Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lifestlye

So for those who say riding isn’t a sport, I’m here to prove you wrong.

I have gone my whole life trying to explain to my friends and prospective friends that horse riding is indeed a workout. People will ask me in conversation, “So what sport do you play?” and I’ll say, “I ride horses.” Cue dirty/skeptical look. I’m quite sick of this!

I thought of the topic for this blog post while hauling water for my horses in these frigid winter temperatures. Not only do I have to chop ice, but hauling water buckets full of h20 back and forth, back and forth- really is a great way to exercise. I was puffing by the second trip. Example one.

Another wintery chore (or summer. or spring. or fall.) is stacking and unstacking hay. My bales weigh anywhere between 50lbs and 75lbs, and I can usually pick one up in each hand if I have gloves on-a product of baling hay and stacking my own since I was 10 :) Throwing bales, picking up, moving and stacking is very physically demanding, not to mention itchy and gross. I always end up with blisters on my hand, sore back and shoulder muscles the next day, and sweaty as all get out-even in winter. Example two.

For everyone who DOES ride/care for horses, we all know stalls have to be cleaned once, if not twice, daily. This involves scooping the wet bedding (which can be surprisingly heavy) and precariously balancing it until one can dump it into wheelbarrow. This works the arms and shoulders baby! Then, the poo, which is handled the same way as the wet bedding, but 1st has to be shook out of the clean bedding. Dump heavy ass wheelbarrow (sometimes trudging through snow, rain, mud, muck etc.-YOU try pushing a 150lb wheelbarrow full of excrement through all that and TELL me its not hard). Then shoveling new bedding into said wheelbarrow. This literally breaks my back in half. Next, here comes the water buckets again! I like to dump and scrub my buckets every other day. For those who are lucky-hoses, for those who are not so lucky-hauling. Example three.

So the care of a horse can be exhausting alone, but have a non-rider ride my horse in a lesson. I PROMISE that you will be tired in five minutes. Basic riding-walk, trot (yes, posting) and canter is hard enough for beginners. It took me a year to really learn how to post properly at the trot and be able to manage long periods of trotting. It takes more muscle than you would expect to post. Thus my fabulous six pack. Thank you, riding. Move past beginners stuff and move onto galloping, jumping and collecting a horse. Good luck with that :) Try to collect my crazy, ex-racehorse, in warm-up for dressage when he is intent on pulling your arms off and running around like a little bastard. Also, good luck with that. Also try to keep him calm and cantering correctly during a jumper’s round. It can be a fun time ;) Not even gonna worry about cross country-there is no WAY a beginner could ever take my horse, or any horse for that matter, and jump a full 23 jump XC course while maintaining a two-point seat (standing in the stirrups in non-horsey people talk). Example four.

So. Non-horsey, looking down upon me, ignorant people, have a go at it. Let me know how you feel the next day. I’m sure you’ll wonder what train hit you.

On a lighter note-here are some pics from Ohio!

Cowgirl being silly-this was before the massive snow storm

Cowgirl snuggly in her blanket

Early morning

Sunset Jan. 14th