It seems appropriate that I summarize the work I do each week. This is more something for me, to look back and see how far I have come and what I still need to do. So here goes!
Last week started out very quiet as I was on doctors orders not to do anything and see what happens with my elbow. Somehow Lee convinced me that meant to not go to the gym either. So at this point, I hadn’t been to the gym since before Christmas, yikes! (I’m not lazy, but the gym is on my way home from work, not close to home so I did not go while I was on holiday). By Tuesday, I decided this was ridiculous and I should be allowed to run, since I don’t run on my hands. It was terrible, my cardio still seems to be there, but the rest of me cannot seem to keep up. First I had shoulder pain, then hip, then knee, I could barely walk on the treadmill by the end of it. Very frustrating!
Wednesday I decided a riding lesson wouldn’t kill me and I was right. Lynn asked me what I wanted to work on, and since I was to take it “easy” we did some turn on forehand and haunches work. Bentley got the forehand pretty good, but the haunches were harder, and he ended up doing more of a spin with both sides. We did get some eventually, but its still a work in progress. On my way out of the barn, I also practiced turn on forehand in my car to reinforce that days lesson (yikes was it ever slippery!)
Thursday I was back to the gym, this time equipped with a knee brace. It didn’t seem to help (well maybe it will in the long run) as I was feeling tired in the knee before the rest of me. I guess its forcing me to use different muscles. Again, I had to take it pretty slow and cut it short, and the knee brace ended up rubbing me and making me sore. I also rode that night for 55 minutes, and didn’t have any problems there. Lessons were cancelled due to the slippery driveway (unable to bring down horses) so it was quiet, and I had some fun by putting in one of my ear phones and riding to music.
Friday was similar to Thursday, but I was able to go just a little faster on my walk/run. I put the brace outside my pants this time, which helped the rubbing, but my knee muscles still tired out quicker than I am used to. It might be a while before I am able to do 5 mile runs daily again. I rode Bentley again for another 55 minutes, and did some pole work. He was frisky for being inside all week (he came in Monday night for a Tuesday vet appointment, but it was too slippery to take him out until Saturday!)
Saturday was back to barn work, hoping my elbow would hold out. It wasnt so much sore on Saturday, but it did feel week. I was surprised at 8am in the morning when everyone was at the barn to ride, they had already started feed and horses were being groomed and tacked up. This has NEVER happened before. So I just got to stalls, and we had everything finished remarkably fast. I love when the kids are there to ride, it saves me from lunging everyone. The best part about everyone being done so quickly, was I had free time in the afternoon. It was especially important that day as Solstice and Phyllis were coming by to visit me, and take a riding lesson on Bentley. GK was cleared to be ridden, so I rode her while Solstice warmed up on Bentley, and then when I was done, I put her away and had time to sit, relax, eat my lunch and watch the lesson while catching up with Phyllis. What a treat! Phyllis also did some red light therapy on my elbow, hoping it would help hold me through all the barn chores. Oh and my ride on GK, it was hilarious! She was so spunky, she has been off for 2 months, that she would hop the ground pole every time we walked over it, and veer me towards the jumps in the ring. One point, she decided she would just go ahead and jump the pole like a 4 foot oxer, catching me totally off guard and im sure I screamed some sort of expletive. Bentley was right ahead of us, and this triggered a hopping dancing party session between the two of them. I was laughing so hard, I came close to falling out of the saddle after the fact.
Sunday was quiet, nobody at the barn that day and I had 3 horses on my task list to ride. All 3 of them were great and we had fun. They only were set for half hour rides, so it came almost too soon! The only problem I had was with Rossini. Not that he was bad, but hes very heavy on the hands, heavier than any other horse I have ridden. I am guessing its about 30lb weight on the reins in “muscle man” style to get him into a frame (which he does fabulously). So after 30 minutes of trying that, my elbow was getting very sore. As I picked the stalls too, I was getting shots of numbness in my hand. By the time I got to lunging, there was no way I could hold the whip and line, so the lunged horses had to get a handwalk instead. Still, I held up better than expected, as that was a lot of strain throughout the 2 days.
And now because I took absolutely no pictures this week, here is a muscle man to demonstrate what I feel like when I ride Rossini: