug ‘For Fox Sake!’).

Oats got Friday off, and then was ridden by moi both Sat/Sun. And he was such a good boy! I feel so glad when I ride him, he’s my favourite. We worked on some flatwork/lateral work on Saturday, and Sunday I decided to do some strength work for me- two point intervals. Good, except that my foot kept slipping wildly out of my stirrup- something was wrong with the grip pad on it. Ugh. I checked the pad after and it looks like it has worn away and is now totally slick? Frick!! It’s actually kind of hazardous now, outright slippery and my foot slips straight out if I try to get leverage on my heels. Shit!

Oh well, Oats was a saint! The weather, not so much. It poured on and off allll day. I packed my run clothes though and out I went! It…kind of sucked. I got soaked. Oh well!

Home time, and we put up our tree and decorated it that evening 🙂

You’ll never get to heaven: Jump lesson recap!

Had my regular jump lesson last night, and not gonna lie, I was dragging ass all day. Turns out I’m probably getting sick, dammit! Had crushing waves of exhaustion in the afternoon and just felt super blahh. I wasn’t really looking forward to my lesson, which bummed me out because I was looking forward to riding Oats on a regular schedule so badly!

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Oats says oxers are no biggie! Wish it was summer…

But, I sucked it up and went anyways. And I am so glad that I did. Oats, while not perfect, was a great ‘trier’ and showed me that we can indeed be competent jumpers together even after he has a week off from riding and lessons. Yes!!! And with an audience too! We worked over a circle jump exercise with a x-rail and Oats wasn’t really respecting it…He was making big ‘bids’ at it, to my great annoyance. My legs felt weak and tired, so I was relying more strongly on my heel to anchor, rather than my thigh. Whoops!

We worked on more of a half-halt after kind of a disastrous long spot to a small vertical that almost ended up with Oats’ nose in the dirt. Yikes! And I asked for it! He jumped really flat, and almost bailed. Sheesh.

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Jumping a fan jump in the summer- so fun! We literally never got the right spot to it, haha. 

So, I smartened up and rode a better, more ‘bouncy’ canter to the fences rather than asking him for a dumb flat long spot. We then moved to a small course that ended up being quite ‘loopy’ with lots of changing directions and…dun dun dun…OXERS! All the jumps (3) out of 5 were oxers. Gulp?! We started small and then rode the course at 2’6”.

But you know what? We dug deep and just …did it! I felt slightly anxious but more tired, and so I was just ok with riding and not thinking that much, hahah. Oats did get fairly surprised by one jump that went up a bigger oxer, and was like, whaa??? But he figured it out and was a good boy! We did get some awkward spots, nobody’s perfect and I was getting tired, as was Oats. However there were no big crash-and-burns, we didn’t give up, and I just felt so glad with how my pony was, and grateful to have him on my side.

I missed him soooo much, and I just love riding him, being around him. I’m so lucky with my Oats!

A place I’ll always go

I had a lovely weekend, and while it did end up being fairly busy it was also very low-key, which is my favourite! Saturday I rode, cleaned my tack (oh god, it was so gross), chatted with friends and went on a mega long run (so cold, so long). And then went to a friend’s housewarming part- a surprise because I didn’t even know he was back in town! Yay! I’m really happy that he is back, so maybe I might have a running buddy again.

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Last winter was very snowy. Maybe this year?

We got back laaaaaaaate from the party, and then on Sunday my husband kindly came to the barn and even got up on old Oats for a ride! I am trying to work more on Oats’ canter-  one of his weakest gaits, and something that I’m trying to address by using lateral work in the canter to strengthen. Mixed results, but each ride he is coming through better, I think.

We rode, and then my husband even rode Oats up the hill back to the barn. Ha, my friends were a bit concerned but Oats was as good as gold and he did fine.

We had our dog with us too, and decided on a nice-but-increasingly chilly walk around Thetis Lake with her.

Back home -brrrr- and I went on a quickie run before dinner, after desperately trying to stave off the magnetic pull of my couch. It only won partially, hahah. Brrr it was cold, and here we are entering a week of deep-freeze, just in time for me to jet set off to Mexico on holidays for a week! Good timing!