When they fight, they fight

Ah been feeling a tad unmotivated lately- summer lazy maybe? Oats has been a spooky  moron some days and it’s driving me insane…He’s good with another horse in the ring, and was pretty decent to ride when my husband came out to watch/get a pony ride, but other times he’s running backwards, spooking sideways so violently I’m hanging off the saddle, or threatening to rear while running backwards and trembling…Greeeeat…

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He is a handsome devil!

Canada Day celebrations were fabulous, I can’t say I would change a single thing! The day was pretty effortless, and on Friday we were even able to see Tegan & Sara (great!) and on Saturday The Arkells, and fireworks after attending a friend’s BBQ- she had ribs and they were soooooo good.

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Rode all four days- Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues to above-mentioned mixed success. He was fine last night too, rode in the other field and really enjoyed that ride. Wish he wasn’t so stupid and spooky right now! I can’t figure out what changes in his brain when we’re alone in the outdoor arena, and the most frustrating part is that he was SO GOOD when we came out in the outdoor…Then I take a week off for my sister’s wedding and he’s a total idiot. WTF?

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What gives?

Oh well, have to work through his dumbass behaviour until it goes away later in the summer.

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Celebrated 8 years of marriage this weekend!

Runningwise? Hah not happening. We ran lightly this weekend, like 5k and my legs were fried. Just fried. I have no real desire to run, at all, right now. I do think I am burned out of it, to be honest! Maybe I’m burned out of everything, ha.

But, I do want to try polo and that has been on my mind for awhile….!!

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Being no one, going nowhere

Now that we are back in the swing of things, I resumed my regularly scheduled lessons with Oats. That means jumping lessons on Thursdays, and dressage semi-private every other Tuesday.

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Bad pony has also been undressing his horse friend….Photo by Sarah C.

We had actually a really good jump/half practice the WRONG dressage test last Thursday, and then I had my dressage lesson this past Tuesday and I was sooooo wiped out. I was exhausted, and it lasted through yesterday too- turns out I am not recovering from the horse show/half marathon/head cold very well at all, and I’m just exhausted.

But anyways, I pleaded for some leniency in our dressage lesson as I was so weak and tired, and I got it! We did a lesson that was very light physically (walk/trot) but very difficult mentally for Oats, being a more technical, lateral-focused ride. It always brings out the worst in him, haaa….So that was tougher for me.

He had a few ‘moments’ of I Don’t Wanna but we worked through it and Karen clued me in bigtime that Oats bullies me into giving up pretty easily, so this time it was NOT going to happen! She was also very clear with me about how I needed to ‘let him go’ and release downwards so he got a very obvious release from what I was asking. Asking, but giving too, is very important.

We ended that lesson on a good note, and I am asking my friend to school Oats for me in my warm-up for my jump lesson because ever since I came back from my sister’s wedding, Oats has NOT been very good (I know, I literally just said he was good in my lessons but hear me out). He has been unfocused, distracted, spooky as all get out!

He needs to get the sillies out of his system, because I do NOT want to get spooked off yet again. He is much better when I am riding with another horse in the outdoor though. Also it is creating a lot of tension in me when I ride, and I’m not interested in being that rider for him. I want it to be harmonious, calm, relaxing and fun!

Goofing around

Coming back from travelling in Brazil, then moving, and now…I just don’t feel that motivated when I ride. Sure, I love my lessons and I am having a blast, but that spark to get out and go to horse shows? Not there right now.

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So, the field to the left? Yes we jumped up and down from it!

Part of me struggles with this, but the other part is like, whoa whoa whoa…You went traveling, you bought a new house and moved into it, things are busy and it is a season of change. Sit tight, and that desire will come creeping back as it always does.

I am noticing it in my riding too. On Saturday I schooled Oats in the ring and he felt BLAH. Just so..ugh. Looky, silly, resistant, annoying…no thanks. Sunday, I went to school in the ring and saw my friend had removed the planks that separate the big x-c field where they turn horses out from the riding arena (these are made to be removed, it’s really neat actually.) I kept an eye out on the horses to make sure they didn’t decide to suddenly gallop into the riding arena, and she practiced jumping up and down from the arena to the field, and back again.

It looked really fun!

So I had to try it too! I asked my friend for a lead, but you know what? Good old Oats was like, nah I got this. He ambled up from a trot over the bank with NO drama (or enthusiasm..ha) and then my friend suggested I walk down to minimize any surprises for Oats…Well, he had this one too! He slowly shuffled down the bank. Ok. Needs more energy, haha.

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My hands probably looked exactly like this.

Eventually we worked up to cantering up the bank, cantering around, and then trotting down the bank- Oats was a VERY good pony and did it all with no silly behaviour, and no drama.

I rode the down part with my hands too high, oops, I was surprised haha. It has been like, ages since I did anything like that!

And then, because I was having too much fun goofing off, I left the ring and went to finish my ride in the big field up top. I couldn’t face schooling after having so much fun goofing around with a bank, ahha.

And that, friend, was a good and fun ride. I need to let the anxious, ‘must be competitive’ part of me go sometimes…I ride for fun, and I ride to enjoy myself and my horse. That’s what it’s all about. Plus, the weather is fantastic right now, yessssssss!!!

And the hits keep coming?

Aka I fell off in my jumping lesson AGAIN. Hilariously, it was at the easiest fence on course…One that I was rocking last week at a higher height even?

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Jumping two years ago- photo courtesy of Christi.Funny I thought this was really high back then.

So, the good news is that my jumping ahead and falling off isn’t fence-dependent at all, or  dependent on going up or down the hill either.

The bad news is…Why does it keep happening? I felt overconfident, turned for the jump, thought I saw my distance and…WENT FOR IT! Without the horse, basically. I used to have a terrible jump-ahead habit that I thought I’d cured. Turns out, I haven’t.

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More good news- my mindset seems ok with this failure. It’s ok to fail, it was even kind of funny last night because I didn’t re-injure my shoulder, I just sort of rolled off Oats and onto the ground, taking the jump down with me. Oats stepped politely over it. I got back on, and I didn’t even have a BIG adrenaline rush like last time. I just felt like, whaa?? And that was silly! I was even kind of laughing?

So, yeah got back on and rode it just fine. And then we did the entire course again- I will admit to a few mild butterflies, but it was fine. We were just rockin’ the gymnastic this week too, something that gave me a hard time last week (hint: this week we got to canter in to them, and that was sooooo much better!!).

So why the falls? I don’t even feel particularly insecure!

Oats was jumping fine last night, he gave some boxes a hard look but went over them anyways, the outside line that kind of gives me trouble rode fine- if a bit crooked…as per ususal- our two-stride line that I fell off at last week first rode in 3 (eek) but then rode in two with some big clucking from Nicole. She checked the line after and saw it was set a tad long for Oats, so that may have been it. And yeah, we were rocking and rolling through the gymnastic, even with some big blue barrels set under it to give the horses something interesting to look at!

And then yeah, the easiest single fence on course and I blew it. HA?!

Oh well, this is another valley in the learning process I suppose. One day I’ll get it.

Poles are the worst–Or: Oats learns to take a flyer!

Jump lesson last night and I was loudly moaning about how bad my pole work on Monday was (it was terrible) so that inspired my trainer to re-enact some of my worst moments- live on screen! Ha, sort of, but yes she was interested in seeing what was going wrong with one simple exercise: 1 pole, taken on a circle at the canter.

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I’m not always terrible at poles, but I quite often am!

Simple right?

Yeah, no. Always simple, never easy.

We flailed wildly over the pole at the canter, and I got tossed around, cursed, etc. Wow, I am bad at this. Interesting note- Oats was taking the long spot EVERY TIME. Wha?? This is the pony that loves to chip!

We moved on to a jumping exercise, and Oats showed his newfound love of flying by completely bombing an x-rail…We had to move it up to a vertical because he was not respecting the fence, at all! Again, WTF?

So, we worked over a small course that involved- you guessed it, a pole on a circle, to a small haybale fence, to cantering our prior nemesis- the green box, on a circle to the right, and then through a 1-stride line, then to the jump on the outside (rode very nicely), to jump the green box again on a circle to the left, and then back to the haybale fence.

Oats went quite well, until we got to the 1-stride line and he flew into it. We barely managed to scramble out! It was quite shocking…His latent disrespect for the fences now has him like, flying at them.

That one went up to a vertical too, to back him off them a bit and stop taking such ridiculous chances!

That, however, didn’t stop Oats! Not yesterday, oh no! This time, he LAUNCHED at the haybale fence and made it like, 3’3” over…It was a small 2′ jump at best. I was like “what the eff….”  echoing as we hauled ass over it. Interesting to say the least! Oats is getting bored??

We then proceeded to cruise much more leisurely around, with me making a real effort to half-halt before the fences–a light one, he’s not going crazy here, but still doing it so he doesn’t get it in his silly pony brain to start flying the fences. He was much more workmanlike, with only one dumb mistake of mine at the green boxes so we had a re-do for that one.

So, me having to half-halt Oats, him getting bored and not respecting the fences, all very interesting progressions to me. Hmmm…It was a funny lesson though, jeeesh, I think I was laughing half the time!

Silly pony wants to be challenged more!

 

Me, a non-genius

Did a jump exercise last night that involved VERY tiny jumps but extremely challenging patterns. And wow….I was just…out to lunch on it! Luckily it also made me laugh a lot, but yeeesh, I was so clueless!

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It was a bunch of jumps in a diagonal pattern, with idea that you’d jump one, immediately turn in a tiny, 10-metre circle right, to head to the next one, immediately turn in a 10-metre circle left for the next one, and so on.

The reality? HA. A hot mess!

We trotted and Oats stopped, and walked over the fence. So, it’s going to be this way, will it?

He lack of enthusiasm for small x-rail trot fences was palpable. Oh boy, this was going to be exciting!

Our ’10-metre circles’ were….Not so much. Once we actually started cantering, and Oats starting getting more into the game, we flew by the circle…My fault! I got caught up in ‘jumping the jump’ and forgot to a. look where I was going, and b. actually turn my horse…

GAK. I was just in a super goofy mood I guess?

We re-did it, and I managed to trot the next fence from the circle. Good some progress. We moved up and worked it into a small course, where I immediately flew past the second jump again (seriously, where is my mind??). Had to go back and re-do it, and it was pretty good. And then I immediately flew past the third fence (seriously?? I was directionally challenged last night for some reason!?), and had to re-do it, for the fourth fence.  HAHA.

By the fourth fence, I went a little bit rogue and just started jumping jumps.

I was laughing the whole time! Sometimes, you’re really serious, and sometimes, just a total non-genius airhead the whole time. I don’t know what was going on, but mannn it was funny last night! Glad my trainer was only mildly exasperated with me (particularly when I went rogue and kind of started jumping not-straight…ooops! I was laughing too much to focus).

Things that I want to focus on- collecting the canter via technique of spiralling in and out at the canter. I think I will try this on Saturday, though Nicole did caution me about ‘overdoing it’ on my own, as I am wont to do…(it’s true, I don’t know when to stop the drilling sometimes!).

Things to practice though! It was a very hilarious lesson. Mannnnn…

 

Gidget goes blue!

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At first she was purple.

Yep, she’s been purple, and now a very light blue. I bought the semi-permanent dye for myself but it didn’t take- at all- so it worked out really nicely for her.

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And now she’s blue!

It’s super temporary and fades quickly, within the week. I do dye her tail very carefully, and monitor the dye to make sure it doesn’t get near any other parts of her. Safety first~

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A very excited Gidget!!

I did this last week when I had a bit of energy and was thinking about showering soon anyways…Why these are related, you’re asking? Well, when Gidget gets her hair done, she showers with me too! Ha, waste note want not, people!

Rode Oats last night and he was pretty good, a bit resistant to bend as I think he was quite convinced he was just going to be jumping, and forget this dressage nonsense anyways…Nope! Jokes on you, Oats, we’re doing flatwork. Ok, a few small jumps for fun, but mostly flat.

Trying to catch my dressage lesson tonight as I’ve had to miss them on and off for various reasons.

Met the new horse last night too, he is a giant! 17.2hh? Ryleien or something like that…They were jumping quite a big jump that I’m sure Oats could fit inside!