Under allergy attack!

UGH it is officially spring here in Victoria and the alder pollen count is at ‘excruciatingly high’ rather than just ‘high’ or irritatingly high. God, my eyes started swelling shut this morning at work 😦 my breathing was impaired and I started feeling terrible. My eyes were so itchy, swelling and watering constantly and I had a sinus headache. Basically think of every allergy symptom you can have and I had it. All at once. Shoot me.


Save me from spring!!!

I had to powerwalk to Shoppers to grab the biggest box of Reactine they had and eat one in the lineup. Even still, with Reactine and the Singulair I take every morning, I am STILL dying. UGH.

My eyes are still watery and itchy, and my sinuses are on fire. Lovely.

Very likely I am going to have to take more than 1 Reactine to stave off further horrendous reactions. This one is *barely* working.

Funny I chalked some of my allergy symptoms on the weekend to the dust in the indoor. As it turns out, it’s not just the dust, it’s the air itself around me, trying to kill me. Or just make my life a living hell, it’s a toss-up.


I did have a nice equine counseling session on Oats last night, and we worked on my positioning over a small x-rail. Oats biffed it good a few times, but it was really helpful for me in terms of being ‘ok’ with bad jumps, maintaining a strong arm/leg position to help us both out when the jump is less than pretty, and helping me hold my two-point in a relaxed, easy-to-maintain fashion.

A good ride all around.

Ugh, now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find a fork to scratch my eyes with.


Much better

Ok crazy week recap:


Monday: Oats still sick, on antibiotics that I frantically called my vet to get him put on from Saturday. Beerfest is on! Pizza and Beer night with gelato. It was AMAZING!

Tuesday: Work is crazy, Oats is apparently still really sick? I start freaking out…Go out to the barn and jog him up and down the hill, and it looks pretty good. No snot, minor coughs in the barn.

Wednesday: Ride Oats finally!! After two weeks my legs are rusty hahaha. He has some coughs and snorts early in the ride, and it is insanely dusty in the ring. Like, I am coughing. So he’s doing quite well! Our first ride back in two weeks. After my ride on Wednesday, I head downtown for Beerfest Cheese and Beer night! It does NOT disappoint, unlike last year there are no crowds, the food is great and easily accessible and the beers are all my favs- Belgian Trippels, Belgians, and some sours and a fruit beer or two. YUM!

Thursday: Was going to try for my lesson but my trainer cancels this time! The dust in the arena aggravated a cough she had, and I can’t blame her. I go ride for my first ‘real’ ride and Oats is fantastic!! Coughing a bit, but it is so dusty that even I am coughing too, so I’m happy with the progress. Good boy 🙂 Also on Thursday: We go see The Dears at Capital Ballroom (formerly Sugar Nightclub). It was a sweeeet concert! Weirdly there was almost nobody there, so we got practically a private show- could buy drinks with no line-ups, and were right up at the front!


Phew. A busy, busy busy week. But, I’m just so happy that Oats is on the road to recovery. That was a long illness he had, and I was worried antibiotics weren’t helping- until they did, ha. I know I made the right decision to have him put on them, it had gone on long enough!

What does this weekend hold? Phew I dunno, I’m tired from the week!!


So no Oats recaps this week. He is SICK! 😦

I thought he was coughing a lot during my lesson last Thursday. Little did I know…

Saturday I got to the barn and he was full-blown snotty, snot spraying everywhere! On the ground, on my jacket, on his face, chest, legs all accompanied by a lovely cough. So, yeah my horse show (Wild ‘N Wooly Dressage Series) was supposed to be on Sunday. Can’t take a sick horse, Oats now having to have a bunch of days off to recover, as per my vet.

Show’s off.

Or is it?

My friends who were coming with me to the show were so bummed too! What to do? They suggested I borrow my trainer’s schoolmaster Blaze! I pondered that for a hot minute. I wanted to to do the show (on Oats) but I just plain wanted to try it out. I wasn’t going to be able to defer my entries b/c I am racing the next time and in Peru for the time after that!


The talented photographer Sue Ferguson took this photo of us!

So…I asked to borrow Blaze and got a yes!

Now, to ride a dressage show on a horse I have ridden once, in a jump lesson, three years ago. = Success??

HA, sort of!


Horse treats, gummy candies (from the horse show!) AND Reese’s (from Lindsay). They know me so well! 

It was a success in that the day went really well, Blaze was a really good girl and not spooky at all, and we tried our best! We even did the Prix Caprilli (pictured above)! The green-eyed jealousy monster in me wished I had Oats so we could strut our stuff, but I also knew that Blaze and I would be trying our best, and that was good enough for us 🙂

The show was run really well, super smoothly. My friends came and I had a great time chatting and catching up!! My friend on her horse was able to really pull it together after a bit of a shaky first test. I also kind of went off course twice… Apparently the third time is the try, hahahah. I am going to pin that on catch-ride nerves, haha. Or something?

It was a lovely way to experience the show and I am grateful I was able to borrow a horse to go. Now, please get better Oats. I miss riding you and having a purpose to my day!!

Never Worked So Hard: Jump lesson update~

Actually the title isn’t so true. I wasn’t working THAT hard, it just felt…difficult. I have admittedly been struggling a bit with my two-point, specifically the part of the jump where I fade out on approach and we grind to a slow halt. Ha.


The face of a 32-year-old with her 17-year-old pony.

I am having trouble with the difference between ‘soft’ and ‘frozen’ rides….I want to be a soft rider, but still effective- not frozen in place. I want my arm to come up, use the crop to encourage Oats when I need it…Not spend most of the approach thinking about using my crop and then NOT doing it.


Arm paralysis? Mind paralysis?

This is something that I am going to have to work with my equine counselor about. I set up a session for the upcoming week unsure of what I needed, but knowing I needed something. Well now I know at least!

The lesson itself actually wasn’t bad- had some really fun moments and some good jumps, and the gridwork (which I was dreading) went quite well except for some very awkward bobbles, haha. No biggie.

It made me think- how lucky am I to have Oats, who I can ride one-handed, without hands and he won’t try to kill me. He is literally the safest pony to ride like this and jump too. So why do I have the hardest time?

Ah, well.

As I reflect on our relationship, and how much work it has taken me to get to this stage in our game, I see another horse/rider pair that are NOT working. And it scares me, because it has resulted in serious injury- more than a few times- for the rider. Don’t lie to yourself, because that’s when you get hurt. And this rider, despite more than a few quite serious wrecks, just isn’t getting the message and I fear for her safety.

You can’t tell someone a relationship is bad. They have to figure it out themselves. But what about when they seem bound and determined NOT to? Ugh.


An important part of racing is rest.


Wish it was summer and we were enjoying the good life…Oats takes his rest very seriously.

Now I just need to tattoo that to my forehead, backwards, so I can learn my lessons haha. I am on the opposite spectrum of most – taking it ‘easy’ or days off can be very psychologically challenging for me. Therefore, the week before a race is often fraught with worries about lagging, feeling heavy or slow.

I make an attempt to scale back the week before in a big way.

What does this look like this week? Well things vary, but ideally…

  • Monday- light gym workout with pushups/stretching.
  • Monday night- like, a 15 minute ride on Oats haha. I was tired!
  • Tuesday- Not running to work this week! No treadmill run at the gym and light stretching only, with my rehab exercises.
  • Tuesday night- No dressage lesson. Light ride on Oats.
  • Wed – Not running to work, and I might do some weight machine work with stretching/rehab.
  • Wed night- day off riding! Bathroom cleaning and TV watching night.
  • Thursday- Day off working out and going out for lunch. Go me! I almost never do this. As a creature of habit, it makes me feel uncomfortable when I deviate from my routines.
  • Thursday night- jump lesson!
  • Friday- Light barbells work with stretching/rehab exercises. No squats/cardio warmups. 5k total jog to Dr’s office for foot treatments in the AM.
  • Friday night- drinking wine 😉 Day off riding.
  • Saturday- Light ride on Oats, and no hills or any other runs.
  • Saturday night- no wine. Boo!

So that’s my plan and I am sticking to it!

Not cut out for this: Dressage lesson recap

Or maybe I should say ‘Oats is not cut out for this dressage nonsense?’?


Me dealing with nonsense. Ha.

Anyways, I approached my regular semi-private with a bit of trepidation. My legs were so tired (from the race, natch!) and I was feeling draggy and blah. My SAD lamp isn’t working yet or something something..Not sure.

I figured it was going to be a challenge, and Oats did not disappoint. It WAS! We were working on (after a warm up) getting the horses to raise their shoulders up, head up but still with mild throatlatch bending with an end goal of having the horses moving uphill, rather than diving downhill. Or, ‘dumpster-diving’ as Karen so colloquially puts it!

Oats as it turns out is good at dumpster diving. We took this work over a pole, on a circle and on a straight line. It was…hard. We had a few flying leaps, and a few instances where Oats TOLD me to take a flying leap. HA.

In the canter I used my crop to ‘encourage’ Oats to move forward and he responded with a big buck! I sat it and we continued. We went on the circle again and he lagged- crop time! I applied it and BUCK! Another buck, haha.

Now, I was able to sit the bucks pretty easily because he wasn’t actively trying to get me off. Those bucks, no freaking way and he has gotten me off a few times bucking. This time, he was just irritated and trying to find a way to ‘loosen the load’ of me sitting on his back via a buck. It didn’t work, I stayed on and kept asking.

He figured it out but wasn’t super pleased about the work.

Oh well, a step in the progression of dressage for us. He did have some lovely stretch work at the end of the ride 🙂

The countdown is ON!

T-3 days and counting…Oh man am I ever counting down the hours/days.


My Reese’s Advent Calendar. I LOVE IT.

Anyways, dressage lesson last night with Karen and my friend Lindsey joined us, as I usually do a semi-private vs private because privates are $$$$ and my other regular lesson partner is injured, so I asked Lindsey if she was interested. She was! Win win.

I think she got a lot out of the lesson, at least from what I saw!

My takeaways for my ride: Practice transitioning from posting trot to sitting trot. Wow, this was way harder than I originally anticipated. I go from smooth posting to WHAM WHAM WHAM bucket of bolts sitting trot jarring my everything. Gag. It was hard, and my abs hurt? WTF?

We worked on that for awhile, making sure I didn’t tip forward and get all bunched up holding my breath (told you it was hard). We then went up into canter, and worked on getting a ‘jump’ from Oats in the canter. We were close but my timing was off in the ‘release’ part of the ride- I wasn’t releasing fast enough or near enough. Ah, well.

I need to practice posting trot to sitting trot though. Ouch!


I am also eating a LOT of holiday candy. Man, I love Christmas candy. Mmmmmm even grabbed some treats at the Dr’s office this morning! 🙂