Labour Day Blues

A great weekend, followed by some intense strangeness and disquiet.

A death, crazy smoke covering the sky, blocking out the sun and raining ash on us, crimes, big and small.

It’s strange! I feel strange and smothered.

But anyways, let’s focus on the things that went right:

  • Rode this weekend (no polo though, was up-Island) and Oats was good! We even jumped the scary ‘skinny brush jump’ out in the field in a blazing hot day.
  • We canoed, probably for the first time in a hundred years for me- and took Gidget! She actually really enjoyed it. ūüôā
  • I enjoyed many beers, cocktails and wine- always a good time.
  • We picked plums! Carrots! Beets! Chard!
  • Had happy hour with a good buddy on Friday AND got off work early.
  • Went swimming (floating) at Thetis Lake and hurt my neck paddling. Turns out I am older than I thought. Ha. It still hurts today though, which is not so funny…two days and counting.
  • Rode in a pretty intense dressage lesson last night, despite my sore neck. Not technical, but more like focusing on the elements of ‘lengthen’ strides. It was pretty good!
  • I ran! Lots of running and am happy with how my legs are feeling on the weekends- not so much during the week, they suck then, but hey weekends are awesome!

Here’s to more fun and adventure, despite the oppressive feelings that are threatening to crush us these days. It seriously feels like the apocalypse with this eerie red-grey sky!

Slightly derailed

HA. True!

HA. True!

After my last post ‘a good stretch’ I was rudely reminded about how being smug about your horse can immediately lead to an abrupt comeuppance!

The dude. Photo courtesy of Natasha K.

The dude. Photo courtesy of Natasha K.

Oats was good in my dressage lesson- that’s true.

But…My jump lesson yesterday had more than a few bumps in the road. In fact, I kind of got off track entirely and the wheels fell off. Bummer! This was the lesson I had planned to do a counseling session before it, so I could feel more ‘in tune’ and ready to accomplish things during my lesson. So, not so much this time. Oh, horses. They have a real way of getting you out of dreamland and abruptly on your feet, unfortunately.

Oats was great for the counselling session- he was quiet and calm and we worked on some great relaxation. I was so sleepy feeling! It was really nice.

We then tacked up, and my facilitator stayed to watch my lesson. I’m glad she did, because when the train went off the track, if I hadn’t had a ‘witness’ haha, I very well may have wanted to bail on the lesson entirely. That being said, I definitely do NOT regret staying with the lesson and sticking with it- it was just kind of a discombobulating experience.

Oats looking cute in Feb.

Oats looking cute in Feb.

We warmed up fairly well, but I kept saying that Oats felt different- a bit head-bobby. It wasn’t noticeable really when we moved forward in the trot, and nothing at the canter so we kept going. Nobody on the ground could feel it at all. BUT..

We went to trot over our warm-up x and he was immediately head bobbing, dragging his feet?! Nicole went to check his feet for rocks, and he did have a few big ones wedged in there. OUCH!!

So, rocks picked out, we kept going and Oats got really dramatic and head bobbing. We pulled up, checked for stones again and he was a-ok. So…We made the decision to push through it, and get him trotting forward on both reins, and then moving to the jump. He felt better – got past the really obvious head bobbing- but he still felt…funny to me.

We moved on to the coursework, and I had lost my groove. He was moving ok but still felt weird to me, and I was complaining that he felt strangely. Nicole and my facilitator said he looked fine, but it was just one of those things, you know?

That unsure feeling led to me basically bombing my coursework and I just felt like I wasn’t clicking at all. I know it all started when he picked up the rocks, but I couldn’t get my head back in the game. We had some SUPER awkward chips, some I pulled to, some Oats generously ‘gave’ to me…My bad habits were back in full force: Pumping my upper body to the fence, sitting too much, crop on the neck, pulling for a distance, motorcycling around corners, leaning up his neck too, arghhh…

Some were ok, but I’ve just been so spoiled lately with really nice, relatively flawless jump rounds, so this unsettled me a lot, and I felt quite out of sorts. We did the course twice, the second being better than the first, but I couldn’t let go of that nagging feeling.

Oh well! I did notice Oats holding his right front hoof up in the cross-ties and he was also shifting a lot more than he normally does. So, maybe he did get a bang on his hoof or a bruise from the rocks. He is a very sensitive-hoofed horse (god, you should see him on gravel…mincing) despite having rock-hard and very good feet. That does baffle my farrier!

Leave no bridge unburned? Sometimes, I hate my pony.

So, back to dressage with Karen last night. Good and bad.

Summer Oats

Summer Oats

Bad: Oats is still being a weird asshole about everything in the outdoor. Balky, stopping suddenly and running backwards, when I counterbent, he just slammed on the brakes and refused to move, frightened, spooky, edgy, strange and not cooperative.

Good: Luckily, during our actual dressage lesson he toned down his crazy idiot behaviour and was great!

To be decided: What in HELL is making him act like this?

He is very relaxed, almost comatose, when we were cruising in the middle of the ring and then like when I try to push him to the outside of the arena he just gets super crazy, and tries to either scoot/spook or just slams on the brakes and starts running backwards. WTF??????

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Our dressage lesson was great though. So, we are in the middle of a change in our relationship that for the life of me, i CANNOT FIGURE OUT and I HATE OATS when he is acting like a moron. Seriously, I was so pissed off and frustrated before our lesson started I was almost in tears. TEARS! Stupid horse.

Anyways, I’m getting sucked into his drama and I really really hate it, and can’t seem to extricate myself reasonably.

The lesson itself was quite good- his lateral work continues to improve, he did stall out a bit but got out of it with minor shenanigans, we worked on walk-canter on very tight circles with minor success (it was actually hilarious) but also minor hissy-fits, so that was great too…And we did some work without stirrups (ouch my aching seat bonesssss) and Oats was very understanding about my bouncing and didn’t threaten to ditch me, he just went slower hahah. So, it’s weird- he was a total jerkface about going around in the ring, but in our focused and intense dressage lesson (mostly at a circle at the top of the arena) he was golden. Not perfect, but not an idiot- just trying, good and honestly trying.

I can appreciate that. What I can’t appreciate is the other side of him that wants to spook, bolt, slam on the brakes and then leave the scene. Even typing about it makes me MAD!

Sigh…Horses.

…to be continued, I suppose. I am taking tonight off – to watch Jurassic Park! And then jump lesson tomorrow. I can only imagine what that is going to be like? ¬†He has been so good, and then SO BAD, and then good?

An evening with David Sedaris

I was lucky enough to have my husband buy us some tickets to go see David Sedaris do a reading the other day and I LOVED it.

His insights (crass, gross, gentle, loving, heartfelt, funny~) really spoke to me. I heard the most bizarre stories I have ever heard, and probably will ever hear in my lifetime. I also had the opportunity to share some pretty dirty jokes with coworkers the next day (shhhh!).

He’s so funny, but plays it off in a well-intentioned ‘aw shucks’ kind of way. Like he says, when he’s asked why he has an¬†obsession¬†with picking up trash outside his home in the UK- “People think I’m crazy for doing it, and it’s true it has become my hobby. But this hobby is taking me to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen!” (He also had a garbage truck named after him, for his service in cleaning up the area).

Fabulous night, and having him read those stories, and some new ones, was a great time. I could NOT believe the story about his fatty¬†tumor¬† a ‘lipoma’ as he calls it. He wanted to get it removed, and then wanted the tumor, once excised- so he could feed it to his favourite snapping turtle in South Carolina.

The doctor,¬†humorlessly¬† said anything removed from Sedaris’ body was kept by the facility and would not be given to Sedaris.

So, David Sedaris left, tumor intact, and shared that story at a reading. A tiny lady came up to him after the reading and said she could remove the tumor and he could have it afterward. She did add that she was a doctor, of course.

He took her up on the offer.

They went under cover of darkness to a medical clinic across the border to Mexico, and the procedure was done. David was accompanied to her sister’s house, where he got some pain meds, and then at 4am, was on his way to another reading via airplane. His¬†tumor¬†was frozen, and shipped to his South Carolina house, where it could stay frozen ready in time for a Thanksgiving day feast for the snapping turtle.

Sadly, when he went to feed the frozen tumor to the turtle, there were only the smaller ‘slider’ turtles left. The snapping turtles were likely hibernating until spring. It didn’t quite ruin Thanksgiving, but it did leave it feeling rather anticlimactic.

I believe he said he was going to wait until summer, to feed the tumor.

OMG!

Weirdest story ever. Woah.