Take yourself with you: Crazy weekend recap~

So yeah this weekend…Wow. I am SO TIRED right now.

And this is with taking Monday off~ Yikes!

We kicked things off with a UVic Young Alumni music bingo event at Moon Under Water brewery. It was actually really fun, and I had a blast listening to all these hits from the ’80s to ’90s. There was free food (and lots of it, and it was great!) and a good atmosphere. We didn’t win at bingo but had a nice time and the night flew by.


It was colder this year but at least it wasn’t raining!

Saturday I went riding (it was ok) and then we went to Phillips’ Backyard for Hopoxia- and we had a blast! Tried some really cool beers, Tod Creek Cider was there with a raspberry-infused cider. We walked home and took it easy, because the next morning was the MEC half-marathon! I will write about that in a separate post, but it went really well for a quite challenging and hard race.

After the race, we went riding- and I rode in the indoor because the footing was pretty deep/chewed up in the outdoor AND Oats was a total looney tunes- spooking, high alert and bolting across the outdoor when a kid was walking along the fence line. Sheeesh…


He was ok in the indoor, which was good because we then had to get home and get ready for Ian’s dad’s birthday BBQ! Ian bbq’d some great burgers for all of us (his mom, dad, and sister) and pork tenderloin, and we listened to music and hung out on the patio. It was really nice and for once I wasn’t frozen solid!

I ate way too much, adding to my general sluggy feeling of eating/drinking way way too much this entire weekend. I went to bed pretty early as I was feeling totally wiped after the race, riding and hosting the BBQ.


We saw a building being demolished!

And that was good, because on Monday I got up and had a riding lesson! It went really well, and we practiced releasing tension. It was a nice ride and for once I didn’t feel stressed or anxious. Just lovely! I ended up waterproofing some blankets and I’m sure I inhaled too much silicone spray, because I had a nasty headache for the rest of the day.

But my ‘weekend’ wasn’t over yet! We had the Stars concert at (WAY TOO LATE) as it turns out…they didn’t hit the stage until 10pm! I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight. Boy am I paying for it today, I feel like total shit. But, the band was amazing, and I loved seeing them again- just a great energy and the lead singer- Torquil Campbell- was on fire! He rocked!!

But yes. so tired. So very tired.

Back on track and back to the grind.

Christmas holidays came and went and I was blissfully away for TWO whole weeks of it!! It was very worth it, and I had a great holiday. Highlights include…


Barn Christmas party featuring the best Secret Santa ever!!


Taking the horses up island to Hi Point to take part in the Christmas by donation Jump Day for Cowichan Therapy horses, and the Hoof ‘n’ Woof that I had a BLAST at!


Going to Ucluelet for a little downtime with my husband and dog, and we enjoyed a cool wood cabin, wood-fired pizza, wine, a hike and some running trails.


A massage at Bear Mountain’s Sante Spa. Worth it!!

A movie- we had free tickets to go see Molly’s Game. Recommend, even if it was a bit long for my liking. All movies are though, ha.

Christmas eve at my in-laws farm in Cobble Hill featuring- SNOW! That’s right, a white Christmas on the island. We never get that!


Christmas day party at my parents, where I was the designated driver- went well, better than I thought it would actually.

Jump lesson with Oats- pretty fun!

Dressage lesson with Oats- toughhhh workout!

Working equitation- ease of handling- clinic with Oats. We had a great time and Oats was really good at it! I want to do more of this!! Everyone was really interested in the Working Equitation after we posted a video of it to my Facebook.

Hiking at East Sooke Park- New Years day, and a fun activity to do with the husband and dog.

Seafood for New Years Eve- a classic!!

And I loved all of my presents, I got some great ones even if my husband went wayy overboard on my gifts this year (Blundstone Boots, cool horsey socks, Back On Track knee brace, winter gloves, a neat book) I got everything I could have possibly wanted. I even have my SAD lamp plugged in at work now.


Your Best American Girl

So, yeah. What happened was…


  • I got deployed to assist with wildfire emergency communications in Prince George again. So, two weeks out of my summer were up there.
  • When I got home, I was immediately on vacation, that started horribly and tragically. It wasn’t good.
  • Got back from vacation, and still had some time off, so I mourned Buster, rode Oats, rode in a lesson, prepared for a dressage show on Saturday, and rode in a polo ‘slow chukka’
  • And now I am back at work, with a dressage lesson tonight, a successful dressage show in the books, and a polo night tomorrow, with jumping on Thursday.


The show went super well, it was just a scored ‘ride a test’ where you ride the test, the judge comes out to run you through some exercises based on what she saw during the test, and then you had an opportunity to try the test again, maybe improve on what you worked on.

I did Training 2 & 3, and this time I finally had the correct Training 3 test (unlike last time, where I was kind of a disorganized mess…) and things went SO well. Oats was a tad spooky in the beginning but it was easily worked through and he gave me some really quality and consistent work.


And our tests were scored fairly, the judge was so nice and very complimentary. She said we should be doing First Level, so I am going to talk to my dressage trainer tonight to see what she says. I was immensely flattered! Just to think, Oats and I getting these kind comments!

I’ve really been basking in kind judge comments. Our first dressage show of the season, the judge even wanted to know what kind of pony Oats was! 🙂

For a girl that prefers jumping, I am starting to wonder if I should be taking dressage a little more seriously or what these days? I am seeing some real progress with Oats in it.

Wish it. Want it. Do it.

Stolen from Brian on ‘Family Guy’ as a bit of an inside joke these days..Ha. You’ll not find me as an inspirational speaker (not my style!) but I do have to side-eye folks who are self-proclaimed inspirational gurus. What makes you an expert in others lives?

BUT I do have to say that my weekend was super-fant-astic! Loved it, all of it.

Friday, I had tickets to see Wintersleep, as we had missed them when they were in town last spring- a great opportunity to catch them again. And I would highly recommend them, they were just awesome. Good energy, came out for encores and seem to really appreciate their fan-base. Fun show all around.


Me with long hair, Oct.


And after my hair cut last week!

Saturday, I rode Oats and he was so great, I was goofing around over some small fences, and doing a little bit of homework: lateral work. Good pony. I did run with my husband- a tempo? run at 6k to see how my knee rehab is going. It was ok…Not great yet though. Sighhh…

Saturday night we hosted friends for some fondue and it was a blast! It was hilarious, it took alllll night to eat the fondue, but hey we had some great conversation and some laughs so it was all good.

Sunday, rode Oats and the fun and successful work we were doing over poles/small fences completely disappeared. I have no idea WTF was going on but we were just not on the same wavelength….He was supermanning over everything, just taking huge flyers. I know he has issues with small fences= kowabunga!! He does not respect them, at all. Jeeesh, it was so ugly!

I gave up on that and was like, well, maybe some flat work is in order before you land on a jump and kill us both.

He’s still fun to ride but man, he needs to get in another jump lesson to start hiking those fences UP!

I did a practice run after riding, to see how my knee would handle things. Ran just under 6k, and it was quite shaky and kept threatening to dislocate to the left. Hmm…So, I am stuck trying to rehab it still.

That evening, I went to Hillside Mall’s ‘Night of  Lights’ event. The tickets were $5, and you came and shopped and there were some deals to be had. Honestly? I wouldn’t do it again. The deals were ‘eh’ and it was PACKED. Swarming with people, and quite overwhelming. I don’t like crowds on a good day, and so it was too much for me. Also people who don’t really walk, more like barely crawl, drives me absolutely bananas.

No thanks, not again. The ticket prices do go to charity, so that is at least a nice thing!

A lovely weekend, and I am again lucky to enjoy the great weather here in the PNW.


When they really get to know you they will run: Horse show #4 with Mr. Oats!

When they really get to know you they will run: Horse show #4 with Mr. Oats!

Yep, fourth this season! And as you can see from our glorious photo, it actually went quite well.

The show series is very small, low-pressure. We entered the 2’3” hunter and eq classes. I was tempted to stay for the hack classes, but it was freaking pouring rain on and off all morning, and we got SOAKED. I was feeling cranky, so I begged my coach to drive us back early. Ha.

Next time I guess?

I was feeling quite anxious when we started. Oats doesn’t have the greatest track record at this ring (bucked me off more than once, a total idiot in the flat classes) so yeah…

We did our warmup very quickly, and then hung out in the rain for awhile for our class to go. And then bang, in the ring! Oats was instantly on edge. Things that alarmed him:

– So many umbrellas.
– Alone in the ring? Where did the warmup horses go?
– Bushes! Trees! What is behind them?
– Rain? I can’t see where I’m going!
– Exciting! Everything is exciting right now! I think I’m going to jump out of my skin and maybe think about bucking?

Luckily, I managed to kind of wrestle him around the first time, umbrellas notwithstanding…It was not pretty. Anyways, back in for round #2~ MUCH better. He was still a tad unfocused, but held it together far better.

Round #3- Eq round. I saw a lot of riders (well, I exaggerate. There were 6 total in the div, it was tiny) do a pretty slick inside turn to both fence #1 and fence #4. I was intrigued. I decided that I would try for those as well, hopefully Oats felt the same.

And was he with me? YEEAH!! Felt really good, bang-on for those inside turns and we were even straight, if you can believe it. Tactful ride, he was with me, and we did it, even the short distance to the stop – wait for 5 seconds – and finish. Yes, we have on occasion blown the stop, or I think we stopped for long enough and leave early. Hah.

So, bit of a rough ride in the beginning but we pulled it together and finished with a second in 2’3” Eq. Yes!!! And I was more than happy to go home, haha. SO WET.

Feels like I only move backwards

Inspired by Tame Impala’s latest…

I read over my ranting about the dressage show the other day, and yeah, sometimes it DOES feel like I only move backwards. Like, the progress I make is in the opposite direction?

But then I shake my head and think, that isn’t right! I have had an excellent winter with Oats, learning new things, perfecting some things, and like, REALLY enjoying his canter. I want to canter everywhere! So why this angst in the dressage ring?

My sister says I’m probably just rusty. And that is probably it.

Rode yesterday (still have a head cold and feel lousy…) and Oats was good but I wasn’t so good. Hah. It was one of those days where popping over some crossrails is a fun idea, until you realize you can’t get a good approach OR distance to save your freaking life! Even in the trot!? WTF?

Long- no, short- no, wait, long. Quick, jump up his neck! Oops chip! 

Crap! Yep, I think my balance was definitely off, and couldn’t get it together at all. Haha poor Oats. Yeah, I felt lousy haha.

I’m taking today off from the barn (to go to the Zolas show!!! yeah!!).

Riding Thursday and then Oats and I get the weekend off as I am heading up-island for some much-needed R&R. Did I mention how I have a head cold and feel miserable? Yeah, I need a long weekend. Thank you Easter!!