Some good rides and things

Ended up very busy last week, so no Oats updates or anything. Where to begin? On Tuesday Oats had his dentist appointment, shots and worming. I had to be out there for the dentistry part. He was quite good, did need ear plugs hahah man those power floats are SO LOUD and the vet did say his back teeth were going, so he’s require soaked cubes eventually but I don’t want to think of that now- he’s had a lot of feed changes recently! The vet did say Oats looked thinner, but man I was like, you should have seen him two weeks ago! He is looking much better now.

Look at this handsome dude! Photo by Daytona.

I had to cancel my Tues lesson because of the teeth appt, but that was ok because he had a beginner trying him out for a potential lease on Wed! The lease isn’t going ahead for some good/obvious reasons. The young rider is just too inexperienced in horse handling. Had a good seat for w/t but did struggle to keep Oats from coming in off the track to the middle and had a bit of a tough time getting him to trot. Was not comfortable bridling or haltering or handling in and out of the paddock, so while I did offer them to think about June, I did have my concerns. The family did too, and thankfully decided not to. It is actually great when it’s mutual- they seemed like lovely people, Oats is just not the right horse at the right time for their rider.

And then Thurs I had my dressage lesson and it did go pretty well, THOUGH Oats brought out his threaten-buck when we were asking for straighter at the canter. He did NOT like that, ha. We schooled over a few xpoles and he was kind of tricky! Fighting me a little more, ha. Ended on a reasonably good note though.

Friday Oats had off, which was good because my busy week didn’t end there- I had a physiotherapy appointment at ReBalance. I had been a patient there- on the sports medicine side- for my subluxating patellar like a million years ago, haha. I liked the experience, so I wanted to go back to the physio side to try and get some answers for my chronic MTSS frustration. And wow, they put me through my paces!! Balance exercises, ‘kayaking’ with a big slosh tube, and the weirdest of all, a blood pressure cuff that goes on your leg and squeezes the blood out of it, creating a lactic acid sensation in your leg- it was SO weird and uncomfortable. You can barely push the leg press (and it is EASY). Ick! So odd!

But my right leg felt really good after, so maybe it’s gross but it works??

Saturday I had my make-up jump lesson (see, busy busy!) and I was kind of annoyed at ol’ Oaty…He was sluggish, slacking off and I guess just feeling warm and snoozy. It was warmer than it had been all week! I had my spurs on but he was reacting very poorly to them (balking, bucking, sucked back, rude) and I knew I wasn’t going to use them appropriately, so I took them off. Right answer! He perked up over the small fences and before I knew it, we had a nice little time 🙂

Sunday I was pretty determined to not get into a canter fight with Oats, so what do I do? Immediately get in a canter fight with him. Sheeeeeesh. I should know better than that by now! At first I even had a pretty nice left canter, but then I asked for more, and then right for straightness, and it…fell apart and turned into a fighting match. Yick. No thanks!

We cooled out in the outdoors, which was nice, sunny and hot. Oats got a long graze after and I cleaned his tack. Fingers crossed for a smooth week, and that my legs and feet start healing for once!!

Mr. Oats abscess journey

So as I mentioned, I was in a real tizzy…A panic spiral the past month or so. It just felt like EVERY SINGLE WEEK there was some new drama with my horse. You name it, I had it. And I felt like I was on a hair-trigger, since my good friend’s horse has had some terrible health issues recently (two colic episodes, and he came up dead lame a day after Oats did, but it was more serious than Oats and continues to be…) 😦 Just awful.

So, in light of my friends miserable horse journey, every single week I get a panic text or call or message from the barn, I rush out and find some new disaster. Fortunately they were not serious but still. I am on a real hair trigger…And Oats came up dead lame on Canada Day, so we had to rush back from our little ‘stay-cation’ out of town but first our car died, so we had to get a jump, to get a new battery, THEN to the barn. Jesus.

So Oaty went lame, dragging a leg, very lame. No heat, no swelling. I called my vet and he suggested we check for an abscess, since it came up so suddenly with no obvious trauma or swelling. I got the farrier out that day and BINGO! She dug in and was like yep, big abscess.

So this is his foot journey for the week he was lame (THANK GOD!!!) it was only that long. Thanking my lucky stars!

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Saturday- some progress, you can see puncture spots and 1 bruise-like area I circled that was the big one!

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And this was on Sunday- I poked at the bruise spot and it was bleeding/puss a bit.

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Wed/Thur- All healed! I was able to check him on Wednesday and it healed over, and then ride on Thursday and lesson on Saturday and then BEACH on Monday! 🙂

Cobble Hill 10k Race Recap!

So this is exciting- we had a new start/finish line this year! Previously we had to jog about 700m to the start/finish, from the staging area. Not a big deal but also kind of a pain in the ass, haha.

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Heading to the finish! Photo courtesy of Joseph Camilleri.

Apparently this would also make the course flatter/faster?! Would it?? Time would tell for me 🙂

I was fresh off of feeling super irritated about my efforts at the Harriers 8k. It just…sucked. I did get proactive about it, and sought treatment for my asthma (now I am the proud owner of two inhalers- 1 rescue inhaler to use before/after racing, and 1 daily inhaler for maintenance), plus this race I made sure to take an extra half dose of my daily allergy medication just in case (wow, I sound super high maintenance these days…). So I was all set!

I also did not have great expectations. Lately my legs have felt super flat, dead, achy left knee, bad lungs/breathing…Yeah, you got the idea.

I was talking with my friend’s husband about the Harriers race and he too had a tough race- though he is VERY fast. So, it wasn’t just me riding the struggle-bus. That made me feel slightly better.

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A few of the winners- I am the shortest by a head, again. HAh!

The morning of the 10k dawned nice and warm, and what’s that? SUn? It was crazy warm for us! I was regretting wearing my long-sleeved run shirt. Now, I never regret dressing warmly, ha. It was just a gorgeous weekend! We warmed up, I took my inhaler, and we were off to the start! It was a very congested start- only half the road, so everyone was crammed to the left. I left 5 seconds on the table with that start, yikes.

We were off, and I was kind of struggling. It felt hard, definitely not easy, my legs felt tired immediately and heavy, and my breathing- despite my multiple efforts- wanted to seize. But you know what? I felt like, oh ok well this is how it is going to be then…A repeat of the 8k…And I just grimly kept running.

And it kept kind of sucking, up until about 5k. Something just CLICKED! In my body!

I felt solidified, I felt energized, I was doing it, by god!!  I gathered together my energy, and I started really running, and I mean it. I was actively racing! I honestly haven’t felt that kind of ‘try’ in my body for over a year. It was really exciting 🙂

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This photo is courtesy of Lois D’Ell. 

And I ran, and I ran. I was finally doing it!

I was running a race, rather than being run off my feet by it. I quite literally found my stride. It felt so good, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I felt to be running a race that I felt like I could actually run, rather than struggling or suffering.

I wrapped up and my time was fine- I got the same time last year and was mad, but this year, I have been trying to manage so many other health issues that to be quite honest, it made me happy! Am I back?? Maybe too soon to tell, but I felt good about it.

Chip time was 43:32, gate time was 43:37, good for 5th in my AG and 14th woman. YEah!!  A lovely day with some AMAZING food- pretzels from True Grain!!

Don’t let it get to you

I will fully admit I was not in a good place yesterday writing my blog. I wrote that post out as a cry to help for my counselor (who I reconnected with yesterday and I already feel better about that, I am going to set up a session when I get back from horse camping). I felt like I needed someone to ‘trigger’ an emotional release with me, physically if that makes sense?

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Week 2 of shockwave. Ouch. 

I know when I was crying just thinking about it, that I was far overdue for an emotional release.

Everything seems to set me off, and I honestly think that dealing with a few harsh realities from the weekend (the show that went horribly, still being injured and in pain) were just…Too much to bear on Monday. Any Monday, really.

Anyways, I did my treatment yesterday, cried about it for awhile (it is absolutely EXCRUCIATING), felt miserable about the physio saying it could take another THREE WEEKS?! and downbeat about things for a bit, reached out for help and support, and felt comforted by what I can do.

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It’s great to have friends and colleagues who support you! 

I rode yesterday, and the arena was freshly dragged, and clean of all jumps. I rode on a loose rein, and let Oats dictate his headset and basically didn’t even steer. I let him make some decisions, and I walked, trotted and cantered. Around, around and around. Looping, moving, flowing. I didn’t practice anything. I just rode.

The freedom felt incredible. I felt open, not so scared, worried or frustrated. I was smiling. Sure my leg really hurt (it looks like a bruised banana today…So raw yesterday) but I was out there, and I was riding. Doing what I love.

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Just want to have fun (I know this by heart). 

I want that back, in my personal life and my riding life. I’m done with being closed off, hurt and mad. I think personally taking some of the ‘skin’ and anxiety out of the game is going to have to be how it is for me right now. Otherwise, all I can think about is how much time this injury is taking away from my training (Haaaaaaaaaaaaa well now that’s in the toilet!!) and how frustrated I feel with my horse if I want to train for horse shows and jump lessons.

My friend is taking over my jump lesson on Thursday, so I can watch. I can’t emotionally handle pressure right now, of any kind. I need to take a step back, and a step down. I realized that this weekend. To be the kind of rider I want to be for my dear pony, and the kind of athlete I want to be, I have to let it go.

It’s funny, I want to hang on to it with my fingernails. Isn’t that what strong, tough people do? Hang on? Even writing that, I felt upset and disappointed. The reality is very different- I was happier yesterday when I didn’t have an agenda.

 

Destroyer

Had a very quiet weekend, did a little riding, a little running (one day almost pain free, the other day quite painful, but hey, I’ll take it!). And cue the ominous music…family drama rears it’s ugly head again.

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Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria- in pain, but still going! 

Damn, and here I thought I’d gotten out unscathed. I did have a dear friend help me out today, when I was kind of spiraling. What a lovey person!

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Winner’s circle- 5k second place, with a friend in third place! 

Oh well, push all you want- you’ll push me away for good.

An interesting quote to sum up how I am feeling:

The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.    

Here you are again. All messed up and no place to go.

Felt like a good weekend to quote Bright Lights Big City

Friday was pretty tame- a glass or two of wine, dinner (salmon cakes!) and some TV watching with Ian.

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I love this photo. Friday at the barn!

Saturday I got everything done- everything! A redemptive ride on good ol’ Oats (no lateral work, I did NOT want to poke the bear…) some fun pole work and called it good. A nice time was had by all.

I also got a good long run in on Saturday, in preparation for my work Xmas party that evening. That is where my title comes in…yeeeeesh. It started off great, a glass or two of Prosecco at a colleague’s house (yay!) and then we cabbed to the party. The food was great, company was scintillating, and the booze was definitely flowing. Too much. Too fast. I lost track of what I was drinking – for me, a sure sign of disaster- and enjoyed myself a touch too much.

We went from classy sparkling wine, to doing shots of tequila in the bathroom. Uh oh. I should have realized that things were going from a real high to a real low. My lovely husband drove all of us drunk girls home (safety first!!) and I crashed into my bed, only to jump out of it and puke super hard, repeatedly, at night. NO…

Ian even said I was scaring the dog, I was puking so hard. Oh man, it was definitely the tequila! Dammit.

My whole next day was a total freaking miserable write-off.

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Today at the barn. Oats and his best buddy! Just let me chew on your face a little…

I was so queasy and nauseous, going from my bed to the couch was like a sickening horror. I felt like puking for ages. I was sweating and dizzy. I went back to bed, feeling miserable and sorry for myself. I finally took a prescription anti-nauseant (Zofran) and it relieved the terrible, grinding nausea and I was able to eat some soup! Yay!!

I was still kind of sweating and feeling like my clenched stomach was going to give me trouble, so I decided that hungover running was a better bet than hungover riding, so gave up on riding on Sunday and went for a jog. It was…ok. My upper lip was sweating? I could literally smell the booze wafting out of my pores, so..yuck.

I spent most of the day on the couch or in bed. Took a walk with Ian and Gidget, had some dinner and watched a movie. Kind of a waste, but that’s life then eh?

We remember

It was our Remembrance Day, and we had Friday off to acknowledge it. So, we had a long weekend, which is pretty nice.

We packed it, but this time it wasn’t full of friends-events, it was just time for my husband and I to do our thing- hang out, go riding, go running, exploring, go for happy hour on Friday…

We did have a chance to celebrate my husband’s birthday with my parents on Saturday- his parents were going to join us but there was another crash on the Malahat and they got trapped at home! That is the second crash this month, and we are not even half-way through the month. Jesus. So, we missed them, too bad.

Oats was great this weekend, I ended up riding him five days in a row? WTF? Some were very short/relaxing rides. We were even able to get some video, courtesy of my long-suffering husband, hahah. Finally, some jump school clips!

See here.

I rode Sat/Sun as well, and royally messed up my knee on Sunday too. As it turns out, running three days in a row, and running up Mt. Work is a Very Bad Idea. Ouch…I went for a brief ‘shake out’ run on Sunday and it was certainly brief…At approx 3.71km, my kneecap shot off to the left and it was excruciating. I limped home, and got dressed for riding. Well that sure showed me….Jesus. Another relapse. SIGHHHHH.

Oh well, my knee only ached a bit at riding, and now I am focused on rehabbing it yet again. Why do I do this to myself????

Damn.

Otherwise, a great weekend with lots of good food, good happy hour, and even a silent moment of remembrance on the back of my horse, while we heard the distant sound of a bugle calling the Reveille.

Earthquake!

So we had an earthquake the other day just before midnight. I’d been having a miserable time trying to get to sleep, and suddenly the bed was shaking and all the dishes were rattling in the cupboards. I was freaked out!

Luckily it passed without any harm or damage, but I was really wigged out for the rest of the night, adding to my already sleepless time. I kept running disaster scenarios in my head…Thinking the upstairs neighbour’s bed was going to come crashing down on us, to full on post-apocalypse world where nothing is ever going to be the same again.

Thinking back, I was expecting the ‘other shoe to fall’ and waiting for another, bigger and worse, one. I was like, this is exactly how people in natural diaster movies feel! Out of control and panicked!

Also thinking back- I should stop drinking anything with caffeine in the evening. Yeeeesh, it makes my sleeplessness, paranoia, and anxiety 10000% worse.

And yesterday I also finished my course of Montelukast (Brand name Singulair), and I don’t think I will bother renewing my prescription. It doesn’t seem to really ‘do’ anything that OTC allergy meds can’t do, and it is very expensive and on top of that, I have to stack OTC allergy meds on top of taking Montelukast every day to function anyways. So…..what is the point?

I’m just going back to taking OTC Reactine every day instead.

My litmus test for allergy meds: do they minimize my allergies enough, or do I have to stack OTC allergy meds on top of them to function every day, like how I would normally?

If yes- they don’t work. So, I’m off it for now and going to see how things go. If I feel worse, I will go back to the doctor’s and pick up another prescription.

So far, Avamys (nasal spray) didn’t really work at all, I’d buy it, use it for a bit and still have to take Reactine, and then they spray would run out in weeks. Each one costs like $50 WITH insurance?!

Then I moved to Nasonex, and that was even worse…I had to take a nasal spray loading dose for 2 weeks before it was even effective, it never felt effective at all, and I’d run out before a month was over. And yes each one cost $65/month (like 2 weeks, at 2 doses/day every day…) WITH insurance. WTF?

And now I tried Montelukast. Eh….Can’t really tell. Will monitor carefully and see if I need to go back on it. Interestingly the side effects for it include suicidal ideation, depressive thoughts, anxiety and sleeplessness.

 

Animals- they’ll be the death of me!~

So this week Mr. Oats is off due to his snotty nose and cough, until he finishes his round of antibiotics – ask me how fun it is to crush up 100 pills…

Mr. Oats as envisioned by a six-year-old.

Mr. Oats as envisioned by a six-year-old.

Last week my dwarf bunny Buster scared the life out of me by accidentally getting his teeth stuck over the top bars of his cage. JESUS! How does that even happen? Well, we have a morning routine of giving treats while I check his food and water, and he was biting at the bars of his cage- wanted treats now and then bit the top bar and couldn’t get his teeth off them!

So, he was hanging from the top of his cage by his teeth! I shoved his teeth back with my thumbs until he got unhooked and fell down. He seemed relatively unhurt and was still interested in his treats, so that was ok, just scary. Until this week, when I was checking him over and he chipped one of his front teeth during that little escapade! aRGH.

Oh and let’s not forget Gidget, who has since been banished to stay in the bathroom during the day because she has since un-learned how to be toilet trained…ARGHHH again. And she looks like a wooly mammoth, since her grooming appointment last week got rescheduled (sadly, due to the owner of the salon’s death? All the groomers attended her funeral last week).

Man…I need a week off from the animal-drama!

A very sweaty Oats from a few weeks ago- working hard!

A very sweaty Oats from a few weeks ago- working hard!

BANG! A week of bad luck?

I got rear ended yesterday, not that hard but still hard enough to make it a scary, frightening event that left me in shock and crying at the barn.

I was on my way to watch my friend do a jump lesson on Mr. Oats (for fun, for me to watch him do more challenging work, a training ride for him) and that’s when I got nailed. I got a headache instantly, and the person who did it drove away?!!

I was so frazzled and scared and felt powerless. It only takes 1 incident like this to make you realize how fragile you really are and how little it takes to rock your comfortable life. Anyways, when I called the cops about it later, they said there was pretty much nothing I could do unless I got a license plate number, and I didn’t (see in shock, frazzled, shaken)…So yeah…

I have a bit of a headache today and feel stiff.

Everyday

Everyday

The lesson itself went really well, Oats was moving. He was a bit like WTF? And was breathing hard, with his little nostrils flaring out! He got worked, and hard. They went through a gymnastic after a short but very forward warmup, and the gymnastic went up to 3′! I have never ridden him that high, and watching it was funny- he is very economical with his jump, he jumps ‘just’ enough but NO higher!

Then they worked over a course that had some bugs- a runout due to a bulge (he can be very tricky with his bending, so not a surprise there) and 1 awkward jump due to striding (again not a surprise with Oats, these are all common things). It was very good to watch and I was very impressed at his pacing through one of the outside lines- they got 6 in a line that pretty much everyone was getting 7? Oats is a pony! haha.

Then the jumps went up to about 2’6” I believe and they really shone. Go pony go! It was great to see him step up to the plate and give his rider that much. Even when things got bumped a bit- she gave him his head, and he was like no sweat I got this! Even when he TOTALLY could have taken advantage and been a jerk. He didn’t even seem to think about it! He was totally locked-on to the jump, and seeking the next fence in the course.

It was good to see and makes me feel more confident in his abilities as a partner. Now, to get this pace thing figured out…

Ugh. Feeling physically fragile and stressed still today though. That car thing really shook me.