Miniature Tigers

This week…Wow, this week.

Busy. Rode Tuesday, not in a dressage lesson, and was thinking I probably should have left what I was asking Oats for IN a dressage lesson, it went that poorly. Well at first it went well, and then I had to go and push the envelope and was a bit unprepared for him to over-give and then get pissy with me about it! Ah…it’s a learning experience I guess?! Note to self: When he gives you good lateral work for awhile, don’t push it on your own yet!

So, yeah. That. My dad also flew in from Ontario that evening at 11:30pm!

Wednesday we had the Foxstone Awards Night banquet at the Quamichan Inn. I’d volunteered to drive, and wow…Was kind of regretting the whole night driving. It was SO stormy, and crazy dangerous on the roads. POURING rain, the car was hydroplaning on the Malahat, visibility was so poor, and we saw two accidents, and like 5 cars pulled over…Jesus.

I drove extremely carefully and white-knuckled it the whole way. Glad to be alive.

The banquet was fine, I was still feeling a bit put-out by dropping down from reserve champ to third 😦 it is quite a demotion. Ahhhh….

I got all of us home safely, thank god, and had a glass of wine sitting on my couch at home. It was a very hairy experience.

Thursday, I had my jump night lesson! I had promised my dad I’d try to get home early (so, before 8pm), a message that somehow didn’t translate to them letting me know where they were going to be in the evening, so when I got home to an empty house, hungry, I had NO idea where they were, and nobody was answering their cell phones, despite multiple texts and calls. Needless to say, I was pissed off and hungry!

We sorted it out and I joined them for one drink and some live music at the Fernwood Inn, and it was really good-surprisingly! I normally am not a fan of a lot of ‘open mic’ nights because they tend to..suck sometimes…but these guys were spot-on!

And my jump lesson went well, Oats was hard to get motivated though and we are experiencing some real frustrations in terms of landing ON THE RIGHT LEAD GODDAMMIT~ Even on a circle? What is this, horse??!

But he’s a cheery fellow, and didn’t take it too hard. Ha, things to work on…Along with me using the crop even more judiciously to get him motivated. Well, to give him credit, he jumped an interesting looking jump without even a second glance. Good pony! Now, land on the right lead for once and I will be even happier with you!

 

Holiday Countdown: T-3 days (struggling!!)

Gah, my cold has definitely made it’s presence known. Work is a struggle, my cold is a struggle, I didn’t feel well enough to go to the gym today (so tired and stuffed up, and coughing up gross stuff, yes I didn’t want to be that person at the gym!!).

Me right now

Me right now

I went to this new sandwich shop ‘Meat and Bread’ for lunch and got a porchetta sandwich and Fentiman’s ‘Curious Cola’…It was good, but the porchetta was super fatty. I really dislike fatty bits of meat, so I was a bit blah on that. Sauce- salsa verde, was good. Overall…Not sure if I would go again, just because I’m a bit ‘blah’ on sandwiches.

Riding lesson last night? Oh man, I was not feeling super optimistic as I was going through the ‘blahs’ with work/cold/tired and true to my predictions…It was a challenging ride. QUITE challenging.

We were trying to get more contact at the trot, and through his right rein, he FOUGHT. He struggled! He was tired! He hopped up and down! He balked!

It was pretty tough. Not gonna lie, it was really mentally exhausting for me. I was constantly worried- is this enough? Too much? Am I headed for the big EFF YOU of an Oats mega-buck??? (seriously, that is what it felt like, oh jesus, it was difficult).

His hops up and down didn’t lead to the mega-buck though. I got clutchy and anxious, and raised my hands up when he did that…Even though his reactions didn’t go to a buck, I started reacting like he MIGHT buck. Every time!

Apparently what we are asking is tough- really hard for Oats. He was having a tough time reaching forward with his right hind, so he reacted by ‘hopping’ into the canter, and pulling his head forward, saying ‘I need more length! My neck can’t move!’ and of course the hops.

So, while it was very difficult and mentally tiring, he never got to the BIG TEMPER TANTRUM point that he has *often* done with me. True he got fussy and jumped up in the air about three times, but we more or less ‘overcame’ those and worked through it…And he didn’t get to do the BIG EXPLOSION at all!

Apparently this is a positive direction, what he is offering isn’t correct, but it’s not his nasty ‘eff you!’ either…

I do recall reaching this point earlier a few weeks ago, and then we kind of plateaued, and then he got nasty, and then he plateaued…So I don’t think this is ‘nasty’ it’s more like this is tough, tricky!

I got off, and felt fried! But, also like I still managed to accomplish something, which definitely does NOT happen every lesson. Also, I didn’t fall off so that is accomplishing something in my mind as well 🙂

Oats got a new rain sheet for his Christmas present, and also he is enjoying candy canes after each ride. No ride tonight- I’m exhausted and am going to see a movie, but we do have a lesson tomorrow.

Apple chips and other fun!

So, this is kind of an alarming day- if anyone follows the news, it’s frightening over in Ottawa, where I grew up and where my family still lives and works…

But the good news, is that they are fine and things are contained. I’m very glad.

To keep my mind off things, I thought I’d recap my lesson yesterday with Karen (good!) and also I made some tasty apple chips on the weekend with my mother in law’s dehydrator and they were great!

apple chips

apple chips

So the lesson yesterday- we worked on getting the bend and if it wasn’t working on the left, we switched gears and worked it on the right- switched to left- switched to right back and forth.

We then trotted a straight line through two cones (that got bumped and banged out of place SO MANY TIMES haha) and eventually worked up to leg-yielding left and then right, and then back to left and then back to right. We did this on both sides, and leg-yielded from both sides depending on what bend we had (inside bend- leg yield left, outside bend- leg yield right)/ It was good, we worked HARD!

We then worked on the exercise at the canter and I did feel anxious- he felt balky, felt like he wanted to do his prop-buck exercise- but we worked around it. So that was good! It just feels like when he gets tired and the right lead starts feeling like too much work, he goes WAY OVERBOARD in his reaction. Like, get off now! Instead of, this is tough! We also focused more on ‘letting him stretch’ his neck down at the canter instead of propping and getting high-headed and ready to launch- with some success.

And frankly it intimidates the heck out of me, how would you like getting bucked off?

But- we are working through it. It never escalated to that point yesterday, and Karen said we got some great leg yield work out of him, probably the best we’ve gotten yet!

So that part is indeed a work in progress. Sigh. Like all things in my life…