Hopoxia!!! 2017 Edition

This weekend was BUSY with a capital ‘B’ but hey, I knew that about June 2017 and I am totally loving it!!

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Saturday, I knew I was on a tight(er) timeline- I was trying to fit in a run (long), a ride & pack and clean up horse for the dressage show on Sunday, and a walk to Phillips Brewery for their Hopoxia beer fest!

I started with the run- 18km. It was absolutely horrible. I had terrible asthma, making my chest/lungs constrict in a super frightening and unpleasant way. I was gasping and clutching my chest. Hm, maybe I should have used my puffer, or at least carried it with me…It’s becoming very clear that I have either allergy-induced or exercise-induced asthma (or both!!) and it’s pretty nightmarish to try and run with it.

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Anyways, that was frighting and sucky and I hated it, but I did it. I did have to listen to my body and walk when I started gasping for breath, so be it. I did it! And went home to a great breakfast courtesy of my great husband, and then it was off to ride & pack up my stuff and give Oats a bath!

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I tried to go as quick as I could, and zipped home (note- I only showered on Sunday, after allllll of my events were over. Good choice or bad choice?? ha).

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We walked to Hopoxia, and I had a fab time there! We tried so many awesome beers, chatted with a friend/colleague and I really enjoyed the chance to try some super cool and unique flavours- standouts include a bunch of really sour ‘sours’, and the ‘A day off your life’ beer that was like 11.5%!?!!

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A great time was had by all 🙂

Know where you stand: Weekend recap!

This weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a performance a friend was in- Reefer Madness: The Musical! And it was SOOO funny! I loved it! She was a great performer, and the musical was hilarious. Of note- the orgy scene was so over the top, I loved it! (and saw a lot more male butts than I thought I would ever see, hahahaha).

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So, kudos the the team at Passion and Performance together with Working Class Theatre. Standout job, and really entertaining. It even sort of took my mind off how my parents are blatantly not accepting of my proud child-free by choice status, and in fact, stewing in their own juices and demanding apologies from me because of something I said a few WEEKS ago. In a fairly non-consequential, casual environment.

Nope, not happening. I was very accommodating and understanding, up until a point. And they reached that point.

So, I’ve moved on to request no-contact and I will not be entertaining any family members anymore.

I feel pretty good about it, and will be reviewing the incident and how to proceed with my awesome equine counselor tonight. I feel good about having a game plan to protect myself, and my emotions/feelings.

In other news, riding was great this weekend, and Oats worked really hard for me! I did run and both runs were…universally terrible. The wind was so insane on Sunday I swear it was the longest run ever, getting blasted backwards for oh, 5km? Yeeeeesh it was nasty. I did hills on Saturday and they sucked too. The only redeeming thing about my runs is that I did them?

Ha. Makes me extra glad I didn’t do the Marathon Shuffle!

 

 

Summer of high hopes

Weekend update, and as typical of my weekends- I did a LOT~ And really enjoyed myself for the most part.

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Great day out with the girls!

Friday night was a quiet one in, I had a residual bitter-hangover from the week and it was freezing. I felt antisocial and kind of isolated. It was fine though, because I had a lot to look forward to- Saturday my in-laws came for a visit and we went for lunch after I was out riding  Oats. Oats was great, we had a lovely little ride (it was freezing out), and my lunch was good- mac’n’ cheese at The Bent Mast. It was a very chilly walk out though!

Later in the afternoon we had a bunch of errands to run (Old Navy, groceries, hardware store), and I invited a girlfriend over for wine in the evening. We caught up for hours! I missed her so much, I was really happy to share time with her. I truly love visiting with my buddies, and I feel so much happier when I can. 🙂

Wine until 11am sounds like a great idea, until…The alarm goes off at 7:30 am and we were up and out for our race at 9am. It was FREEZING. I felt horrible – not hungover at all, but just tired and frozen, and stiff.

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Good food, good cider and great company.

My race recap is coming tomorrow, but let’s just say it was an extremely disappointing race.

But I did get the chance to see some more buddies at the race and they enjoyed their races, so whoop! Way to go! Afterwards I zipped home, showered at light speed, and put on my nicer clothes because we were off to Sea Cider for their annual Wassail party! I love it out there, it’s a great opportunity to try some ciders, sample some great snacks and just chill out and talk. I had a lovely time with my friends and time just flew by. The sample tix are $2/ea, and you can have 1 cider sample with 1 ticket, and many of the food varieties are 1/ea, some of the bigger options are 2/ea but I didn’t end up having those. So I had a great chance to try veggie curry, chicken curry, puff pastry with goat cheese X2, date-bread sticky pudding,  YUM!

We got back to the barn, and I changed clothes again and rode Oats. I realized I was very tired so our ride was quite short, but decent enough. Got home around 4-ish and was bone tired and chilled thoroughly. It was NOT warm out yesterday or the whole weekend.

That is about to change though- warming starting today! I already feel more hopeful. That being said, I hope this week doesn’t bash my good spirits into the ground…It might.

A continuation of last week?

Last week was the grouchiest week ever. But, as it turns out, I did get my vet appointment on Friday and the results weren’t all bad. The vet says Oats is moving great and he would not drug him at all, so we moved on to check the saddle.

Oats shoulders were quite sore- enough that the vet suggested the saddle be re-fit as Oats now has a bit of a swayback and his shape has changed enough for the saddle to slide onto his shoulders more now and that might be why Oats is now stopping at jumps. It’s always kind of a guessing game with horses, unfortunately.

He did adjust Oats’s withers and tell me not to ride in my saddle until the saddle gets re-fit. Sooo…I have a call in to the saddle fitter, with no scheduled visit yet. ARGH.

In the meantime, I longed Oats on Saturday, gave him Sunday off, and rode bareback yesterday–which was actually pretty fun but a real tough workout for me, to not slide off him! I am borrowing my trainer’s saddle to try tonight, so fingers crossed I can at least get my lessons in this week.

And me? I hurt my back on the weekend (might have something to do with running 22km, *cough* *cough*) and it felt horrible on Monday. Bad enough I did something about it…went to a physiotherapy appointment. I HATED it. It was soooo long and excruciating. My eyes were tearing up I was in so much effing pain. Also I was starving and my stomach was grumbling in protest. I got home after that at 5:30! It was time to go to the barn!

Yeeeeeesh.

If it’s not my car, it’s my rabbit, it’s my horse, it’s my back, oh and work. Cut me some slack, life!!!!!!

 

We learn nothing.

Got this book back from my in-laws and it made me laugh. Oh Tim Kreider, you are the best!

So do we learn?

Hard to say. I emailed my equine wellness counselor in a big hissy fit last week. Coming off a really bad 7 days, a record-breaking bout of falling off, and another trainwreck of a jump lesson, I was spiraling and it was BAD BAD BAD.

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Oats and his new obsession- Corona.

I took some time off from riding Oats (rode Fri and he was good! We worked on some dressage stuff, it was a very intense and thorough ride, but I felt like we got a lot of really solid work done), Sat-Sun I went  camping and Oats went on a trail ride with my friends without me, haha.

Monday I arranged the session. I was building already when we met, in a big huff, upset and convinced I was flying backwards with Oats. I could barely describe the problem without tears. It was rough.

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Best buddies.

She laughed and assured me that this is a stage, and like any stage, coming to me at a point in time when I can handle it. I just need to work through it. I described my bad jumping efforts and she said a year ago, Oats made all the decisions. Now, you’re making a lot more of the decisions- you no longer have to convince him. Except, when you make the decisions for him, you can’t abandon him when you are unsure. It’s like jumping out of the car on the highway, and you leave the car suddenly driving itself.

Interesting!

So, there is still a fear/panic element when I approach a jump and I feel ‘blank’ about where the takeoff is. I’m like, what do I do? My legs come off, my mind ‘goes somewhere’ and boom! Oats slams on the brakes.

He needs me to ‘be there’ the whole way, not just when I’m 100% confident about the takeoff spot.

You get this through focus, and let me tell you: that laser-like intensity is EXHAUSTING. We worked on free-longing Oats in the round pen, getting him to come in and go out just through my watching/observing and directing him with my body language and look. It worked, too! Oats responded really nicely.

This lack of focus and ‘me leaving my body’ was a big issue last year. I stopped showing because of it–I couldn’t make myself go in the ring without disassociating. So, obviously this is not a new issue for me, but it’s one that I can come back to and begin to manage appropriately.

So we worked on the round pen to build my focus  (mine more so than Oats’) and then worked on an emotional freedom technique that made me laugh out loud. It works apparently, so I will start doing it once a day this week.

I then rode Oats outdoors and he was freaking out about the back corner (we have a bad history there, and it got cleaned up so GASP it looked different~) but you know what? It’s fine, we can manage. And we did. I eventually got him going around, and then we cantered over poles and then I got brave and jumped a jump! Whoop! He was great, super forward and interested the whole ride- a little spooky/jittery, but very forward.

So, yeah. Ups and downs. I am trying to keep calm and progress.

 

Weekend Wrap-up: The Great Detachment?

Had a nice weekend, actually. Nothing much got done, but nothing much went wrong either, so I’m gonna say it’s a win!

Weather was good, times were fine with Oats. My husband and I went for a short jog Friday night before dinner, which was ok, but I have trouble really getting in the ‘groove’ per se on runs around 5k.

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A spunkier Oats on the weekend. Photo courtesy of Hannah R.

Saturday I hauled myself out to the barn, and galloped Oats over some fences! (I’m starting to see a theme for the outdoor ring= jumping only…) and it was FUN! I headed home and changed into my run clothes, and jogged out to the ocean and back for a fairly reasonable 12k.

We went to go see a pretty good movie, ‘the Green Room’ Saturday night. I liked it, a tough, gritty and extremely violent flick. Well done in a very spare, tight and concise style. Nothing wasted with that movie.

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We don’t have these crazy things anymore, too bad!

Sunday I was up and at the barn, and Oats was being a total prick. He was soooo up, and neighing frantically- a new horse came to the barn and his routine was being disrupted!! He rode ok, we galloped over some small fences again, and then I worked on some flatwork. I quickly learned that jumping= yay! Flatwork in the outdoor arena= sucks! Yikes, his balance was off, he was heavy on the forehand, dragging me down a bit, and breaking into trot (due to the balance issue). UGH. This again…

Well, something to work on I suppose. The jumping is just so much more fun!

It was HOT, well for us, here? Like 23 deg!? We were both soo sweaty by the end! I hosed him off, and he did his jerk move of trying to run out of the cross-ties…Lovely. I can’t believe he was doing that again. Jeesh.

After finishing up at the barn, I met my husband to check out an open house (liked it, but for the third attempt to put an offer in that will probably go nowhere, I’m not holding my freaking breath…) and then we drove to the beach for some sand time!

It was really nice, but the wind was super chilly. Husband still got sunburned though, whoops! Later at home we put back on the runners and did 5k worth of hills- 4 hills I run twice, for a total of 8 tries. It was pretty hot…and I recovered by drinking a beer when I got home. Ha..

So, a good but nonsignificant weekend. That’s ok though!

Don’t make me read your mind: Weekend recap!

Man, I can’t believe it’s Monday already. I am in serious need of a longer weekend. 2 days off is just not cutting it anymore…

I had a fairly nice weekend, nothing too amazing happened but I enjoyed it nonetheless (just need more of it!). Ran a brief 5k on Friday in the rain to test how my new running shoes performed on wet surfaces- verdict: still slippery. Went out for drinks with a friend, and really enjoyed my cocktails!

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Saturday I got up and went riding first thing, and then after lunch and a bit of hanging around, drove out to the Galloping Goose and ran 15k. It went okay, I felt fine during it but started to get a bit antsy near the middle-to-end. Weather was nice, better than the washing machine I ran in on Friday!

Sunday, rode again and this time, rode indoors. On Saturday, I could definitely feel that tense-anxiety thing happening in the outdoors with Oats. He was behaving fine, but I was looking  out for trouble- and that isn’t a great combo for him. I need to not have these battles again. So, for my ride on Sunday I was very well aware that this was brewing within me.

I have NO desire to bring back my anxieties of the outdoor arena, and I know a very cold, very blustery and rainy day isn’t the right time to test myself or him. Indoors it is!

And I’m glad I went indoors, he was high as a kite! We went straight into very active trotting, to a big canter, to lots of canter, to still cantering, to keeping cantering, to my legs are so tired they are going to fall off cantering! The whole ride Oats was snorty and very active. He just wanted to go-go-go-go.

I can count the number of times Oats has this much energy on one hand- like, twice a year. I was like, ahhh this would have been a great day to jump. Oh well, it was a very strenuous and sweaty ride. I was freezing after though, so chilled. Right to the bone!

I grazed Oats for a bit and then zipped off home, to have lunch and then get changed to run 5k of hills- I do a specific pattern in my neighbourhood of 4 hills, twice. By the fourth hill, I head up for the 5th time and wow…Does it ever drag!

My legs were feeling a little beat up, but not too bad considering how terrible they feel if I try to do this on a weekday, after work. 100X harder. My legs feel like stone, and I am dragging them along. It’s just too hard after a workday.

And then I bought some interesting items at Winners- peanut butter flour (Tru-nut with cocoa) and some pretty decent Turkish Delight. I LOVE the peanut butter flour. SO good.