This past weekend was another long weekend for me! Yay! It was quite busy as per usual with a special highlight- my husband and I marched with Island Health in the annual Pride Parade! We had an absolute blast, it was so fun 🙂
The floats were awesome, and the ‘octopus’ balloons were just amazing. We marched to the park, and then enjoyed some of the vendors/swag booths set up at the park. The swag was the best I have ever seen- mini bottles of sunscreen, sunglasses, face paint, headphones, watermelon and cupcakes (!!) and so much CANDY!
We brought Gidget along to enjoy the festivities and she kind of hated them, ha. She was afraid of the balloon bears as they were kind of popping and squeaking…
And there were puppies corralled by the SPCA. Poor little guys, they were soooo tired. Adorable! My husband and I then went home and I went riding (in the field, whoop!) and he went out and we met later to enjoy some live music and drinks as Pride wrapped up. We had a lovely time and the bands were awesome. Bonus- we came late to the beer garden, and got some free tix by some partiers that had partied a ‘touch’ too hard… 😉
A fun weekend all around and I will definitely do Pride again!
Ah what an awesome long weekend. I started it by having a great jump lesson on Thursday- Oats was slow and sticky, but we worked through it and ended up having a very successful ride!
Friday we went and I did a super looong run around Elk/Beaver Lake. Hours! Certainly taught me the importance of fueling appropriately yikes. A good day though all around.
Saturday I got up early-ish for a dressage lesson with Oats with my normal jump trainer. It was very interesting and showed to us a few holes in Oats’ education, namely encountering some resistance through transitions. Hm….
And then we were up Island and off to the farm! We had a HUGE great turkey dinner at the farm, and enjoyed some games, hot-tubbing and hiking.
Sunday we were back home and I had another dressage lesson, this time with my regular dressage trainer. More insight- Oats moves crooked at the canter, and it’s because, gasp, I am HELPING HIM be crooked. Wha? It was a strangely difficult ride!
Monday I was back at the barn! Did a fairly casual ride on Oats because as it turns out, I was tired, haha. My allergies have been out.of.control these days and man, they are sooo horrible. I came home after some unsuccessful swimsuit shopping (styles are SO UGLY right now. No WAY am I wearing a high-waisted granny panty swimsuit) and made myself some sangria and sat on the deck to enjoy some sunshine.
With me was Gidget and Tucker, who do not get along. At all. HA.
A great long weekend and much-needed.
Kind of a busy weekend, but more in terms of renos…We finally (with my father in law’s guidence and hands-on work) did the flooring in our spare bedroom. A year in the making! ha!
Throwback to last Sunday- 4th place AG! Photo by Ken D’Ell.
It looks great but yeah, even doing flooring in 1 bedroom is a ton of work. Friday we dismantled the bedroom/moved everything out of it, Saturday my husband ripped up the old carpet and swept up the disintegrating carpet pad (yuck) and pulled out the staples.
Sunday my father in law came and they ripped up the baseboards, and laid the new flooring. It is a BIG job and took them close to ..9 hours? I of course did my part by disappearing for most of the day 😉
But in all fairness, I helped move stuff, toss out old carpet and then get Gidget out of the house because she freaks out when we work on the house. I also brought lunch, ha. We also went to go see the new movie ‘The Shape of Water’ in theatres now. It was really good!
So, yeah busy but I still managed to ride Oats (on Saturday we worked over x-rails and I jumped with one hand! FUN to practice!) and on Sunday I worked on centrelines (boooooring but important, very quiet).
Ran both days and the weather was HORRENDOUS. So what would you prefer: A) Running a longer distance (lets’s say 10-15k) in wind gusting up to 90 km/hr? I almost got knocked over by the wind, and lost my balance a few times/felt like I was physically running backwards…
Or Option B) Run hills in the pouring rain, raining so hard you have to wring out your socks after? Cuz that’s that my Sunday was like! YAY…. Not. Oh well at least I had the time and opportunity to do both I guess?
And it is pouring so hard today. Bring on the Ark!
Or maybe I should say ‘Oats is not cut out for this dressage nonsense?’?
Me dealing with nonsense. Ha.
Anyways, I approached my regular semi-private with a bit of trepidation. My legs were so tired (from the race, natch!) and I was feeling draggy and blah. My SAD lamp isn’t working yet or something something..Not sure.
I figured it was going to be a challenge, and Oats did not disappoint. It WAS! We were working on (after a warm up) getting the horses to raise their shoulders up, head up but still with mild throatlatch bending with an end goal of having the horses moving uphill, rather than diving downhill. Or, ‘dumpster-diving’ as Karen so colloquially puts it!
Oats as it turns out is good at dumpster diving. We took this work over a pole, on a circle and on a straight line. It was…hard. We had a few flying leaps, and a few instances where Oats TOLD me to take a flying leap. HA.
In the canter I used my crop to ‘encourage’ Oats to move forward and he responded with a big buck! I sat it and we continued. We went on the circle again and he lagged- crop time! I applied it and BUCK! Another buck, haha.
Now, I was able to sit the bucks pretty easily because he wasn’t actively trying to get me off. Those bucks, no freaking way and he has gotten me off a few times bucking. This time, he was just irritated and trying to find a way to ‘loosen the load’ of me sitting on his back via a buck. It didn’t work, I stayed on and kept asking.
He figured it out but wasn’t super pleased about the work.
Oh well, a step in the progression of dressage for us. He did have some lovely stretch work at the end of the ride 🙂
OH man oh man. This week cannot end fast enough.
I did have a jump lesson before my hiatus for holidays, and it went..Ok. I felt weirdly anxious, which I am going to chalk up to the pressure cooker that work has been all week. I just couldn’t shake it.
My jumping went ok, Oats had a very uncharacteristic slam on the brakes to a small oxer even from a PERFECT distance?! WTF? So, yeah odd. We re-approached and he was fine, and jumped it lovely each time after that, but still. Even during our course he had his ‘stop-hesitate-jump’ through a two stride that just seemed not great. Admittedly, I was having a lot of trouble getting straight to the two-stride, but still…
I wanted to ride the course through three times but the way I was feeling? Nah, not productive. So I rode it through twice, and called it at that.
It was ok, but I couldn’t shake the weird anxiety. UGH. Also I am thinking that I should look into some more preventative medicine for old Oats. He is getting up to 17, and not a spring chicken anymore.
I can do this. A few more hours. I can do this.
Had a semi-private dressage lesson last night, and after taking two weeks off from our lessons (but definitely not from riding) it went pretty well! We worked on developing a collected canter via lateral work, specifically leg-yielding off the wall at the trot and then trying to hold it through the canter.
Oats gets a haircut…And it has already grown out. WTF?!!!
Oats did NOT find it easy and showed this through two ways- breaking into trot from the canter, or giving me a big flying lead change! Haha
I was very pleased with his work and his attention span. He didn’t really have any big hissy-fits, which is unusual as he kind of gets worked up with this sort of disciplined lesson. He got very sweaty, despite the fact that he IS clipped. He grew a really thick coat this year, more so than previous years, and sadly the clip is not lasting…Gah.
His attitude has been very good, he almost wins for ‘most improved horse’ in that region. I know, crazy eh? Our short leg-yields were really good (for us, ha) and I was feeling very ‘flowy’ and ‘smooth’ which can be a bit of a rarity for us.
He gets a day off today, and a day off for me too before our jump lesson on Thursday.
Back to the indoor doesn’t have to be boring or draggy- in fact, it’s quickly becoming an opportunity to sharpen/refine our skills. Of particular importance, my bad habits of letting Oats motorbike around turns when we are jumping and kind of just ‘give up’. No longer!! This time I am GOING to fix that problem (five years in the making, but who’s counting?!).
But yes, we worked on a particularly challenging course last night. Jump height-wise…Nothing impressive. But, we had a circle jump (hard for us), a skinny, some small barrels, a two-stride, and straightness!! to work on.
And it wasn’t easy, or very neat. But, we did improve throughout the ride, which is kind of what I’m going for. Things I am learning and hoping to work on this winter:
- Fixing my corners, no more motorbiking/forgetting to ride/sitting up!
- No pulling his head to the left over the jump!
- No nagging with my leg. Let him relax, then GO for the jump, then relax.
- Leg stays still.
- Upper body stays still. Elbows are in shoulders are up.
- Hands release, shoulders don’t release.
- Adjustability in the canter.
- No sitting back when I don’t see a distance and pulling up with my hands. Go with the flow.
- Both reins used, with contact. This is a tough one for me, as I tend to want to only use one rein with the other flopping uselessly. I get afraid that too much contact will slow him down!
Sooo yeah, lots to work on. But, I did quite enjoy my ride 🙂