Mr. Oats is immortalized

In a painting! I commissioned a painting of him earlier this year, and was able to pick it up two weeks ago, when I was grabbing my race bib for the Oak Bay half actually.

Stunning! Artist is Linda Stagg

I love it so much!! The artist is a colleague of mine and incredibly talented šŸ™‚

And this is the photo inspiration! Isn’t it amazing what she did?

And how is the old boy? Oh being a terror, like usual šŸ˜‰ On Saturday I rode, and then let him have turnout while I cleaned his disgusting horse blankets, and then went to bring him in- he can’t be on grass for too long right now, it’s too rich and he is a Cushings pony so too much grass is a big no-no…And I watched as he freaking BLEW past me, and galloped into the farm yard. He went from paddock to paddock, fighting and instigating chaos with each horse. Every time I went to get him, he basically charged past me or AT me. Asshole.

He then went back into his own paddock? Weird.

Guess he’s a time-limited terror?

From the scene of the crime…He looks so innocent but he definitely is NOT

He’s been super fun in my dressage lessons, mixing in a little test-practice, with some little fences, all kinds of little things to do and all fun! I haven’t had a Working Equitation lesson in awhile, due to being away in Port Townsend, the race, and then this weekend I didn’t have my car (because I was supposed to be in a bachelorette party, which got cancelled)…So I am hoping we can revisit WE practice this weekend.

He does really enjoy it, and I’m hoping there is a WE show in Aug. so we can strut our stuff! (but NO BANKS PLEASE jesus).

Olympic dreams: Cross-country! Phase 4

Back to the plan- we watched cross-country out in the Deodoro area, which seemed like quite the trek out but after learning how far boxing was? I was counting my blessings it was only subway + train ride away! (and a long walk).

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RIO!!

The cross-country course was extremely technical and thrilling. There were quite a few falls by horse and rider but no serious injuries and everyone was up and walking immediately. This is important because the eventing community has come under fire the past few months and years due to a number of serious falls at a series of events, some resulting in the deaths of horse or rider. It is very frightening, and I was soooo glad that while the course was very challenging, it was not a killer.

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The course (it was hard to decipher)

That aside, I was in AWE of the skill, bravery and sheer balls these gutsy horse and rider combos had. WOW. Just WOW. Go you guys! It was stunning to watch and just so amazing. I loved watching so much I was super sad to leave and wanted to come back the next day…

Just amazing.

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So much power!

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Spooky? Huge? No problems!

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Keyholes…no biggie

Wow!!!

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Just love it.

These guys are consummate professionals!

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Into the other water like no prob.

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I loved this, it is a churrascuria picnic table en rodizio!

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A Year of Hibernation

So, another Oats update for ya?

  • Thursday- I had my riding lesson with Nicole. I saw her out in the field with her other students, and decided to pick up my big girl panties and have a lesson out there too. And I did! And immediately felt concerned…When did I get to be such a chicken? My heart was in my throat cantering up the hill in the field (Oats immediately spooked and I lost my stirrup) and cantering down the hill? Yikes!! NEver!

We did it though, and it went fine. We even trotted and then cantered over a small ditch! And then worked on a mini-courseĀ consistingĀ of gallop up the hill, canter down, canter over the ditch, loop right, canter over a line of cavaletti, turn left, circle over the last cavaletti in the line and then halt in a straight line. It was not without challenges- I turned him too soon over the last circle cavaletti and he stopped and I almost fell off! He just didn’t see it and was like oh no thanks! I cantered -HARDER- and we figured it out by not cutting the circle off.

Fun times!

  • I rode Monday and was still kind of hungover, so it was slightly horrible. We worked pretty hard but very short, as I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. He wanted to be spooky ‘oh this is hard, what’s over there that I can act dramatically at?!’ But I nipped it in the bud by working him more and getting ‘busy’ with my hands. More on that from my lesson yesterday…

Busy with hands? Isn’t that a bad thing? Isn’t quiet like, the best?

Sort of!

Normally it is, but when the horse is like, lah-dee-dah, oh what’s that?!!!! Oh look! My attention is SO elsewhere!>!?! It’s time to GET THEIR ATTENTION ON YOU.

However possible. Busy hands, bend left, bend right, get A REACTION from what you are doing. That came as a surprise to me, because in my lesson with Karen Brain yesterday, she was like, you have to get TOUGHER about his attention span. Busier with your hands, start being more and doing more.

We worked on a really interesting exercise: lazer-like intensity for me, haha.

Walk a line, pick up canter from the walk, and halt at the end of the line. Canter STRAIGHT to the halt. No wibble-wobble, no trot steps, etc.

Mannnnnn it was hard.

We had trouble with the following: Walk- canter. Halt from canter. Halting straight?? Picking up the correct lead on the right.

Oats had some hissy fits- it was difficult- but we manned up and dealt with it.Ā 

We then worked on a variation of this exercise from a circle, then to a halt in a straight line. Oats got RUDE. He tried dragging me out of the circle, throwing his head up at the transition to canter. Rude rude rude!Ā 

Funny enough, I said Oats could be a bully. Karen agreed-she said it’s like in a relationship, when in the winter you go to a ’empowering’ workshop and suddenly come home with a renewed perspective- and suddenly, your partner’s subtle or not-so-subtle behaviours are BAD! They treat you poorly! And you’re like, I’m NOT taking this BS anymore, forget it.

That is like me and Oats. I’m NOT putting up with his crap. And he’s like whaa?? But the lucky thing about rude ponies that are bullies is that he is inherently lazy. So, he’ll fight for a few laps…And ultimately give up. Because he is lazy, he will quickly realize that fighting makes him work that much harder and it’s easier to do what I want.

But I still have to fight/ask for it. And not give up!

(Photo courtesy of the talented Elle)