A few weeks ago we finally went to a show, in a month where despite my best efforts, EVERYTHING got cancelled on me. 😦
Games day with the horses? Cancelled, not enough entries.
Bachelorette party? Cancelled, bride got COVID.
Movie I wanted to go see? Left the theatres.
And so on…ARGH.
But this is the one thing that actually happened this month. And it went very well, both horses Donato and Oats were superstars and didn’t put a hoof wrong. My scores are not competitive anymore, and I am not entirely sure what to chalk that up to?
Not able to replicate the homework we do at home in the ring?
Me losing focus?
Whatever it is, it’s going on at every show we go to. SIGH. He is very well behaved but we just don’t have magic anymore. Regardless, it was a very nice day and super fun to get out there with our buds. We missed them so much over the years of injury + COVID that despite our lacklustre scoring, it’s just nice to be out, doing the things we love to do, you know?
This past weekend for a change in gears- we took part in a 2 day clinic with Darcy Henckel!
She was very friendly, agreeable and horsemanship-focused, something Oats and I really appreciated. It was a very focused weekend that reviewed how we approach each obstacle, and obstacle work in general, through a relaxed, calm and horse-forward approach.
Oats was a gem but I WAS prepared lol. I rode the absolute snot out of him on Friday, after not really wanting to ride on Friday (freaking tired man) but I knew I kind of had to, to prepare him to behave for the weekend. He was pretty lazy on Friday, so I was going to call it a day, until I lost his shit spooking and spinning violently at a pony that he sees every single day, soooooo I figured he had a LOT more to give. And boy, did he! We hand galloped for 35 minutes, and he STILL had energy to do another huge spook after that. Face palm.
I called it after his second spook and we cooled him out outdoors. He was so sweaty he was lathered white with sweat. Gee, thanks Oats… I gave him a calming paste the night before, and then Saturday came to the barn to longe the sillies out of him before our session in the AM. Meant a very early morning for me, but you know what? 100% worth it. He was very well behaved for both days, and I was NOT taking any chances of him being nuts or too silly.
He was calm, quiet and cantered nicely in a group. He approached the obstacles with focus and attentiveness, only really losing it at the gate on the second day when he spotted some horses unloading near the entrance of the arena and wanting to look at them instead. Can’t blame him for that!
I really liked how calm, quiet and attentive the trainer was. We weren’t pushed, nobody was, for anything that was too much. A good focused day was had by all 🙂 And I learned more about the obstacles- so many things to recall, ha. A lot of pitfalls you can fall into.
And how is old Oats? He’s doing great! We haven’t had many WE lessons- due to my race schedule and a few other scheduling conflicts, but we have been enjoying our dressage/multitasking lessons on Thursdays very much 🙂
And on Sunday I was sooooo tired from having friends over that I couldn’t stomach the idea of rigorous ride so we cruised around the block and then I met some friends for lunch (for me that means a gigantic milkshake from Politanos!) 100% a great idea. Get yourself over to Politanos and you will not regret it!!
Whew, meant to update this last week, when I actually ran this race, but you know…Life and such. I will admit that I wasn’t overly excited for it- I kind of wished it was the Cobble Hill 10k, which we missed due to Mexico (wah wah such a hardship eh? haha) but this one will do I guess!
Selfishly I also wanted a 10k to better prepare for the half this weekend, which I do not feel overly prepared for but anyways…
It’s at a very friendly 11:30am, the sun was shining until it wasn’t, and it was very balmy out. I love that. I was wearing shorts, in Feb. Whee! There were issues getting into the school- that also involved alarms going off- so we elected to jog to the start about 1km away and use the porta-potties there. Good call I think, because we then had just enough time to jog a bit, warm up, and then get into the start line!
This is a very popular race because it’s the flattest 8k in town and also gives out prize money, so it attracts an extremely fast and professional field- there was an Olympian in this one who won! I seeded myself in an ok spot, better than Hatley, and while there was some jockeying and jostling, not so much as Hatley. I did waste time doing juuust that, but also kind of ran my first few Km’s too fast. That currently scares me off, so I now have an ‘ignorance is bliss’ policy and do not check my watch. It did feel fast, and challenging.
I hung on to that pace for a bit, saw it dip by feel around the small hill at the turnaround, and then cranked it up (?) around km’s 6-7. I got passed a lot here, hahah. Oops! Oh well, I was still trying really hard. I really didn’t have much get-up-and-go to the finish, but I was generally pleased with my effort on the whole.
Ian finished mere seconds behind me, with little to no training, which is a feat in itself!!
We had pizza at the end, and I was able to pick up my Hatley Castle medal so that was awesome. No medals for me this time around, but I am happy with my race: 32:10 for a two minute PR in the 8k and good for 4th in my AG. A good race, good weather and some fun company and great snacks. What more could a girl ask for?! 🙂
Wow- two years since I last raced this series, and almost two since I raced- period! I did two little races this fall, to whet my appetite to get back out there 🙂 and I can tell you by this race, I was READY.
We missed two of the VIRA races- the first one was cancelled due to snow/ice, and we were in Mexico for the second (oh what a hardship eh??) so I was feeling eager for this one. I know Hatley is a tough course, kind of a heartbreaker for people hoping for a good time due to the rolling hills, steep hills, and gravel/trail sections but no matter we were racing again!
The weather was SO nice. Like, amazing. Too bad it’s absolutely miserable right now, lol I am dying it is so cold. Last week the sun was shining and it was around 10 deg? We didn’t need to dress warmly for Hatley, which is funny b/c I swear every photo I have from that race there is snow on the ground, or ice, or it’s hailing and we are frozen.
We started a bit late hilariously because the main gate was still locked, so they had to go get big snippers to cut the lock off!?!
So good thing it was so warm.
The start is very congested- I started fairly close up, but was still bouncing off folks for a good…1km. Ouch, that does hurt your time a bit. When you pass 1k and start heading to the first out-and-back hill, it thins out greatly. I was passing/getting passed a fair bit until kms 3-4, where I just got…passed, ha. I was running in a bit of a ‘reach’ pace I think, particularly for my inexperience in racing over the past two years (and no hills…and a serious injury…lol). But I kept at it! It felt pretty horrible but, a horrible I could maintain.
Something fun- this time I was ahead of Ian. So when we had two out-and-backs (km 2-3, and km 5-6) he waved to ME this time! 🙂 Now that’s a first!
I thought I was running pretty well through the trail section but I was definitely slowing down. The transition from the trail to the ridge, and then the loooooong downhill, was much longer than I recalled/wanted. I hit the downhill and immediately felt like I was one step away from face planting most spectacularly, yiiiikes! I am not used to running fast downhill and it was freaky.
Then it was roughly 1km to the finish, and I did…Not run super triumphantly, ha. I was straining, it was rough. BUT then there was the finish! 🙂
And I did it! Gun time was 34:13, and that makes a 2 minute personal best for me on this course. I was really happy with that, not shabby at all. I, of course, coughed my lungs out for the next three days…Racing is extremely hard on my lungs, quelle surprise!
Ian finished shortly after me, and we cruised up to get our snack bags and surprise! Sweet swag in it. An Endur hat AND I won a door prize- a super soft t-shirt 🙂 how awesome is that?!!!
A gorgeous day and a good race. Life is returning to normal (at least sometimes).
So I haven’t been writing here because things got crazy busy again at work, but also just totally insane here?
We had really heavy rains this weekend Sun- Mon, and it caused extreme devastation throughout the province. We didn’t get affected much (localized flooding near the stables, Saanich, Langford and shut down and destroyed parts of the Malahat) but other areas got absolutely slammed and are still trying to work their way out. It’s terrible.
The indoor naturally got flooded as well, but not as bad as it could have been, really.
So I couldn’t ride on Monday, but I went to graze and groom Oats, give him his meds. We cancelled our lesson, not really realizing how bad things were going to get?! Like, there’s no way our trainer could even get OVER the Malahat that day anyways?! Yikes.
Tuesday we attended a networking lecture at UVic and it was great! It was part of the alumni association’s events and we love supporting them- they are a steal of a deal and really engaging and interesting, plus getting parking, a drink, snacks and dessert PLUS a book about the talk is a win-win!!! Can you believe it?
Wed I was in a terrible mood, with a weird ear infection that’s starting to drive me insane. Still not great today and itchyyy.
Which brings us to today and I am hoping that I can maybe get gas? The lineups are totally crazy, with 100’s of cars lining up as people lose their goddamned minds about the impacts of the supply chain due to the flooding and COVID…fun times…it’s incredibly stressful and I do not like living in this time, at all. It’s like, what NEXT? Chriiiiiiiiist.
Otherwise, we had a really fun working equitation lesson on Sunday and that was like, before things absolute blew up in the province, ha.
I guess it’s like Jumanji here…Stay tuned for the next disaster??????
We took the horses up island this weekend for a big adventure- our first mountain trail class! I had signed up, oh three months ago? After my farrier mentioned to me that she was working with a trainer who had an arena full of the obstacles. It was SO FUN and there were a ton of obstacles to try- the arena was crammed with them! I loved it!
We took Oats and Summer, and our other friend borrowed a gorgeous Andalusian named ‘Lance’ to try in the clinic. Lance was extremely experienced at all the obstacles so she had a pretty fun and non-complicated day, ha!
Oats on the other hand…Was actually pretty good! We had one obstacle he could not figure out (a narrow bridge. He couldn’t figure out where to put his feet, like at all. So we let that one go and focused on the others) and he DID NOT want to drop down into the water, so I just went around and got in that way.
Still really fun! Oh and at lunch Oats took off from the trailer. Jerk!! He wanted to check things out.
Morning was unmounted and playing with the obstacles in-hand, which he was ok with but I could tell he wanted me to go over the obstacles first, rather than have him go through independently. After lunch we all hopped on and rode them, and then at the end we did a little course. Really great! 😉 And then after everyone was finished their course, we goofed off on the obstacles (I had a drink, White Claw of course) and I had it on top of the big tires! Hahahah.
It was so warm out and I got sunburned as heck. ARGH. Dumb, I thought I had reached far enough with my sunscreen- newsflash- I didn’t. Shoooooooot.
My funnest/best obstacles? So many! The tires, the big platform, the sunken bridge, the roller bridge, the slosh pad, the ‘car wash’ and the teeter-totters. Loved it!
A good weekend! Though I was right about Oats’ incredible energy being…Time limited. He had a few backing up moments in the indoor before my lesson, but then gave it up and wasn’t hot or spooky or anything. In fact, he got quite ‘blah’…Ha, so back to old sedate Oats I guess? I should have appreciated the energy more when I had it! Boo.
We worked on the limited jumps in the indoor, as most were moved to the outdoor, though I am not jumping in the outdoor currently because the footing is too deep/shifty, soooo not many jumps to choose from!
We made it work though with some circle exercises using the green box fillers, and Oats did it! He finally nailed his right lead on a CIRCLE instead of this awful swap thing. He wasn’t a ball of fire, sure, but he was steady and very nice in his efforts.
The course felt long, ha so I guess it really has been like 3 weeks since we had a jump lesson and worked on a course- on my own I generally school a few xrails and stuff but nothing like a full course. We did it twice and I called it at that, Oats was getting a bit tired since he suddenly didn’t have his power and energy anymore, ha.
On Sunday I met up with a friend and she tried Oats out for a half lease, and I’m happy to say I think it will be a good partnership! I’m glad to see that and I think they will have fun together 🙂 And then it basically rained…Blah. Hoping for some good weather/the weather to turnaround, it was SO COLD last week. Brrrrrr. Wearing sweaters and jackets again. In June?!! UGH.
I hate Mother’s Day. Hate it. I do not have a great relationship with my family for a variety of reasons, and also it just…Sucks. It is performative and angsty and I have little tolerance now for the demands ($$$$$) my mother likes to place on us for her birthday, M-Day, Xmas anyways…Just hate it.
So what do you do when you hate that day? Make it better, and make it your own 🙂
We had our own fun day and it did help relieve some of that existential pressure I felt seeing everyone with happier families and sincerity that I do not have. Ian came with me to the barn and helped me do a jump school! I haven’t done one on my own yet since he has recovered from his injury, so it felt pretty big to me, yay! Plus we have to miss our regularly scheduled Tuesday lesson because Oats has a dentist appointment, so I wanted to do a little something on our spare time, to keep sharp.
Oats was a star, a good boy and the bestest pony. Nothing fancy, just hopping over a few fences and calling it a day. Nothing better, I think!
We then took our dog out for a walk to the water, and then swung by Moon Under Water brewery for a beer on the patio. I was FREEZING. Ha. Not patio weather here, basically ever?
We then headed home and had lunch and then went to play some kick-around soccer at the park. We both failed miserably at ball juggling hahaha and it got frustrating so we gave it up and played goalie instead. My husband said he admires the fact that I am not afraid to hammer the ball home from 1 ft away…Not really intentional, I swear it!
It’s a nice way to make what is traditionally a miserable, pressure/stressful day for me even better. Plus it makes you feel happier going into the (extremely busy) work week!
The weather here has been pretty lousy- gale force winds, rainy/drizzly (not super rainy, just cold and grey) and very, very cold for May. Like a high of 12 degrees with insane wind every day. Yay… I am FREEZING in May. Coldest spring yet? Maybe??
But despite that, I had a nice time this weekend, and I wasn’t sure that I would. I have been struggling with the boring, endless stuck at home going nowhere fast cycle with no friends and boy it was really grating on me. I am still quite injured with my two leg stress fractures and it was just EATING at me.
This weekend went great!
I was out at the barn, didn’t have a good ride on Oats on Saturday and it was my fault- it was very chilly and windy and I felt quite on edge. I quit when we got a nice relaxed trot going (Sat is only w/t) and did a very long walk coolout. After our ride, the younger rider at the barn was taking his mini horse out for a cart ride but needed someone to come, and I didn’t have anything else going on so I went! It was really fun 🙂 and great to do something new eh?
We did that, and then I zipped out to Greenhawk to buy Quest (vet is coming on Tuesday for dentist/shots/wormer) and I could get a good deal there rather than by the vet. I also had an ulterior motive- I wanted to stop by the cafe Politano, b/c the had megashakes and I HAD to try it!
So I did!
I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t have any Reese’s Pieces, which was a bummer, but the shake itself was very tasty and boy, was I full afterwards 😉
So all in all, a decent Saturday for a pretty grey, blah month/year.