Back on track and back to the grind.

Christmas holidays came and went and I was blissfully away for TWO whole weeks of it!! It was very worth it, and I had a great holiday. Highlights include…

26113749_10100897621282776_5742887587047959799_n

Barn Christmas party featuring the best Secret Santa ever!!

25497969_10100894585157196_2772232612225331079_n

Taking the horses up island to Hi Point to take part in the Christmas by donation Jump Day for Cowichan Therapy horses, and the Hoof ‘n’ Woof that I had a BLAST at!

25353660_10100893338395716_4403511716123318020_n

Going to Ucluelet for a little downtime with my husband and dog, and we enjoyed a cool wood cabin, wood-fired pizza, wine, a hike and some running trails.

26000953_10100897621352636_3557308795567288896_n

A massage at Bear Mountain’s Sante Spa. Worth it!!

A movie- we had free tickets to go see Molly’s Game. Recommend, even if it was a bit long for my liking. All movies are though, ha.

Christmas eve at my in-laws farm in Cobble Hill featuring- SNOW! That’s right, a white Christmas on the island. We never get that!

25994736_10100897621462416_2755878495910318894_n

Christmas day party at my parents, where I was the designated driver- went well, better than I thought it would actually.

Jump lesson with Oats- pretty fun!

Dressage lesson with Oats- toughhhh workout!

Working equitation- ease of handling- clinic with Oats. We had a great time and Oats was really good at it! I want to do more of this!! Everyone was really interested in the Working Equitation after we posted a video of it to my Facebook.

Hiking at East Sooke Park- New Years day, and a fun activity to do with the husband and dog.

Seafood for New Years Eve- a classic!!

And I loved all of my presents, I got some great ones even if my husband went wayy overboard on my gifts this year (Blundstone Boots, cool horsey socks, Back On Track knee brace, winter gloves, a neat book) I got everything I could have possibly wanted. I even have my SAD lamp plugged in at work now.

 

The countdown is ON!

T-3 days and counting…Oh man am I ever counting down the hours/days.

IMG_0388

My Reese’s Advent Calendar. I LOVE IT.

Anyways, dressage lesson last night with Karen and my friend Lindsey joined us, as I usually do a semi-private vs private because privates are $$$$ and my other regular lesson partner is injured, so I asked Lindsey if she was interested. She was! Win win.

I think she got a lot out of the lesson, at least from what I saw!

My takeaways for my ride: Practice transitioning from posting trot to sitting trot. Wow, this was way harder than I originally anticipated. I go from smooth posting to WHAM WHAM WHAM bucket of bolts sitting trot jarring my everything. Gag. It was hard, and my abs hurt? WTF?

We worked on that for awhile, making sure I didn’t tip forward and get all bunched up holding my breath (told you it was hard). We then went up into canter, and worked on getting a ‘jump’ from Oats in the canter. We were close but my timing was off in the ‘release’ part of the ride- I wasn’t releasing fast enough or near enough. Ah, well.

I need to practice posting trot to sitting trot though. Ouch!

IMG_0390

I am also eating a LOT of holiday candy. Man, I love Christmas candy. Mmmmmm even grabbed some treats at the Dr’s office this morning! ūüôā

You do it on your own, or not at all

I was reading something interesting about motivation the other day (while finishing the Flow in Sport book). People are always looking for motivation, but what they really need is discipline.

2016_1

Motivation is fleeting, if it is there at all.

Discipline keeps your foot hitting the ground, your ass in the saddle, day in and day out. Tired, crabby, hungry, sore, cold, hot, achy, it keeps you going.

I kind of struggle with the opposite of motivation/discipline. I can be extremely rigid with myself- unforgiving even. No days off, riding after racing a half marathon (this can be a super bad idea, I was too tired and I’ve done it again even!), scheduling too many exercise activities in one day.

I guess I always tread with a fear that the slope is so slippery to sedentary behaviour that every day I am white-knuckling it with one foot on the banana peel to slide back down to what, exactly? A rest day? hahaha.

Also I am a rather restless person who has a hard time watching movies, with slack time in my schedule, so it is easier to walk, workout, fidget uncontrollably instead of just ‘being’. I totally get this, and that’s how I manage it currently…

But, it’s time for a break! I am going on vacation and going to take it easy. I do have to physically leave my house for this and go somewhere, otherwise the temptation is too great to be busy. Staycations don’t work for me, for that express reason.

So, soon it will be adios for a few weeks, or should I say Ciao!  

Christmas recap: The horse edition

Actual Christmas update to come later- this one is all about the horses over the holidays!

IMG_0544

Merry Christmas from our family!

As mentioned earlier, we had our barn party on the Saturday Dec. 19th and it was a blast! It was super nice to chat with everyone, and we opened our Secret Santa gifts. I loved mine- saddle soap that I truly needed, and some really fun extras like a small bottle of Baileys (that is done already, ha), chocolate covered spoons, and a mug with blackboard paint and chalk, that you can write on. Cute!

Sunday Ian and I went to the barn and he kindly agreed to¬†take videos of me jumping! I had to include italics here because this is a rare event, people! Oats and I were jumping so-so (our trot fences were not bad, some lousy blips where we ground to a chip, and then crawled over the fence…trying to get away from doing that!) and some really nice fences! Oats was quite sassy, threw a small buck in at the trot too!

 

IMG_0550.PNG

We also had an opportunity to take our annual Christmas photo with the family (aka Gidget and Mr. Oats).

And then I rode Monday¬†and think we did some flatwork? I do recall that my energy lately for flatwork has been ‘high’ and Oats is certainly feeding off it…When I wanted some contact, Oats wanted to canter. Rinse, repeat.

IMG_0556.PNG

Hm…

 

And then Oats got some time off! I’m sure he appreciated it. He was off while I was taking a small Xmas holiday in Ucluelet and then at Christmas with family up-Island. When I got back into riding him on Saturday, he was not so full of beans…The opposite actually.

Saturday’s ride was fine, popped over a cross-rail, a lot of half-seat canter. Nothing demanding.

IMG_0561

then jumped…Awkardly.

Sunday’s ride- now I wanted a bit more- popped over a small course a couple times, trot fence, and some bending/contact work at the trot.

Monday– a bigger (oooh) few fences set up and we jumped them! Only once each, but hey…My diagonal fence suuuucked so hard I almost saw my trainer yelling at me from the shadows. I have to get that one figured out. The one on the quarter line was great! Also some curving fence x-rails, and those were super fun!

IMG_0565.PNG

Contact work at the walk, which was harder than Oats and I thought it had any right to be….

IMG_0558.PNG

And dressage lesson tonight! Can only anticipate what it will be like….And I am back to work this week, which is totally and utterly non-awesome.