Some really nice rides

Had a dressage lesson last night and it was just so good! Not perfect but man, I feel like Oats and I are really reaching a deeper understanding via how I am twisting my body?! So the problem is ME! hahah.

Who can resist this handsome fellow?

We worked over trot poles, looping around them and then cantering them and trotting juuuust at the last second- which, whoops, Oats jumped over the row of poles one time when I didn’t transition in time, hahah. Good boy 😉

We worked on leg yielding into the poles which was cool and then we took away all the poles but one, and then worked on cantering up to them STRAIGHT and managing the turns without my body twisting in the air. It was much harder to do than I realized?!

Just loving our rides! (from a jump lesson a few months ago, no recent clips from last week sadly)

Oats was very steady and very focused on this exercise. His canter felt really awesome! While we were certainly not perfect, it felt like a very thorough and excellent learning exercise. Now to actually do this when we ARE jumping….Is the real challenge!

And last week we had a really cool ‘zen’ lesson as I call it, where my lesson partner and I were pretzeled into many different shapes, hands off the reins, legs off the saddles, in an effort to find our real centre and straightness- and wow, the horses LOVED this. They were so relaxed, and we focused on deep ‘square’ or diaphragm breathing. I could even see Oat’s ears relax when I was going into the canter transition. He got a bit tense, I sat straight (which still feels like scissoring, ha) and breatheeeed…And he relaxed immediately and we got the nicest left lead canter we’ve gotten in forever!

And I think this intensive bodywork is paying off- he felt fantastic last night, and we had a really fun jump lesson the previous Saturday as well. Just loving all of these lessons, it costs mega $$$$$$ but wow I am getting so much horse and so much physically out of them 🙂 it is awesome! Plus, I want to do ALLLL the things this year. I know how fleeting horses are, and how fragile the situation can be. I just want to do this forever!!!

Horse goals: Go get it

Had actually very few rides last week (rode Tuesday and Thursday) took Monday/Wed/Fri off because I wasn’t feeling well on Monday (exhaustion is a thing??) and had a physiotherapy appt Wednesday after work for my back, and had a work thing Fri night that ended up kind of not happening…


But in the end, I felt like riding fewer days worked well for Oats and myself? He had more time off, and I had time to recover from the busy horse show weekend. Win-win! It’s hard to convince my brain of this though. My busy brain likes to remind me that I need to keep going, keep grinding, keep working. But I don’t have to listen to it.


In fact, my jump lesson on Thursday was far from perfect. So far. Ha. But it was pretty fun and by the end I was saying Oats needs to have the jumps up higher because he’s not respecting them! One jump he was just cantering over and I was like wha, where is the jump?? Pfft.


But my dressage lesson on Saturday was really good! He felt pretty nice, very cooperative and I felt much less tense than I have been. Even the awkward moments (breaking stride, trying to drag me out of a circle, some swapping, it was like hey, ok you can just sit and be ok with this awkwardness. Just sit with it for a moment, instead of reacting, or scrambling, or whatever.) And you know what? It went just fine! 

A lesson to me- sometimes you don’t have to react, do, be, whatever. You just have to maintain and be ok with whatever is happening.

So I think my goals for the summer are:

  • Ride a 2’6” course at home – ideally comfortably. Maybe try for a 2’9” fence in a grid? I’m not going to push this too much. Feeling good and not stressed about it is key.
  • Ride a competent first level test- I don’t much care about the scoring, but I do want it to feel more cohesive, round through the back, less struggle. I will know it when I feel it. Be present in my body doing it.
  • Show at 2’3” comfortably- maybe a course at 2’6” if I am feeling confident and good about it. I’m not pushing this goal too hard- I want to feel present, confident and comfortable.
  • Practice what I preach- less tension, less stress. Ride a 5-day week, and then ride a 4-day week. Let things go with Oats, let him have more time off.

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. 🙂
  • 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!

The Tape Breaker- MEC half marathon recap!

I know what you’re thinking- another half marathon? Did you even enjoy the first one?

The truth? Not really!

The other truth? I wanted to do better! To challenge myself, and to quite frankly, not have to deal with the hit-and-hurry feeling of another 10k. My lungs can’t take it, haha. So, awhile back I signed up for the el-cheapo MEC Tape Breaker half marathon, held at the Sooke Potholes on the Galloping Goose.

Victorious! It's a hot one.

Victorious! It’s a hot one.

My husband reluctantly signed up with me and our friend too (maybe reluctantly?). We had a BUSY Sat/Sun this past weekend-

  • Oak Bay Tea Party Parade,
  • Gidget gets a hair cut,
  • I do another equine wellness counselling session- and have an emotional response?
  • We attend a dinner-dance fundraiser for my former boss, who passed away last year due to complications from living with an eating disorder. It was a fun night!
  • And…a half marathon on Sunday! hahah.

And how this the half go? Surprisingly well, considering my legs felt like total shit the week before. I was worried…Until we started cruising on the track and I got into the groove. The trail was GORGEOUS. It was a very hot day, but we were mostly in the shade thank god. I grabbed water at every water station, and was still thirsty! My husband set an ambitious pace- I was keeping up well until the turnaround at 13k, and then I felt super grouchy and like I was struggling a bit. Then at the turnaround, we grabbed Clif Shots (gummis for energy) and some more water and I felt revived!

Race time- photo courtesy of MEC Jennifer Latham

Race time- photo courtesy of MEC Jennifer Latham

The next few kms flew by, I felt good, life was good! The other runners were so friendly, we were all encouraging each other.

A flower for Ian

A flower for Ian

Until…running up to 17km, my good vibes fell out the window and all of a sudden the kilometres started stretching out… Way out…

I was like where the EFF is 17km?? I was getting tired, my legs were starting to feel like they didn’t belong to my body anymore and my lungs were even starting to burn a bit? I guess that’s due to the increased pace. I was thirsty, and feeling crabby. The gravel was starting to hurt my feet! (I was even complaining that my feet felt like hamburger, haha).

The stretch between 17-21km was certainly looooooooong. At 19km, my legs kind of wanted to stop working. I slowed down. I cranked at my husband for ‘going too fast’. I grabbed some more water at the 19km station- and was soo glad it was there.

I wanted to walk SO HARD.

MEC race near the finish- photo courtesy of Jennifer Latham

MEC race near the finish- photo courtesy of Jennifer Latham

But, we were so close! I was almost there!

Somehow my legs kept moving, even though it seemed to me that some nasty troll was probably moving the kilometre markers further away with every step. And then, we turned around a corner and out of the woods- the FINISH LINE!


I finished not strongly. Rather, at a slow jog because that was all I was capable at the moment. But hey, we finished! And, thanks to my husbands pace-setting, we also got a good time for us- 1:54:40!!! Our first half was at 2:05, so hey not too shabby eh?

Oh and the best part? Hanging out in the Sooke Potholes afterwards!!!! Most amazing post-race chillout ever. What a beautiful weekend, and what fun.



I want to bottle these good vibes, and share them forever- to take me out of dark days, or dark times…To this soundtrack, which I am super into right now: Gosh by Jamie XX.

Summer loving

So I took Oats out to run in the field (read: canter very slowly, break into a trot at the top of a small hill, trot down the hill) and had a BLAST!

He was so good! Ok he was kind of a dick about going in and out of the gate, but otherwise? Lovely in the field. I love summer!

My ride on him in the ring went fairly well too, Sarah reminded me I was getting too ‘handsy’ and to let my hands drop down more, instead of pulling UP and HIGH like I have a habit of doing…I feel like it’s a bit ingrained, since Oats can be a little shit and buck on occasion. High hands= security?

But yesterday, I didn’t need security, he was good and we were cruising. I love the photos from it, be prepared for more of them! Yeah~

Took 3 days off due to family visiting/activities so no hard lesson Tues, just rode yesterday, have a lesson tonight, and then ride Sat and maybe horse show Sun. Yesss!

I am also posting TWO in one day because I have a feeling I will get too busy to do many more until Monday or so. Please enjoy!



Customer: “Are you being smart with me here?!” Me: “Someone in this conversation has to be.”

Customer: “Are you being smart with me here?!”  Me: “Someone in this conversation has to be.”

And here’s Gidget going for a bike ride! Don’t worry, she was secured in the bike basket via a tether, so while she wasn’t too happy about it, she wasn’t going anywhere!

They cruised up and down the path from the campsite, and she was none too pleased…Haha.

Fun times camping this past weekend! As you can see, it was not too warm out either. Oh well, summer on the West Coast.