Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ahhhh…a boring week…

Ivars spent a humdrum, ordinary week at work.  That is a wonderful sentance…for him and all the rest of us.

Other than an early morning appointment before work yesterday at the U of A hospital for some more tests, the week has been very ordinary.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I’ve spent the week playing with the grandbabies, catching up with things at the house and throughly enjoying the spring sunshine at the farm.

Lance and Lindsey are schooling at the San Juan Capistrano show with Shannon.  By all reports, (thanks Barb for manning the camera!) the schooling is going very well.  I’ll catch up on all the details next week.

Ivars is going to get back on his bike today.  Back to training for the date he has with Peter next month for a couple of hours on their bikes in the sunshine.

Life is getting back to ordinary…

V

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Looking back…

Yesterday I had a shower, worked out and shoveled the walk.  Normal mundane, day to day tasks that I was sure would never be normal or mundane ever again.

Saturday morning, while working around the farm, Ivars collapsed.

Isabella and Linda found him almost immediately.  Issy called 911 while Linda kept him safe on top of the hay stack while waiting for the ambulance.  Linda and the ambulance team got him to the Wetaskiwin hospital where Kirsten met them.  Stars helicopter was called and after a CAT scan and stabilizing they flew him to Edmonton.  Greg and Phaedra met him in ICU.

I was in San Diego.  With Curtis and Lindsey’s help, I found a flight out of Los Angeles to Edmonton.  Curtis and Barb drove me to LAX and I arrived in Edmonton Saturday evening.  Andrew met me at the airport and we both sped to the U of Alberta hospital.

The team at the ICU had kept Ivars sedated all day and they decided to wake him up that evening.  After a day of tests, they still did not know why he collapsed.  Waking him up would be the next step.  He woke up and in his orderly, accurate way proceeded to explain to us all the events before he collapsed.  He then came up with a preliminary diagnosis (and it seems now the most likely) and wanted to be released.  That evening the ICU doctors ordered more tests.  I left for home once he was sleeping to change my California clothes for head-to-toe fleece(it was -22) and pick up a change of clothes for him.  They discharged him in the morning.  He spent Sunday resting at home and catching up with friends and family.  Then of course he went to work on Monday.

We were truly blessed on Saturday.

The outcome of Saturday morning’s incidence could easily have been very tragic.  Thanks to Issy and Linda, who were in the right spot at the right time.  Thanks to Linda’s training and her execution, the wait for the ambulance was textbook.  Thanks to the excellent care in Wetaskiwin; ambulance, ER, hospital, Stars; the preparation before and then the trip to the U of Alberta Hospital was stellar.  Thanks to the staff in the ICU at the U (once Ivars was awake, the staff found us quite boring actually).  It’s not easy to treat a physician and they were amazing.  Thanks to Greg, Phaedra and Kirsten who took such good care of Dad while I was in flight over the Rockies.  And thanks to everyone who kept us in their thoughts and prayers this weekend.  We are truly blessed.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Ivars is back at work, back on his bike and looking forward to cycling with Peter in Del Mar at the end of April.  (I think the re-do on the Torrey Pines hill will have to wait till next year though!)  I will be back at Arroyo next week and am looking forward to catching up on all the stuff Lindsey and Shannon have been working on this week.

Meanwhile I’m enjoying breakfast with my husband, making plans for Easter with the kids and counting my blessings.

V

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“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle

So there’s the conundrum…We really don’t know how to do it till we really do it.

Hello straightness, I thought I knew you :)!!!

Yesterday’s work again left me misty…

"Laaaance, it's time to get up for your lesson with Shannon"

“Laaaance, it’s time to get up for your lesson with Shannon”

Shannon, Lindsey and Lance.

Shannon, Lindsey and Lance.

Almost a sunset yesterday.

Almost a sunset yesterday.

Soooo looking forward to today’s work.  I’m sure I’ll be stiffly again…

Off to the stable,

V

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The very wonderful, very best day…

I definitely have the easiest job on the FCS team.

I work hard to learn and understand and file away each concept in each lesson.  Shannon has to work very hard to pass the concepts on to Lindsey and Lance (or William or Fred) and I  in each lesson.  And Lindsey has to listen and understand and apply each concept on very large, very powerful (and sometimes not so smart…Lance has other redeeming qualities :)) exuberantly moving horses.  Lindsey has the hardest job on the team.  Thank you Lindsey, thank you Shannon.  It was a wonderful day yesterday.

Technical bits…that slow, less responsive right side has to move up and not shift left.  Ninja legs Linds, ninja legs…

Lance yesterday in the big jumper ring.

Lance yesterday in the big jumper ring.

Lance

Lance

William's second lesson with Shannon yesterday.

William’s second lesson with Shannon yesterday.

William

William

William

William

Brian and Jayne are visiting from home.  They drove in from the desert and caught the last bit of William’s lesson yesterday afternoon.  It was so great to see them!   We met them after our Pilates class for an early dinner at Urban Plates in Del Mar and caught up on news from home.  With the GPS coordinates to Mary’s Tack Shop hot in hand, we pointed them to one of a rider’s delights in San Diego!  After spending the night here in Del Mar, they will be back this morning at Arroyo to watch Lindsey ride Lance and Fred with Shannon.

Today is a day off for Pilates for Lindsey and I.  And we need a day off!!!  We have been working out hard and are being smart and taking today as a Pilates rest day.

Off to Arroyo, it’s going to be another great day!!!

V

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And the training continues…week three

Lance and Fred yesterday.  (No photos of William yesterday ’cause sometimes I find it hard to coach and snap photos at the same time!  (Really?…I forgot the camera in the tie stall!))

All three horses, straighter, more closed, quicker…

Fred

Fred

Fred

Fred

Lance

Lance

Lance

Lance

It was another amazing day yesterday!

On schedule today, Wednesday…William and Lance will ride with Shannon and Fred will have a long stretchy walk day.

Camera issues…ugh.  I have been using this slick little Casio compact camera for the last 3 or so years.  Video and 40 frames per second.  Perfect for training reviews each night when we get home and perfect for having daily photos for the blog.  My little camera friend is having issues :(.  Darn.  It’s having big issues reading to the card and switching between video and photos.  Guess it’s time to replace it…Ugh!!!  Researching and choosing the right replacement camera and then figuring out all the bells and whistles so it’s easy for use each day  I guess I’ve got to find some time in the schedule for camera shopping and camera use practise…double ugh.

Off to the stable,

V

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Learning, learning, learning…

Training, training, training…

Shannon Peters is amazing.  I know I’ve mentioned this before but OMG with a pancake…Shannon has it going on!!!!

Technical bits…to get more power and activation from the hindquarters the horse must stay out of the shoulder.  He won’t stay out of the shoulder if he’s even the teeniest bit crooked.  For the horse to move forward in true collection he must move forward straight.

Oh my goodness…okay, drum roll and get out the dressage international dressage lament…”This is haaaaarrrrdddd!!!”  Of course it’s hard silly billy…if it wasn’t hard we’d all be riding Grand Prix horses!

Okay, like everyone else, I thought I understood this straightness concept.  Well, no (as Shannon so expertly advised us) you have only touched the surface of straight.  And Shannon then walked us through the exercises needed to explain this missing tidbit to our horses.  (insert once again…”This is haarrdd!!”)  It’s hard for the rider to be this accurate (yeah Lindsey, you are kickin’ it!!!) and so hard for the horse to find the balance to move straight and stay straight.   It requires concentration, submission and an amazing amount of strength to move correctly around the arena.

Thank you Shannon once again for being so generous and empathic with your instruction.  Your knowledge base in dressage far exceeds your years.  It’s amazing what you tell us every lesson, our job is to listen with our ears wide open…

Our "not so Fat Boy" testing the straight buttons

Our “not so Fat Boy” testing the Grand Prix straight buttons

We ended the day getting our butts kicked again in a Reformer class.  Nice.

Today is Ali and Brayden’s last day at the beach house :(.  We’re going to miss them.  They head back to Calgary tomorrow.  Hopefully the sand toys and kites will get a good workout today!

Off to Arroyo for us…

V

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A wonderfully slow, low key day.

Yesterday we started the day with a great Pilates Reformer class.  Innovative, interesting and just tough enough to be a whole body workout without causing too much pain today.  Nice.

Arroyo is so quiet on Sundays and yesterday was no exception.  Quiet days are great for some slow concentrated time with our horses.  Fred and Lance went for a long walk around the farm with Lindsey.  While not in work intensity, they had to concentrate and deeply stretch.  Good for them on so many levels.  Along with his stretch walk, William had to put a little more effort into his day yesterday and he had a light workout.  (He had a light day on Friday and a day off with the other two on Saturday.)

The sun came out by the time we got home so we all had a long walk on the beach and then some down time on the patio at the beach house.

Lance and Lindsey

Lance and Lindsey

Lance and Linds, finishing their walk

Lance and Linds, finishing their walk

Pre-requisite "beach toes" shot but with a twist.  "Beach toes" at the beach house.

Pre-requisite “beach toes” shot but with a twist. “Beach toes” at the beach house.

Today will be lessons with Shannon on Fred and Lance then we have a Pilates class booked on the way home.  Barb, Curtis, Alison and Brayden are planning a day on the train!  They are going to take the Coaster to downtown and then the trolley around Old Town San Diego.  Brayden is so excited!!!

Thanks again for all the questions!  Post any questions to the blog or email me at flngclrs@incentre.net.  We will put together a Q and A blog at the end of the month.

Off to the stable,

V

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