Double the fun at Fairlawn Stables!

We took the opportunity to do a field trip on the weekend to try out our dressage trainer’s amazing new footing at her farm, Fairlawn. It’s also a gorgeous facility, so huge and spacious and bright so why not !?!

The ponies were…less than thrilled to see the trailer pull up again (Two WEEKS in a row?) but got onboard when we were there πŸ™‚

And I said: Let’s do something FUN! That’s all I want to do now, lol. I only have less than a month left here, so let’s make the most of it and really enjoy ourselves, so that is the lesson we got- a pas de deux lesson with the two dudes!

And they are so cute together, I think they’re really figuring out how to rate with each other!! And Becky and I only forgot where we were going once or twice I think πŸ˜‰ The horses picked it up faster than we did.

We then enjoyed a little cruise around the fields after, as they have a lovely little pond you can ride around. The boys were very well behaved, and it was just such a fun and chill atmosphere. Can you ask for any better? Plus the weather has been amazing lately…chilly today, but far, far above the seasonal temps for Oct. We’re stuck in the groundhog day of my dreams…An endless summer!

South Island Riding Club Gymkhana #2

Another fun day! Wow this fall has been sooo busy, I can’t keep up! This is a new club and I am loving their ethos- low key, supportive and fun πŸ™‚ Oats and I are NOT fast but as English riders, we are welcomed and having a blast.

Yessss keyhole!

We did barrel racing (our weakest), pole bending, keyhole, surprise class and stake class. They were such fun and I borrowed hoof boots so Oats would be comfy this time. He was still very unhurried, lol, but he’s a solid citizen and very safe to show at this venue. Also, the Western horses all had a meltdown about the miniature x-rail in the keyhole lol so that was Oats’ time to shine!

Friends!

We won the keyhole and might have won the surprise class (holding a lacrosse stick with a ball in it, you ride the stake pattern and on the way back, you deposit the ball from the lacrosse net into a basket!) Oats was a superstar about it πŸ™‚

Love my boy! We also had our friends come, including Oats’ leasor, and it was really awesome to see everyone out again on such a gorgeous day.

On our way, Oats didn’t even try to kill everyone in the trailer this time!

Mr. Oats goes to a gymkhana!

Mid-August, we had the chance to go to a really fun little local gymkhana. And we are NOT western-style riders, but wanted to have fun, support some local grassroots events and check it out!

Our failed pairs race!

Oats was very much non-fast, but he was also a touch footsore, so he did his best and was a good boy until he had a freakout on the trailer coming home and almost killed all of us…UGH horses!!

Anyways we had a great time trying barrel racing, pole bending, pairs race (hah not really), keyhole. I would definitely go again.

Here’s our youtube links, enjoy! πŸ™‚

A rust-buster show with CDRC

A few weeks ago we finally went to a show, in a month where despite my best efforts, EVERYTHING got cancelled on me. 😦

Best buds!

Games day with the horses? Cancelled, not enough entries.

Bachelorette party? Cancelled, bride got COVID.

Movie I wanted to go see? Left the theatres.

And so on…ARGH.

But this is the one thing that actually happened this month. And it went very well, both horses Donato and Oats were superstars and didn’t put a hoof wrong. My scores are not competitive anymore, and I am not entirely sure what to chalk that up to?

  • Performance anxiety?
  • Not able to replicate the homework we do at home in the ring?
  • Oats aging?
  • Me losing focus?

Whatever it is, it’s going on at every show we go to. SIGH. He is very well behaved but we just don’t have magic anymore. Regardless, it was a very nice day and super fun to get out there with our buds. We missed them so much over the years of injury + COVID that despite our lacklustre scoring, it’s just nice to be out, doing the things we love to do, you know?

More chaos part 2?

Went a touch radio silent due to a lot of different factors all colliding at once, unfortunately:

Man, bring me back to this!

Major stress at work/burnout

Bad flareup of my chronic disease, ruinining an entire week of my life again

Oats went lame and I had a total meltdown over it

Gidget had a really bad flare up of her reverse sneezing and went into dog-shock for a few days. It was really hard to see 😦

So yeah…It was a very challenging period of weeks for me, Oats and the family.

Some bright sides: Oats lameness was temporary! He had a small abscess (in the same spot as his 2018 big abscess that summer) and now he is good to go. We even had a working equitation lesson on Sunday and he was a champ though I definitely felt quite rusty.

Work is ok for now and I am counting down the days until I am off on holidays!

My disease is back in remission until the next flare-up, and Gidget has a vet appointment today to figure out our next plan of attack. I don’t really expect that they will have any answers but…We made it over 3 weeks ago when we desperately needed it, so I still am hoping for some kind of solution or treatment for her symptoms.

I guess even through the blackest days, there is still hope?!

Also a bummer, but one I really knew was going to happen: My jump trainer who I have been with for over a decade (?!!) is not travelling to coach us anymore. I totally get it, no issue from me but it’s also a bit sad to see the end of an era.

I’ve reassessed mine and Oats relationships after his serious injury and jumping for competitions just doesn’t seem that worth it anymore? We’ve shown for so many years and it’s not always about ‘higher/faster/stronger’ for me– it’s about enjoying the journey and our relationship these days. I still love horse showing, but it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be, you know?

Wow, absolute chaos

So I haven’t been writing here because things got crazy busy again at work, but also just totally insane here?

We had really heavy rains this weekend Sun- Mon, and it caused extreme devastation throughout the province. We didn’t get affected much (localized flooding near the stables, Saanich, Langford and shut down and destroyed parts of the Malahat) but other areas got absolutely slammed and are still trying to work their way out. It’s terrible.

The indoor naturally got flooded as well, but not as bad as it could have been, really.

So I couldn’t ride on Monday, but I went to graze and groom Oats, give him his meds. We cancelled our lesson, not really realizing how bad things were going to get?! Like, there’s no way our trainer could even get OVER the Malahat that day anyways?! Yikes.

Tuesday we attended a networking lecture at UVic and it was great! It was part of the alumni association’s events and we love supporting them- they are a steal of a deal and really engaging and interesting, plus getting parking, a drink, snacks and dessert PLUS a book about the talk is a win-win!!! Can you believe it?

Wed I was in a terrible mood, with a weird ear infection that’s starting to drive me insane. Still not great today and itchyyy.

Which brings us to today and I am hoping that I can maybe get gas? The lineups are totally crazy, with 100’s of cars lining up as people lose their goddamned minds about the impacts of the supply chain due to the flooding and COVID…fun times…it’s incredibly stressful and I do not like living in this time, at all. It’s like, what NEXT? Chriiiiiiiiist.

Otherwise, we had a really fun working equitation lesson on Sunday and that was like, before things absolute blew up in the province, ha.

Here we go! Lesson/video courtesy of Shelly.

I guess it’s like Jumanji here…Stay tuned for the next disaster??????

Teetering on a precipice

Things were going fine, until they suddenly weren’t. Tucker stopped eating for two weeks, his longest stint yet. My stress fractures got aggravated and I was limping again. 8 months of progress/trying to heal = over. And I have a race this weekend?! Yay. 😦 Eff my life.

My feet also have the return of chronic arch pain, so love that too. GOD damn this fall has been tricky.

At least we have some fun things to do, like going to a beer fest this past weekend (it was great!) and planning lots of fun horsey events with buddies.

Lessons have been going very well, had a nice jump lesson on Saturday where I couldn’t find a distance to save my life, ha and a WE lesson on Sunday where we upped the technical requests of Oats and it went fairly well! Tough tough, damn those L-shaped poles backing through…It’s our toughest. Plus I couldn’t pry my fingers off the garrocha pole to be able to grip the ring. At all. Like…If I tried I would drop the pole. I suspect it’s because I have incredibly tiny hands?!!

Something to work on!

No more riding in the fields I suspect- the rainy season is definitely upon us. Tucker did eat his rabbit food last night- I watched him! First time in weeks!!! It’s small progress, but progress nonetheless.

We are also made to go back to work full time, so no more WFH allowed. SIGH. Why can’t we be trusted? Oh that’s right, because they hold all employees with a degree of suspicion and mistrust. It’s been making me reconsider who I work for these days, to be honest. I would like to be treated with respect and value, and I do not feel that way. I have been very clear about this with others, so I guess we’ll see what happens next.

Last Thursday’s dressage lesson was alll lateral work and it was pretty tough, but the good thing is that it doesn’t get Oats too sweaty, which is great because he is ALL FUR and sweating his butt off! Poor Oaty! He gets clipped (with dorm, for safety) this weekend. Thank god, because it takes forever to cool/dry him out at night these days.

A busy fall

After what feels like a year, going on two, of absolutely nothing now we have lots!!

Last weekend was so great, I got to do everything: Ride in a jump lesson in the field (Oats slammed on the brakes at the final fence, haaaa. Teach me to jump ahead when I see a distance, apparently!!) and the weather was GORGEOUS.

Soon we won’t have this, but I will enjoy it as much as I can now!!

I had Friday off (mental health day) and spent it doing everything I wanted to do: Go for a run (too full, urp bad idea after stuffing myself with pancakes), went for lunch with friends, went to the barn and walked Oats around in the field…. It was lovely and the weather was phenomenal.

Flying Oats!

Saturday I had the aforementioned jump lesson- great! And then I hoofed it home to get ready for The Bay Centre’s clothing swap!!! You had to sign up, bring 10-15 items and then you got a time slot to come and pick through everything. I had a blast! I would definitely go again and I picked up some great pieces.

Then it was straight off to a friend’s house party because….they moved into a MANSION?!!!

It was incredible. Huuuge historic house, 7 fireplaces, 8 bedrooms, two suites, an elevator? (that we crammed like 6 of us in a rode up….probably a bad idea), and it is just amazing. We had such a fun time!!! And then Sunday it was up to get ready for the arena raking pizza party- I worked hard, got a big ass blister on my thumb 😦 but the pizza and companionship was great πŸ™‚

I rode Oats after that, and on Monday and then I was freaking tired. We worked on some flatwork, transitions and a teeny bit of renvers at the walk (still suck at it…lateral work turns my brain into spaghetti…) and on Monday I dragged out the ‘reverse in an L shape’ exercise and we were ok but not great at it. It requires a lot of practice!

And now it is raining and the season has really turned, but I can relish in the fact that I enjoyed the heck out of last weekend. That’s a win, right?

Tell me that you want me forever

Wow, so many things and so burned out. Where to begin??

Work continues to be a byzantine nightmare that I can’t escape from, like being stuck in a Escher painting or something.

Ah, my little psychopath cleans up so nicely

My own fitness- terrible. Potential leg re-injury after 8 months from my initial stress fractures. Not sure if I am going to come back from these anymore, given how frequently they reoccur and then STAY injured. Don’t you just hate your own body sometimes?

My potential hernia- Have an ultrasound next week and I kind of both hope it isn’t a hernia and hope it is. SchrΓΆdinger’s injury??

Riding- great! That is primarily what is going right. We had some awesome lessons last week, hmm let me think. For dressage we worked on NO STIRRUPS! That’s right, I did a whole lesson without them. Crazy eh?!! It went really well though! Oats was so good and calm, and we worked on canter-trot transitions w/o stirrups on a circle. Apparently no stirrups are my superpower πŸ˜‰

Jump lesson was good but we had to ride in the indoor due to the rain (blahhhhhhhh) and it is not nearly as thrilling as riding in the field, boo!!!

And then we had a saddle fitting that lasted for 2 hours and was quite comprehensive. I was glad of it, but also a tad skeptical as I have had two saddle fitters work on the saddle over the past year, with a check/re-check every year and how did it get so bad with them on it??? Riddle me this?!

And then I zipped off to watch Ian finish the Finlayson 50k!! I am always so drawn in by these events and I get SO jealous. I wish I could run again 😦 I miss it, and I am so envious of people that get to push themselves w/o breaking. When will it be my turn??

Winner winner! He did great!

But that was fine, because the next day was the Sooke Saddle Club fun show and BOY that was more excitement for me that I would prefer (in like, a year hahah good GOD). I have grey hairs now due to that show.

And Oats was nice to ride this week too, Monday was a bareback hack in the field at the walk, cruising and eating. Tuesday we worked on something tricky that we flubbed at the horse show- backing around two barrels in a figure-eight. It is HARD! We did a good warm up, canter, trot, and then focused on the barrels- he was better but still very much non-thrilled about the barrel exercise. Something good to work on then!

And as for the Fun Show? Well, stay tuned tomorrow! It is a doozy!

Going for it!!!

Another busy weekend for old Oaty and I! We started off strong with a jump lesson in the field (my fav- I bust my butt each summer hauling jumps out there so I can enjoy them and lol- it is ALWAYS me doing it. I was going to have help this summer but circumstances prevailed and I had to drag Ian out to help me!) πŸ˜‰

All small jumps, but he’s totally going for it!

I even dragged another jump out there so we could have more options- they are scanty because it’s just me and those standards are HEAVY to drag all the way out there, so I am a bit limited.

But, it’s always fun and this past weekend Oats really agreed with me hahaha. He started off a bit sluggy, and I was a bit anxious because we had one jump on a ‘hill’ of sorts (tiny) but next to the owner’s house, where he finds it spooky. So, double whammy for me- hill? Spooks?

Wheeee!!

We worked up to it slowly and carefully, and he was really good about it. A touch looky but not bad.

We then started cruising over the other jumps and I was a bit all over the place at first. We took a break and worked over our first course and WOW Oats came ALIVE. He was amped!! We cantered the fences, and then he got lazy and dropped a hind hoof over the small xrail on the hill and stung himself a bit and BOLTED?! Haaaa. I know right, Oats? Fast? Nooooo way. This is the slowest pony on the planet.

So we got him back, and on to the next fence! He was feeling it. Ha.

yeah!!

And then on to course #2, and woooow, I haven’t had this much horse to ride in like, ever??? He was charging around, going for it, I was just along for the ride! Go Oats go!!! He is in the best shape of his life, according to him?! Hahahha. Nice to see him with so much forward energy, even if it did really surprise both me and my trainer lol.

Which was good, because I wanted him to burn off some energy- we had a trail class event to go to on Sunday! Stay tuned…