Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where I'm At

I figure now is a good time to make a "situation report". I figure I should probably do this sort of thing regularly, to keep track of what I'm doing. I tend towards being scatterbrained and slightly forgetful, so writing things down is always helpful.

So...where am I at?

I'm managing to exercise twice a day most days and at least once a day every day. It's not the three times a day I set out to do, but I like to set the bar higher than what's realistic. That way, even if I only achieve half of what I set out to do, I'm still doing pretty well. My routine right now is either a Yoga Sun Salutation or a Standing Poses sequence, then I sit on the exercise ball for a bit. Sometimes I just sit on it, balancing. Sometimes I do a light upper body routine(rowing and curls), or bounce the baby in my lap (he's about nine pounds...a perfect little dumbbell). Sometimes I shift my pelvis back and forth, as though shifting my weight in a saddle. I like to switch it up to avoid overworking any particular muscle group. Then I do another Yoga sequence.

As far as training the horse goes...well that's tricky. It's been horribly hot and muggy. If we were both in good shape I'd ride him in it. But we're both out of shape and that's not really fair. So I'm not doing much. I have ridden twice in the last week or so, mostly walking and mostly working on my position. I've started really reading Susanne Von Dietze's book Balance In Movement. She's a physical therapist as well as a riding instructor and gives some really great in the saddle exercises for improving position. So I've been playing around with those at the walk. Eventually I'll start trying them at the trot and canter. This is when I sort of wish I was still at one of those big training facilities. These sorts of exercises are much easier on the lunge line, but I haven't got anybody to lunge me around. Luckily Spider is fairly quiet (as far as Thoroughbreds go). Once I'm feeling a little more stable I'll probably stop riding with stirrups for a little while. I've always found that to be a good way to improve position, as long as you're careful not to begin gripping with the thighs to compensate. I may even go bareback once I'm feeling stronger. Bareback might be nice for Spider, as his saddle isn't fitting quite right. I have a custom made saddle, it was custom made for a fit, muscular Spider's back. It isn't sitting so well on a flabby, scrawny Spider's back.

Complicating the issue is my lack of a suitable riding surface. My arena is still just the hard packed base, with no footing on it. It can be ridden on, but it's hard as a rock, which is not good for the horse's legs and hooves. I can ride in my pastures, but they're pretty hard, too. And uneven. Unfortunately, the lawn is off limits since I can only ride when my husband is home to watch the baby. He really doesn't like it when I ride on the lawn, even though I always replace my divots. So, even if it weren't hot I would only be getting light work done for lack of a place to do heavy work. I'm pricing sand this week and hopefully will be able to get the arena finished by next week.

So that's where I'm at right now. I'll have to remember to do another situation report in a few weeks, to see if I've moved forwards, backwards or not at all.


  1. You're better than I am....fitwise. I have been swimming, but not for the last two days or so. Now....it's raining, at last.

    So, the baby's a dumbbell??? I don't think that quite sounds right. *LOL*

    Good luck with getting that footing down. This kind of weather, you really need that good surface.

  2. Teehee. If I ever meet your baby when he's older, I will tell him you called him a dumbbell on the the internet. Very funny. ;-)

  3. Hot and nasty weather here ... as usual. Very high humidty. I go riding my mare between 7 and 8 am. After it is really too humid. It is not fair on me and her.

    Thanks for your routine. I am locked inside studying. To stay sitted (sit?) really does my back. So I sit on my physio ball. It really helps!

    Baby as a dumbell ... ;-))))

  4. I think it's great that you're committed to exercise. I'd like to be but...

    Hope you get our sand soon. We just got ours and have been looking into possibilities to keep the dust down in the arena.

    It's miserable here too and we don't ride much unless it's early in the morning. I really hate summer and the humidity. Can't wait for fall.

  5. LOL, I must admit the picture a rider out replacing divets on the lawn really tickled my funny bone. Too bad your husband doesn't share my sense of humor. Sounds like the lawn would be a perfect place to school your horse. lol


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