Sidney Spit for BC Day long weekend

The ferries were absolute NUTS this weekend, but not for us! We wisely didn’t travel. Instead we made a super nice dinner, I had a Working Equitation riding lesson on Saturday and then on Monday we went to Sidney Spit.

Lighthouse at the end of the Spit

You take a small ferry (passengers only), lots of water (none on the island) and off you go! It’s a lovely island only 30 min boat ride from Sidney and the sand….Oh man the sand. It is glorious! You can walk forever, but be aware- the tides come in very fast and then you’re wading back, which we were, ha.

On the boat

It has a forested section as well and is quite large. Part of it is a National Park and the other part is privately owned. There are campsites you can book through the feds too, which seemed tempting to me (a bit anyways). The weather was glorious not too cold (never a given here, lol even in summer!) and sunny, not too hazy or cloudy.

Busy at work

We cruised up and down the beach, relaxed on the beach for awhile while Ian built a ‘dog cage’ in the sand for Gidget, and then ate our lunch and walked through the forest paths. Incredibly, the time goes by so fast! We got the 11am ferry and then took the 4pm home, ok well straight to the barn so I could ride/medicate Oats and then home by 6:30pm. A busy and full day, but so great 🙂

Finished product 🙂

Weekend Wrap-up: The Great Detachment?

Had a nice weekend, actually. Nothing much got done, but nothing much went wrong either, so I’m gonna say it’s a win!

Weather was good, times were fine with Oats. My husband and I went for a short jog Friday night before dinner, which was ok, but I have trouble really getting in the ‘groove’ per se on runs around 5k.

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A spunkier Oats on the weekend. Photo courtesy of Hannah R.

Saturday I hauled myself out to the barn, and galloped Oats over some fences! (I’m starting to see a theme for the outdoor ring= jumping only…) and it was FUN! I headed home and changed into my run clothes, and jogged out to the ocean and back for a fairly reasonable 12k.

We went to go see a pretty good movie, ‘the Green Room’ Saturday night. I liked it, a tough, gritty and extremely violent flick. Well done in a very spare, tight and concise style. Nothing wasted with that movie.

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We don’t have these crazy things anymore, too bad!

Sunday I was up and at the barn, and Oats was being a total prick. He was soooo up, and neighing frantically- a new horse came to the barn and his routine was being disrupted!! He rode ok, we galloped over some small fences again, and then I worked on some flatwork. I quickly learned that jumping= yay! Flatwork in the outdoor arena= sucks! Yikes, his balance was off, he was heavy on the forehand, dragging me down a bit, and breaking into trot (due to the balance issue). UGH. This again…

Well, something to work on I suppose. The jumping is just so much more fun!

It was HOT, well for us, here? Like 23 deg!? We were both soo sweaty by the end! I hosed him off, and he did his jerk move of trying to run out of the cross-ties…Lovely. I can’t believe he was doing that again. Jeesh.

After finishing up at the barn, I met my husband to check out an open house (liked it, but for the third attempt to put an offer in that will probably go nowhere, I’m not holding my freaking breath…) and then we drove to the beach for some sand time!

It was really nice, but the wind was super chilly. Husband still got sunburned though, whoops! Later at home we put back on the runners and did 5k worth of hills- 4 hills I run twice, for a total of 8 tries. It was pretty hot…and I recovered by drinking a beer when I got home. Ha..

So, a good but nonsignificant weekend. That’s ok though!

Baggage (the fun emotional kind…)

As I mentioned in my ‘Derailed’ post, I have a real tendency to get thrown off track easily and then have a devil of a time getting back in the groove.

So, funny enough, my primary concern for my ride on Oats Saturday was wondering how his feet were going to be, after his run-in with stones in his feet and the potential stone bruise. He does have sensitive feet, you know!

Well, I didn’t have to worry…

He was rocking it. On fire! So much so that when we were warming up, casually walking and trotting (and I NEVER let my guard down in the outdoor, NEVER), he spooked and spun so hard at the ‘spooky corner’ that I came flying off and landed on my back and bad right shoulder.

SHIT

So, my ride went from ”hmmm wonder how his feet are going to be” to BLAM on the ground.

Within five minutes of getting on. ARGH.

I was on my back, but then I was back on my feet and didn’t feel that bad…And it was only the beginning of my ride, so I hopped back on and continued. Funny enough, he wasn’t spooky really at all- it was just that one freak thing? He was full of beans though, cooler windy weather will do that, so I took advantage of his energy and worked over some small fences.

Later that day, I went for a 15km slowest, most terrible run with my husband. My god, I felt sooo slow and soooo drained, but we kept going. That maybe should be a sign for me, since during the night my back was KILLING me and I could barely get out of bed in the morning the next day. I am clearly a genius…

And because I am a genius, I still rode on Sunday too. Eek. I did mitigate my risks though- it was windy, blustery with a chance of thunderstorms so I rode indoors (and of course it was beautiful)… Wish I could say the same for my ride. I was still edgy and anxious, and pissed off at Oats. I took my pain out on him during my ride.

My back didn’t really hurt while I was riding, but boy, it sure hurt before and after! He was a fairly good pony, a bit confused about why I was riding him so edgily and angrily, but I softened, (not much though) and we worked on a pole exercise.

It was another lesson to me – one I learned when my mom fell off Oats in May in the outdoor and broke her arm- that I really, really, really shouldn’t get back on the next day to either tempt fate or challenge myself or challenge Oats. Why, why why do I do this?

Well, anyways I did it- It wasn’t good but it wasn’t terrible. It just was NOT a shining display of how I can normally ride, in a nice partnership with my horse.

I need to not get into it like this. I thought I was getting better about not picking a fight the day after when I’m feeling hurt or emotionally upset, but apparently I’m not 100% perfect about it yet either…

I just feel disappointed in my fall, a fluke accident, but it almost works to confirm my belief that YES, there IS something to be worried about riding in the outdoor, in the scary corner. After all, my mom broke her arm there a few months ago! He’s always bad and on-edge there, and this most recent accident works to concrete that fear in my mind. Shoot.

I hope I can get past that, and get back to the positive progress I was making- both with my horse, and with my mind.

A busy and tumultuous week & weekend

Feels nice to be outside!

Feels nice to be outside!

This past week, and weekend, had many ups and downs.

Good: Oats went really nicely for my non-lesson ride on Thursday (trainer had a sick child) and I was quite pleased with his leg yielding.

We also had a GREAT weekend of riding, we were playing around in the outdoor ring both days, it was hot and sunny, I had no real expectations, and had a blast! We even saw the cutest bunny hopping across the path back up to the stables.

Bad: Family and husband drama rears it’s ugly head again. UGH. It made me very unhappy, and I had to go for a run with my husband to clear my head. Things are still unresolved, and I still have a lot of cognitive dissonance that I live with every day.

Good: Had the opportunity to go to the beach on Sunday and LOVED it!

Bad: Too many families with horrible screaming babies. The WORST! I ended up moving my beach blanket to a quieter area, and that made a huge difference.

Good: Tried the new s’mores Frappucchino from Starbucks. Delicious! A calorie bomb!

Bad: Tried the new Bacon Clamato Caesar in a can and did not really like it. Flavour is too strange and fakey. Also salty as all hell.

Good: Made no-bake chocolate-oatmeal cookies AND chocolate granola! Tasty!

Bad: I think someone was messing with MY Oats this weekend! The barn owner thought she saw me going in to his pen late at night, and his gate was left unlocked overnight. This was most definitely NOT me, as I rode at around 11am and left the stables before noon (had to get back  in time to check out an open house, the unit was exceedingly strange and made me feel like a hunched-over giant…).!!!! Someone was in with my horse? Or at least his gate?

Don't mess with Mr. Oats!

Don’t mess with Mr. Oats!

Hit the ground running

Yup that’s me! Back from my fabulous trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

To spare anyone a tedious recap, I’ll bullet point it. In short, it was SO NICE. Weather could be a bit iffy, depending on where you were- rainy/windy, or sunny but quite windy. Overall average between 25-27 deg, sun was HOT when it was out, so had to reapply lots of sunscreen.

Ocean was chilly but swimmable, I’m a bit of a chicken there so others might find it easier!

  • Do go trail riding. We went to CJM, which does kind of quiet/boring walk-only rides but the length- 2 hours, and scenery is amazing. AMAZING!

Trail riding at CJM

Trail riding at CJM

  • Go to the Nepali coast. We did the hike, and the beach there (Ke’e) and bought coconuts off some young guys truck.

Hiking at Nepali

Hiking at Nepali

  • Go to the brewery (Kauai brewery in Port Allen) smart friendly owners. Their Lillikoi beer if amazing!
  • Go to the rum tasting at Koloa Rum. It’s in the Gaylord Plantation, friendly and fun!
  • Snorkel at Poipei. It was super windy but we saw TONS of fish really easily. Busy but because it’s one of the best spots…

Sea turtle at Poipei beach

Sea turtle at Poipei beach

  • Buy fish from the grocery store- I had king crab meat for $7 bucks, and we bought huge ahi tuna steaks for like less than $8.
  • Don’t buy bread- it costs more than the fish!
  • Go swimming at any beach- there are zillions! We liked the beach at Kaap’a that had the Andy Irons memorial.

Beach time!

Beach time!

  • Buy a taro pie at McDonalds. It looks super bizarre (purple?) but so tasty!
  • Stay at two places. We stayed in a super creepy, crumbling resort (the Aston Aloha) for a few days and wow, did it ever feel like its heyday was 20 years ago- creepy but cool. Then we stayed at a jungle lodge off the beach and out of town for a few days. Got the best of both worlds!
  • Eat fruit from everywhere! We got mangoes off a tree (well, from a crazy looking but nice Hawaiian dude who beckoned us over to give us some he had been busy collecting off the ground..) SO GOOOD.

Starfruit

Starfruit

  • Apple bananas, pineapple, citrus- any kind, mangoes, starfruit. Try them!
  • Do a luau at least once. We liked the Smith’s Garden Luau.

Smith's Garden Luau

Smith’s Garden Luau

  • Understand that going to see Waimea Canyon is a crapshoot. We ended up with this: after a hair-raising stomach-churning 10 miles of driving…

Waimea Canyon disappointment...

Waimea Canyon disappointment…

We try stand up paddleboarding!

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We went out to try stand up paddleboarding on Canada Day, which was last week. Things have been busy, but here’s how it went!

We rented the boards at Cadboro Bay Surf shop/yoga shop, and it took literally forever to get organized. I got the feeling they weren’t used to having five people descend on their shop for rentals (and that they were probably never on time anyways) but oh well…We returned the boards late too, so that’s ok I suppose.

We dragged the boards and paddles down to the beach using dollies. One thing I didn’t even think of- rocks. Going on the rocks to climb on the paddleboards  HURTS! My husband cut his foot. Wear water shoes…

The day was hot, lovely and couldn’t have gone better otherwise. We padded around, and found it easy to get far out, and hard to get back to shore, haha.

I think it would have been a bit nicer in an area with more to explore, but it was a gentle, fun activity to try out with my family. Everyone told me how hard my abs would hurt the next day, but they didn’t at all. My foot did cramp up though, and I had to take a break.

Nobody fell in, which was nice! The water is freezing- like 6 deg max, and so if you fall in, you have to get back to shore asap. I think it may be a nicer experience in hotter climates though…You can play around a bit more.

Would I try it again? Yes definitely! 

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And here I was

And here I was

For the whole weekend! Yep, pretty tempestuous, but it was a desperately-needed break.

I wanted to go either surfing or kayaking this weekend, but unfortunately my husband and I were too sick to even pick up a surfboard (ughhh) so we did some light hiking and a lot of sleeping and sitting in a hot tub.

I’m feeling a bit better, still have a cough but the majority of symptoms have abated, like chills, sore throat, extreme muscle/joint pain and body aches. PHew!

The weather was not great, it was ok when we arrived and then the next day it HAMMERED rain all day. Gidget was less than impressed.

That’s ok though, we visited the adorable Ucluelet aquarium, went to Tofino and had lunch at the great Sobo (not cheap but worth it!!) and then visited the Tofino Brewery. They’re a fun bunch those guys, not much more than a warehouse in the industrial district, literally, it is on a road called ‘Industrial Road’ but they have so much heart!

And then back to the folks for Easter dinner, and riding on Monday.

Oats was very good, having some really fun times with him these days–Monday we just hacked around and then trotted and cantered some small crossrails set up.

Tuesday we rode during a lesson (blah!) and there were quite a few other riders…So my hacking was a bit distracted, disjointed and lousy. BUT we cantered a small vertical so smoothly…My coach said she didn’t even see it as a jump, it was so quiet. Nice!

Go pony go!