Everything is starting to make sense

Had a BUSY weekend. But a good one!

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So, what did I, Oats, Ian and Gidget get up to?

Saturday I had rescheduled my lesson for this week so I rode two jump lessons last week instead- Thur/Sat. Saturday I was out in the field for my ‘brave girl’ jump lessons! And it went really well- though most certainly not perfect, ha.

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Oats was on fire! He was charging off and it surprised the heck out of me. Who replaced my lazy as sin pony with Mr. Hot Pants? Wow. We had to work through some stuff (a few silly stops when I pulled my hands up before the jump, one attempt through the barrel jump that was basically a runout-stop-climb over it, I think he was feeling tired by that point, and one jump we crashed straight through in a -go-no-stop-no-go disagreement…Whoops! We circled around and jumped it fine the next time, so no hard feelings on that one.

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We jumped a lot, ha. It was quite a warm day, so my husband and I then headed straight to Thetis Lake for some good trail running (9km slow) and then we picked up our swimsuits, got changed and went swimming in the lake! How perfect is that?

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In the evening, we went to see a film- The Big Sick and it was pretty good actually.

Sunday I was on the go again- I volunteered as a flagger at the polo tournament (Victoria’s Lt Governor Cup) and it was a scorching day in the sun! I wanted to ride in the slow chukkar but didn’t get added to the tournament, so spent the day volunteering instead. Bummer! But oh well, there will be plenty of opportunities to play coming up.

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It was VERY exciting, and I saw some really crazy plays- full bore gallop ride-offs, some neat backhand goals and some really intense gallop leads. WOW!

Then I hopped back in my car and went to ride Oats (dressage in the indoor, I was feeling completely fried by the sun. Ouch!! Even the next day my face felt tight and hot.). Silly me, too much sun exposure and no hat. I know better than that!

All in all, a good and busy weekend. šŸ™‚

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What am I becoming?

Ah, I last left this blog on a Thursday and haven’t blogged in…Over a week.

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Sometimes the evacuees are bunnies!

Why? Not vacation, I can tell you!

I was deployed on the Friday to help with emergency communications in Prince George, a service I volunteered for from work. I received the call at 11am on Friday, and was on a 2:45pm flight to PG. (Sort of, it turned into a big debacle and we flew to PG, couldn’t land, flew back to Vancouver, caught the next flight back to PG, and ended up there at 10pm).

We worked until 1am that night. Hitting the ground running in a way, eh?

It was a challenging, life-changing and good experience. But it was exhausting, emotionally difficult, and a ton of work.

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At least I had the chance to have some great times with friends when I got back!

I got back home on Friday, and had great expectations for going riding when I got home. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I crawled into bed, feeling like I got hit with a ton of bricks. So exhausted. I didn’t get up until 4pm?! Riding happened on Saturday instead. Ha.

Oats…isn’t being super great. He’s pretty fine most times, and then other times has this massive demon-spook that is just INSANE. He has also been spooking at things that don’t normally bother him, like birds, squirrels, etc.??? He had a few big freakouts in the field, which is typically his happy place? He spooked so hard and flew backwards so violently that I pulled a muscle in my hip trying to stay on (I did..). Jesus.

At least I had a fairly decent dressage lesson last night, but it started off rough and I was in an absolutely terrible mood. I wanted to cry for most of it, until it smoothed out and he relaxed and gave up the resistance.

I am having an increasingly hard time breathing while I am running- so much so that I am struggling to breathe running a shorter distance (5k)?? It makes me feel panicky and trapped, like I am stuck in my own body and it’s betraying me somehow. Ugh, I hate it! I’m fine normally, it’s just when I am doing my long-distance running…And I am an experienced runner, so WTF? My lungs were checked relatively recently and they were fine, more than fine actually- superhuman. So …yeah. I now have an appointment with my doctor to see if I have a heart murmur or something that is causing this newfound breathing struggle.

I don’t want to collapse.

Anndd….I came back to work to find a lot of my dear friends and longtime colleagues got let go on Monday.

Lovely.

 

Strengths & Weaknesses: Horse edition

Appy Show July

And this is all about weaknesses:

So, I’m including a photo here that I think neatly displays one of my major faults: Busy, erratic hands that fly up, and I yank on the inside rein.

Now, I actually like the photo (the composition is lovely! Good action shot!) But DAMN, does it ever show what is going wrong.

I have problems in the dressage ring with this behaviour- oh, he’s not turning in a circle at the canter fast enough?Yank upwards! BANG! A huge buck by Oats and off I go. SHIT!

And unfortunately I got too busy with my hands this weekend. It was a really nice weekend, hot, sunny, lazy…And I got cranky and annoyed with Oats. Unreasonably so..

I guess I was hot, cranky and not feeling it. Oats, in turn, was not HAVING it. So, we rode along for awhile getting on each other’s last nerve. Ha.

I was too busy with my hands- and remember last week I wasn’t keeping his attention with my hands? Well this time, it was too much! I can’t win!

He was fussy, spooky and being ridiculous at the end of the ring. I was being annoyed, pully and grabby.

It was definitely not a win, haha.

So, yesterday I helped out at the barn clean-up day, wore a tanktop and athletic shorts to clear blackberries (ask me again what a bright idea that was) using an electric hedge trimmer. It was actually tough work! My back hurts today!

But, after the work, we had a nice potluck and I did a bit more blackberry trimming, and then saddled up Oats and went for a fun ride in the field, wearing my shorts. It was a quick, fun, and productive ride.

Gone was the pissy-grabby-sucking back BAG of a ride we had on Sunday. We cruised in the field, he was a bit spooky, but we got some really nice forward trot/canter work done. YEAH!

Some days, I guess, you need to toss it up and tool around in the field for 20 minutes…

Lesson tonight with Karen Brain!

(Photo courtesy of the talented Anne-Marie Sorvin)

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Red Devil #2: Horse show edition

Red Devil #2: Horse show edition

Looks nice eh? Well, looks can be deceiving.

Oats captured in a moment of nice behaviour- otherwise, I was ready to string him up high! We entered a small ‘ride a test’ day this past Sunday, and we got to the showgrounds and he felt edgy, irritated and on my last nerves.

I longed him, and with help from my husband, tacked him up, with Oats being a twit the whole time.

We had an opportunity to warm up in the arena, and he felt kind of strange. His trot was very short, choppy and he was struggling to keep his right lead, breaking frequently. That was a far cry from our great rides ALL winter (yeah I even had a lesson on Sat the felt SO GOOD, like yeah, I’m rocking this dressage stuff!!)….Not so much.

We rode our first test and he tripped up in the canter circle to the right again, and righted himself from the break with a small buck (yeah I cursed). The judge came out and was pretty good, learned some nice things from her.

Went back out and started the test, and again when we got to the canter circle to the right, BOOM! He bucked me right off, no chance of sticking that one. FUCK.

I got up, volunteers grabbed Oats, who was on edge, and I got dusted off. Felt fine, and before I could start crying or something, got hopped back up and ready to go. Oats was a bit balky and I could tell he was looking for a ‘reason’ ie- getting light up in front near the gate, threatening a rear.

We finished the test sort of, and came out.

I didn’t cry or anything…I just felt like, ahh not again!

Was back in the ring before I knew it for our second test. I was nervous as all hell, and was clutchy, anxious and pissed off. We actually went off course because I was so focused on the upcoming canter circle. Yeah, wonderful. Off-course with a reader?? WTF

It came up, I felt him start to threaten a buck, and I shifted my weight and averted it. It was still not pretty, and the photos are kind of defensive and hunchy (well cut me some slack here, he did just buck me off like 10 mins before). So we got it done and it was not pretty.

I got off, on my own steam this time, and kind of wanted to laugh or cry. Or slap Oats around. A little bit of everything, really.

I mean, MANNNN….Things were going so nicely at home, and then BLAM! Slap in the face at the show.

That’s horses I guess….The photos do look really nice, the girls from the barn caught some really cool shots. So, there’s that I guess. That and my little shithead horse was good to trailer and settled down on the ground after my first ride. Small victories? It was our first outing of the season…