Posted in Riding/Horses

A Refreshing Return to the Trail

It is no secret that I’ve been lacking motivation lately. For the past year a trip to the trails meant a 45 minute drive to the barn, 20-30 minutes to hook trailer and load, 2 hours to the trail, then repeat backwards. It was a lot of time for little output. The last time I rode was with my friend Zoe and I had to get up at 5 am just to meet her at the trail at 9. I just got burned out on it.

Sunday though was too pretty not to ride: 76F and sunny with a cool breeze. Both Gem and I are terribly out of trail riding shape and it was time to head back out to test the waters. Dusty even came along with Wyatt and Einstein to hike while I rode. That meant the only time not with Wyatt would be the actual trail time.

I can’t even begin to express fully how amazing it was to wake up at 7:30 am (thats sleeping in!) and lazily make my way to getting Gem and still have her loaded up in 10 minutes since we had the foresight to hook the trailer up the night before. Then it was only an hour to my favorite trails. Once I was done riding, all I had to do was drive home. I put Gem out in the pasture and walked inside to change. That was all.

The ride itself was refreshing. With nothing looming on my ride calendar, no conditioning plan to fulfill and a fluffy, hair yak on a warm day, I had no reason to push things. For the first time in two years, I left my GPS watch and expectations at home. I just rode the trail, happy to have my favorite mare under me and my favorite views ahead. I trotted when I felt like it and walked a lot of it. I took the time to just look around, snap some pictures and breath deeply the fresh spring air. At one point, I pulled Gem up in a meadow and sat on her watching the goldfinches, blue birds and cardinals building their nests. It was amazing and just what I needed. I honestly can’t remember the last time I just enjoyed the time on the trail without staring at my watch and prodding Gem along to keep up the pace for conditioning. It was a good reminder of why I even ride.

The trail head was already busy at 10 am and I felt a little fumble getting Gem tacked up. It has been so long since I had her in her endurance gear. Once I swung up though, my butt felt like it had finally come home. I adore my endurance saddle.

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Gem on high alert. There were road signs up ahead covered in black plastic bags that were billowing in the wind. 

I chose the green 6.5 mile loop as a good reintroduction for us both. It is mostly single track winding in the woods with some breaks out in the open. The trail system places the markers on your right although I have never seen anyone ride this trail the proper direction as most don’t like riding along the road at the start. I like going this way to avoid any crowds at the trail head.

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The woods are just beginning to come back to life

I let her walk the entire first mile to loosen up. She was extremely lookie at everything, but didn’t pull any nasty stunts and mostly kept her pace. For my part, I used this first mile to work on halt transitions. I really need to remember to do this more often. When she si all nervous at the start, making her work through halts gets her to relax and think which is really beneficial.

The woods then dump out onto a dirt road. I recalled a time when we were both brave enough to blast down this section at a full bore canter, but not today. This day we just walked along, getting the feel for each other out in the open once again and enjoying the feel of the sun on my skin.

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She drank deeply from the stream at mile 2 which is unusual for her. Typically she won’t drink until mile 10 or so. The day was hot with her thick winter coat. 

Once we got back into the woods, I started to ask for trot sets. I’d ask her to trot and maintain her pace for a while. During this I really worked on what trainer J had taught me: make sure my thumbs are up, close my fingers and relax my elbows. It is amazing how hard it is to force yourself to relax!

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Going back up away from the stream. I was mean and asked her to trot all the uphills, allowing her to walk the downs. There really aren’t any flat sections in the woods here. 

For her part, Gem worked hard for me. She trotted when asked although she did ask to walk more often than I would have liked. We continued to work on our halting and not walking off again until I asked. It was hard to work on rhythm on the trail since the terrain really dictates a lot of it and when it comes to going up or down I let Gem balance herself and choose as long as it is within the gait I asked for.

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The lake is in such a sad state with the drought we have been in. The water should go all the way up to the tree line. It was all exposed shoreline the entire way around. 

We made our way through this part of the woods which wraps around the lake. I like this side because the lake typically provides a cool breeze and Gem found a second wind through here. With the lake being so low, the water was actually lapping at the shore and this made Gem a bit more nervous, but still she responded well to me and didn’t even try to drop her shoulder, turn 180 degrees and run.

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After the twisting single track around the lake, the trail dumps out onto an access road for about a mile or mile and a half

It had been way to long since I had ridden here last. When we first moved here, this trail system was only 25 minutes way so I rode here every weekend. I knew every inch of every trail. Once we moved houses and then barns, this place just got to be too far with others a lot closet.

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A rare selfie. Mental note: I need to tighten my chin strap. 

I found myself not 100% sure how much farther each section of trail was and it was a little frustrating only because I had once known it so well. Once we hit the access road though, I knew we were about 2 miles from the trailer.

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One of my favorite sections and a place I used to gallop through. This time, I stopped to watch the birds and breathe in the smells of a forrest beginning to wake up from its winter slumber

Gem seemed to be enjoying the more relaxed pace and was happy to trot when asked and came back easily to a walk. Around this point she started to act a bit funny and I knew she had to pee. She typically goes in the pasture when she sees me coming, but with the new arrangement she sees me so often she never knows what is up. Gem really hates to pee under saddle, so I kept giving her opportunity and she kept refusing but would then walk and trot as if uncomfortable.

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Enjoying the day out with my favorite mare

The access road reenters the wood with about 1-1.5 miles left and once there I knew exactly what all was remaining. I really like to finish any ride strong and was hoping to trot in the last remaining bit. We crossed the road, but then ran into a really big snag. There was a piece of ribbon across the trail,blocking access. This system is really well maintained though, and there was a new trail off to the right with hoof prints.

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Fresh trail. I get nervous on brand new trail. the footing isn’t packed down and sink holes abound. We just walked this bit hoping we were on the right track.

A quarter of a mile down, if that, there were signs of hoof prints cutting back to the original trail. As I’ve mentioned, I am a rule follower to the T though and I didn’t want to ride back on a trail that was closed off. I kept to the new trail hoping it would end up somewhere close to where we wanted to be. I go a little concerned when the new trail veered off to the right when I knew the old one went left, but I was optimistic.

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The reason for the new trail became obvious. I’m not sure if this was a purposeful, controlled burn or what but it involved a large area and was pretty fresh. 

This new trail was not very good. While it was wide, nobody had cared about the branches overhead and I found myself laying down on Gem’s neck quite a bit. Thankfully, she si awesome at this type of stuff.

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At one point, I saw the red trail off to my left. This was odd because the red and green are not together at this juncture. They run together across the road going into/out of the trail head but on this side of the road they go on their own in completely different directions. I now knew that we would not be meeting back up with green and debated turning around.

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My decision was made for me when the trail completely dead ended at a road where green does not go. There wasn’t even  nice way to reach the road. There was a 2-3 foot drop with really bad footing on the other side of this plus the road here is in a blind curve. Not very safe.

Once I hit that, I turned her around and looked for the red trail now off to my right. Once I saw the trail, I bushwhacked  over to it and just took that back to the road crossing. Along the way I saw the full extent of the fire. There were large sink holes where stumps were burned out and the heavy smell of burnt pine was in the air.

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Finally we reached the point where green and red split and crossed the road which put us about 1/2 mile from the trail head. Gem made quick work of this section, knowing we were not doing my typical green-red-green 20 mile loop, and we finished the ride happy, relaxed and having not parted ways.

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Posted in Farm life, Uncategorized

Poop…Everywhere!

Pasture management is an obsession of mine. When done correctly, even a smaller than preferred area for your horse can be kept lush, safe and healthy. It may take work, thought and planning, but it can be done and I find the topic to be fascinating.

Gem and Pete are on 3-4 acres. That satisfies the bare minimum for my region’s grass type, soil quality and terrain: 2 acres for the first horse and 1 acre for every horse thereafter.  Your area may require more or less room depending on the above. We are fortunate that the pasture was previously used for what qualifies as hay down here and has a solid, mature root system of fescue. I prefer fescue to coastal because it grows year round, although it does need a good bit of water in the hotter months, and grows taller blades of grass.

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Pete grazing in the setting sun

Overall I am really happy with the soil and the grass growing on the acres we have access too. There are no hills in the pasture, but the land has a gradual slope which allows for good run off if it ever decides to rain. After a month of being on it 24/7, you can tell the horses have been grazing but there are still untouched regions and the grass has continued to grow and not be eaten down. We are only feeding 1/4 bale of hay at night and both horses have gained weight since being home. In fact, we had to cut Pete’s grain down again and I am watching Gem carefully while we get back into work.

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Spring flowers are blooming

There are two things that I don’t like: only having one pasture which eliminates the ability to rotate and rest one while they are on another (the best method to pasture management) and the vast amount of poop strewn everywhere. While I cant correct the first issue right now (plans are in motion for future use of the other 5 acre field) I can do something about the poop.

Most people will think I am being OCD or just plain nuts, but seeing all those big piles of poop in the pasture makes me itchy. A horse produces roughly 50 lbs of poop a day. They have been out there for almost 4 weeks, so they have produced roughly 2800 lbs of poop. And all that poop is in the pasture. Not only is it an eye sore, but it isn’t healthy for the horses or pasture.

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Poop everywhere

The most obvious reason is the spread of parasites. Gem and Pete are not on a routine de worming program. We test a fecal sample twice a year for egg count and treat if necessary. They haven’t been positive in 2 years. I’d like to keep it that way. If they were carrying worms, allowing all that worm and egg filled poop to just lay in the pasture will spread those worms and increase the risk of reinfection. They were tested a few weeks prior to the move, so it will be very interesting to see what the fall test reveals. Big piles of poop also attract flies, their eggs and are just gross.

Another reason though, is seeds. Weed seeds that are not digested will be spread throughout the pasture putting your nice, lush grass at risk. If you have a larger area, it isn’t such a big deal, but I am working in a smaller area than I would like (I would prefer two 10 acre pastures to rotate between) and I don’t need the grass killed off.

The last big reason though has to do with the grass growth itself. Piles of poop not only kill off the grass via smothering, it also deters the horses from grazing in those spots as they go off to hunt cleaner regions. The pasture can easily become an area of rough zones, where the weeds and grass have grown tall and won’t be eaten due to the presence of manure, and lawns, areas eaten down to nothing and stunting the grass growth. Neither are good.

All that to say…I needed to do something with the 2800 lbs of poop scattered about the pasture. Most resources say to rest the pasture. Move the horses to another, drag and mow it and allow it to sit and renew while they create havoc next door. You do not want to drag or spread manure in a pasture that is being actively used. Read all the above about the spread of weed seeds and parasites.

The only option for me is to pick it out of the pasture. I probably look like an idiot to all the neighbors as I walk with wheelbarrow and pitchfork in hand, picking up poop from the pasture. It is also frustrating work since they are pooping right in front of you as you are cleaning it up, but it only took a weekend and I didn’t mind it at all.

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Of course, this lead to the next dilemma: what to do with all this manure. A manure pile makes my skin crawl. I told you I am obsessed with this stuff, right? I mean, a big stinking pile of manure that attracts flies like crazy just won’t work for me. After even more research, I settled on my solution.

A compost bin. Or three.

By composting the manure, I can turn the manure plus all those darn leaves into wonderful soil. Delicious soil that can be spread on the pasture to enrich it – weed seeds and parasites are killed in the composting since it gets to about 115F when made correctly – and can put it on my flower beds as well. The enclosed system locks away odors and keep the bugs to a minimum.

It is a win-win for my little pasture OCD heart.

I only had to get the hubby to build me what I wanted and add the goodies in. I’ll post a how to shortly to show the steps of making it, but it is everything my little heart could desire.

Posted in Riding/Horses

But Haven’t You Been Riding For Years?

When I first told the non horsey people in my life that I was taking a lesson last weekend, that was the first thing that popped out of their mouth. It was said with honest surprise – having been riding for 30 years now, why on earth would I pay someone to come tell me how to ride?

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I wonder if the fish think this is some sort of God that randomly becomes visible. 

They just couldn’t fathom how, after so many years, there would be anything worth paying to learn.

That is the thing with riding though – there is always more to learn. There is always a new level, a new discipline,  a new goal. Or heck, a new horse that flips everything you thought you knew on its head.

I spent the first 23 years of my riding life on trails. I rode up, down, over, under, around absolutely everything at any speed without a single hesitation. I would jump logs on trail, swim in the deepest rivers, climb mountains and scale back down laying flat against my horse’s butt as we slid down. I raced other riders at a full blown gallop down a trail in Acadia, Maine and strolled across the battlefield of Gettysburg.

It was a fantastic time in my life.

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Einstein loves the hay 

Maybe I had a magical unicorn of a horse to ride. Maybe I was just more fearless and less tense when I was younger. Maybe my ignorance allowed a lot of things to happen. I don’t know, but I can tell you that I lost that fearlessness a long time ago.

I lost it in the form of a horse named Gem.

You see, Gem wont stand for ignorance. If I am not riding right and giving it my 100% attention, she lets me know. Usually by dumping me. She won’t give me an inch that I haven’t earned and she sure as hell won’t bail me out.

And that is why, after 30 years of riding, I am taking basic, beginner type lessons. The trail taught me a lot. It taught me balance, too look where I am headed at all times, to anticipate the unexpected, to lead.

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A crappy pic through my car windshield yesterday morning. Gem was using the shelter we built and it made me so happy. 

It did not teach me to turn my shoulders, open my hip angle, and loosen up those elbows. It did not teach me how to give a little rein here, take a little there. Add more leg, then half halt to check back in and keep that rhythm even and steady. To see my horse’s eyelashes as we go around the circle to ensure she has at least a minimum amount of bend. To push her out and bring her back in with just my seat and legs.

There are so many nuances to riding that I know nothing about. That is why I am taking lessons. To become better. To become lighter.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Health and Fitness

Adventures in Fitness: Cycle

Or Spin, but apparently “Spin” is trademarked or something, so the Y just calls it Cycle instead. I’ve been to a true Spin class and it wasn’t much different than this, so it is all just semantics.

A dark, rectangular room with 30 brand new, state of the art stationary bikes. Two large fans blowing on full speed flank a solitary bike in the front. The surround sound system is blaring full bore: music with a heavy beat and fast tempo. A half insane, curly haired woman is pumping away on this solitary bike, trying to smile through the pain and bring an energy level to the room that no sane person could match.  In front of her are 15-20 people, in various stages of regretting their life choices, all attempting and failing miserably to match her furious pace.

The air is heavy with perspiration and the wilting away of the human soul. You can hear the moaning of legs giving way as the instructor yells for all to get off the bike and climb the imaginary hill standing in the pedals. Everyone rises, are at least attempts to. At least a few people are left falling back on their increasingly tender nether regions wondering which is worse: the pain in their legs from standing to pedal or the pain in their crotch and butt from sitting on the rock hard and unforgiving seat.

The clock ticks off the 15 minute mark. 45 minutes to go and already all but the very best are falling way behind, stealthily clicking the tension on the bike easier and easier with each passing minute.

Turn the gear shifter to the center!! We are going up hill!

The screeching of the instructor pierces through the booming melody and all groan in despair. We are inside! There are no hills! She just laughs back at us and tells us to prepare or what we find on top of the hill.

Foolishly, we believe that we will find the downhill side and be able to coast. Instead we are told to turn the gear shifter all the way to the right (the gear shifter is a metal handle connected to the tensioner of the bike and is a quick way to increase the tension without changing gears). Maximum force. Give 110%! We have found a sandy beach! Pedal!Pedal!Pedal!  RPMS at 95. Full force!

Everyone groans again. All we want to do on a beach is sit in the sun, water lapping at our toes, drink in one hand and book in another. Instead, we are pretending to ride a bike through the deepest, fluffiest patches and hating ourselves the entire time.

Finally…finally…we reach the end of the beach and get to coast down the hill once more. Gear shifts to the left. Tensioners way down. Relax. Breathe deep. Take a drink. Surely, this is now over, but a quick glance at the clock shows we still have 30 minutes remaining. Will we survive?

The next 25 minutes are spent sprinting, climbing mountains, coasting down hills and praying that your butt doesn’t become adhered to the seat requiring a painful ripping to remove it. Why are these seats so awful? Surely some cushion wouldn’t ruin anything.

When she at last calls for the cool down to begin, everyone looks around. Has anyone else survived or have they all perished leaving you alone with the crazy woman in front? No, they are still there with you looking like half the person they were at the start of class. Now defeated, with shaking legs and acutely painful nether regions that promise to not heal for a week, they descend off the bikes and try not to collapse on the floor. Attempting the stretch is a joke. Everything hurts in one manner or another. How many calories did we burn? How far did we go? The numbers don’t matter. All that matters is that you survived. Will you go again? Will you put your fate in the hands of this lady once again?

Posted in 2017 Reading Challenge, Uncategorized

Popsugar Reading Challenge Book #7

Following the last book was going to be a challenge in and of itself. It was such a great book that I knew we had to go to something completely different or it wouldn’t stack up.

A Book by Multiple Authors: American Sniper by Chris Kyle et al

Chris Kyle is the most prolific sniper in US history. He chalks this up to opportunity more so than skill: he had four back to back deployments in Iraq at the start of the war in the early 2000s. This just shows how humble he truly is.

He wrote this memoir, which spans from his childhood through his retirement from the Navy, as a way to set the record straight before anyone else wrote about his career. The multiple author part comes in the form of excerpts written by his wife and a collection of letters from those touched by his life. I had a Kindle version that was an edited version of the original text.

This is also the book that the movie was about although I wasn’t familiar with the story as I had not seen the movie.


What are my thoughts? Really I’m torn about the book in every aspect. While I found it very interesting to learn what training he went through to become a SEAL and then a sniper, his way of glossing over his own impact during the war effort downplayed his significance too much. I understand he was being humble, but being honest is also important and his way of telling the stories made his own acts seem too bland.

In addition, wile I liked reading the interjected thoughts and emotions of his wife, I found it really hard to relate to. Here he was talking about his ultimate sacrifices and lost men and then there is a paragraph from her complaining about how he puts his country before family. I’m not related to anyone in the military and have zero personal experience with these things, but her paragraphs made me feel more sorry for him that his spouse was not being supportive of his career choice (a choice he made prior to meeting her and prior to getting married). I felt like they either needed to have more input from her, so you could see her entire side of things or none at all.

And finally, his death. The book was written, published and released before his untimely death and so it is obviously not mentioned in the book. However, they edited it to add letters from his friends and family at the end – each written after he died and talked of the impact his life and death had on them. I then had to google his name to find out the circumstances of his death. Again, either fill the reader in on it or leave it out.

I would give it 3/5 stars. It held my attention for the most part, but seemed to not be very cohesive in the telling.

Posted in dressage, Riding/Horses

No Rhythm…The First Lesson

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Gem hides behind Pete to get out of work. Sorry, girlie..but I can still see you…and now I am the hand that feeds you too!

Once we were settled into the new place, I started searching for a trainer who would come to me. I could travel, but that adds time and money and was a last resort if I couldn’t find anyone willing to come to me. Thankfully, I didn’t have to search far before landing on someone who was not only willing, but fully capable of helping us out. Plus she had a great sense of humor and a willingness to think outside the box, both attributes I love.

My new trainer (you guys don’t even know how awesome I feel to even be able to type that sentence. I’ve never had a trainer before!!! Squeee!!) was slated to come over at 4:30 pm Sunday and I planned on getting on Gem a bit early to warm her up. It was a good thing too as I watched Wyatt come running over with his helmet in his hand and big grin on his face, ready to ride. At first he climbed up with me (he can go faster when he rides with mommy), but since I had tacked up with the dressage saddle instead of my endurance one, it took all of 3 minutes before he said “Mommy, something in this saddle is hurting me”.

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My favorite view blocked by my favorite head

So, I hopped down and gave him his room. He wanted to trot so badly, so we started off. Gem is great at being trotted on the ground (thanks to endurance) and we went back and forth a number of times helping Wyatt by telling him to sit up tall, grab mane and grab the saddle. He did really well and laughed the entire time.

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My loves all in one place

But…this isn’t about that.

Trainer J showed up right smack on time and I clambered aboard Gem. We had the big field to work in and we got right to work. I loved J right away when she told me that she loves dressage because any horse can do it. She didn’t make any snotty comments about me being on an Arabian, or my cheaper saddle and didn’t even mind the fact that I was in a biothane bridle. She just got busy putting us on a 20m circle of death at the walk and really grew in my estimation from there.

We began at the walk and I told her my #1 problem as I saw it: Gem’s answer to any question she doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to do is to go faster. My answer to her going faster is to think of my imminent death and clench with all body parts. You all know how much that helps.

She just laughed and said we would get there.

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Shedding season has begun

We didn’t do a whole lot of interesting things. Basically we stayed on that 20m circle at the walk, then the trot, then did spirals in and out, then did figures 8 at the walk and trot. We worked on our horrible halt transitions mixed in there too. While it seemed boring from the outside, I can tell you that I have never worked so hard while riding my horse in my life. I’ve had a few spattering of lessons here and there and always left them feeling like I could have just kept riding forever. Not this time. When she called it quits, I was elated. Everything hurt and I wasn’t sure I could have gone on.

Instead of a blow by blow I’ll break it down into what we did right and what needs some serious work.

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Me: “Gem, you are a dressage horse. Gem: “Meh.”

What we did right:

1.) She loved my lower leg position. This is a really big deal for me because I was taught a chair seat when I very first learned english and I have been fighting that tendency ever since. I was so worried going into this lesson, that she would think my position was crap.

2.) She praised Gem’s movement. She said she tracked up beautifully and moved out really well. Once we get going, she thinks we can do quite well at dressage.

3.) She praised us both for a willingness to learn. While I made my fair share of mistakes, I did my best to listen to her and make corrections as I could. Gem was trying her best too as she always does and she could tell Gem had a good mind and was very intelligent.

4.) I look where I am going. She never once had to tell me to look up.

5.) Spirals. Gem did some great lateral steps as we pushed in and out. My right leg is stronger than my left, but we managed to move n and out of the circle easily both direction.

What needs work:

1.) My natural tendency is to throw away my nice position and ride defensively when things begin to unravel even the slightest bit. I’ve fallen off this mare too many times and it just happens naturally. She told me to be really greedy with my posture and not give an inch to Gem. I can ditch steering and pace, but I am to never give up my good posture.

2.) My elbows are as stiff as boards. I need to follow through more and RELAX. Once I was relaxed through my elbows, Gem was much lighter in the bridle and more flexible around the circle.

3.) While my head moves nicely to look where I am going, I keep my upper body perfectly straight and that keeps Gem from bending. I need to swivel my shoulders as well which changes the weight in my seat bones and legs. It was really an awesome feeling when I did this and Gem bent around me so much better.

4.) RHYTHM. We don’t got any. This was the main focus of the entire hour. We would walk then piddle out, then I would put my leg on and she would scoot forward into a trot then it would take me a full circle to get her back to a walk which would last a half a circle until she petered out and then repeat. Gem is very reactive/sensitive and we were working hard on finding the correct balance to keep her even.

Things I learned:

1.) Bend those darn elbows!

2.) Swivel my shoulders as I turn, not just my head. This changed the pressure in my seat as well as slightly changing my leg position relative to each other and allowed Gem to actually bend. Instead of being as J called it ” a large surfboard”.

3.) Quit giving up my posture. I’m not going to die riding at a walk on a 20m circle in my front yard. Quit acting like it. Sit tall and steady no matter what Gem decides to do underneath me. As J put it “make it really uncomfortable/hard for her to do what you don’t walk ie..trot when you want a walk. Don’t reprimand her, but don’t give in to her either”

4.) Ask nicely, but if she blows passed me being nice even when repeated, then make her know I mean business.

5.) Set her up really well by asking her early. if I am going to turn, start a few strides out of the turn instead of running her right into it then asking. This set s up so much better.

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Just as pissy after as she was before

I was sooo happy with this lesson. J explained things in a way I could make sense out of it, never once yelled at me, and gave me lots of praise when things went right. I can’t wait to lesson with her again. She works out of a nearby facility too and I may trailer to her every other time or so. That way I have an actual physical space to work in so that my geometry can be worked on. It is really hard to make a 20 m circle in 6 acre field with no boundaries. She is also on board with me doing a dressage show in the summer or fall which gives me something to work towards.

 

 

Posted in Health and Fitness

Adventures in Fitness: Water Aerobics

We did a spin/cycle class on Tuesday (will write that up too, but this is better so I’m doing this one first) and took Wednesday off. Thursday had a few different options and I wanted to try out the indoor pool, so I sent the following text over to my mom:

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That is the type of relationship we have and why I love doing this with her. We end up burning just as many calories laughing as we do with the exercise.

She did end up showing and we walked into the pool area to get ready for some aerobics fun. I already assumed I’d be the youngest one, but as the others filed it it quickly became apparent that my mom and I added together would still be younger by about 5 years. We lined up anyway and got started.

I’d love to say that what followed was an arduous and cardiovascular intense 50 minutes, but um…well…it wasn’t.

I lined up so I was chest deep in the semi warm water and got ready. The instructor stayed outside the water on the deck and shouted her instructions. We stretched. Then stretched some more. And then some more. I was beginning to wonder when the actual aerobics was going to start when my mom informed me that it already had. Oh.

About 35 minutes into it I was getting really cold and we finally added some heavy duty pool noodles for resistance. For some unknown reason, my mom’s noodle kept floating out to the 9ft deep end and she would have to retrieve it. Maybe that is why she tried to drown me at the end.

Anyway…we played around with the noodle for a while and then began our cool down stretch.

I’m not trying to sound snobbish at all here, but this was completely worthless. Even the 80 year old ladies who were attending did more chatting than exercising, but it was better than sitting on my couch eating marshmallows and chocolate so there is that.

No more water classes for me though. I’ll stick to dry land from now on.