Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Reality came crashing down on me over the weekend. My lifestyle needs to change. The thought is daunting and I'm not sure where to begin. Like horses, I am very much a creature of habit. Cultivating these changes is gonna be tough since I'm in new territory. 

I've been riding out with a group since Halloween. Not for any reason in particular. That's just the way things happened. The Croatan is ridable again and the weather nice, so we all want to put a few miles on our ponies. These are quintessential trail rides...loose rein, lots of chatter and laughing. Once we return to the barn I make a few laps in the field and put Razz through the few movements he knows. 

Saturday felt weird from the start. It was odd travelling to the barn alone (cause hubby has been riding lately too). It was odd that no one else was there to ride when I arrived. It was odd that I didn't have to keep an eye on time during the grooming process (I tend to groom way more than my fellow riders and if I mismanage my time they end up waiting on me). The quiet of the barnyard was rather overwhelming too. My pony was glad to see me when I arrived. I pulled up all the remaining carrots out of my garden, cleaned up the nicest ones and brought them with me.

Grooming was a chore on Saturday. Razz has a full winter coat and I hadn't ridden since before thanksgiving. His halter needed to be let out a notch because his face is so fuzzy. He's also gained some weight during his time off. 

no, I haven't noticed that long
eyelash til now, also note my
reflection in his eye. its like
an Escher self portrait
that is one fat pony

Okay. He's not as big as that pic makes him look. But he's still awfully hefty. And he was behind my leg from the moment I climbed on. We started in the arena. He's never excited about riding in there. He was stiff. I was stiff. I couldn't sit a canter to save my life. I expected Razz to be rusty but not me, not that bad. The barn owners have cameras all over the place, and I decided I didn't want to be seen riding so horribly. We got the hell out after maybe fifteen minutes, and went down to the huge fields below the barn. 

After making one lap around the perimeter of the largest field I trotted over to its smaller neighbor. That field is much better for flatting. Razz was willing out here, although initially he still offered a buck when I asked for more laborious efforts. My riding was just as horrible as earlier. I have never ridden so badly in my life. What's the problem? I don't feel balanced at all. My stamina is shit. My hip angle is locked. When I try to loosen up I ride like the sack of potatoes so many of you have referenced in the past. I could see him pinning his ears as I flailed around on his back. Once up in two point I felt ok until I asked for tighter turns. My butt just felt so heavy. Like a train caboose that wasn't on the track, being recklessly dragged along by the engine. I tried so hard to get things back on track but it wasn't working out. At this point I was super depressed. 

My riding sucks because I haven't been riding that much at all. Life has required my attention be in other areas lately. And I'm only a couple years away from 40. My body is unfortunately shifting into middle age mode. I am now going to have to work for things that have always come naturally to me. The stamina and athleticism, once called upon when needed and never given a second thought afterward, now has to be maintained if I expect to have it at all. The metabolism that used to make light work of all the calories I consumed doesn't burn so hot anymore either. I have a neuroma on the bottom of my left foot that bothers me at least four days out of the week. My right leg has phlebitis in a minor outer vein, although it doesn't look that minor at all when it's flared up. I'm on my feet too much already (that's why the neuroma & phlebitis exist), the last thing I feel like doing is more moving.

So this is where things start to really suck. I have to find the motivation to get out of the comfort zone I've known my whole life. Make it a point to work out. Make it a point to ride even if my foot is killing me. Cut out the midnight snack I'm so fond of. 2016 has been a bit more stressful than most years and I confess to a bit of stress eating. I don't want to give up everything I enjoy.

Back to the ride on Saturday, after flatting a while in the second field I crossed the road over to a third field. The field where the mini longhorn steers live. I began to mull over all my thoughts as I made my way around the edge of their pasture. Then Razz decided he was going to get spooky over a leaky water hose that was filling one of the cattle troughs. My rock solid trail horse was scared shitless of the strobe effect the drip was giving off as it caught the light of the setting sun. Silly pony. We walked zig zag past the hose instead of straight by.

finally got a pic of the helmet
hubby bought me :)
The ride finished uneventful. That's not a bad thing. I will find a way to get healthy. To get the train back on track. And hopefully be a better rider when I come out on the other side. 

Razz you are not starved, plz stop eating
long enough for me to get a good shot

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely needing to kick my butt in gear too!