What am I becoming?

Ah, I last left this blog on a Thursday and haven’t blogged in…Over a week.

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Sometimes the evacuees are bunnies!

Why? Not vacation, I can tell you!

I was deployed on the Friday to help with emergency communications in Prince George, a service I volunteered for from work. I received the call at 11am on Friday, and was on a 2:45pm flight to PG. (Sort of, it turned into a big debacle and we flew to PG, couldn’t land, flew back to Vancouver, caught the next flight back to PG, and ended up there at 10pm).

We worked until 1am that night. Hitting the ground running in a way, eh?

It was a challenging, life-changing and good experience. But it was exhausting, emotionally difficult, and a ton of work.

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At least I had the chance to have some great times with friends when I got back!

I got back home on Friday, and had great expectations for going riding when I got home. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I crawled into bed, feeling like I got hit with a ton of bricks. So exhausted. I didn’t get up until 4pm?! Riding happened on Saturday instead. Ha.

Oats…isn’t being super great. He’s pretty fine most times, and then other times has this massive demon-spook that is just INSANE. He has also been spooking at things that don’t normally bother him, like birds, squirrels, etc.??? He had a few big freakouts in the field, which is typically his happy place? He spooked so hard and flew backwards so violently that I pulled a muscle in my hip trying to stay on (I did..). Jesus.

At least I had a fairly decent dressage lesson last night, but it started off rough and I was in an absolutely terrible mood. I wanted to cry for most of it, until it smoothed out and he relaxed and gave up the resistance.

I am having an increasingly hard time breathing while I am running- so much so that I am struggling to breathe running a shorter distance (5k)?? It makes me feel panicky and trapped, like I am stuck in my own body and it’s betraying me somehow. Ugh, I hate it! I’m fine normally, it’s just when I am doing my long-distance running…And I am an experienced runner, so WTF? My lungs were checked relatively recently and they were fine, more than fine actually- superhuman. So …yeah. I now have an appointment with my doctor to see if I have a heart murmur or something that is causing this newfound breathing struggle.

I don’t want to collapse.

Anndd….I came back to work to find a lot of my dear friends and longtime colleagues got let go on Monday.

Lovely.

 

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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….!!

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!

Happy Halloween! (party recap)

So you know how I said last weekend was crazy busy? Well, that was just a warm-up for this PAST weekend. I know eh? How did I get so lucky?!!

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We had the party-  Night Shift at the Museum – on Saturday night, and after that we walked down to our friend’s place, where they were also having a party!! But first, my costume: Tippi Hendren from The Birds. The theme was ‘Hollywood Horror’ and my husband went as Donnie Darko from the film.

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The Birds- Tippi Hendren

The party? Well, I to be honest I was kind of disappointed. It just wasn’t as…flair, or fun, as last time. I was a bit bummed out. The lineups to get a drink were ludicrous, so we didn’t even grab a beer or a cocktail!

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A skeleton pirate at the museum.

The fun events from last year- the cheesy ‘Mad Scientist’ and spooky storyteller, and charms-making- weren’t there. 😦

This year they had an insect in movies talk & video clip show, which was nice, but I was…looking for more? And quite frankly, expecting more.

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Spooky mine shaft scene.

We did get to walk through the new exhibit, ‘Mammoths’ which was very cool.

All in all, I don’t think I will go for a third year in a row. Kinda been there, done that? I was very  impressed with the costumes though, very neat and a lot of effort went into that.

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I wore my famous ‘skull dress’ to work on Halloween- dress made by my mom!

After the party, we left and walked to our friend’s place. While we were walking, we were chatting about horror movies, and I was asking my husband what his fav horror movie was. We talked about ‘The Ring’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’- the original- and I felt something slowly grabbing MY LEG?!!!

I was so close to a huge freakout. I looked down…And saw that the belt on my costume had come undone, and was slowly wrapping around my leg. JEsus.

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Scary pumpkin by me, happy pumpkin by Ian.

We then went to our friend’s place, and I ate SO much candy/chocolate and chips. Ugh, instead of drinking (I had a race bright and early the next morning) I got candy-drunk and boy, I do NOT recommend it…But had a fun time anyways, and my friends had some super awesome costumes too!! 🙂

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Gidget likes Halloween, except for the doorbell ringing…

My alarm didn’t go off the next morning- actually as my husband corrected me, it went off, but the radio was so quiet that we couldn’t HEAR it go of. Genius…

The story of the race recap is to be continued…

Also we did up our house for Halloween and we actually got Trick or Treaters this year! Whoop!

Hold on, hold on

So…After my exciting, energy draining weekend I was looking forward to settling down and working on some good stuff (like, not falling off jumping is a big one that I am apparently incapable of doing right now…).

And I had a great ride on Tuesday- no lesson, just cruising around in the field. Oats felt great, I was chill, everything was nice. I had some high hopes for my lesson on Wednesday, looking forward to it and feeling like generally, everything is pretty fine. I spent the day loving photos of Oats from the Derby and feeling pretty much on top of the world!

Except I wasn’t.

I came into my lesson not feeling angsty, or strange or stressed or anything…And then it became immediately clear that this was NOT my day, or Oats’. He started off spooky, looking at everything and ‘startling’ constantly. I don’t do well when he is like this- it sets me off in a really BIG way- and I started having trouble managing the situation. We warmed up okay nevertheless, and he kept startling and being spooky and looky. Sadly, this only got worse as we continued on…

It started pissing me off, more and more. We went to work over trot poles to eventually build a gymnastic (not something new in our world, pretty ho-hum) and Oats COULD NOT GET HIS SHIT TOGETHER. He trotted, fumbled, tripped, stumbled, fell and just fucked around, adding in some startles that literally set my teeth on edge.

I couldn’t manage. Like, I was riding and shouting ”I HATE this horse.” UGh.

Normally, when he’s like this, we can deal and get through it. But this time? Oh, no.

We slowly worked our way to a small x- rail to another x-rail, and Oats bizarrely managed to trip on the last pole, catch it hard between his hind hoofies, almost fall and sting himself so badly with this weirdness that he was limping?!!!!

I was ready to jump off- I was worried he’d really hurt himself! But Nicole convinced me to keep walking him out and eventually he worked out of it. He was just surprised. Still, wow, WTF is going on with me/my horse? I just was crying in disbelief.

So, back to the drawing board.

He trotted out okay, and then we went back to poles. Poles are ok. Then, the small x-rail…That was ok too. Then add in another x-rail, to a small vertical. The wheels immediately fell off again- Oats stumbled, tripped into the vertical, and my whole arm went through the reins. EFFFFF!!

I lost my shit. I yanked him up,  and burst into tears.

I was in the middle of probably the biggest horse-related meltdown I’ve had since…Oh, maybe a really bad dressage lesson last year, when I got off and cried?

Weird, so weird. I just couldn’t cope, or manage the situation with Oats at all. I wanted to yell, shout, scream, cry and just freak out. We ended up walking, walking, walking and breathing. Oats seemed not fazed at all, but wow, I was. In a big way.

Finally, when I was able to calm down and manage my emotions, we cantered over a few small x-rails, which were totally fine and rode great. He was still looky as hell, but it was ok.

SIGHHH

I cried a bit later, telling my friend about the ride. And then when I dismounted and was walking Oats through the gate, I went to latch it and he spooked so hard he almost fell into the gate. WTF? He is not a spooky horse…So yeah, not sure what was going on with him yesterday, but whatever it was, it sucked out loud.

A jumble?

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I also got a brief run in…

So, things have also been very interesting this week. In a nutshell:

  • Listed my condo as I mentioned on the weekend and accepted offers on Tuesday. Exciting!
  • Rode in my dressage semi-private on Tuesday and things were GREAT!
  • Work computers went ka-blammo also on Tuesday. Not so great.
  • Jump lesson Wednesday and it was…a challenge? Some good and some ‘needs a lot of work’ but what I can say- Oats is a babysitter too, and he took great care of me when I was doing a lot of my regular dumb things- riding backwards, pulling, getting left behind, not committed= no problem mom, I got this!

So yeah, wow.

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Beers with my husband at Car Free Day. A great weekend event!

I was VERY pleased with my dressage lesson. We worked on transitions, but not in the way you think- they were more like, good forward walk, ok go up to HUGE trot (it felt like we were flying!) and then transition back to good walk, and then huge trot again, to the canter. We were going to intentionally let them break into canter from the huge trot, so the transition felt very seamless and uphill. It did, actually. The only issues I had was Oats getting distracted down the long side – felt like I was wrestling with a shark at this crazy big trot. His canter transitions felt amazing though.

And- the forward work we did really ‘bled through’ to my jump lesson on Wednesday. Oats had 1 big spook at the tractor in the field (thanks doofus) but he was quite nicely forward and very obliging. Our gymnastic work- my nemesis- was SO good! The jump at the end went up to 2’6” and I swear it looked about 2’3”. I didn’t even believe Nicole when she said it was higher, and I kind of still don’t believe her. The course work was….a work in progress.

I need to get better about my hands pulling back, and for me, being more honest about the distance to the jump. So, bring my hands down, and commit to the jump, dammit! Oats was golden. He took any distance, never a bad thought in his head. Love him! I don’t want to lie to him about distances….

I only did the course once (yeah I wimped out) but I am trying. Slowly but surely, I am trying.

Next up: Tying a home-made bucking strap to the d-rings on my saddle, to give my pulling, too-high hands somewhere to anchor to when the desire hits me. I want to improve!

 

 

Team work to make the dream work?

Remind me again that if I ever sell a house, to move somewhere else for basically the entire showing time period. ARGH!!! This weekend was basically a parade of pack my animals up, load them into the car, drive to the barn, ride, check on the animals, come home…Pack the animals up, load them into the car, drive around for awhile, come home…Pack the animals up, drive around for awhile, come home…

UGH.

While I totally understand that being overwhelmed with multiple-day viewing requests is a GREAT problem to have, it is hard on my critters and is quite stressful for them to be vacated & into my car multiple times a day…

My dog came to work with me on Friday, and my rabbit spent the day in his cage in my car, in the underground (cool) parking lot…

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Gidget is not cut out for this job!

And other than that, they came with me to the barn, on a run, on grocery shopping trips, to grab a beer (stayed in the car)…thank god the weather has been pretty lousy, so it is cool enough in the car for them. Anyways- we hear today, as offers are being presented. My fingers are crossed!!!

So yeah Oats has also been getting a TON of rides in. My legs are killing me actually. Ha. I rode him Thursday after I lessoned on my trainer’s horse Blaze, and then rode Fri/Sat/Sun and he was really good! My eye blew. Like, stunk out loud. I can’t seem to see my distance to a pole anymore unless I pull to it –he took the long spot every time. I finally gave up and just started jumping and that was sooooo much smoother….He did get a good eyeball in at the barrels, silly pony, but jumped anyways.

We did have one scary moment when we were hand-galloping down the long side of the outdoor arena, and then BLAMMO we were shooting sideways at a full gallop….I was like SHIIIIIIITTTTTTT. Turns out the granddaughter of the stable owner had decided to creep over the fence – I never saw her coming or heard her- and startled the ever loving shit out of my horse!..THANKS?!~!!

I did kind of yell at her about letting me know she is coming. Jesus. I always fall off in the outdoor at the ‘spooky corner’ and this year I am determined NOT TO. Thanks, kid, for almost making me eat dirt yet again…grrrrrr.

Other than that, we enjoyed half-price sushi last night while we were wasting a few more hours out of the house, and also watched bunnies frolic, eagles snatch fish away from seagulls, and a clever sea otter drag a salmon back to its lair, also pursued by eagles! Cool eh??