Sunday, January 30, 2011


People are soooo gross!  I hate being around other people when they're eating, it's so nasty, the sound literally drives me crazy! And today, I'm a bit jealous because I can't eat anything that requires chewing. Hooray for the soup, pudding, and ice cream diet. Damn wisdom teeth.

But I'm hoping to maybe run on the treadmill at home and do some ab stuff. I wish I could go see Tommy tomorrow too instead of having to wait til Thursday. I'm also so horribly unexcited for Tuesday...and Wednesday. Tuesday is the first day of second semester, Psychology, Math, Lunch, English and then I can go home. But still...I don't know, I'm so not looking forward to it. I wish I'd had math first semester, just in case something went wrong, I could have retaken it. Having said that, I really have to work my ass off, which is easier said then done because I'm horrible at studying and love to procrastinate. Plus math is hard to study, ahh so many excuses.
Then Wednesday, we get our report cards for first semester. Again, not pleased, I'm so nervous for social. I don't think I didn't pass, but I'm just worried if it's dropped or something. I'm sure I at least scored the average 60 on the written, but hoping to hit my typical 75, also hoping to have got at least my typical 96% on the multiple choice part. There's probably nothing to worry about, but we'll see. As much as I love social and wouldn't mind taking another social I don't want to repeat it. I just think there should be a Social 31 for nerds like me that would love to keep studying it.

Thank god we have a family trip to a resort in the Rockies in a couple weeks.

....I miss my horse.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tommy, Uni, and Work

Been slacking on the blog.

Saturday: So Tommy got his teeth done Friday afternoon, and apparently they were kind of nasty. Which is actually a surprise, he had them done less than a year ago. (I don't actually know how often they should be done, but based on what my coach said, it's an annual thing?). He did really well in the arena though, but at the canter he was doing this weird puffing breathing. It happened last year too, but then he stopped and we thought he was just getting in better shape. So I'm not to sure why he was breathing that weird, but I was a bit worried so that was the end of the ride. Before that, we worked on our trotting transitions, he's got a good working and collected/sitting trot, but we need to work on our extended trot. Instead of keeping a nice rhythm, it gets really quick. Lots of figure eights, some trot poles and practice halting straight.

Monday: Since it's exam break I got to go see Tom during the day. Thank god for no crazy breathing today! More figure eights, this time we tried them at the canter and using the hole arena, didn't go to well, so need to work on those. But the small ones at the trot were good. Did more work on the trot and practiced some turns on the forehand, just for something different. There's dressage letters stapled to the walls of the arena, so at each one we changed gait. Walk-trot-canter-trot-walk, but we only did that for a couple laps because he gets annoyed if we do it for to long. He had some trouble with the right lead by dropping it and not wanting to pick it up. He kept trying to rush it and would just get this crazy trot, normally he's pretty good and this only happens every once in a while. He also and a weird "cut" on his back left heel. It wasn't really a cut, it was a little patch of rough, scaly skin, but it was cracked and dark red were it was open. Although it looked like it was healing, I mentioned it to my trainer and she put some stuff on it to keep in clean. Keeping an eye on it, it's location makes me nervous, I don't want it to get infected or something and have him go lame.

Tuesday: Jumping lesson! No weird breathing, and little trouble with the right lead. Two bounces and a vertical.

   __//     =

Haha, that's my terrible rendition of the course. So we started on the left lead over the outside bounce to the vertical, around to the diagonal bounce and back over the first bounce. He did okay after the first bounce, but no matter what we changed, whether it was the approach or the  pace of the canter. Other than that he did okay. He's been a bit flat for most of the winter so my coach suggested carrying a small crop with me when jumping. Not even to use, but if he knows it's there, he may pick it up a bit. Especially on days like today, it seems like no matter what I try with him, he's still flatter than normal.

Now I have a bit of a break from riding for a week or so because I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. Yay, fun stuff.

As for uni and work, I need a job. I'm going to try and find a full time job in the city over the summer, this way there is loads more options and I can hopefully stay with my grandma. Which is also the plan so far for the actual school year. She lives about a 20 minute walk away from the campus and there's a LRT station a couple blocks away too. So really, it's almost the ideal place to be living. However, I need a car and my parents refuse to help my get one. Which is why it would be nice to get a decent and flexible part time job now.  Especially since if I do get a car, I'm going to need to pay for its insurance, gas, and maintenance, though I guess I could do some of that myself.
Has anyone worked part time and gone to full time university? If you have, how was it?

It's sad though, because when I get a job, I won't get to go on holidays this summer, which sucks 'cause I love camping. We (me and my family) usually go for about 3 weeks, but seems like this year I'll be lucky to get away for a couple days to camp and hike. But we'll see.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Didn't get to go riding last night since Tommy did end up getting his teeth done, so hopefully that'll help and he'll fatten up a bit.

But I will get to see him later today, which is good. With any luck I can be there alone. That is without my friend who was with me when the van got stuck. Not because I think that will happen again, but she likes to talk while we're riding, which I don't mind but I actually like to work during our free rides. It's hard with her though because she always wants to walk and trot right beside me and Tommy, so that we are on the rail and then we can't do any circles or change directions or anything. So it gets kind of frustrating, I love her and all, but I want to improve our groundwork more than talk. Especially after we spent the whole drive out and the whole time tacking up talking.

I need to find some new flat work exercises though, As fun as circles and figure eights are, I think I need to find some other stuff. I had a whole bunch in a notebook somewhere, but I have to find the notebook first.

At least I made it to the gym last night at least. At nine o'clock, which was fine because the only people there were hockey players so I didn't have to share the actual gym area with anyone. =P

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yesterdays True Delights

Normally I drive to the stable alone, but yesterday my friend wanted me to go with her. She drove to my house and we took my van to the stable. We would have been fine if the barn owners dog hadn't come running down the drive way, which is a small hill. I had to bring the van to a complete stop because the stupid dog wouldn't get out of the way, and once we were stopped she ran past towards the house, and then, the van was stuck. It carved out a pretty big rut into the snow, but it backed out quite easily....until it got stuck again.
This time it was not moving anywhere. So we tried shoveling the snow out from the tires and using 3rd and Low gear. No luck, we put towels under the tires to try and get traction and my friend tried to push the van, zero luck. Forward or back.
So we went to talk to our trainer to see if she had some planks we could put under the tires. She told us not to worry and go get our horses. We did that and after the lesson she was teaching was over she came out with me and one of the other girls that was there to get it out. We shovelled more out from the tires and her and the other girl pushed it out. Finally it started going, I guess we just need that extra person to help push it out.
Then when we were all tacked up and about to head into the arena, the power goes out. None of the horses were bothered by it, and it took a minute before the emergency lights kicked in. It takes a couple minutes or the barn and arena lights to warm up after that, but they eventually came back on, so we could actually ride.

The lesson its self was good, we did some trot poles that Tommy had no problem with, we did the same exercises as last day, but he was better this time. At least when we cantered in. The first part of the exercises was to trot in canter out. Tommy had no interest in cantering out, but we got it in the end. He was getting fairly strung out before the jump, but again it was tiny and no challenge for him. He did much better over the six stride line too. We didn't get into close to the first so the second was good. Got him nice and balanced back in the middle, so it defiantly a good lesson.

Such Delights.

...Not really actually. But there has been so many today that it's just a bit ridiculous, also have some Tommy stories, but I'll put those up later today, because I'm exhausted and it's just after 12am.

Yesterday was part B of the social 30-1 diploma! Stayed up til about 1am studying with "the Key" which is supposed to be old diploma questions and are usually helpful, they were great for biology and chemistry last year. This time not so much, just ridiculous questions that had nothing to do with the concept of liberalism. Apparently my teacher had told other students that this years key was useless and not to bother, unfortunately I wasn't told that. Oh well, when I finally did try to go to sleep, my delightful dog, who is a golden retrieve crossed with a lab, so she's pretty big, decided she wanted to sleep on my bed. Fine, she was lying beside me on her side with her feet towards me and then she started to dream she was chasing something, so she was "running" with her feet scratching at me and whimpering loudly. Soooo peaceful. Then she turned over and did the same thing to the wall and eventually stopped crying and just snored. It's pointless to wake her up and she just gets mad, so she'll "kick stretch" at you, not fun. Oh well, it's cold in the basement and she's warm and cuddly, so it's okay.
Got up at six thirty and did some more work with the key. Left to school to write the exam which is 60 multiple choice was disconcertingly easy. Social is one of my best subjects, but I finished with so much time left, that I'm not sure what to think. I was talking to a couple friends after and they found the same thing. We won't get our results until the middle to end of February, so fingers crossed.

Semi excited! There is an art show in May, and my art teacher gave most of the 30 levels (grade 12) a sheet to enter a piece of art, except for my "friend", it's complicated, we aren't really friends anymore, I mostly just listen to her bitch all class, she gets on my nerves so I'm somewhat amused she was left out. She just doesn't care about her work so it's sadly not that good, even though the concept is usually pretty good.
I'm not sure if I want to enter though, you don't have to go to the show and stand with your work and talk about it or anything, but still..... If I did it would be either of my paintings or my clay sculpture.
The first painting is a "hidden image". It actually looks pretty sweet, there's a bright sunset in the background and some mountains that jut out a bit in the distance, and the rest of the sky is reflected in the lake/ocean. Then the foreground is a bunch of old dead trees, and the ones in the center form the image of angel. I think it's pretty sick actually.
 The second, is a girl holding a lantern looking into the distance, the real "story" of the painting is told through the color choices and symbolism of the number 13 hidden the dress, the dress itself and the candle in the lantern. This one was a lot of work in a short amount of time and I'm quite proud of it.
 The sculpture is a "freedom vs. capture theme". Mine is a dove with her wings out stretched trying to take off, but is chained to a tree stump. The chain is made out of thick black wire and I think the whole thing looks good. Lost marks on it, because the poor thing exploded in the kiln. But my teacher managed to get her back together and now that she's painted and has texture you can't even tell.

They want you to name the art though, I'm not creative with names, so if anything is entered, it'll be "untitled". So we'll see. My teacher has also offered to help me put together a portfolio because she seems quite ecstatic about how much my work has improved this semester from last year, I have to agree, I love what I've done this year, most of last years stuff...not a fan.

Oh my goodness, it took a ridiculous amount of effort to change the URL after I decided not to go by my middle name's nickname on here anymore. Probably more effort than it was worth too, I don't know that anyone even looks at them. But I didn't like having it as my middle name. I need to sleep, this is a ridiculous paragraph.
But yes, Tommy stories later this morning, and the true delights of yesterday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back to the Barn! And Gym!

The weather has been terrible for the past week, so the barns been closed for lessons and lease rides, but it was -17 on Monday so we could ride again!
Unfortunately I got there a bit early, right before my coach was going to feed the horses, and it's far to cold for Tommy to miss out of food. So I helped her bring in the indoor horses and take of blankets and such.

So I brought him in later and he (or one of his pasture buddies) ripped a big hole in his blanket, luckily we had a replacement in his size. During his week off, he lost a bit of fitness, but wasn't as crazy as I'd expected. We didn't do much for flat work, I didn't want him sweating and after eating so soon before I didn't want him to colic or anything. He was back to carrying his head up in the air again, but on our Tuesday lesson he started to extend his neck and bring his nose under again.

Tuesday was a jumping lesson, and it was only -5! We did a small cross pole bounce and a long line. The exercise was for controlling stride length and practicing getting them straight before and after the jumps. Small jumps again, nothing exciting, but we did well. The first time through the line, we chipped and got a seventh stride, (it was meant to be done in about 6). The rest of the time we did get six, but while the take offs worked well, they weren't ideal. Over the first vertical we tended to come in a bit short and then took of long to the second. Not his typical crazy longs he seems so found of.

We have another lesson on Thursday, not sure if we will be doing the same exercises or not.

Sadly he still seems a bit underweight, and the cold certainly hasn't helped. He gained a lot back after he was moved away from Edgar, but not all of it. So he's getting his teeth looked at on Friday to see if that could help. He had them done a while ago, I think just under a year or so. Hopefully that will help. If it stays warm that would be even better, then he won't be burning so much energy to stay warm, but this is Alberta, and the weather doesn't like to play nice.

More sad news. The barn cat has been put down today. He was such a delight, so friendly and loved to be around people and be showered with attention. This last week it sounds like his health has greatly deteriorated, he was taken the to the vet and diagnosed with feline aids. It can't be cared by dogs, horses, humans etc only cats. So that's sad really sad.

As for losing weight/working out, my next 13 week sessions has started, so I'm back with my trainer and running a lot. I've recently discovered the Nike + thing on my iPod, and really like it. It's awesome for tracking work outs (if your workout equipment has an iPod adaptor), you can set challenges and goals. Right now I'm two runs behind my target and 230.67 calories burned behind my goal. Which is to run 5x a week and burning 4000calories in 4 weeks. However, I may not always be lucky enough to get one of the treadmills with the adaptor, which makes it a bit difficult, because I could be right on track, but Nike+ doesn't know that because you can't manually add workouts, they have to come of the iPod. Oh well, as long as I know how it's going that's the important bit.
Another big thing that will help is if I can stop eating when I'm bored and eat less carbs. I eat so much bread and pitas and crackers and not enough fruit/veg. So I've been making smoothies with frozen fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and more fruit and veg at lunch, and wraps instead of sandwiches. Dinner is hard because I don't have a lot of say, mostly my parents make pretty healthy meals, but I'm going to start making salads for myself as well. Start weight this time is 175lbs, and for some that's only 5'3", that's a lot. I've been told I don't actually look that big (thank god) but, I want to be healthier, I think it will really help when it comes to riding as well.

Hoping to post pictures soon, both of Tommy and my holidays in Australia, now that I've found my cameras USB cord and can actually download them on to my computer. =)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Its been below -20C all week so I haven't seen Tommy at all.
It's supposed to be -17 tomorrow, so hoping to go right after school while it's still light out, although it's supposed to be much warmer starting on Tuesday. Which is good because I have riding almost everyday this week until Saturday. The only day I'm not at the barn is Wednesday! Which is fine because that gives me the whole day to study social because school is done on Tuesday. =)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


 This morning was part A of my social diploma. This is a two part written response. The first part is worth 20% of the diploma mark and its a three source one. You talk about each source, then the relationships between them and how it relates to liberalism. The second part is worth 30% (making written 50% of diploma and 25% of our over all mark). This is a more personalized response where you also discuss the pros and cons of a source, usually a quote.
  You MUST have your ID with you, either school, or government issue (passport, drivers license). Mine was in my wallet, in my gym bag, at home.
   I realized this about 15 minutes before the exam started, and was about to have a panic attack. So I talked to the lady in charge of the exam and she told me to go to office and talk to them. So I ran to the office, still freaking out, without my ID I wouldn't be able to write the exam, I'd have to wait til June and the mark I'd get in the mean time would mean I'd lose my early admission to Uni.
  So, I was talking to the lady at the office almost crying, and she said I could pay $2 at the library and get a print out. Who had no money? ME! So, the secretary is super nice and lent the money, so I'm paying her back tomorrow. Then I ran to the library, the stairs, to the desk. At this point, I was still freaking out, almost crying and breathing really quick. I probably looked like I belonged in an asylum.
The librarian looked both really surprised and worried and was telling to do deep yoga breaths and what not. My social teacher happened to be in the upper library, talking to someone, and I guess he heard me talking to her, so while she was printing it off, he came over to see what was going on. Still had not chilled out at this point, so he was reminding me that I had three hours to write this test, that was lots of time, just relax and calm down, that if it was needed he would come talk to the exam administrator and tell her who I was. Usually they don't allow that, and thank god I didn't need him to, the librarian got me my print out, told me to relax, thank god that whole thing only 10 minutes and I made it back to the class room. As far as I know, I did okay on it. But holy crap, that was way to much stress. I've been soo tired ever since.
So I'm kind of glad that riding was cancelled because of the cold, I'm to tired to do anything useful with Tommy tonight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Got my essay back. Turns out it was just for comments, not marks. Oh well, overall the comments were pretty good, so I think I would have got a decent mark. A couple comments were really positive, so I just have to remember those tomorrow for the exam....

So in art, I was so excited because I thought my painting was going AWESOME! But stupid me, though I should start with the dress instead of the skin tone first so now I have to redo the dress later because the skin tone keeps getting on it and drying before I can wipe it off. Plus I fail hardcore at doing the shadows on the skin, they always come out horribly wrong! So, I stayed in class during my second blocke spare, but it didn't matter because all that happened was I had to paint over the whole body before my teacher would help with it. Then she said she would help over the lunch break, after she went to eat. I waited for her for the whole 40 minutes and she showed up a minute before the bell. So I left.
I'll go tomorrow after the exam to see if she can help. Probably not though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Part A writen is on Thursday, not looking forward to it. For some stupid reason I decided to write it by hand instead of taking the option to type it on the computer. It takes me half the time to type out 5 pages than it does to write, and that's with prior knowledge of the topic, with time to prepare a plan.

Today we got to do a 'practice' one, my teacher is marking all 30 tonight and we get them back tomorrow. My school has a wireless lab, and it's usally okay, but today of all days, my computer decided not to save my essay. Not happy about that. The pop up saying it wasn't saving came up behind the windows document, so I had no idea. Then I saved it a last time and shut the window. Found the pop ups. So I checked to see if it was in my documents. Nope. So, I talked to my teachers, we tried to 'recover' it. That failed. So, I got to write it at home, and email it in. I think I did well. It's five pages, on topic and as far as I can tell, in depth.

We'll see tomorrow if I was right.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One of the blogs I follow belongs to a riding instructor in the UK, I was reading a post a while ago, that said something about making sure you're barn has a system where you can move up in levels.

I've been at the same barn for 6 years now, and it feels the same as when I started. I think this may be because I'm in the 'advanced' level, but the jumps are rarely above 2' right now.

One reason is because we are doing a lot of base work, that will help in the long run, and the second, my coach took a kick to the head last week and understandably doesn't want to do a lot.

However, you see other people who have been riding for the same amount of time, yet they jump 4'. It's hard not be jealous and wonder how much we're really doing. There are very few stables I would go to if I left where I am. In fact, there's only one.

It's lovely! They have a similar leasing program, a beautiful facility, and outdoor board is only $300 a month. They also have a set up where you can move up in levels and what not.
The horrible draw back of this facility? It's one hour away from my house, and 50 minutes away from my Grandmas'. Which is where I'll hopefully be living next year while I'm in uni.

I understand that lots of people give up riding while at university, but I fear I can not do that. There is a stable in the middle of the city, very close to her house. Unfortunately they don't have the same leasing set up, and it's very expensive. Using one of their horses, is $50. That is the single most expensive lesson I've ever come across.

I'm looking forward to spring break though! One of my friends at the stable has asked me to ride her horse for her because she's gone. This isn't the friend I complain about, although she's gone too.... Haha, so I don't know yet if she wants me to take him in lessons or just do flat work on our own. Either way I'm excited, new horse, new experience regardless of what we do. Her horse is beautiful, a giant compared to mind, and seems quite fiery and a bit of challenge. A new one of course.

Tommy did okay on Thursday, he's got his bouncy canter and trot back which is a good sign. Missing the big jumps though. A good thing about the spring/summer, we'll be back outside in the huge outdoor arena! So big jumps again!! Need to find some exercises to improve flat work though. Both of us are getting bored I think.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Free Ride

Tommys' perked up again today.

Had a lovely bouncy canter, and he didn't keep trying to drop to a trot.
Our circles were better today too, managed to remember to keep my whole leg back on the circle rather than using my heel and pointing my toe out.
We did some large figures eights and serpentines at the canter, I don't want him constantly doing simple changes, but we need to work on our downward transitions. Especially going from canter to trot, he usually has  a really quick, unbalanced trot when we come out of the canter and takes a while to get it back. So I want him to have a nice smooth downward transition.

Going to the gym tomorrow! It's going to be sooo crowded though, not looking forward to that, the chance of getting any piece of cardio equipment is slim.

My weight loss program starts again this Thursday, well the first meeting anyway. Quite excited, but worried, my trainer that I've been working with for a year or so now, is going on holidays in February. So that means I get someone new for about six weeks, kind of sad, she's very good and loads of fun. All the fit techs are lovely though, at least the ones I've met, we'll see who I end up with.

School starts again tomorrow, not excited, but happy to have something to do during the days again.

Thursday & Friday

Thursday was lesson day. No 'big' jumps this week, at least we did a coarse though. Only about 2', it was probably my fault we had several bad take offs, I was kind of disappointed we weren't doing anything really challenging again and therefore didn't try as well or hard as I should have. Which is clearly terrible.
He had such a flat canter too, he really didn't want to do anything. Not sure why, he's not sick and appears to be in no pain, but he's still skinny. I don't like seeing he's ribs. It's weird he's not gained any weight, he's given loads of food, has a blanket so he's not cold and is only ridden about 3 times a week.
  However, he did really well on our last round, lovely quick and bouncy canter, several longs that shouldn't have been there though, he did get his lead changes though!
As I said, the longs were probably my fault, for some reason when the jumps are smaller, I find myself looking at them and sometimes leaning forward, so he's off balance a bit and takes off to soon.
Don't seem to have the same problems with larger jumps though, maybe cause I know if we do take of to long or I do look at it things could go seriously wrong.
 Thank you Tango for that valuable lesson. Even if it needed to be taught more than once.

Had a free ride on Friday, Tom was pretty good. Happy now that the crunchy bucket in my locker has been refilled, he's back to expecting a couple before we go into the arena.

Still had a very flat canter that day, and had some difficulty picking up the right lead if I remember right. Trotting was okay, still flat, but he was coming on the bridle and carrying his head nicely. Have to find some more exercises me and him can do at the trot and definitely at the canter.

Get to go see him again later today, hopefully the barn will be empty, I enjoy riding alone. I'll try to remember my camera so I can get some new pictures of him.

As for what I have to work, besides what I said above, is keeping my toe in. My outside leg, the toe always tips out a bit to far, especially when we're circling so instead of putting my whole leg back, I point my toe out.